You can spend hours on Instagram, commenting and liking posts and adding value to your customers’ lives. A good strategy requires a lot of work, and you’ll be presented with many different ideas for Instagram success.
You should take a multi-faceted approach to your business Instagram page, but you don’t want to take on too many strategies at once. As you prioritize boosting your Instagram engagement, here are the top three things that any brand can do to improve its account.
1. Take Advantage of Automation
Mastering the use of Instagram automation for improving your following and presence is a hack that expert marketers use every single day. With the right automation tool, you have the power to increase engagement, extend your following, and cement your brand in the minds of consumers without spending hours on the platform yourself.
Automation works with the use of bots that crawl around your followers’ Instagram pages looking for opportunities to engage. The best bot for Instagram will comment and like users’ posts. It will be online when your users are so that you don’t have to be.
As you may be aware, automation has received some negative attention in the last few years. Those who have not mastered the use of this software have run into a few mistakes, like bots that comment smiley faces on the posts of mourners or making comments that make absolutely no sense.
Unfortunately, the use of poorly-orchestrated automation will lose you followers, weaken the appearance of your brand, and even lead to you being suspended or banned from Instagram. However, you can easily avoid these consequences by using a high-quality service that specializes in getting real Instagram followers and using curated artificial intelligence to serve the interests of your brand.
You can’t afford to make the mistake of using poor automation, so research automation services carefully and choose one that will serve your brand best. Then, practice on a dummy account until you get the hang of it before using it on your brand’s account. If you take time to master the use of Instagram automation, you’ll have much better results in the end.
2. Improve Your Hashtags
Did you know that 70 percent of hashtags used on Instagram are branded? Those who use them understand the value they add to their posts. It makes each post searchable and more relevant with trending topics and interests.
Instagram also recently rolled out a feature that lets users follow certain hashtags in order to make the content more relevant to them, which will get your more Instagram followers. This way, they can keep up with their favorite brands, sports teams, and other companies to get the latest updates and information.
For this reason and more, hashtags can be the perfect tool for improving your Instagram account. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing with hashtags, you won’t see the results you’re hoping for in your Instagram strategy.
A Social Media Examiner article recommends a few strategies for improving your use of hashtags including:
- Use multiple location hashtags.
- Add fun hashtags to get more attention.
- Create branded hashtags that make it easier to follow you.
- Promote user-generated content to get more engagement with each hashtag.
The Examiner article also recommends avoiding too many specifics when creating hashtags. It’s better to use hashtags that are general and being used by others if you want optimum engagement in this industry.
“Fairly generic hashtags are the ones most likely to be followed by users in large quantities, like #TGIF or #retailtherapy, so those are a good place to start,” the article says. “Find a few really popular hashtags that apply to your business and start attaching them more frequently to your posts.”
The article also recommends hashtags that lump your brand in community-building efforts. For example, if you own a bakery and serve butterbeer with your cupcakes, you can capitalize on Harry Potter-themed hashtags and analyze what works. Successfully using community-building strategies is an incredible tool for raising brand awareness and generating word-of-mouth in favor of your company.
3. Utilize Instagram Stories
Instagram has been cracking down on the use of one of its newest features, Instagram Stories. Rolled out in 2016, Instagram Stories has recently gained popularity with more than 400 million people engaging on Instagram Stories every single day.
Given the number of people who access Instagram Stories daily and the fact that Instagram prioritizes businesses who use Instagram Stories, you should be incorporating this useful feature in your strategy. The engagement is off the charts, and since many businesses haven’t yet embraced it, it will give you a major edge on the competition.
There are many ways that businesses can embrace the power of Instagram Stories, including polls and swipe meters, hashtag promotion, mentions of brands and followers, shopping applications, and creatively captioned posts and videos.
A very exciting feature of Instagram Stories for business is the swipe up capability. If they like what they see, followers can swipe up while watching your stories. It will take them directly to your bio so that they can follow your page, visit your website, or even make a purchase.
It’s also a powerful tool for ad placements. When purchasing a typical Instagram ad, designate that it should appear in Instagram Stories rather than on your followers’ news feeds. With hundreds of millions of people engaging each day, Stories is a highly-targeted, useful strategy for increasing engagement on your site.
It’s important to try to post on Instagram Stories at least once daily, according to Lindsay Mauch of Forbes Los Angeles Business Council. This increases your daily engagement.
“When you post a story on Instagram Stories, a red circle appears around your profile image,” she says. “If someone is browsing Instagram and happens to come across your profile and they see the red circle, this instantly gives that person a way to interact with you and it humanizes your brand.” The more red dots you have, the better your page will do, she says.
There are many ways that you can dive in and really improve your Instagram brand, but automation, hashtags, and Instagram Stories are three of the most important. Pour some extra time and effort into these three categories over the next month, and you’ll almost instantly see increased followers and engagement as a result.