Got 99 problems and boosting your Instagram engagement is one? Let us help.
Whether you’re a social media manager or you’ve been tasked with overseeing the channels on top of your workload, one of the things we get asked often (read: ALL. THE. TIME) is how to improve engagement on Instagram.
With its fickle algorithms and ever-changing platform features, it’s easy to feel a little lost when hatching a plan to move the needle on your engagement.
Don’t despair, there are things you can do to give your engagement more b-b-bounce than a berocca by leaning into the platform’s algorithms and new features.
Read on for our top seven ways to help improve engagement on your Instagram.
1. Create Instagram Reels
Do you ever find yourself scrolling in the Explore tab on Instagram, waiting for something to jump out at you and grab your attention?
Us too, along with the other 200 million Instagram users who scroll the Explore tab each day. Let. That. Sink. In. For. A. Moment. 200 million people.
Now that you know how many Instagram users are ‘exploring’ what’s new on the ‘gram, it makes sense that’s the place your content needs to play.
With Reels occupying two squares in the grid compared to the standard single square posts in your feed, you’ve got double the chances of getting users to stop mid-scroll and click your content.
More impressions and views = more engagement.
We don’t just preach this to our clients, Reels are something you’ll find weekly in our Media Mortar feed – here are a few reasons why they are part of our social media strategy too.
2. Put on your SEO hat when creating your profile and posts
If you thought you only had to wave the SEO (search engine optimisation) wand over your website copy, we’ve got news for you.
Since November 2020, Instagram has extended how people can find your business based on a keyword search that picks up words in your Instagram handle, name, bio and, wait for it … captions.
While #hashtags traditionally were (and still are) a great tool to make your content discoverable by adding them to your caption or first comment, keyword search provides more scope for your business and brand to be discovered with words and phrases across other touchpoints on your profile.
It’s time to put down short form captions in favour of keyword-rich ones. We have some copywriting tips to help you over here.
3. Ensure your profile promotes what you do
Now that you know your Instagram handle and bio have a chance of appearing in an Instagram user’s keyword search, you’ll want to ensure you make it crystal clear to users who you are and what you do.
If you only have a few seconds to capture the audience’s attention, you’ll want them to know they’ve landed in the right place.
If your username doesn’t have a clear searchable connection to what you are selling or the service you are providing, the first thing you’ll want to do is update your ‘name’ on your profile.
For example, @mediamortar doesn’t tell anyone that we are a content marketing agency, does it? So, our name in our bio is ‘Content Marketing Agency’. If someone searches for a content marketing agency there’s more chance of Media Mortar showing as a search result rather than if our name was still Media Mortar.
Beyond updating your name, ensure you are optimising your bio with keywords that help identify your business or brand.
On our Media Mortar account, you’ll find copywriting, social media, graphic design and marketing strategy – calling out a few of our key services for those that might not be searching for the umbrella service “content marketing”.
4. Share Instagram Stories
If you nearly fell off your office chair when you found out how many Instagram users are scrolling the Explore tab each day, you’ll want to place your feet firmly on the ground to stop your chair from spinning with this one: over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories every day.
Thanks to the functionality of interactive stickers, such as quizzes, polls and question boxes, Instagram Stories are an effective way to encourage engagement and two-way communication, which is a refreshing change for users who are constantly bombarded with one-way communication.
Like any social media platform or function, there are a few things to consider ensuring the infamous algorithm favours your content. These include Stories with video content, visually led with limited text and content with a cohesive look and feel of feed posts, to name a few – read our tips on how to lift your Stories game to help you on your engagement boosting way.
5. Start using Alt Text
Hands up if you started to notice blocks of additional text at the bottom of Instagram recently, which give a description or summary of the image? Meet, alt text.
This game-changing feature uses automated object recognition technology that aims to describe photos for people with visual impairments.
Not only does adding alt text to your posts ensure your social media posts are more accessible and inclusive (snaps), it also provides another opportunity to optimise your profile with your brand’s SEO keywords by crafting copy for the alt text rather than using the automated caption.
How many times can we tell the internet that we’re a content marketing agency in a caption? Turns out, plenty!
6. Get tagged or mentioned in partner posts
Want more eyes on your Instagram profile and more people engaging with your content? Get your business or brand tagged or mentioned by others in their Instagram posts, Stories or Reels.
Whether you partner with influencers to tag or mention your brand in their sponsored posts or collaborate with business partners to cross-promote each other’s services, having your account tagged elsewhere is discovery gold.
Of course, you’ll want to be selective with where your business is tagged and promoted and ensure you’re tagged on quality content. The goal is to ensure the content piques the interest of the audience and drives them to click on your tag, taking them straight to your profile to learn more.
7. Post when your followers are online
If the television show Survivor aired at midday on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, do you think the ratings would be the same as when it airs at 7:30pm on the same days? I think not.
Just like commercial television, planning your social media content for when your audience is online or will be most engaged is a simple solution to improving your post stats.
Given how much content is uploaded every minute of every day on Instagram (reportedly 95 million photos and videos), by posting when your followers will be online, there’s more chance of seeing it pop up on their feed when they are mid-scroll, rather than it being lost amongst the other posts and videos from accounts they follow.
For more social media tips and tricks like this:
- Download a copy of our Social Media Handbook
By Rochelle Vaisanen
When not climbing mountains on two wheels, Rochelle can be found on the hunt for the best almond croissant around town. A lover of good coffee, food and wine, and with a passion for travel, Rochelle is always on the lookout for new adventures locally and abroad.