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Post quality content.
This is somewhat of a no-brainer. You pretty much get what you give when it comes to social media these days, and because Instagram is an image-based platform, you only have a couple of seconds to grab the attention of people scrolling through their feeds. And with Instagram’s user base of over a billion users, creating high-quality, engaging content is paramount to making yourself stand out from the crowd. Just make sure to challenge yourself by creating content that is unique, creative, and in line with your personal brand.
Instagram’s Interactive Story Stickers
What better way to engage with your audience than starting a conversation via Instagram stories? The proof is in the pudding—over 500 million users look at Instagram stories daily, and stories are projected to overtake in-feed posts in 2019. Why are they so popular? Simply put, Instagram stories are a quick and easy way of sharing fun, engaging content with followers that doesn’t impose the pressure of a permanent, in-feed post (“Will this get enough likes and/or comments?”). Additionally, Instagram stories’ interactive stickers (Question, Poll, Vote) are a great way of getting your followers to share their opinions and experiences with you, which will create a sense of connectedness and audience loyalty.
Pay attention to your follower analytics.
To reap the benefits, you’ll want to post at a time when most of your followers are online. Take advantage of Instagram Insights (you need to have a business profile to use this feature), which will provide you specific data on what day of the week and time of day your followers are most active. Posting at the peak hour results in the highest engagement rate on average for your account.
Reply to comments as soon as possible.
Instagram’s algorithm favors posts with high engagement. Initially, your post is only shown to approximately 10 percent of your followers; when a post receives a lot of likes and comments, this signals to the algorithm that your post is quality, engaging content that people want to see. So, whether or not Instagram will give your post more exposure is determined by how well-received it is initially. To beat the odds and increase the chances of having your post pushed up, you should reply to all of the comments on your post as soon as possible. The first hour is most important, as this is the time window during which the algorithm will gauge your post’s engagement and whether or not it is worthy of more exposure.
Consistency is key to building and increasing engagement on Instagram. People follow your account because they are interested in your content, and if you are consistent in posting, they are more likely to remember your face. Familiarity breeds trust, which drives engagement. So posting consistently not only helps you stay relevant, but it also helps you grow your following organically.