With Instagram hitting over 800 Million active users, I thought I would drop some helpful tips on reaching these users and growing your engagement.
Being that Instagram is aphoto-centric platform, in order to improve your profile, you will have to get to the basics of photography and focus on providing high-quality images.
High quality doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a fancy DSLR camera to take your profile to the next level, (while it may not hurt), you can start with a handy-dandy smartphone to achieve a beautiful photo.
Here are 3 helpful ways to increase your engagement on Instagram:
1. Edit your photos
By editing your photos, you can achieve that professional and personalized look that will make your post stand out and resonate with your audience. You can edit photos directly from your phone, from the native application, or by downloading apps that are made to help. These two are my favorite apps for editing photos:
This free app is my go to when planning out my next Insta post. Their free version gives you a number of different filters to choose from, along with the ability to purchase more filters. What really makes this app my favorite is the number of manual tools available (exposure, contrast, saturation, etc.) that make the images your own.
Now if you’re willing to pay a little more, FaceTune is the way to go. This app’s features range from adding details to defocusing elements.
2. Plan your post
Instagram is a highly visual platform, so having an aesthetically appealing feed is not a ‘should do’ but a ‘need to do’ in order to be successful on the platform. Finding a consistent editing style is only one part of creating that beautiful Instagram account. The other part is planning your next post, focusing on what will fit best with the current theme.
A great app to use to make sure that pic fits is:
While Mosaico has a steeper price point, at $5.99, this app is as necessary as photo filters or coffee in the morning… This app will help you plan out your feed layout ahead of time so you can ensure you don’t post pictures of your meal three times in a row or not enough.
This app also lets you schedule out posts, write captions, and use their word cloud to find relevant hashtags to utilize.
3. Increasing Engagement
All right, you now have breath-taking photos, a beautifully curated feed, what are you missing? Oh right! Getting users to view all your hard work and engage with it. While there are tools out there that you could use to help automate your efforts and accelerate the growth of your profile, I would recommend steering away from those. I mean haven’t you heard “slow and steady wins the race”? Instagram, much like its parent company, frowns upon using bots to do your bidding, and in some cases has shut down accounts due to their use.
Rather than risking it, I recommend implementing these two steps into your efforts.
The first step is utilizing hashtags. You may be thinking this is an obvious one, but it’s usually the most obvious that we forget the most. When picking your hashtags, make sure they’re specific to your post, as this will be what pops up when someone searches that term. Use tools like RiteTag and Hashtagify to find relevant hashtags or trending tags that will help increase visibility.
The second step is being social! Yes, this will require some heavy lifting on your part, such as leaving comments on others post or liking a photo or two. I recommend creating a list of relevant hashtags that your target audience would be more likely to use. Once you have this list, you’ll want to shuffle through these hashtags on Instagram and like/comment on posts. Be sincere when commenting, nobody likes that generic “Great Content” comment.
By engaging with other users, you’re getting in front of your target audience and finding relevant influencers that can help increase your profile’s engagement over time.
While there are a number of strategies and automation tools that promise to increase your engagement right away, these steps discussed above will take your profile to the next level. As the great Coach Boone said:
“Like Novocain. Just give it time, it always works”
If you need help finding your relevant hashtags, setting up your Instagram profile, or learning more about using the social media platform to promote your brand, contact us today!