Despite the encouraging statistics, having an Instagram presence doesn’t equal business success. Gone are the days when Instagram was merely a photo-sharing platform; to grow a loyal and engaging following - or we can call it customer base – you need to be truly engaging with your audience.
But what does engaging on Instagram mean? Consider communicating with the client in a real-life environment. You are probably actively listening and participating, asking questions and showing genuine interest. Your Instagram followers are not just numbers, they are real people and communication with them should happen in the exact same way.
Tips for successfully engaging with your Instagram audience
Reply to the comments
This one might seem obvious, yet so many brands are not replying to the comments on their posts. Of course, there are a lot of spammy accounts around but if someone took their time to leave a genuine comment, it is always nice to show your appreciation. This can give start to relationship and convert the user into your follower or potential future customer.
If you want others to engage with your content, you first should engage with theirs. In Instagram’s saturated environment, it is extremely hard to show other users you exist let alone get them to interact with your content. Liking and commenting on other people’s posts is a good way to bring more exposure to your own content as many of them will like and comment back. Make an effort to show true interest and avoid clichés like “Great job!” or “Nice photo”. The more genuine you are, the more genuine response you will receive.
Follow relevant hashtags
By now you may be thinking that Instagram is a serious commitment to which you as a busy business owner do not have time. Unfortunately, there is really no alternative to grow on Instagram if you are not an engaged member of the community.
To optimise your efforts, it is a good idea to interact with users who are already likely to be interested in your content. You can find such accounts by researching relevant hashtags. For example, if you are a restaurant owner in Melbourne, hashtags like #melbournefoodies or #melbournefoodblogger will give you exposure to accounts who share same interests and will be more likely to engage back after you leave a comment; or even visit your restaurant if your Instagram profile looks attractive.
Use Gary V’s $1.80 strategy
Gary V is an entrepreneur and social media specialist who among the numerous bestselling books on the social media growth came up with the $1.80 Instagram strategy. The strategy is simple – identifying 10 most relevant hashtags for your business (we discussed that in the previous section) and engage with the 9 top posts for each hashtag.
Take your time to view the post, the user’s bio, understand their niche and then write a meaningful comment, which is .02c of the 1.80 Instagram strategy. The better your .02 cents are, that is to say, the more genuine and meaningful comments you leave, and chances are higher that the person will return the favour. Doing the same thing to the 9 top posts for the 10 relevant hashtags will help slowly build your own loyal community.
If you ready to learn more about how Click Creative can help you with Social Media Management then we'd love to hear from you!