We hear people tossing the word "Instagram Engagement" and "Engagement Rate" around all the time but there is a significant difference between having a high engagement rate or having a lot of engagement AND having HIGH-QUALITY ENGAGEMENT. Here is a list of 10 things you can start doing to not only increase your engagement but also attract high-quality engagement to your content on Instagram.
Instagram users have found different ways to trick the Instagram algorithms and create an inauthentic engagement rate for themselves for years with engagement pods, bots and other automation services. But as I always say "10K followers are great but if $10K in your bank account is better", tricking Instagram engagement with these methods is a never-ending game and could be harmful to your personal brand & your business brand. You will most likely end up with comments that are super shallow, generic and general and they show that your audience isn't genuinely interacting with your brand.
Take my own Instagram before and after I started to realize the difference between getting engagement vs getting high-quality engagement for an example.
So, how did I fix this?
1. I started to listen & pay attention more to what my audience is asking for.
As a content creator, it is so important that you realize your content shouldn't always about you. By asking & listening to your audience more, you will be able to create and produce content that truly resonates with your target audience and encourages them to engage with your content in the most organic way. People love to be near and/or talk to people who can relate to their experiences and what they are going through.
2. I take a stand.
There is no better example of this than what is going on in the world with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Your social media audience wants to know that you take a stand for something and show them that you have a voice and you are using your platform to support what you believe in.
Contradicting to what most people believe in, standing for something and being vocal about what you truly care and believe in will actually help you recruit an abundant flow of audience that love you and support you for who you are and what you do. And hey, if someone unfollows you because you speak up on things that they don't share the same belief, they aren't your target audience to start off with.
3. I show up authentically.
People attract to authenticity & honesty. And when you show up as yourself and let your audience know that you truly care and want to establish genuine relationships with them, you will by default build up a group of audiences that will reciprocate your intention & engage with your content authentically. If you are a content creator, coaches, business owners or a personal brand, this is major because it means that this group of loyal followers will support, purchase and opt-in for your products, offers or recommendations a lot quicker than those who only leave generic, ungenuine engagement.
P.S: After you show up fully and wholeheartedly for yourself, show up for others as well.
4. I share my stories.
Storytelling is one of the most organic, authentic and effective ways to become a high-quality engagement magnet. When you can show up authentically to share your story, your vulnerability, you are connecting on a whole different level with your audience.
5. I stay consistent.
Similar to showing up authentically, you want to make sure that your message is consistently showing up in your content. For example, if women empowerment and equality is what you say you stand for, this better shows up in your content consistently. This will differentiate you from the people out there who aren't genuinely standing for a cause and only jump on the bandwagon because a certain cause or topic is "trendy".
6. I keep my message clear & simple
Another way to create great engagement for your Instagram is to keep your message clear, simple and always include a CTA (call to action). Another note when it comes to CTA is that it can work for you or against you. Every time you are about to put out a CTA, I want you to ask yourself a question: Am I giving or am I taking? Although there isn't anything wrong with taking, your audience can get turned off real quick if all you do is asking them to do you a favour, to buy your products & to opt-in for your offers.
When it comes to CTA, I like to implement the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, my CTA is to ask my audience if I could help them, get to know them or help solve a problem that they are having and only 20% of my CTA is to ask my audience to opt-in for an offer or sign up for my courses.
7. I continue to offer valuable content.
70% of Instagram users are now using Instagram to get useful information & educational content. If you are looking to build up high-quality engagement for your gram that could eventually turn into conversion for your business, it's time to focus more on producing more valuable content. Content that is worth sharing & saving.
8. I continuously work on building a community
As someone who is an advocate for women, I want to not only build up my brand but also want to emphasize the importance of building up a tribe of powerful and wonderful women that I love to interact with & surround myself with. When you focus on building a community, the quality of your engagement will jump tremendously because you are truly interacting and communicating with people who share the same values & beliefs with you.
9. I embrace my mistakes & vulnerabilities
Who doesn't want to look like she has it all figured out. But you know who else in the real world that actually has it all figured out? NOBODY!
It's okay to be imperfect, make mistakes and have weaknesses and be transparent with your audience. It shows that you are real, down to earth and you are relatable, which of course, encourages more people to come to your content to relate, engage and even pop up in your DM to build some meaningful relationships.
10. Last but not least, it starts with me.
Social media could be a lot of pressure and it's hard not to look at someone else's feed and started to compare yourself. I hear ya!
What has been working really well for me is learning how to zone that noise out and understand that my brand is mine and it should be about me and my audience. Comparing yourself with someone else on social media or doing things that others are doing because of FOMO is a thief of joy. You will never be happy and you will never be able to show up fully as yourself. If you want to start cultivating genuine relationship & high-quality engagement, start giving it to others first and watch it comes back in ten folds.
I hope these 10 tips help and I am excited to hear what you think about them.