When it comes to Influencer Marketing, engagement metrics such as likes and comments are some of the best measures for actual social impact. In fact, companies that sponsor influencers follow them closely to evaluate their return on investment. Today, we will see some of the best ways to increase Instagram engagement with practical examples.
How to increase Instagram engagement
Now, I am not a Influencer myself, but I work in the Marketing field, and I spend an awful lot of time on Instagram. So, I always pay close attention to what techniques Macro influencers (users with more than 100k followers) use to drive and maintain user interaction on their posts.
On top of improving engagement, some of these techniques can also increase your brand following. Which is always a great bonus!
And today, I brought you some practical examples:
One of the most popular techniques, used by high-level influencers such as Lele Pons (+40 million followers) and Hannah Stocking (+17 million followers), is asking their audience direct and simple questions. However, not all questions are created equal.
The key is to ask your followers strategic questions that encourage them to share their personal opinion or experience on a specific topic. This way, they feel that you are actually interacting with them, and that this interaction is not one-sided.
Because a lot of times, and not only on Instagram, being a fan of someone feels like a closed road. You like them, follow them, know everything about them, but they don’t even know about your existence on the other side. For this reason, asking interactive questions is not only a great technique to drive engagement, but also to keep it in the long run.
In these examples, easy questions such as “Do we like the ligher hair“, or “Who is your fav Disney villain” can go a long way. They also make the audience feel that the influencer wants to know them as well, and not only the other way around. Although in reality, probably not all brands or influencers actually read the comments. (But many do!)
To sum it up, asking easy and engaging questions serve as a way to connect with users on a more personal level. Which is definitely something that you can’t do with regular celebrities!
The next on the list of techniques that can help you increase Instagram engagement is tagging. And no, I don’t mean traditional tagging in which the brand or influencer tags people related to their post.
What I mean is that many people invite their fans to tag a friend, or even a couple of them, who could feel related to the post or video. The reason why this works is that it’s a subtle way to get recommended to your followers’ friends. Which, subsequently, can decide to follow you after landing on your profile!
On another hand, it’s a great way to increase and measure your relatability. Relatibility is a key concept in social media channels. One of the biggest reasons why you follow someone on Instagram, Youtube or Twitter, is because you feel associated with them in some way. So, influencers who are highly relatable can get popular more quickly.
“Tag your girls”, “Tag someone you want to dance with…” Seemingly simple, this technique is very effective to interact with your followers and receive more exposure as well.
3. Direct engagement
Another technique that Instagram influencers use to drive engagement on their feed is by directly interacting with their followers. As opposed to traditional media, Instagram allows for a much more personal and direct connection between popular users and fans.
Captions like “Answering first 50 comments” or “I’ll be making a bunch of phone calls tomorrow, so slide into my DMs with your number and comment below when you’re done” are great for making fans feel a part of the community by receiving attention from their favourite Influencers. And, of course, increase Instagram engagement and loyalty!
A controversial technique that not many influencers dare to use, but results very efficient for those who do, is provocation.
Now, I am not saying that you should create conflicts or get involved in scandals. This can ruin your image, and even get you banned from Instagram if you go too far. So, you have to be careful with this one if your decide to implement it in some way.
For example, a provocation post that went too far came from influencer GigiGorgeous, who posted a photo of holding a baby with the caption “Thank you so much to our beautiful surrogate“. It turned out to be a friend’s baby. Needless to say, her followers found it very disrespectful and distasteful, in addition to feeling offended because she lied to them.
This action resulted in a lot of mean comments and even a loss of followers.
However, a good example is this subtle and innocent provocation from Inanna, who has over 10 million followers on Instagram:
Small, effortless challenges like “Best caption wins a cookie” or “Spell your name letter by letter” are a great way to make users more active on your Instagram feed.
They usually don’t revolve around actual awards or prizes, like giveaways do.
However, they get people lightly challenged to do something fun, and significantly more active.
The image above from influencer Teala Dunn is a great example of a popular practice going around Instagram nowadays.
Basically, what the influencer does is to challenge their audience to type down a specific word, their name or something else letter by letter. This means that they will have to write a new comment for each letter of the word, and the challenge is to do it without getting interrupted by other comments.
I guess you can get an idea of how many comments this technique is going to generate on a single post! Needless to say, a lot!
Don’t you just love receiving presents? Instagram Influencers know that very well! Every once in a while, doing a giveaway in exchange for social interaction like commenting, tagging, or sharing, is a very efficient technique to get followers excited! And most importantly, to help brands and influencers increase Instagram engagement.
Popular Influencers usually partner with companies to offer branded giveaways, but many Influencers do it on their own as well.
Doing giveaways is a great technique for keeping users active on your Instagram feed. All while earning some additional money from branded partnerships! And of course, many Influencers use them as a way to say “Thank you” to their loyal followers.
7. Partnerships with other Instagram Influencers
Besides from branded partnership, many Influencers partner with each other by making videos or just posing for a photo together.
These collaborations are a great way to:
- naturally ”exchange” followers between influencers
- increase potential reach to a wider audience
- encourage engagement and interaction on the influencer’s content
- and of course, to get users excited because their favourite Instagram celebrities are doing something together!
And of course, we can’t forget about the good old hashtags. Do I really need to explain them? A lot of Instagram Influencers use hashtags to define certain keywords that make a specific theme easier to categorize.
And also, to make it easier to follow the conversation around a certain topic.
If done right, they can make your content easier to discover and follow. Which results in a stronger engagement with your followers. To step up your hashtag game efficiently, I recommend you to read this article by Sprout Social.
9. Exciting news
Not everyone loves sharing details of their personal life on social media. Instagram Influencers, on another hand, use social media as the perfect outlet to share exciting news. Generally, about the awesome or major events that are happening in their life.
Followers love to engage with content that makes them feel a part of their favourite Influencer’s life. And sharing exciting news does exactly that! Besides, news makes content different from regular things that happen on the daily.
10. Meet & Greet
What do fans love more than engaging with their favourite Influencers on Instagram? That’s right: meeting them in person! A great way to get your followers excited is organizing the so-called Meet & Greet events.
And of course, giving fans the opportunity to actually interact with you beyond social media. This technique will also increase Instagram engagement in the long run.
However, one thing that you need to consider is that this technique seems to be more efficient for accounts that have more than 100 000 followers (Macro Influencers). If your social account is still very small, you might need to build your fanbase first.
11. Engage with other social channels
Being a social media star doesn’t mean that you can remain inactive while others are trying hard to interact with you. You need to engage with others as well – both with your fans and with other Influencers.
So don’t forget to like, comment, and follow other social media accounts. It will increase your visibility on Instagram, and will make your fans really happy!
These were some of the most popular techniques that Instagram stars use to engage with their followers. So, if you are an aspiring Influencer, take a look at these examples and learn from the biggest players in the industry. Good luck!
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