How to Increase Instagram Following and Engagement


This won't be one of those "get 1,000 IG followers in one week with these tips" type of articles. I'm going to share with you information for building a solid Instagram strategy that with consistency will grow your Instagram engagement and following over time. This information is applicable to all niches. I've managed and consulted on Instagram accounts ranging from everything from non-profit arts, to photography, to technology. These are solid tips for any type for Instagram account.

Post Consistently

Something you have to have in order to grow you reach and engagement on Instagram is content. Decide on a posting schedule you can realistically keep and plan your content out within that schedule. While many large brands post to Instagram every day, the best posting schedule is a schedule you can keep up with. For my clients, I recommend posting at least 2 to 3 times per week and increase frequency as you're capable.

Spend time crafting your caption

While the actual Instagram algorithm is a mystery to most of us, one things we know is that "time on post" likely plays a factor. One way to increase the time your audience spends on your post, and pause their habitual scrolling, is to include a meaningful caption that they'll want to read.



Use Hashtags

Using hashtags that are relevant to your post and audience increases your visibility in a few ways. First, users on Instagram have the ability to follow hashtags as well as users, so your content will end up in the feed of people who don't follow you - and hopefully, your post is so compelling that they begin following you! At the very least, it can get you extra likes. Users also search Instagram via hashtags in order to find niche content. You can use up to 30 hashtags on a post, and I usually use the allotted 30.

To find the right set of hashtags for you search Instagram for photos that are comparable to your photos and make note of the hashtags used. Click through the other hashtags used and make note of those attached to photos relevant to your brand and niche. 

Be Social

A great way to get engagement is to follow and engage with others. Use the social network to be social. Comment on the posts of others and interact with other people's Instagram stories. Liking on Instagram happens mindlessly, but actually starting a conversation with someone will not only build a real relationship, but will also connect you in Instagram's algorithm, so that your posts are shown more often to the people you communicate with. 

Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is probably the biggest enhancement Instagram has rolled out since the app launched. IG stories allows you to post content that only lasts for 24 hours. It's a great place to share content that isn't "polished" and interact with your followers on a more personal level. Using IG Stories allows for a greater connection and another touch point of interaction and engagement. IG Stories is where you can be silly, share polls, and share videos and content that are topical and timely. This is the space to get out of the static nature of the Instagram timeline.

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If all of this is of no interest to you or sounds tedious, and you use your Instagram for business purposes, outsource your Instagram management. I do social media marketing for a living. Reach out if you'd like a Social Media Assessment or Social Media Management. 

For more marketing tips & tricks follow my new marketing Twitter, @laneshemarkets.

What's your biggest Instagram question?

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