I'm Becki, the founder of Featherlite Studios! Welcome to the blog where I'll share my personal tips and tricks into all things photography, brand storytelling and marketing on Instagram!
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If you follow me on Instagram, (I hope you do! If not, you probably should and can do so here!) you might have come across a post last week that encouraged the act of engaging with your followers. While a little tip can go along way, I have so much more to say about the topic and decided that I would need more than an Instagram post to say all of the things that I want to say. That being said, today’s post is all about engagement on Instagram. There’s a lot to talk about so let’s dive right in.
Are you engaging with your followers?
It is easy to use Instagram as a means to post your products, services, your life’s mission, or whatever you felt like posting today. It is another thing to grow a following. At the time of this post, there are over 1 Billion users on Instagram. That being said, it is super easy for an account to go unnoticed. However, the best way to make yourself known is to go out and bring followers to your account!
What is the best way to bring followers to your account?
By engaging with other followers of course! While that might sound easy to some, you might be wondering where to begin. Lucky for you, I’m here to share some tips with you!
With all of the likes being thrown around, it is now more powerful to comment on posts in order to stand out from the billion accounts out there. Sure, you probably judge your own posts by how many likes it has, but aren’t you excited when someone comments on your posts? Going a step further, when someone you DON’T KNOW leaves a comment? I know I do! Aren’t you more likely to click on that profile and check out their feed than to go through the list of likes and check each and every account that passed by your post and double tapped?
Once you’ve caught the attention of a ‘grammer, it is more likely that they’ll decide to follow you back after you have left a comment. However, the type of comments that you leave will dictate whether or not you stand a chance!
Apparently, Instagram recognizes comments that are 4 words or more as a comment that is less likely to be a product of spam than those that are less than 4 words. That being said, it does make a ton of sense. It can appear to be incredibly spammy to write one-word comments and that kind of behavior doesn’t leave an impression on anyone. Sure, sometimes you just want to let someone know that their post resonates with you by saying “yessss!” or “cuttteee”, I’ve been guilty of it myself. But, if you mention something personal to the post like, “This quote is so fitting. I was just going through a similar situation and really needed to read this today. Thank you so much for sharing!” you are far more likely to catch some attention and possibly receive a comment, like or follow back! Sounds easy enough, right?
Now that you’ve become an expert on commenting on posts, you must not forget about those that leave you some love! If someone has written a comment on your post, reply to it! No matter how many comments you receive, it is in your best interest to comment back to each and every one of them. Sure, Instagram has created a feature so that you can now “like” the comment, but it will really help you connect with your followers if you simply reply to their comments! Personally, I am a fan of “liking” the comment anddd replying with my own comment. I just know how excited I get when someone both replies and likes my comments. It feels like it is somewhat rare, so I’m going to just go ahead and do both! Anything to set me ahead of the curve!
Remember, any interactions you have with fellow ‘grammers ends up on the “following” feed, where it lists all of the posts that someone has liked or left a comment. As creepy as it is, it actually does help keep your posts in circulation and more likely that your posts will be seen long after your last post.
That being said, it also works in reverse. If you’ve left a comment on a post, it is likely that another account will discover your feed simply because of the engagement between you and the account of the post you left a comment. That is why it is sooo soo important that we all keep engaging with each other! It ends up helping us all around and shouldn’t you want to support those who are supporting you?
These same principles apply to Insta Stories, even if it isn’t as obvious. It is a good idea to direct message when you enjoy someone’s story or have a question about it. Whether it seems like it or not, it does help the account when it comes to the Instagram algorithm. Instagram just loveees when accounts interact with each other, so a good rule of thumb is, the more the better, really!
Simply put, use the tools that Instagram has created. Seriously. A great way to create more engagement is to include hashtags and locations for your stories because it is how you will gain new followers through Insta stories alone. If you’re amazing at Insta Stories and not as great at posting to your feed, this is pretty much the only way that someone new will find you and want to follow you. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to capture new followers in any way that you can!
What better way to create a stronger sense of community with other accounts than by mentioning them in your stories? If you mention them, it is possible that they may also repost your story to their stories, thanks to Instagram’s new feature that allows you to do so. Once they repost your story, it is highly likely that at least some of their followers will click on your feed and bam, you were just discovered by an entirely new community of Instagrammers.
Also, don’t forget to mention your own feed in your stories. Have you posted something that you want more followers to see? Repost it in your own story. You can do so easily by clicking on your post from your feed, click the airplane icon and then click “add post to my story”. Easy. You just catered to all types of followers; those who typically only follow your stories, those who only follow your feed and those who love everything you do so they organically discovered both. Lol
This can also be used in reverse. If you post something to stories, it is great to mention it in a post on your feed, as long as you have a photo fits with your feed’s aesthetic. Simply mention that you were up to something exciting today and guide your followers to click on your stories.
When it comes to the stickers with the option to post questions, polls, those sliding bars with the heart eyes on it…use those too! Why? Because it is the easiest way for your followers to engage with you and the cool little features make it incredibly easy for them to do so. I’m a sucker for knowing the percentage of a poll so I typically always click on them. I also love the slider with the heart eyes emoji / whatever emoji you prefer, so again, you better believe I’ll be sliding that thing to the far right even if it’s just for my own entertainment.
When it comes down to it, it’s all about keeping followers on your account for as long as possible. Plain and simple. Give Instagrammers a reason and a way to interact with your account and they will!
I hope these tips will help you boost your engagement and your following. Have you given these tips a try? Any that you hadn’t thought of before? I’d love to hear your thoughts and as always, come back if you try these tips out and notice any change in your following!