When it comes to success on social media, there’s more to the number of followers, likes, and comments you get than meets the eye. Making sense of these metrics can spell the difference between improving your brand significantly or fading into the background. And while there are many key performance indicators you should monitor for your brand’s Instagram account, Entrepreneur points to engagement as one of the most crucial, with the industry standard being 70 interactions for every 1,000 followers.
But First, What is Engagement?
Simply put, engagement is how much an audience responds to a brand’s content on Instagram. This essential metric determines what type of content performs well based on likes, comments, shares, reactions, or views. Keeping an eye on your engagement rate will also determine the success of your marketing campaigns.
That said, here are some tips you can follow to improve the Instagram engagement rate for your brand.
1. Keep Your Posts Consistent
Keeping your feed updated and relevant is important to maintain your brand’s presence. Target one to two posts daily so that you remain the top-of-mind brand for your audience. While there is no single best time to upload content, posting times should depend on your followers’ activity to ensure your content gets as many eyes on it as possible.
2. Mix Up Your Content Formats
Instagram used to be a lot simpler when it started, offering users a place to share photos. From there, it has evolved into a platform filled with rich content, from carousel posts to stories and clickable ads, and the list just keeps on growing. With so many content formats to choose from, sticking to one will quickly make your feed look stale and unappealing – a recipe for lower engagement rates. If you’re not sure where to start, try video content, which tends to encourage more engagements.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Analytics
A good way to understand where your Instagram account is in terms of performance is through analytics, which is available for business accounts on the platform. This lets you get a better sense of how effective your efforts are. Instagram Analytics can provide key insights on which posts and Stories enjoy the most engagement and when your audience is most active on the platform. This can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t, and prepare your content accordingly. Try looking at your posts over the past month, and make a note of content types and posting times that work best.
4. Make Use of Branded Hashtags
No social media post is complete without the appropriate hashtags. This nifty tool allows Instagram users to find the content they’re looking for, so it’s important for brands to understand which hashtags get the most searches and why. Using the analytics feature will help you determine which hashtags perform best for your content. Consider using a branded hashtag, which Business 2 Community explains is a way for brands to personalize their content and stand out amongst a sea of generic ones. It should be used on an ongoing basis and must be applicable to any post, but the best times to use them are during product launches and updates, promotions, contests, sponsored events, and the like.
5. Get Creative with Community Interaction
There’s a lot to learn about ‘Social Media Marketing for Beginners’, but one important thing to focus on is the needs of your target audience. Many of them want to interact with brands that align with their values and interests, and so it is important to focus on community building. Reply to questions, encourage them to tag you in their posts, and share those posts whenever you can. Interacting with your community will definitely ramp up your engagement rate, so get creative with strategies such as contests, tutorials, and takeovers for fun content and collaborative efforts your audience will definitely enjoy!
The reason engagements are so crucial to success on social media is because this metric encapsulates the connections each person has with your brand and the community you’ve created. Improving engagement is not just a way to boost performance, but ultimately finding a better way to connect with your audience for a more genuine and meaningful relationship.