We all know engagement on Instagram is at an all time low right now. I’ve seen more bloggers talking about it than I’ve actually seen their content. It’s not ALL about numbers but when you’re verging on 1,000 followers and only pushing 100 likes per post it does make you wonder if you’re doing something wrong.
The past couple of months have been chaotic for me. Having a baby means my blog and social media have taken a huge back seat to real life. Things have calmed down somewhat and I can get back to focusing on other things I enjoy. So here I am sharing few tips that have helped me getting back to Instagram.
Engagement is key. Even before any algorithm was introduced it goes without saying that engagement is incredibly important. The more you interact with other people, the more likely you are to appear in their feed and the more likely people will genuinely want to interact back.
Like, comment and follow.
I’ve found it’s been useful to check through hashtags that I regularly use and like and comment on a few posts within that hashtag. You can follow hashtags on Instagram, which proves useful for seeing new content and starting interactions with people you aren’t already following.
Instagram pods are a great way to find new people, who maybe you aren’t following each other already. I’ve found a couple to join on Twitter, so if you can have a little look and search around.
Recently I’ve had to take a hard look at my use of Instagram. I thought I wasn’t enjoying the app, but what I wasn’t enjoying was my own content. I feel like most of it was lacking because of a few things.
Theme. Do you need a theme? When I first started on Instagram I thought the only way I’d get people interested in my content was with a theme. Granted I’ve switched my theme up a few times since then. I found it hard with a theme because I was holding back posts when they didn’t match. Now I’m posting the pictures I want with no running theme and I’m enjoying it so much more.
Captions. When it comes to Captions I generally enjoy reading (and posting) longer, more story/conversation like Captions. I feel like I’m more involved which makes it more likely I’ll leave a comment and not just quickly scroll past.
Hashtags. Let’s face it we all know about hashtags and how useful they can be. What I was doing wasn’t really strategic for engagement though. Adding a whole bunch of top hashtags and throwing the post up. Instead of using only using only the hashtags with over a certain number of posts have a look and try to find a couple of more specific ones. If your post is only in the most used ones it will quickly get lost in the sea of similar posts. Instagram allows around 30 hashtags, but I’ve been sticking to using less than 10 on a single post.
Watch, post, tag and remember. I’m not saying you should sit down and watch every second if story that everyone posts, but it comes back to the engagement you’re willing to put out there. Watching and responding to other instagrammers stories starts up a conversation with someone who is also active, who you maybe won’t have seen in your feed yet.
I’ve only recently started posting stories myself, but it’s already paying off in terms of engagement more than I expected. With stories you can still use hashtags, locations and tag people. This has proven useful for myself as more brands have responded to these than usually do to a tag in a normal post. Keep in mind these messages stay in both of your inboxes, so in the future if you were to approach this brand to work with them in any way these conversations would be there. Which could work in your favour. Don’t forget to use hashtags and locations too, as other instagrammers searching for these will come across them which could lead them to click on your profile, generating more traffic and hopefully more followers. Memories are a good way to add pictures to your Instagram that you might not usually have on your feed, so especially good when you’ve got a theme you don’t want to break.
How often and when should you post? Having juggled around with posting times this past two weeks I haven’t noticed much difference in the end result. Again, this could be and probably is down to the algorithm. Play around like I have, check your insights and you may be able to determine when your peak hours for engagement are. How often you post is completely up to you and changes from person to person. If you’ve got enough to post everyday then go for it. I’d recommend you definitely post at least once a week, but two or three seems to be the idea for keeping regularly on other people’s feeds.
Like I said earlier numbers aren’t everything. If you’re enjoying what you’re posting and the people/posts you’re seeing on your feed the numbers do start meaning less. In time you’ll notice a difference and it will be a real difference because it’ll be interaction from genuine followers who want to see and enjoy your content with you.
The last thing I’ve got to say is have patience. You may see results right away or it could take a little time. Instagram is constantly changing abs at have to change and grow with it.