The musings of senior creative strategist, Monica Makropoulos.
The rise of platforms like TikTok, Triller, Byte and the introduction of Reels have us wanting to dust off our Instagram strategy. While Instagram has certainly been a steady force in our lives, the addition of new platforms and features constantly keeps us on our toes.
The app that began as a means of “communication through images” has morphed into a visual powerhouse and way to connect for everyday people, influencers, celebrities and brands. Instagram is arguably the bread and butter of the socialsphere and I want to share some tips for increasing engagement.
1. Own your identity
This one seems simple in theory but often tough to apply. My identity? Easy, I’m a foodie! Yeah, you and every other at-home chef on the planet. Since Instagram is saturated with 1 billion active users, it’s important to hone your craft and confidently answer, “what makes me unique?” In a sea of sameness you have to carve out a niche stand out and engage with those who have similar interests and behaviors. When crafting your identity, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- What does my bio read? How do people learn more about me?
- What’s my aesthetic? Am I bright and colorful or neutral and monotone?
- What’s my content strategy? How often do I post?
- How will I manage my community and engage with loyal followers?
2. Use Stories as a vehicle for testing and learning
Instagram Stories is a fuss-free way to closely engage with your followers and learn the most about them. Here are some ways to get the most out of Instagram Stories:
- Flip the camera around and communicate 1:1 with your followers. It helps establish a relationship between you and them and makes them feel like they’re along for the ride.
- Use features like Polls, Questions and Quiz to test your audience’s knowledge but also ask them what they want to see from you.
3. Keep up with new features
Instagram is evolving and you have to be right there when trends and features are released. Don’t shy away from these updates to stay one step ahead of the curve and try new things. Find ways to capitalize on these features as they relate to your unique identity and message.
4. Use hashtags and trends to get discovered
Instagram hashtags are your best friend. The jelly to your pb. The cream to your #coffee. You get it. Hashtags help get you discovered, allow you to participate with highly relevant #trending topics and can do wonders for your own strategy. You should aim to engage with your followers and similar niches by using relevant hashtags. Don’t be afraid to get in the conversation and experiment!
5. Use data to make decisions
I (clap) can’t (clap) stress (clap) this (clap) enough! Ladies and gentlemen–Look at your insights – daily, weekly! When are people viewing and engaging with your content the most? What content gets the most views, engagement?
Over time, monitor your data and continue tweaking your strategy until you get the right formula. Just when you think you got it right, keep iterating! Don’t simply rely on like and followers. Comments (as well as sentiment within comments), saves, swipe-ups, etc. are just as important, if not more.
There are MANY ways to succeed on Instagram. Above all else–Have fun, experiment and don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to talk strategy, platforms, social media tips and more. We’re here for ya!
Contact [email protected] to get started.