The story of Instagram begins with a picture of a dog. Kevin Systrom, the co-founder of Instagram, captured a photo of a stray dog sitting near a taco stand in Mexico. After a few months, he posted it as the first picture on Instagram with the caption “test.” That was the official launch of the photo-sharing app on 06 October 2010. On its first day, Instagram gained 25,000 users.
In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram, which at that time, already has 30 million users. Instagram’s video function was launched in 2013. Within its 1st 24 hours, 5 million videos have been uploaded. By 2018, 45 billion photos will be posted on the app. Selena Gomez became the most followed person on Instagram with 138 million followers. Today, the crown was handed over to footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo with 312 million followers.
According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, Instagram has now evolved as both a photo and video sharing app. With 1.074 billion monthly active users (MAU), it ranks second as the best social media marketing platform. More than 200 million businesses are on Instagram with 90% of IG followers visiting at least 1 brand every day. If you are one of those marketing on Instagram, here are some tips on improving engagement on the platform.
BUILD INSTAGRAM REELS ENGAGEMENT
Reels are one of the newest features of Instagram. They are short music clips meant to inspire collaboration and creativity. Reels Ads are a great way to get engagement within the platform. They show up on the top tab of an Instagram feed. They are also recommended content on the explore tabs. By creating fun and relevant Reels for your target audiences, you can boost conversion and discovery, thus, improving Instagram engagement. Cultivate conversations among people who reacted to your Instagram Reels by responding to them. Or, at the very least, heart their comments to show appreciation.
CULTIVATE ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS
What marketers constantly ask is “the best time to post on Instagram.” Little did they realize that the best time to post on every social media platform is the time of the day where they can spend an hour cultivating engagement with their Instagram followers. During the first hour when an IG post is published, find people who have already liked your post. Send them a direct message (DM) with a question and a link back to the post to spark conversation. This leads them back to the post when replying to your question. The reply shows as a comment which you can reply to improve engagement. Brands and businesses can send a private message to up to 50 people asking for their thoughts. They just need to carefully choose the right target who will most likely reply to their private messages. It is during the first hour of posting on Instagram that engagements weigh heavier on Instagram’s algorithm.
DEVELOP ENGAGING INSTAGRAM LIVE
Instagram Live is the perfect opportunity to connect with your audiences in real-time. A trick on improving Instagram engagement through IG Live is by using a Q & A sticker inviting your audience to ask questions. While scrolling on their comments, the host can directly answer their queries. You can also go live with three other Instagram users to expand the reach of your IG Live. Every time a new guest comes, their followers get notification about the broadcast.
OPTIMIZE IGTV POSTS
Setting up IGTV is like having your own television channel on Instagram. This is the answer to long-form video content. What is best about IGTV is that you can include a link from other Instagram posts and websites. You don’t need 10,000 followers and up to do so. You can even upload a live video directly on IGTV. To optimize your IGTV post, be sure to choose the best thumbnails. Just like any other Instagram content, replying promptly to commenters, likers, and sharers can spark meaningful conversations.
SET UP A GREAT INSTAGRAM BIO
A social media agency Hong Kong notes that the best way of improving Instagram engagement is to set up a great Instagram bio. An Instagram bio serves as an introduction to what the brand or business is all about. It creates a first impression among the visitors of the page, so brands and businesses should aim to make the first impression last. An Instagram bio contains 150 characters. Brands and businesses should maximize such a short description to convince Instagrammers to follow them. Ensure that your name and bio are clear and concise. Focus on telling how you can help them, give them value, or offer something new or unique. Every post in your Instagram profile should then follow your bio. Your photo, IG Shop, Reels, Stories, and videos should fulfill the promise that you made in your bio.
TAG OTHER CREATORS ON YOUR INSTAGRAM STORIES
A video marketing agency Hong Kong has noted that Instagram Stories no longer showed up on major hashtags the way they used to. Today, the best way of improving Instagram engagement is by tagging other creators to your Instagram Stories. Instagram allows tagging up to 10 accounts. When you tag creators, they will receive a message that you have mentioned them in your story. As such, they can share your story and help them get in front of new audiences. Just be sure that the stories you are tagging on an account or creator are relevant to them. In replacement for hashtags, geotags can also get your business noticed, especially when the location is relevant to the post.
USE QUICK REPLIES ON YOUR DIRECT MESSAGES
Instagram Direct Messages are the best way for brands and businesses to connect and contact their community of followers. Today, it is easier to qualify and respond to incoming messages using Instagram’s Quick Replies. These are saved replies for the most frequently asked questions about a brand or business. Such replies will auto-populate on incoming messages using their queue words. This can help brands and businesses save time in qualifying incoming messages and responding to them. Of course, the goal of improving Instagram engagement is to spark continuous conversation. Responding using an audio or video message may also be smart to use.