Engagement Tips for Instagram

Engagement Tips for Instagram

It’s 2021 and to pretend that I’m not trying to find the best ways in which to market myself on Instagram would be a lie. It’s a weird world we live in (a lot of it being online) and trying to figure out how to sell product, grow a following, and increase engagement can be tricky. Trying to find the balance of being authentic while at the same time pushing my work is not always so easy. I’m still learning and social media is changing every day, so staying up to date on trends is a must. But I think I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way and hopefully they will help you out not only on your own platforms but with the ways in which you interact with your favorite brands as well. 

First, let's talk about how to increase engagement for your own brand. While it’s totally possible to do it on your own, I’ve found that there are certain third-party apps that you can use to not only help boost engagement, but also cut back on the time you spend online. Which, as a creative and business owner, is everything. Some helpful social media planning apps include Later, UNUM, and Plann, but the one I have found to be most efficient is Planoly. Using a third-party app is a great way to visualize your grid, schedule posts ahead of time, and gain valuable audience insights. Planoly has incredible analytics that allow you to track which of your posts have seen increased engagement, impressions and reach. 

If you aren’t ready to invest in an app, another trick is to simply change your Instagram to a business profile. The analytics that this provides can be incredibly helpful. You can see a general overview of where the majority of your followers live, the times they are most frequently online, and how many accounts actually follow through to your website. With a business account, you also have the ability to see data from each individual post. I’ll show you an example. Take this photo from the BLM paddle-outs.
On the bottom left of your posted photo you will see the words “View Insights”. Here is where you’ll find everything you need to know about the engagement for a specific post. When I open that, I get access to all of the interactions I have had with this photo including the reach, profile visits, and website clicks. It’ll also tell you how your audience found your content, whether that's from the home page, explore page, or even your hashtags. 

Now let’s discuss the best ways to engage as a follower. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably been liking your friends and your favorite brands posts for years. This is how we all are used to showing a little love and appreciation. Unfortunately, with Instagrams ever changing algorithm, this is now considered the least valuable form of interaction. This doesn’t mean not to like any more though! It is still the easiest way to give your support and a tap of the heart is still a very welcome way to let me and others know that you like what we’re doing!

Comments oddly enough no longer hold a lot of weight either. If you really love something - say it! Show some extra effort by writing it out...more than a few words!

Saves are next. The save icon looks like a little ribbon and can be seen on the bottom right corner of a picture. By saving something, it means that you liked it enough to return to later. While I never used to save posts in the past, I’ve found it to be pretty helpful as a creative. You can create different folders within your saves, acting in a way like pinterest boards. I personally have saved folders showcasing surf photos I love, fashion brands I want to check out, poses I want to try in my own photoshoots, and places I hope to shoot one day. This is an awesome asset to hold all of your favorite pics and is super beneficial to the creator of that content.  

Finally there are shares. The share icon is the little paper airplane and this is what the algorithm currently favors the most. Sharing content means that you like it enough to not only save for later, but also think it worthwhile enough for someone else to check out. You can share to individual friends, in dm group chats, or even to your own story so that all of your followers are then able to enjoy it as well. This hopefully results in people clicking through and discovering the content creator for themselves. 

As you can see, none of these steps are very difficult when it comes to supporting your favorite brands. So if you really like something, share it with those you love or save to come back to later. Keep in mind, Instagram and social media as a whole are always changing. A year from now this blog post may be completely irrelevant! It’s tricky as a business to stay up to date with the change and growth but it’s also fun to learn and evolve within these platforms. I created an infographic that I’ve posted below to make it easier to remember the best ways in which to interact with the content on your feed. And hey, if you enjoyed this blog and want to help your favorite Hawaii photographer out, you could always share it :D
Hold image and save as photo to share on Instagram Story or right-click and Save As on desktop.

 


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