It's time for another post on Instagram growth! Growing your Instagram and getting more followers can be a daunting task, especially with all the algorithm changes and fun stuff Instagram likes to throw our way. If you are serious about growing your Instagram, you might know that it is just as important to grow your engagement rate as it is to get more Instagram followers.
This post is all about building a community and improving your engagement on Instagram!
The best ways to build a community on Instagram
If you are looking to take your Instagram to the next level, you'll want to start focusing on the community you are building around your brand. In the end, this will be more important than the number of followers.
Example 1: Peter has 24k followers on Instagram, and gets an average of 100-200 likes per photo. In addition to this he gets 2-3 bot comments ('great!' & 'awesome'). His engagement rate is not very impressive, and in spite of having many followers, it is unlikely that a brand who knows their worth (and knows a good engagement rate when they see it) will want to work with Peter.
Example 2: Wendy has 9000 followers on Instagram, and feels like she knows them all like old friends. She usually gets around 400-500 likes per photo, and her followers often leave comments answering the questions she asks in her caption. Wendy is a true influencer, and a brand will be able to see that when they consider to work with her.
For the brand, it will be a better return on their investment to work with Wendy, as her followers seem to trust and value her advice.
Now, how can you build your community and grow your engagement rate like Wendy?
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Asking questions can go a long way. Whether you ask your followers what their Sunday plans are, or if they have ever been to Paris, it encourages engagement and lets your followers know that you want to hear from them & get to know them!
Make it a habit to always ask a question at the beginning or end of your Instagram caption. Eventually your followers will realise that this is a two-way street. It is called social media for a reason.
Respond to all comments
So, you've started asking questions in every caption - now what? This is when your job starts. Respond to every single comment that comes your way - even the bot ones! I usually respond to emojis with an emoji, even if it feels pointless. This is in order to show all your other followers (you know, the real ones) that you are there. It is really that simple.
Being active in your own comments shows your followers that you want to interact and hear from them, which in turn encourages them to leave a comment. This could be a slow process, as it may take weeks from someone sees your comments until they chose to leave one themselves - but it is worth it when they finally do!
Now you've got people commenting, then what? How do you go about building a community from that?
When someone leaves a comment on one of your photos, take your time to check out their profile before responding. Hopefully they'll have their name or location in their profile, which gives you a way to make it personal!
So, instead of answering 'Thank you!' to Katie's comment, go ahead and write 'Thank you, Katie! I really appreciate it!'
Katie will see that you took your time to visit her profile, and get really excited about the answer. This, in turn, encourages her to leave another comment the next time you post a photo and ask a question. Feel free to continue the conversation too, with a 'Thank you, Katie - I really appreciate it! How is your day so far?'
If a user doesn't have their name on their profile, knowing their location can have the same effect. If you don't know Katie's name, but know that she is in London, why not go with a 'Thank you! Hoping London is sunny today!'
Call People Out
This one sounds a lot worse than it is. It is a great way of showing your community that you see them and that you appreciate them. You can tag them in your caption, thanking them for the advice they left on an earlier post, or simply tag them in your story like I have done on the right here!
It is such a simple and effective way of showing your followers that a little engagement means a lot, and you are also showing those that usually do not engage that other followers are doing it. This should encourage more people to join the club!
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