At the end of 2018, Instagram reported over 1 billion users worldwide. That’s almost 13% of the planet’s population. On top of that, it’s still growing. Instagram has also proven to be an efficient channel for ad generation. Case in point, by the end of 2019, it’s expected to reach around $11 billion in ad revenue. Based on these statistics, it’s clear why analysts consider that Instagram is the engine fueling Facebook’s growth.
Instagram is still the center point of social media across a variety of markets, including beauty, food, sports, fitness, healthcare, or travel. Considering that around 50% of all Instagram users follow a brand on the social platform, more brands are adopting it as their main platform for social marketing. Also, according to Forrester, Instagram is leading the road in terms of engagement rates, reaching a level of 4.21%. That value is about ten times higher than the engagement rate of Facebook and 84 times higher than Twitter’s.
Despite its constant growth, Instagram implemented a variety of changes to its algorithm to fight unfair practices. The updated algorithm prevents the buying of followers, brands from paying influencers to post negative reviews about their competitors, and “shadow banning.” So, to guarantee that your organic and paid marketing strategies provide mind-blowing ROI, here’s a list of the top 8 ways to boost your Instagram engagement rates.
Use the Right Hashtags
The hashtag symbol has changed the world of social media. Any online marketer acknowledges the importance of using hashtags in social posts to improve a variety of metrics. Beyond that, considering that leading brands are using only a few hashtags in their posts, you should do the same. Also, you’ll find that most hashtags on Instagram are branded. On top of that, posts, which only include one hashtag, achieve a 12.6% higher engagement rate than those without any hashtags.
Also, before you start using hashtags, consider broader ones so you’ll attract a larger audience. Just don’t overdo it because you may not stand out. On the other hand, if you narrow your hashtag and make it unique, you may risk not being found. So, aim for somewhere in the middle. The trick is to use nine hashtags on each post for optimum results.
Organize a Contest
Instagram contests are one of the most efficient ways to increase your account’s engagement rates. It’s because contests promote user-generated content. What’s better is that you’re offering something for free to the winning contestant, which encourages more users to participate. It’s a win-win strategy.
The most engaging contests also include hashtags. So, establish a specific and unique hashtag for your contest and track all submissions from your followers. Hashtags will also help you reach new prospects who may see posts from your contest’s participants.
Distribute Across All Channels
To achieve better engagement levels, you must increase the number of your followers. The solution is simple; you should distribute your Instagram content across all other distribution channels you have. An effective social media strategy will guarantee that your followers become your clients. That’s what you should be aiming for.
To increase your following, you should embed your Insta-posts via links in your email marketing strategy, refer to your Instagram profile on your blog or website, and promote your Insta-posts on other social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Pinterest. This will generate more traffic to your Instagram business profile. Also, despite your prospects not immediately following you, at least they know about your brand, and they’ll receive feeds about your business.
Add Emojis to Captions
Emojis are those small animations, which you usually use for messages. Brands have also started to use them in photo captions to increase engagement. Around 56% of all the profiles on Instagram include emojis because they increase engagement rates by 2.07%. That’s because emojis add personality to your Insta-posts.
To reach increased engagement, you must also know how to create captivating Instagram captions. So, include a call-to-action in your captions, such as asking your followers to comment by using their preferred emoji.
Diversify Your Insta-Content
You must always adapt your Instagram content format to meet users’ expectations. If you post photos, which are almost identical but only change the shot’s angle or caption, your followers will become bored. Who’d want to follow such a dull account? You can also be sure that you won’t achieve any engagement.
Your best approach is to post enticing, attractive, funny, or intriguing content. Still, make sure that it aligns to your brand strategy. You can even publish edgy or controversial posts, which will grab your followers’ attention. Then again, don’t post anything, which might damage your brand’s image and reputation.
Instagram started out as a photo-only social platform. What’s better is that it’s gradually implemented video formats. These video posts, which were first allowed in 2013, had a 15-seconds restriction. Finally, after several years, videos reached a 60 seconds limit. Users are now spending more time watching and commenting on videos.
Consumers prefer video content because it’s more interactive than other post formats. That’s why you’ll find that videos generate more than twice the number of user comments in comparison to photo posts. Even though photos receive more likes, Instagram videos still reach an increased number of views.
Add Subtitles to Videos
Adding subtitles to videos can increase your engagement rates by a whopping 12%. You’ll reach a wider audience and increase your views. On top of that, considering that on Facebook users view about 85% of videos with no sound, you can assume that the same happens on Instagram.
Post Photos of Faces
You’re aware that you should have a consistent publishing schedule for your Instagram posts. But here’s the problem. Sometimes you can reach a backlog of inspiration. So, to prevent any risk of damaging your brand’s image, you should post photos with faces. According to Mashable, posts which include faces generate a 38% higher number of likes compared to posts without any faces.
Any business owner can leverage Instagram’s lead generation and conversion capabilities by increasing engagement levels. You can use different tactics to reach higher engagement rates and attract more prospects on Instagram. For example, you should use the right hashtags for increased brand awareness, run different contests, and add emojis to your posts’ captions. Also, consider diversifying your posts’ format to avoid the risk of boring your followers. Figure out how to capitalize on the high conversion capabilities of videos. Next, when it comes to photos, you should focus on posts with faces, which generate 38% more likes than other photos. So, to guarantee that your Instagram marketing strategy is a success, just implement the tips described in this article. You’ll soon reach your goal.
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