Do you feel good about the type of content you’re sharing on Instagram? Are you happy with the progress you’re making in regards to your following? Are you ready to take things to the next level by engaging with your audience more regularly?
If you truly want to make the most of your Instagram experience, it’s critical to engage with your audience. How you do this depends largely on your niche and target audience, but there are some key steps anyone can take to achieve greater success:
You put a lot of time into sharing useful content on Instagram. So, when someone takes their time to leave a comment – even if it’s a brief one – jump into the action by responding.
As your Instagram account grows, you’ll find it difficult to respond to every comment, but make it a habit to at least get to some of them. According to ViralRace, not only does this keep the conversation going, but it shows the person that you care about what they have to say. And that will only help boost your engagement rate in the future.
2. Use Hashtags
It’s an Instagram basic, but something that many users – especially beginners – forget to do. The use of hashtags is critical to your success, as this helps from an engagement point of view.
Think about it this way: there are only so many ways for people to find your account on Instagram. When you add in all your competitors, it’s easy for your content to be overlooked. But when you use hashtags, you’re giving people another avenue for discovering your content.
Tip: don’t focus solely on the most popular hashtags in your niche. For example, if you’re a fitness influencer, the hashtag #fitness is one that you’ll always use. However, you can experiment with other ideas that are less popular, such as #fitness + the area in which you live.
3. Be Careful of When You Post
You can post on Instagram at any time of the day, but remember this: some times and days are more likely to result in engagement.
Tip: what works for you may not work for the next person, and vice versa. So, even if you find a particular time and day that appears to be working in regards to engagement, don’t stop there. Experiment with other options to see if there’s something that makes more sense.
When it comes to the question of when is the best time to post on Instagram, HubSpot shares the following:
On average, the best time to post on Instagram is between 2 PM and 3 PM CDT. However, the level of engagement you get can change dramatically depending on what day of the week you post. The best day to post on Instagram is Thursday, not just at 3 PM, but at 5 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM as well.
This may not end up being the best schedule for you, but it’s a jumping off point.
4. Use Geotags
Sprout Social clears the air about geotags and how they can help engage your local audience. It doesn’t always make sense to use geotags, but when you want to connect with a local audience, it’s an important step to take to boost engagement.
Tip: don’t make the mistake of forgetting to tell Instagram to publicize your location.
5. Target Your Competitor’s Followers
As long as you have the time, it’s easy enough to find people who are willing to engage with your content. Start by visiting three to five of your top competitors. From there, review their most recent posts to see what type of engagement they’re getting.
Once you pinpoint a few people who are always commenting, follow them and engage with their content. This will put you on their radar, with the goal of them visiting your page and following you, liking your photos, and sharing a comment.
While this is a slow and steady approach, it’ll begin to pick up steam as your follower count grows. Even if you only target a few of your competitor’s followers each day, it’ll help improve your engagement rate and boost your audience.
According to Oberlo, the average engagement rate on Instagram ranges anywhere from 1 percent to 5 percent.
If you can achieve an engagement rate closer to the high end – or greater than five percent – you’re doing something right. And you should continue to do that something until you realize that your strategy is no longer working.
Finally, keep in mind that your engagement rate has the potential to improve as you add targeted followers. This is why it’s so important to focus on growing your audience, as well as your engagement, such as through a service like ViralRace. It’s your hopes that some of the followers you add are the type who enjoy engaging with your content, such as by commenting, liking, or even sharing it with their audience.
Now that you have a better idea of how to engage on Instagram, it’s time to take action. Experiment with all these ideas, all while tracking your engagement rate. What’s working? What isn’t? What should you change in the future?