“People complain about Instagram not working for them,” says Irina Leoni, branding expert, and photographer, “and sometimes, they just feel like they don’t know what to do with it in order to get the engagement they’re looking for on their posts. Here’s the thing: what you need to do to improve your engagement is to engage! Engage with other people's content and reach out to them first.”
Go onto Instagram and find at least five people you would like to have consistent engagement with. This can be anyone you’d like to connect with and share your valuable content with – ideally someone from your target audience and a potential customer.
Follow five Instagram accounts of the people you’ve chosen, and “like bomb” them! Go through their feed, like every post you enjoy, and leave a minimum of five comments on five different posts. How should you comment? You can respond to questions or prompts they’ve posted. You can ask a question about what they’ve posted. Say anything you like, just engage as a human being, in a meaningful way – with more than emoji.
Why Try This Strategy?
Focusing on the number of followers and trying to bulk follow a whole bunch of people, like we’ve done in the past, doesn’t work anymore. The number of followers doesn’t matter as much as the relative number called “engagement rate.” This is the number that will indicate how well you’re doing with your Instagram strategy.
Engagement is the king of everything, and only engagement will bring others’ eyes to our content. If people don’t engage with your content on a regular basis, they are much less likely to see it in the future based on the latest algorithm changes.
We must appear human in social media. People want to follow people they like, not brands. There is no brand commitment anymore. People shop around all the time. Nobody goes to buy things at the same place just because they are committed to that brand or because their Instagram feed is amazing. They shop with a business and come back only because they like the people there – they like how those people make them feel, and what they get from the brand on an ongoing basis (inspiration, value tips, etc.).
“For #SocialMediaDay,” says Irina, “use our society’s social media addiction for good. People are addicted to the immediate gratification social media provides, but business owners can tap into that impulse to build meaningful, lasting connections instead of pushing people away with outdated strategies or content that just doesn’t work.”