Whether you are a fan of social media or not, there is no denying that they have become one strong tool for brands to find leads, captivate them and gain their loyalty.

There is a trinity of social platforms that your business should have a presence on, and they are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. But your brand’s social media shouldn’t be managed the same way as your personal one, nor should it be strictly business oriented and stripped of any human interest. None of these perspectives are going to lead you to achieve a good position on Instagram because your content will not generate engagement. In today’s post, I’m going to demonstrate 7 essential rules to follow to grow Instagram engagement.

1. Interact with other people’s content right before and after posting yours

Instagram has an algorithm to prioritize the content it shows in its community’s feed. It ranks higher the content that achieves a major rate of engagement in a short span of time. To drive higher traffic to your content, you need to post with perfect timing. Right before and after posting, you must interact with the content other people posted on Instagram.

But interactions need to be strategic. If the content is relevant to your business, positive and it appears in your feed, then you want to interact with it. It will benefit your brand’s account because you will be redirecting the traffic from other people’s content to yours and reinforcing your brand’s presence.

2. Strategically interact with other accounts

The best way to interact on Instagram is by focusing on creating meaningful connections. How to interact on Instagram to gain followers? Humanize your brand by letting it establish emotional connections with people who like the message your brand communicates. You should carefully design answers to questions and comments, respond as fast as you can, and organize a system to praise your community through contests. Learn how to interact on Instagram stories in an organic way, with no other goal in mind than forming a bond with your targeted audience. Show your community you value their interaction by paying attention to them. Explore the accounts of the people that already support you, spot the ones with plenty of followers, and follow them back.

3. Optimize your hashtags

Hashtags are your Instagram keywords. There is so much content on Instagram and so many people, the only way to be found, is by using hashtags, wisely. Optimize Instagram hashtags by making them specific and relatable. Use long-tail hashtags, for example, instead of “#outfits” you can use “#outfitsforsummer”.

How to optimize hashtags on Instagram? Your imagination is not going to be enough to come up with relevant hashtags. Use SEO tools that have a specific option to track Instagram keywords. Many of them are cost-free, like Keyword Tool.

4. Interconnect your content

Instagram shouldn’t be a separate entity but one more chapter of the book your brand is writing through its multiple platforms. Your activity in this social media has to contribute to the story you are telling. Coherence is the key. Pay attention to the colors you use, the layout of the images, the vocabulary and tone of communication, the diversity of the content you present: it all should be aligned to everything you have been making on your other platforms.

Interconnecting your content is going to allow you to bridge all your platforms and make them feed each other. If you have a well-grounded blog, you can use it to popularize your Instagram account by linking your social media content and redirecting your blog’s traffic to Instagram.

Don’t recycle your content, which tends to happen when running a Facebook and Instagram account, if you are interconnecting your platforms. People won’t navigate through your different media if they discover you are posting the exact same content on each of them. Your audience will notice your brand is not willing to make the effort and compromise, and that’s not how you grow Instagram followers and engagement. Use the special tools Instagram offers to create content specifically designed for that platform.

5. Involve your community in the schedule of your future content

How to grow Instagram followers and engagement? One effective way to do it is by making your community feel special. And what yells “you are significant to me!” more than allowing your audience to participate in the schedule of your future content? You will not only ensure you are giving them what they want to consume but getting insight on how to win their fidelity. Besides, you will get new and original ideas, which will make your content look different from the one your competition is posting.

6. Collaborations with influencers

If you aren’t doing a brand collaboration with Instagram influencers, you are wasting a big chance to grow engagement on Instagram. Influencers already achieved what your brand is trying to achieve, and that’s because they emotionally connect with their followers.

Reinforce the characterization of your brand by making strategic alliances with Instagram influencers. Affiliate with the ones who are relevant to your brand, your content and the current context you are operating in.

Collaboration ideas with Instagram influencers should produce two things: word of mouth, which will have a positive effect on how your brand is perceived by your audience, and direct traffic from the influencer’s account to your own.

7. Add a call to action

You shouldn’t be giving speeches but creating conversations, that’s why your content should always end with a call to action. Your audience will know you want them to participate and, when they do, you will reward them executing the rule number 2 that we stated before.

But be aware that calls to action are not only questions. Finishing with a “what do you think?” can be more counterproductive than a “tell us your thoughts below!”. Some good call to action examples combine both questions and statements. Dedicate some time to creating a list of call to action phrases – it will be a good investment of our time!

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These are 7 essential rules to follow to grow your Instagram engagement. As you can see, they mix a social and business perspective to enable your brand to bond with its audience and reach its goals. Which of these 7 rules do you think is more useful? Share your answer with us! And, if you are currently searching for Instagram templates for your business, visit Xara and find a handful of free designs.

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