With over one billion monthly users, Instagram is one of the most widely used social media platforms, and therefore, a gold mine for marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs. However, the key to growth and brand building on Instagram lies no longer in your followers count as it used to be in the past, it rather lies in how well those followers engage with your content i.e. likes, comments, shares, saves, etc.
Instagram considers engagement one of the most crucial factors in determining whether your content has value or not. More engagement means your content will reach a bigger audience. But, constant changes in the Instagram algorithm have made it extremely difficult to sustain that engagement, let alone improve it.
In order to tackle the algorithm and maximize engagement, it’s very important to be deliberate and strategic. Below I’ve listed down a few simple tips you can follow to level-up your Instagram game in 2021.
1. Upload aesthetically pleasing content
The importance of uploading visually appealing content on Instagram can never be overlooked. Once your content catches people’s eye, they will automatically be interested in knowing more about your business.
However, you don’t need to have cool gadgets and robust photography skills for this. You only need to be creative and authentic. People love authenticity more than perfection. Try experimenting with different themes to make your feed look visually consistent as well.
2. Write thoughtful and engaging captions
Thoughtful and meaningful captions are a key to get people to spend more time on your posts. The size doesn’t matter, as long as it’s something people find interesting or can resonate with.
Captions are also a great way to get the thought processes behind the posts across to the audience. You can also write captions that are guaranteed to drive conversations, like sharing jokes, asking questions, playing games, etc.
3. Aim for saves and shares
Saves and shares are highly important Instagram engagement metrics. Saves guarantee revisits, and shares guarantee more exposure.
People usually save and share content that they personally connect with or that has some tips or information in it. This is why focus on creating content that’ll have long-term value and relevance for your audience, be it in the form of pictures, videos, or captions.
4. Experiment with posting durations
The Instagram algorithm loves posts that drive the most engagement in a short period of time. It pushes those posts to the top of your followers’ feed, which results in more engagement. This is why it’s important to post when your audience is most active. Your Instagram analytics will help you in this regard. Keep experimenting until you find the best timings, and then post consistently at that time.
5. Interact with your audience
Engagement drives engagement. As soon as you post, the next thing you need to do is respond to as many comments on your post as you can. This will make your audience feel seen and heard, and this feeling will motivate them to interact with you on a regular basis.
Take out the time to respond to your audience’s queries in DMs as well. It boosts engagement. Moreover, not answering the DMs will leave a bad impression, and they won’t reach out to you again.
6. Use Instagram stories actively
Over 400 million Instagram stories are shared each day in 2021. Over 2 million brands utilize this feature actively. Stories are a quick way to grab attention because they are only available for 24 hours.
Make stories about behind-the-scenes and other details about your brand that people might find interesting. Polls, questions, countdowns are also great conversation starters.
7. Share user-created content
If someone tags your brand in a post or a story, share that. This will make your audience feel thrilled and encouraged to tag your account in other relevant content as well
You can tag relevant brands and influencers in your posts as well. Your account will get a boost when they interact with your posts.
8. Level up your hashtag game
This might seem like a clichéd tip but a post with even a single hashtag is likely to have 12.6% more engagement in comparison to one that doesn’t have hashtags. This is why hashtags are a powerful tool on Instagram.
Be smart when choosing hashtags. Using generic ones can lessen the chances of discoverability of your post because there’ll be too many similar posts for yours to get noticed. Instead, aim for long-tail industry-specific hashtags as the competition will be less there. But try not to go for too specific either. Find out the adequate balance.
To sum it up, Instagram is an ideal platform for marketing in 2021. But in order to utilize its potential to the fullest, it’s crucial to dig deep and find out strategies that work the best for your business.