Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms of all time, blowing up in popularity almost 13 years ago. From shopping to selling, to keeping in touch with family, celebrities, teens, and even grandparents can enjoy the app in diverse ways. As the birthplace of influencers and the homeland of many millennials, Instagram has proven to have staying power. But with the rise of influential apps like TikTok, what is next for the social media world, and will Instagram continue to stay relevant?
In 2016, you would spend hours on Instagram scrolling through hundreds of friends' posts, liking each of them, and occasionally seeing an ad. It was an opportune time to be an influencer because brands were starting to realize the power that came with having thousands of followers and where using these influencers could take their business in the next couple of years.
However, things have changed in the past 6 years. The chronological order of Instagram’s timeline has been replaced with a feed determined by the app’s algorithm, and users are complaining that their followers are no longer seeing their content as a result. This has left many marketers on the platform wondering if high levels of engagement and exposure are still possible for brands to obtain through organic posting alone. The engagement levels on posts have decreased across the board as people turn away from the platform, but there are some things you can do to boost your engagement levels while the future of the app is determined.
5 things you can do to boost your engagement on Instagram
It may sound tedious, but posting consistently on Instagram is one of the best things you can do to keep your engagement up. This will weed out all the followers who don't want to see your content and increase your chances of gaining like-minded followers who are more likely to interact with your brand and make a purchase.
If you are a frequent user of Instagram, you might have seen the trend where people post “photo dumps.” This uses the carousel feature and allows users to post an array of different pictures to showcase highlights, moments, and more. Brands should capitalize on this feature because these posts can generate higher engagement since there is more content for the user to view. This is a great tool to tell your brand's story and get people more emotionally invested in your company as a whole.
To many people, hashtags simply look like a paragraph of letters. However, if you are a marketer and have not been using this tool on Instagram, you are missing out on opportunities for engagement. Hashtags are one of the top engagement tools the platform offers, and they have consistently performed well for brands over the years. Choosing and using the correct hashtags can increase your reach and put you ahead of your competition. If you need some inspiration on which hashtags you should be using, look at the ones your top competitors are using and test them out on your posts.
With the current state of the app, many users have decreased the number of times they post to the feed but have stayed consistent in posting on the Instagram Story feature. This is a great tool for brands because it gives followers a sneak peek at products, posts, or events coming up and provides the ability to link to websites for easy access. Stories also provide a unique opportunity to reach and engage with your audience. Utilize the polls and question sticker features to gain valuable insights from your customers. Similar to posting in your feed, creating a Story posting cadence can greatly increase your chances of engagement and drive more traffic to your homepage and your business sites.
Although they have been criticized for copying TikTok, Instagram Reels are a great way to boost engagement on the platform. They have become one of the most popular features on the app because of their high entertainment level. You can scroll through the Reel section of the platform for hours watching different videos created by users. Brands should take advantage of this tool so they can maximize their reach and boost the engagement of their videos.
For even more insights on how to effectively grow on Instagram, check out Episode 4 of Adapt and Thrive: A Survival Guide for the Modern Marketer, “The OG on IG, Everything you Want to Know About Instagram Marketing”. If you need more help on ways to successfully navigate the platform, do not hesitate to call one of our amazing team members at L7 Creative.