“How to increase engagement on Instagram?” This is a question we often get from our customers.
There was a time (a long time ago) when all you had to do on Instagram was post a half-baked photo with a short, preferably funny caption and that’s it. Today, if you want to generate engagement and be classified as an “influencer,” you have to improve your game and make sure every post provides value to someone, somehow .
Recently, David “Rev” Ciancio was on the Social Pros . podcast to chat about increasing engagement on Instagram with a fine-tuned social media strategy. Here’s a rundown of what he shared and 5 things you can do this week to increase engagement on Instagram:
Table of Contents
1. Test to determine the best frequency and time of day
Thanks to social media testing and analysis, you can determine the best time of day and posting frequency to post to your Instagram account. For the Instagram account that Rev manages, he can determine the time of day and frequency of posting that lead to the highest engagement. For one account, it’s posting at 6:30 a.m. once a day. For another account, it is posting at 6:30 am, 2 pm and 11 pm on weekdays.
As a marketer, you can use a tool like SproutSocial to measure and test the best time of day and posting frequency for audience engagement on Instagram. Before you start testing, think about your audience: what they want to see, when they want to see it, and why they want to engage with your content. Make a few hypotheses, test them, and start figuring out which works (and which doesn’t).
2. Vary your content mix and make sure your content matches the experience
Heatlhcare Social Media Marketing Our research have found that the social media accounts with the highest engagement change their content mix (videos, links, and photos), and Rev’s experience proves the same.
Rev recommends posting content that conveys what unique about your business through photos and/or videos. Is it a photo of your food, party or group? If you want to drive engagement, make sure your posts are unique and varied, and don’t rely on one type of update.
3. Test Carousel vs Video vs Photo
For the Instagram account that Rev manages, the posts on the carousel receive the highest engagement. But a study by AgoraPulse found that carousels actually get the LEAST engagement compared to regular photo posts. And then, our own Persuasion & Conversion study about Instagram Travel account have found that carousels get more engagement than regular Photo Posts.
Lesson here? If you want to increase engagement, you must test and see what type of content (video, carousel, or photo) works best with your audience. What works for one brand may not work for another and vice versa.
4. Re-Share Customer Content (User Generated Content)
Reposting client Instagram content is key to increasing engagement. Many studies have found that social media posts have user-generated content (UGC) received the highest engagement. In fact, a study mentioned by AgoraPulse found that Instgram posts with UGC get 6.9x more engagement than other posts.
Also, be sure to include attribution to your account and thank them—this recognition encourages users to re-share photos of your business by thanking them for the original post. It is also required by Instagram and in their own terms and conditions. Brands must get express permission from the original content publisher to republish on their own social media channels. Proper attribution of the original creator should be done in the photo caption with the source tag.
5. Optimize your photos with Photo Editor
If you’re trying to post a photo on Instagram, make sure the quality of the photo syncs with your brand and looks great. Although there are many photo editing tools available, Rev really likes Snapseed for ease of use and quality. I tried it – and I’m a fan, too.
Extra tip: Keep your Instagram bio fresh and up to date
This may seem obvious, but if your business is on Instagram, you need to make sure that your profile has contact information, address, website, and some other useful tidbits. Rev said he sees a lot of SMBs and even some businesses leaving their Instagram bios blank.
Instagram bios is one of those nuances that make Instagram unique and force accounts to be creative in how they present themselves. Bios must be 150 characters or less. Emojis can be used, and recent Instagram also allows hashtags and @ captions to be linked from the bio. One thing Instagram isn’t comfortable with is the space for a clickable link in the bio.
The biospace, even though it’s only 150 characters, is an opportunity to draw attention to an existing campaign, important dates and events, or even a partner account.