Though TikTok may be receiving a lot of press as of late, steadfast platforms like Instagram still reign supreme, with around 4.25 billion visits per month and 1.39 billion daily global active users alone. This means marketers and social media managers should always be thinking of ways to engage their followers and create meaningful content that will garner attention.
But for new businesses especially, gaining traction on social media can be an uphill battle. To help, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council recommend eight tips for increasing engagement on your business’s Instagram and explain why these tactics are so effective no matter how large your following.
1. Define Your Brand Voice And Audience
Define your brand voice and target audience before curating your content. Such a proactive approach will allow you to optimize budget usage for social media. Do you want to appeal to college students who are looking for affordable vacations? Parents who are seeking products that will simplify child care? The tonal shifts will be different when showing beach photos or furniture that is safe for infants to use and easy to assemble. Your content will also vary as a result. Different demographics will prefer videos over images, or vice versa. Knowing these preferences ahead of time will allow you to plan media projects more efficiently with your video editor. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
2. Create ‘Above And Beyond’ Content For Your Niche
After picking your niche, focus on the depth and quality of content in that area. Work to create foundational, best-in-class visual content that is authoritative and unique—meaning, go for “above and beyond” content over quantity of content. It may be easier to get 1,000 likes on one piece than 100 likes each on 10. Spend the time developing one or two amazing visual masterpieces inside your niche, and then you can also use them as examples for your marketing agency to set the bar high for them. – Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com
3. Focus On The Value You’re Providing To Customers
Be laser-focused on your target audience. What do they like? What will speak to them? What do they already engage with? What problem are you solving for them? Too often, especially in the startup phase, we get so excited about what we’re doing for the world that our messaging is completely centered around us and our service. Break out of that box and define how you’re providing value to your clientele; it will typically fall under the categories of educating, entertaining or promoting. Try to be more entertaining and educational than promotional, as that is what will build your following the quickest. Lastly, post, post, post. Don’t fret about getting that “perfect” phrase or hashtag; those skills will come with time. Post one to three times a day, get comfortable, adjust and keep posting. – Shane Levinson, Carpets of Arizona
4. Maintain Consistency Across The Board
It is crucial to understand that consistency is the foundation of success on social media. By maintaining consistency in your messaging, posting schedule and engagement with your audience, you will be able to establish trust and position your brand as a reliable source of information and entertainment. Moreover, experimentation should not be avoided, as every audience is unique and what resonates with one may not resonate with another. Therefore, it is essential to test different types of content, posting times and engagement strategies. Utilize analytics to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. By consistently engaging with your followers in a genuine and authentic manner, you will be able to foster loyalty and increase engagement. – Abhijeet Kaldate, Astra WordPress Theme
5. Leverage User-Generated Content
The most creative and authentic way to increase user engagement on Instagram is through user-generated content (UGC). Sharing content created by your followers is a great way to show appreciation for their support and can also be a powerful way to increase engagement. When people see their content being shared by a brand, it makes them feel valued and seen, which can encourage them to continue interacting with your content. You can encourage your followers to tag your account or use a specific hashtag when they post content related to your brand. This makes it easier for you to find and share their content. Then, you can share their user-generated content on your own feed and stories. Brands can also host a UGC contest or challenge. This can be a fun way to get people excited. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
6. Invest In High-Quality Photos
If you’re starting out your social media campaign for Instagram, you need to add in the cost of hiring a photographer. The most successful Instagram posts are those that have visual appeal—be it beauty, humor, uniqueness or something else. A low-quality image will quickly be skimmed over and lose viral value. Thus, the cost of the professional’s editing and equipment will yield a higher ROI. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
7. Keep Content Light-Hearted
A new business may not be a household brand, but relatable and happy content is welcoming to all. By keeping your feed light-hearted, you can increase engagement on Instagram. With a visual platform, attention-grabbing works with relatable and light-hearted posts. Instagram provides much functionality that can help with user engagement of photos and videos. Think memes, sticker stories, user-generated content and more. This works because memes are highly relatable. They’re funny or clever and hit home with people’s day-to-day lives. Additionally, they’re easy to consume—people can glance at them quickly and understand the joke or point without reading an entire caption. Not only will this help engage followers, but it can also help a new business create a strong community around its brand. – Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.
8. Experiment To Find What Sticks
It’s hard to establish the right footing on social media, and in order to thrive, you need to be willing to experiment with new formats, styles and themes. Try different angles covering your product, industry and general benefits until you find the ideal formula that resonates with your particular audience. While you may be tempted to simply recycle existing brand content, you may need to take a completely unique approach in order to grow your audience on Instagram. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress