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How to increase engagement on Instagram

Tuesday 09th July 2019
How to increase engagement on Instagram

Noticed a dip in your organic engagement? There is a reason for that, which we will discuss… But never fear, we can help you organically increase your engagement once again.

It’s no secret that Instagram regularly updates its algorithm. Their latest update meant that people browsing their Instagram feed see what they engage with the most at the top of their feed, as opposed to before when it was in chronological order.

It happened last year with Facebook where they changed the algorithm which affected everyone’s organic reach and led to a plummet in engagement, causing mass panic amongst business owners and marketers. But there are always ways around this allowing you to thrive and trump your competition.

As we primarily deal with estate agents we will tailor our examples to best fit their needs, but the rules still work the same. We are just using different examples and scenarios.

Five ways to increase engagement on Instagram

  1. Use hashtags relevant to your content
  2. Produce more video content
  3. Post higher quality content
  4. Stay consistent
  5. Post during peak hours

1: The power of hashtags

Hashtags are a brilliant way to organically increase your engagement on Instagram. It’s a way to instantly reach a completely new audience. The best part about using hashtags is that people are actively seeking them out meaning they’re much more likely to be interested in your content, so when they come across your image they are highly likely to engage with it & possibly venture onto your page and follow you.

2: Content is King, but video content is Emperor

There is an unspoken law with Instagram that hasn’t been confirmed but is definitely true (maybe, don’t tell us off Instagram). In relation to video content receiving a much higher organic reach.

At the end of the day, the longer people view your content for the higher the chances they will see your content towards the top end of their feed in the future. There is no better way to catch your audience’s attention by having them view a video. It makes them stop scrolling and take the time to look at your content and it’s as simple as that.

As a side note: You don’t need to turn into Steven Spielberg for this to work. Utilize the tools that Instagram provide you, from Boomerang videos to timelapse. Through to using your mobile phone to record a quick conversation, it all works effectively. You just need to test what video content your audience engages with the most.

There are many prime examples of video content for estate agents. As an example, if you have a new property listing that you want a lot of focus on, get an agent to stand outside the property or walking around the rooms discussing the features of the home, location, price, size. It’s an easy way for the audience to digest information and provides a lot of character and personality.

3: Quality over quantity

If you can find a way to consistently produce high-quality content then do that to see even further increases in engagement and reach. However, if you don’t have the time or budget to invest in posting all the time then focus on producing strong quality content.

The Instagram algorithm favours strong engagement, so in essence, the more you get your followers to like, comment and share your content. The more new audiences will start to see your content on the explore page or on their friends’ activity.

A simple way to increase comments and shares is by asking your audience a question or encouraging them to tag a friend. It’s getting Instagram’s spidey senses tingling. But don’t do this every time as it could receive punishment. It’s like with anything, do it in moderation. Find a balance of content that doesn’t seem forced.

As an example for estate agents: When showcasing a property (that features a large kitchen), ask your audience simple questions in the caption such as “Who would love to have a kitchen of this size?” or ask them to tag a friend that would love living there.

4. Stay consistent

You can’t expect these miraculous results overnight, nothing works like that. Imagine going to the gym doing 50 sit-ups and you wake up the next day with a six-pack, it would be amazing right? If it was that simple everyone would do it and the industry would be over saturated.

It’s a tough slog that plays the long haul game, it can take years but once you reach a high level it becomes easier & easier. Then you just need to maintain it. If you’re an estate agent who is only posting 1-2 every week or every two weeks, you won’t see much growth. If you post once a day your chances of growth are going to be a lot higher in a much shorter time frame.

Stick to your brands’ core values and find your tone of voice and stick with it. If your captions and content come across as forced and unnatural then your followers will sniff it out in an instant and won’t bother engaging with it and potentially unfollowing. If you enrich their life with your content, provide them with answers and humour then your audience will be excited to hear from you, they will tell their friends about you and they will engage consistently. Social media is a way to have a personal connection with your customers so have fun with them, make them feel like they know you, that’s where you gain brand loyalty. Turning them into advocates without them even realizing.

5. Post during peak hours

It sounds so simple but why wouldn’t you do this every time? Post your content out when your following is actually going to be on their Instagram feed.

Again, this isn’t going to mean if 800 of your followers are online that you’re going to get 800 likes. You still have to produce quality content that they are going to want to engage with. Posting at peak hours just increases the chances of your content being seen. It’s why TV advertisements cost more during peak times because more eyes are going to see them. At least this way you can make the most of it for free.

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