Posts in this series
Congratulations, you’ve made it this far. We’re almost finished, for now. If you’ve read the first 5 parts of this series, you have created your account, curated content, downloaded support apps, learned how to use hashtags, and gained followers. Now that you have all of these followers, what are you going to do with them? If you just let them sit there like a number, they will eventually wither away. Posting interesting content is essential, but so is engagement and creating a sense of community.
This is time consuming, but having a strategy, or a social media intern, will make the process easier. Allocate time for this. I suggest setting aside three times a day to engage with your followers. You might do it during your commute, on a coffee break, or before bed. But you must take time to do this. This is what sponsors care about. Having 100k followers is meaningless if none of them are engaged. And I have seen accounts with 100k followers and 100 likes per photo with no comments. I’ve also seen people with 1000 followers and 100 comments per photo. Which one would you rather be? I hope you said the latter.
Return ALL Engagement
This is very important. If someone takes the time to leave you a comment, try to respond to their comment and comment on one of their posts as well. I might even follow someone who has commented on my feed if I enjoy their content. When you have a chance, go through the list of people who have liked your photos and like theirs back! I try to do this while waiting for the bus, the train, the elevator, etc. Maybe you do your engagement while you are drinking your morning coffee. Receiving positivity and sending it back isn’t a bad way to start your day!
Engage with Your Followers
Check in with your feed. What are they posting? Do you like it? Let them know with a double tap! Is it exceptional? Leave a comment! Answer their questions. Start a dialogue. Ask a question. This is how you continue to build the community you started in the earlier steps.
Draw in New Followers
Use engagement to draw in new followers for yourself. Use the explore tab. You can look at the photos instagram recommends for you based on the people you follow and photos you have liked. Do not bother to like photos that don’t interest you in this category. Now you’re on your way to success and you want to start curating the list of people you follow to make sure you are enjoying their content, they like yours, and they are engaged. If you have a specific niche, use your key hashtags to find other to interact with. I often look up hashtags I use to see what others are posting on them (this can be helpful to make sure the hashtag really fits with your niche as well) My lifestyle blog also focuses on fashion, culture, and travel. I might explore hashtags of favorite designers or certain types of accessories (Maybe blanket scarves?!), museums, food, or destinations, hotels, etc. Before booking my trip to Punta Cana I researched photos on IG by people who visited the hotels I was considering. I engaged with them to see what they liked most about their trip. Instagram as a travel guide is becoming a real thing!
A Call to Action
When I first started using Instagram, my mom didn’t know what to do. I had to tell her to like the pictures. She thought looking at them was enough. Your users are also not mind readers. Tell them exactly what you want them to do. Call to actions can vary from making a purchase to simply answering a question. Here are a few ideas for businesses and the personal brand.
- Buy a product
- Look at a website, link in bio
- Sign up for a mailing list
- Follow you on snapchat, Facebook, etc
- Answer a question
Asking your readers is the easiest way to initiate engagement. It requires minimal effort from the user. They don’t have to switch apps, the answer will probably be short. Here are a few questions you can try with your followers to get them chatting.
What’s your favorite castle?
What’s your favorite beach?
Where do you want to be today?
What are you doing this weekend?
What books are you reading?
Hat or no hat, or other stylistic choices regarding fashion.
Window or Aisle seat?
The options are endless.