Where’s My Engagement?
As Instagram’s popularity continues to soar, it gets more and more challenging for businesses to stand out. Something that has apparently turned out to be a concern, in particular, are the dropping engagement rates.
However, there are some really effective ways to get around this issue, and instead increase your engagement rates. We will be going through them in this article.
Inconsistency in Posting
Consistency in posting is a very important factor when it comes to engagement rates. When you make posts randomly without any consistency at all, it directly (and negatively) affects your engagement rates.
Your audience expects you to have something for them at regular intervals, not disappear for a week after making a few posts, only to return and make a bunch of new posts to make up for the lost time. This is just not how social media marketing works.
So make sure you always have something for your audience and don’t leave them disappointed by not posting for long periods of time.
You can start with just 3 posts a week, and gradually keep increasing the posts, preferably till the point where your audience doesn’t want to take more.
Not Using Hashtags to Their Fullest
There are not many out there who aren’t aware of the importance of using hashtags. Using them as effectively as possible (without abusing them, of course) is an amazingly simple way to boost your engagement rates.
If you’re not very familiar with using hashtags, you can simply start with using a few of your keywords as hashtags. Once you get a little comfortable with it, you can do some research and find hashtags that are more likely to get you better exposure from your target audience.
Failing to Exploit the Power of Call to Actions
Well, simply posting great content is probably not going to cut it on Instagram, or perhaps on any other major social network for that matter. You need to engage your audience.
And engagement comes when you get users involved in things related to your brand or business. This is precisely where a call to actions come in.
By simply using a call to action and asking your followers or target audience to share their opinion, choices, etc., you can shoot up your engagement rate significantly. You can ask them to post their thoughts as a comment on what you posted, or ask them to choose one of the few options you posted as a poll – you get the idea.
Now, you may not start seeing great engagement right off the bat, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t. You can simply ask your friends or employees to get the ball rolling and the others will then be much more likely to join in as well.
Not Carefully Tracking the Analytics
Analytics can go a long way in helping you find out what your audience really wants. Needless to mention, this is pretty much what you need to know to achieve great engagement rates.
Using the analytics, you can find posts that have performed better than others, and the similarities between them. They may include posting time, type of content posted, hashtags used, as well as even the color scheme or other such factors that may have helped them be more appealing to your audience.
Some of the other important things you need to be aware of is the growth of your follower count, likes and comments per post and so on. You can do this using some tools specifically built for this purpose.
If you have a business profile, you will have access to built-in analytics. You will be able to find useful information here such as the amount of your reach, number of users landing on your profile, impressions, number of clicks, and even requests for directions (if you are a brick and mortal business).
What’s more, Instagram also lets you compare these stats with the previous week, helping you get a clear idea of your account’s growth. Similarly, you also get to know when your fans are online, allowing you to come up with a posting schedule that ensures that you get the most engagement out of your posts.
Not Interacting with Your Audience
Driving up engagement rates has a lot to do with the kind of relationship you build with your audience. And a great way to make users interacting with your content feel that you care about their opinions is to simply interact back with them.
Ideally, it’s recommended to interact in some way with all users who leave comments on your posts, as by doing so you’re making them feel valued and building a strong relationship with them. Using Instagram’s new comment liking feature may turn out to be a better way of responding to the comments you get on your posts.
Not Making Videos a Part of Your Content Strategy
While pictures are a common sight on Instagram, videos have been getting increasingly popular as a form of content as well. In fact, a good video can actually help you stand out among the crowd of pictures.
After all, Instagram users usually don’t fail to embrace anything that’s visually attractive, and videos are certainly no exception. If you know how to make them a part of your content strategy, you may be able to see a surprising increase in your engagement rate in no time.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to come up with the best video out there. It can something as simple as a Q&A session and it can still work well.
If you want to be a little more creative though, you can always consider using Instagram Stories or Instagram’s Live Video feature.
Not Exposing Yourself to Non-Followers
Engagement rates aren’t all about engaging your own followers; they are also about attracting new ones, and making sure they interact actively with you.
You can comment, like, and try to interact in other ways with users that don’t follow you, but are a good fit as your target audience. This may help gain some new, active followers, which would hopefully interact with your content more frequently, and hence shoot up the engagement rate.