3 Super Simple Tips for Boosting Follower Engagement on Instagram
Updated: May 3, 2021
Engagement is perhaps the most underestimated aspect of marketing on Instagram and other social media platforms. Many small businesses are under the impression that social media success is all about the sheer number of followers and likes an account has. I hate it to break it to you, but this model is outdated at best, and at worst, could be potentially harming your business’s growth. Focusing on followers and likes alone is an easy mistake to make, and even I spent many years trying to boost follower count in hopes that this would bolster my credibility and sales. If I could go back to my old self and give one single piece of marketing advice, it would be this— Focus on follower engagement.
What is Engagement?
Engagement is a multi-faceted term which gets thrown around quite a bit by Instagram marketing gurus— But what does engagement really mean? Certainly, followers and likes are one aspect of engagement, but they are also ultimately one of the most shallow measurements of follower engagement. We’ve all heard stories about companies and individuals purchasing fake followers and likes on Instagram, and at this point in my career, it has become incredibly easy for me to tell which accounts are lying about their numbers. How can I do this? Simple, I just look to see how much deep engagement an account has from their followers. Deep engagement simply refers to forms of engagement which go beyond likes, which as mentioned previously are not nearly as important as most would think. When I look for success on a business’s social media account, I’m looking for comments, inside jokes, memes, followers sharing posts on their stories— An effective business account is one which builds deep follower engagement through a variety of marketing tactics.
It is incredibly easy for a business’s marketing content to get lost in a sea of digital imagery on Instagram, and increasing engagement is the number one way to make sure that your content is not just absentmindedly scrolled over by your targeted audience. When we talk about building engagement, we’re really talking about building a group of followers who are deeply passionate about your business and what you do— It’s that simple. In an effort to help you and your business succeed, I want to share some of my favorite easy tactics to boost your account’s engagement on Instagram. Let’s get started!
1. Stay Active and Engaged
This one seems like a no-brainer, but I cannot stress this enough— Your social media presence must be consistent if you wish to achieve any form of digital success. Inconsistent posting and weak presence will leave your followers wondering where you went, or worse, why they follow you at all. For business owners, especially small business owners, this can understandably be a lot to add to an already busy schedule. It’s for this reason that those who are already far too busy taking care of all the other aspects of running a business may want to look into finding a professional to take care of creating and posting consistent content for them. Professional marketers suggest that a business should be posting on Instagram at least once a day, and no more than three times. Like I said, this may seem easy or simple, but doing this is the first step you can take towards building a passionate fan base on Instagram and other platforms.
2. Respond to Comments
Don’t leave your followers hanging. Boosting engagement is all about creating a sense of authenticity and genuine digital community. To do this you need to be periodically responding to comments left by followers on your Instagram posts. One piece of advice here: If you want to build stronger follower engagement, it’s not enough to just reply with a simple “yes” or “no”— Like I said, this is your business’s chance to engage with customers authentically. I suggest using humor, having actual conversations, using emojis and showing genuine concern for the customer when replying to their comments. A smart business owner will strike the right balance between casual/authentic responses, and professional replies to any serious business inquiries. If you have time, dedicating at least an hour or two a day to responding to comments and DMs on Instagram is a surefire way to increase your followers engagement with your content.
3. Share your Follower’s Content
Social media runs on a simple, psychological fact— People want to be seen, and they want others to care about who they are and what they are doing. As a matter of fact, I’m willing to bet you’re reading this for the exact same reason, because you want your business’s Instagram page to be seen. This is a two way-street, and if you want your followers to care about what your business is doing, you’re going to have to show that you care about them as well. One easy way to do this is through sharing any Instagram posts or stories from followers who’ve posted about your business. You can easily do this by sharing your follower’s content through your Instagram story. Everyone wants to be recognized, and posting content from followers who are excited about your business’s content is a great way to give your customers the recognition they deserve. Doing this can easily make someone’s day, and I can guarantee that doing this consistently will give your business the kind of deep and loyal customer engagement that most can only dream of.
In summary, building a business presence through Instagram and social media is tough work. Measuring this solely through likes and follows is not going to cut it. What businesses really need is to be creating genuine follower engagement, and building a customer base that cares deeply about your business and its content. Three easy ways for anyone to achieve this are:
1. Staying active
2. Responding to comments
3. Sharing your follower’s content