New algorithms, shadow bans, restricted hashtags, the list of reasons of why your engagement is dropping keeps on getting bigger and bigger. Through all the chatter we found that five things remain consistent and it’s what we’re doing to keep our engagement up.
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1. Post at the right time.
Timing is everything! Having immediate engagement is important if you are to survive Instagram’s algorithms. Immediate engagement ensures that you are closer to the top of feeds and discovery, so it’s important for having continued engagement. Even after your initial hashtag engagement wave tones down. Optimal posting times obviously vary depending on who and where your main audience is. Once you’ve been posting for a while you’ll find your sweet spot. As a ball park figure in the morning (7am – 9am) when people are waking up, at lunch time (noon), and in the evening when people are commuting or at home relaxing (6pm – 8pm), are usually the busiest times. You can also use tools like the PLANN app to help you find out when your own optimal posting time is.
2. Use the right hashtags.
As you probably already know hashtags are crucial in getting your posts engagement on Instagram. Hashtags are what puts you onto discovery pages and is what gets your content out past the reach of your followers. The key here is using them smartly and within Instagram’s prescribed guidelines. By now you’ve likely heard of shadow banning. If you haven’t there are tons of information on it all over the inter-web. But, it’s allegedly Instagram’s way of stopping people from using spam hashtags such as #likeforlike, but it also applies to less obvious hashtags that can be completely innocent. So it’s important to do a quick Google search.
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags and it’s important you use all of them! Why wouldn’t you? Just be smart about the one’s you use and make sure they are relevant to the audience you are trying to attract. It’s also a good idea to see which hashtags your favourite accounts use and throw some of those in the mix. Again, the PLANN app is great for this if you’re a premium user. It’s also been said that using the same hashtags over and over again can get you shadow-banned, but who really knows? To be safe use different sets of hashtags and change which hashtags you use according to what kind of content you are posting. It’ll take some experimenting, but you’ll eventually get it!
3. Add calls to action.
This is a simple and fun way to get better engagement. Pose questions to your followers asking them to share tips or give their opinion on something. You’ll not only get to know your followers better, but the comments will also look favourable to Instagram’s almighty algorithm. Adding the right call to action such as “Where’s your favourite beach?” makes engaging on your post easier for your followers and really fuels the conversation! It's best to put your calls to action at the start of your post's caption as Instagram truncates it and the question could get missed. Also, its a well-known fact that people don't always read all the way down to the bottom!
4. Limit yourself to one post a day.
Posting too frequently can actually be detrimental to your post engagement. The reason is simple. If you post more than once a day your posts compete against one another to look better to Instagram's algorithm in order to be placed at the top of feeds. The end result can sometimes be that both posts suffer a blow to engagement. This is not to say you can never post two pictures on the same day, or that this guarantees your posts will perform poorly. It’s just something to consider. Why not utilize Instagram’s story feature to show off those other photos or videos your dying to share?
5. Utilize Instagram Stories
This is one not enough users do! Use Instagram's newest feature to draw more attention to your post. It acts as a reminder for the followers who may have missed your post to go and check it out. You can even get people who don't follow you to see your stories by using hashtags and geo-tagging the story. I'll speak more about this in a future post and give you some tips for optimising your stories and getting a lot more views. Be sure to subscribe down below to get notified when the post is published.