There isn’t another social media app that is more perfect for a blogger than Instagram.
Instagram is the best way to showcase your brand and blog visually and reach a global audience. It is one of the fastest growing social media apps, so, the chances are your readers and fans that you have been searching for are already on Instagram waiting for you to come along.
But what most bloggers struggle with is real and organic engagement. Instagram gains new users at an exceedingly high rate every year, to put things into perspective: over the next four years it is estimated to gain over 26.9 million users. Some of these users are bloggers – just like you – who are looking to increase their online presence. So the stakes at successfully using Instagram for your blog are high and thus, knowing how to increase engagement suddenly becomes the elixir everyone is after. We don’t have an elixir, but here are 5 strategies you can implement:
1. Don’t forget that Instagram is a SOCIAL media platform
Engagement works both ways. You can have amazing images but you need to go out and find the people in your niche and give them a like or comment on their images. It has been shown that a combination of like, comment, and follow leads to a follow back. The key here is that you have gone out and sought out your target market, meaning, that these people are the exact people interested in what you have to say, so their follow should occur easily as it’s just the case of making them aware that you exist. This is in opposition to people outside of your niche that need convincing of why they should follow you.
The people in your niche are what go on to become loyal followers. They are the organic and real followers that will then, in return, engage with your posts. They are also the analytics that brands love to see, when they are considering bloggers for a collaboration.
2. Consistency always wins the heart over
Likes and comments are the obvious way to increase engagement and that’s why people ironically forget about doing either. However, if you’re not consistently updating your feed then your followers will quickly realise they don’t have a reason or an opportunity to reciprocate their engagement. If your followers see you in their Instagram feed consistently, they become more and more familiar with you building a relationship of trust and shared interests. That is why it becomes important to not post and disappear and then reappear randomly. It’s inconsistent and confusing for your followers, and chances are they may not even remember who you are and why they followed you in the first place. Posting 1-3 times a day is recommended!
Instagram has recently launched Instagram for business in some countries, which will help you determine when it is best for you to post on Instagram according to the people that follow you. However, if you reside in one of the countries that does not have this option then you can use analytic tools like Iconosquare or Simplymeasured.
3. You need to clearly define and carry out your aesthetic
Your Instagram should be an extension of your blog. This means that your style aesthetic should translate over to Instagram from your blog so your followers can easily and logically go back and forth. Your style aesthetic is a key visualisation of your brand identity and innately helps in determining what types of followers you want. It is important to remember that everything from your images to your grid should be a part of your larger brand identity. Enforcing a theme or style on your Instagram feed creates cohesion and consistency in brand. Your grid, your images, your style and theme should all work together to draw in a specific ideal person in mind.
In our new course Instabuzzing we have a whole module dedicated to defining your Target Audience and brand in order to attract the right followers. It has been shown over and over again that successful Instagrammers have a clearly defined brand identity and Target Audience that informs their feed and images. Without such clarity there is inconsistency in visual content, in filters, in theme and style and this leads to a confusing Instagram experience, which in turn deters people from hitting that follow button.
4. Hashtag the right way
Instagram is the platform to go hashtag crazy! Hashtags, by definition, are key in making your Instagram feed discoverable. They also keep your images alive since otherwise your images have a short shelf life, keeping them alive means they will forever be discoverable under the hashtag it is linked to. The problem is that most people on Instagram don’t use hashtags in the most effective way. Essentially, meaning that this is one of the most missed opportunities to increase engagement.
Hashtagging rightly is about figuring out what your target market would put into the search bar. This means figuring out the keywords that your niche is using and that also describe your brand and hashtagging those. Keep in mind that Instagram only allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. It is best to only use 1-3 hashtags in your caption as anything more appears spammy, and then post 30 hashtags in your comments section.
Hashtags are key in increasing Instagram engagement so it is so important to conquer them. In Instabuzzing we have an entire lesson on hashtags and we even give you a hashtag guide with a collection of the most effective hashtags for your industry!
5. Filters can make all the difference
Filters can really affect the way your picture is received, it sounds crazy but it’s true. TrackMaven did a study and found that images that used Mayfair, Inkwell and no filter appeared to have more engagement. You can also use Iconosquare to find out which filters work best with your audience since they are key here! Filters can enhance any picture you take but you have to remember your feed. That is why we suggest sticking to one filter as this can help to bring aesthetic cohesion to your grid.
One last thing
An additional thing to think about is your bio. Your bio should clearly and memorably tell people who you are and what you can do for them, but more than that, it can help increase engagement as well being the only place you can put a clickable link. If you want to learn more about how your bio lines up grab our FREE Instagram Bio checklist!