How To Grow Engagement & Following On Instagram
Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Instagram algorithm and the engagement rate - the most dreaded phrases any content creator can hear.
Ever since the algorithm that shows the most popular posts replaced the chronological post order - the engagement decreased. Now, more than ever, a healthy engagement rate is crucial to aspiring and established content creators whose entire businesses revolve around growing & maintaining their audiences.
There has been a lot of fuss about the algorithm and the way it affected the nature of engaging on the platform. It's no lie it has left a tremendous mark on the content we see and choose to follow.
Your engagement is connected to the Instagram algorithm. At the end of 2019, there had been new changes made to the algorithm. Those changes affected what kind of content is worthy to be shown to a wider audience.
To know which actions to perform to improve our engagement, we first need to understand it.
The 3 Pillars of Growing Your Engagement
#1 Create connections and relationships
Did you ever notice how Instagram tends to show you similar content to the one you had liked before? That's thanks to image recognition technology.
Let's paint a closer picture. Imagine being an avid traveler. The more you like travel-related content, the more will it be shown in your Explore feed.
The image recognition technology uses elements on pictures to determine your interests and caters them to you.
Why is this important for growing your engagement?
By interacting with accounts whose content or niche resembles yours, the more you will pop up to them too. This is also a way for you to get in front of the non-influencer side of the audience.
This leads us to Pillar #2...
#2 Discover Who Your Audience Is & What Do They Like
From the image recognition technology, Instagram will recognize the interests of the following lists, profile visits, posts likes, etc.
That's why by learning who your audience is, you will be able to show up more for them in their timeline.
For example, think of a fashion content creator. Their niche could be millennial women dressing in bold outfits.
To understand their audience, they would have to do answer questions like:
What are my audience's demographics (age, gender, location)?
Where do they like to shop their outfits (online, special Instagram pages, retail)?
Why does dressing up bold make them happy?
Is their fashion a life statement?
How does their fashion influence their everyday choices?
Where do they find inspiration for their outfits?
What kind of IG fashion-related pages do they like to follow?
What type of content do they enjoy seeing?
Answering these questions will give the content creator a direction. A guide to finding their audience online.
Once they find where the audience is online - then they should start interacting with them.
The more interaction that happens with the desired audience, the more the content creator will be shown to other potential members who could benefit from following that account.
Now that the audience has been located, the next step is to...
#3 Post when your audience is online
How else could they engage with you if they are not able to see your posts?
Don't waste your time googling what is the best time to post on Instagram. Everyone's audience is different and unique to you.
Fortunately, if your account is set to "Creator" or "Business", you can easily access your IG stats. In your stats, you can see when during the week and at what hours in a day your followers are the most active. That is when you should post your content!
Can You Beat The Instagram Algorithm?
We get it. Just hearing the word "algorithm" makes influencers' skin crawl. To monetize on that feeling, a lot of platforms and experts out there will tell you how to beat the algorithm.
To be honest, that's a funny thing to say. Why? Well... You cannot beat the algorithm.
There, we said it. The algorithm makes the rules. What you need to do is work with it, so that it favors you!
You become friends with the algorithm, you understand it and work on it. That's how you grow your engagement and your following.
Understanding the algorithm is not rocket science
The biggest question arises - are you making the right content for your audience, given that you are 100% sure who your audience is?
Growing your engagement should consist of taking DAILY, repetitive, strategic actions of being visible and discoverable to your existing and potential audience.
However, if your content is not good enough, all the traffic you'd gear back to your account will be for nothing.
That's why you can apply all the growth hacks in the world. But if you want to grow your profile without any direction whatsoever, you'll hardly get anywhere. #harshtruth
Engagement Actions For Growth
As mentioned, it is important to perform repetitive, strategic actions to grow your engagement. Here are some simple, yet effective tips for you on how to do that:
Post more and consistently to reach more online users (from 3 - 7 days a week, not more, no less!);
Like, follow, & comment on the profiles whom you share common interests with;
Use Instagram DMs more - this helps with establishing real relationships with your followers and people will see you as a "real" person, rather than an unreachable influencer star;
Ask followers to turn on posts notifications to be aware of your published posts;
Try thinking of a fun and inexpensive giveaway! People love free stuff;
Dedicate time to engaging with other accounts. Set aside at least one or two hours a day for doing this.
Dedication is the most important for growing the engagement
Another #truthbomb there: you won't grow your engagement by interacting with others once in a blue moon. You're not there to grow a fan base, but to serve a specific niche that craves to consume the exact content you are producing.
We recognized a long time ago that content creators struggle with these two things:
Finding the time to dedicate themselves to engaging with others;
Feeling lost on what to do when they do find time to be active on the platform.
That is the reason we created our entire Premium program. It covers everything from creating content to millions of ways to strategically connect with your regular audience, other influencers, and brands.
One of our most dominant programs that can help you with growing your engagement is Power Coaching. There, we give you daily engagement growing tasks that hit ALL angles of your audience, with the goals of growing your account in a healthy and monetizable way.
Take a 7-day free trial and test it out yourself, go here.