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Instagram is one of the most efficient and fastest growing social networks. Brands and businesses love it and leverage it to promote and market their products and services to billions of users worldwide.

More and more brands are competing for declining customer attention whose span is now no more than a Goldfish’s at 8s. Hence, brands are going the extra mile to engage followers more.

It is important to learn how to get more Instagram followers, and even more important to learn how to engage them after you’ve got them.This we will cover in this post, but first

Why Even Bother with Instagram?

A lot of top brands have an Instagram account. 1 billion people (and counting) use it every month. Millions of businesses have an account, spending billions in ads, etc. Surely, this means Instagram is doing something right.

To put it in perspective, here are

Some Key Instagram Marketing Statistics

  • 1 billion people use Instagram monthly
  • Over 500 million use it daily
  • 80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram
  • Over 500 million accounts use stories daily
  • There are 2million advertisers every month
  • More than 100 million images and videos are posted daily, etc

Instagram Followers: Who are They?

These are users of Instagram that follow your account and they can see, share, like and comment on any content or photo you post.

As a brand or business, it is important to know and understand your followers. This gives you an idea of the kind of content to curate for them.

Why You Need to Understand Your Instagram Audience/Followers

It is important to have lots of followers on Instagram but more importantly, you need to understand and figure out

  • who they are
  • where they are
  • what they like
  • what they dislike
  • what they earn
  • how they buy/shop/spend
  • how they communicate, etc

This wil form the basis of your content marketing  strategy. With this information you can easily streamline, create and curate content best suited for your audience.

The big question is

Are Your Followers Engaged? 5 Ways to Tell

1. Dwindling Likes and Comments

One of the quickest ways to spot poor engagement is the number of likes and comments. These two KPIs are directly related to engagement.

Likes and comments show if your followers are “into” your content or not. If always zero or constantly declining, then follower engagement may be poor. Some social networks like Instagram and YouTube are currently experimenting with hiding number of likes or subscribers.

2.  Clicks and Share Rate

Clicks refer to the number of users that see your post and eventually open it. Users tend to like, comment and share a really useful post.

If your click through/share rate increases, it means your followers are engaged.

3. Positive Brand Mentions

When your brand is tagged or mentioned in a conversation you didn’t start, it shows that users really value your brand and people “see” you.

This is an important KPI. Ultimately, this means followers have been paying attention to you.

4. Profile Visits

This is also important. Users who engage with your posts tend to visit your profile and also mention your page to other users who eventually check out your profile too.

A low number of profile visits may be indicative of poor engagement.

5. Conversion Rate

This is the ultimate indicator of follower engagement. The goal of every business is to convert followers to buyers.

Your conversion goals may be different e.g newsletter sign ups. Either way, a poor follower engagement will result in poor conversion.

Following are:

7 Simple Ways to Get Even More Engaged Instagram Followers

1. Take Time to Write Stronger Captions

Unlike Twitter, Instagram has room for longer captions, up to 2200 characters. One of the easiest ways to get followers attention is by writing meaningful content. This way, they’re captivated by your content and spend time engrossed in and engaging with it.

Take time to write well-structured meaningful captions that engage your audience. Tell your story in the most captivating way that will wow your readers and get them asking for more, Game of Thrones style.

Longer dwell time is a key indicator of engagement, it means you’ve won audience attention, which also improves the chances of your post popping up in numerous feeds.

2. Use Your Stories and Stickers Optimally

Instagram Stories (InstaStory) was introduced in August 2016 after Instagram was acquired by Facebook. It is one of the easiest ways to engage followers and get people talking about your brand.

InstaStory is so popular that over 500 million people use it daily. Your brand followers will definitely be engaged when you make use of InstaStory.

Instagram took things up a notch by adding the sticker feature to Instastory, which prompts followers to take action on your story.

3. The Question Sticker.

The question sticker is an ask-me-anything (AMA) prompt. With it followers can ask you anything about your products and services, which is great for engagement and two-way communication.

Polls and Vote Sticker

Using polls and Vote Sticker is another way to build strong connection with followers, it makes them feel valued to be seen and heard; to know their opinion counts. Want your followers opinions?  Use the poll and vote sticker.

4. Know Best Time to Post

If you want to score more follower engagement, writing good, long, and meaningful content/caption is not enough. Timing (of posts) is also key.

Take some time to monitor and study your Instagram analytics (do this by checking your Instagram Insights).

From the previous posts, figure out the period of time when you receive maximum views, likes, shares and comments then schedule your posts to appear during that period of time.

5. Make the Most of Hashtags

The importance of hashtags cannot be overstated. Hashtags make your posts stay afloat in a sea of millions of posts. They are simple to use and can make a whole lot of difference.

Figure out and use popular hashtags peculiar to your business or industry. The more hashtags you use, the higher the chances of getting more impressions on your posts. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post and 10 hashtags per story.

It is good practice to use hashtags in the comment section rather than under captions. This way, your posts won’t appear spammy.

It is also important to create your own branded hashtags. Be creative as much as possible.

And lastly, avoid banned hashtags as they can get you into trouble. Simply conduct a research on the list of banned hashtags and avoid them.

7. Connect With Your Followers

Days ago, a friend mentioned a brand in a post. Thankfully, the brand replied. I felt important and heard, he said.

Take time to reply your followers when you are tagged and mentioned in a post. This gives the follower a sense of belonging.

When followers observe that you reply comments, they engage directly with your posts more.

Another way to connect with followers and get even more engagement is to reply to your DMs as much as you can. Those who (constantly) don’t are seen as snubs.

6. Conduct Giveaway Contests Occasionally

This is one of the best ways to get more awareness and engagement. You can get loads of likes, comments and tags by doing this.

“Free” sells.

By conducting giveaways, you gain brand attention and mentions. You can offer product samples and ask users to upload a photo of video of them using it. 

7. Create Posts that are Fun and Spark Conversations

Long boring posts are a turn off. Be creative; add a bit of humour, pun to your post so it stands out from the millions of other posts.

Trending issues like Game of Thrones are a conversation starter. Befriend the trend and use it well.

You will definitely get more engaged followers when you take some time to add an element of fun and creativity to your posts.

Conclusion

Instagram following is more than a number, it is about engagement.

Follow these simple steps to better engagement and share your experience with us.

Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter featured in Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Self Growth, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, Successful Startup 101, Small Biz Club, Small Business Bonfire, among others.

You can find him on Twitter @amos_onwukwe

Original post: 7 Simple Ways to Get Even More Engaged Instagram Followers