Looking for a good reason to sign up for an account on Instagram? In case you didn’t know, Instagram has become the third fastest growing social app in this year, which means the probability of finding your target audience among Instagram users is pretty high.
Now you must be curious how you can create compelling content on Instagram and benefit from it. For that, I have compiled a list of 10 essential rules that I can guarantee will boost user engagement for your brand on Instagram.
If you’re wondering where these rules came from, they are actually research based tips, formulated after analyzing the strategies followed by the top 10 brands on Instagram.
Okay, enough of the introduction, let’s get on with the rules.
Post on a Regular Basis
Based on the observations and a research carried out by social media company, it has been found that among the top 100 brands on Instagram, 57% post at least once a week, whereas the remaining 28% do so five times a week. Posting regularly but with a low frequency helps your audience familiarize with your brand.
Use search friendly Hashtags
Although several experts have discussed the merits of using hashtags and concluded that they aren’t very helpful, I still recommend that you use them.
Hashtags are very important to make your content easily discoverable by people who use the search option within Instagram. However, even before you use hashtags you need to conduct a proper research. Try browsing through similar posts published by other brands and analyze their use of hashtags.
Once you finally get your hashtags right, combine them with frequent posting and see the hike you’re gonna get in comments and likes.
It has been found that users are naturally drawn to attractive posts, and why wouldn’t they be? No one likes ugly low quality images. Either you should hire a photographer, get the services of a graphics designer or use your own photo editing and creation skills (if you have any).
If you go at it alone, try using light backgrounds for darker objects and vice versa. Instagram also gives you around 20 awesome filters which you can use to make your photos look awesome.
Reuse your Marketing Collateral
To make your activities cost effective on Instagram you can also reuse your marketing and advertisement collateral for which you might have already paid. This would include banners, images, infographics and newsletter templates you are already using on other networks like Facebook and Twitter. Several brands are doing exactly this and it’s not only helping them boost engagement but also gets them traffic.
Occasion based Content
Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, New Year, and many more events are there for you to cash in on and produce relevant content which your target audience is expecting to see. This is one guaranteed trick that works for me every time, and I am sure will work for you too.
Be the Initiator
Ask questions to receive comments or feedback by your audience, this makes them feel that you’re available for engagement. Let’s say you’ve posted a picture of chicken wings, now ask them which sauce goes well with them and give them a couple of options to choose from. This will not only help you engage your audience, but if you are in a related industry, will also tell you how many people have actually tried the product or item and how they feel about it.
Value your Commentators
Acknowledge the comments or feedback received by your audience by replying with something relevant or appreciating their input. This is also a great way to strike a conversation and will help you engage more viewers and reflect that you care about your followers.
Giveaways & Contests
Attention grabbers like giveaways or contests are more awesome ways to build a following and boosting engagement over Instagram. Put a call to action based on your objectives and goals which you wish to achieve through Instagram, such as following the brand, commenting over specific posts to make it go viral or making the audience to repost the post through their own profiles and the one who gets most likes shall win the contests.
Synchronize your Instagram feed
Cross publish your posts over Facebook and Twitter by linking them with your Instagram account. If you have good number of followers on other social networks, synchronizing them with your Instagram will help you increase followers and boost engagement.
Note: Twitter has stopped supporting expansion of photos shared through Instagram.
Promote your Instagram profile
There are plenty of other social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, that can be used to drive traffic to your Instagram profile. A good idea is to link to your Instagram profile within any blog posts or marketing content you publish.
You should also use an Instagram icon in your profiles across the web and use it in your e-mail signature as well.
This pretty much sums it up, and I can guarantee you that if you follow these tips diligently you’ll see results. Good luck and happy posting!