ART OF SOCIAL MEDIA

THE ART OF ENGAGEMENT: My unique perspective on increasing Instagram engagement.

Instagram… It’s a funny one, isn’t it! I think it’s amazing how something so simple on the surface can hold with it so much power. Power to inspire, the power to build a brand and the power to influence.

I myself am no social media expert! I got into the game quite late (after the algorithm change) I’m not the technical type either… I don’t generally crunch numbers and I don’t tend to develop formulas or devise technical strategies on social media growth.  As it stands, I don’t have a particularly large following on Instagram but I do have quite an engaged one… and that I love!

More recently some of my readers have asked me for advice on increasing engagement on their own social profiles. So, I had a little think and decided to write this post!  I call it “THE HEART METHOD” to social media engagement.

Just kidding.

Now before I go into it all, it’s probably worth mentioning that one of my favourite subjects is in fact Psychology… I love talking to people, hearing their different thoughts on various topics, understanding how they see the world; I am fascinated by the inner-workings of the human mind.  I also come from an Education background so naturally, I love teaching and learning; I get a good feeling when I feel like somebody has gained some type of value from the work that I do.

So, let’s get into it…

Before reading this post…Please know that these are the things that work for me. Not everything I say may work for you. I’m certainly not suggesting that you follow my tips to the letter or that you do anything that doesn’t feel right for you on a personal level… The ideal scenario would be that you take something away from it and develop strategies around these ideas that do work for you!

So… now that we’ve got the disclaimers out of the way there! Here is my unique and somewhat unconventional approach to increasing Instagram engagement.

 

THE ART OF WORDS AND IMAGERY

 

We all know why people come to Instagram, don’t we? Business goals aside, we all want inspiration. We want to see something that makes us think, and if we’re the type to read we want to read something that moves us… we want to feel inspired. Inspired to better ourselves and our lives, inspired to pursue our dreams, inspired to create. So, give the people what they want and create something great! Something memorable!  Create visuals that make them think of you when they are off the grid. Create words which motivate them to become the best version of themselves and imagery which shows all the different ways in which they can.  Help people to make positive choice’s. To be confident in who they are and what they do! Do it all in your own unique voice. Continuously strive to make your followers aware that it is YOU who is talking to them and they who are talking to you.

Jumi Awomosu
Image credit: Styled and shot by me.
Jumi Awomosu- Concept Stylist
Image credit: Styled and shot by me.

THE ART OF THE HEART

Always have good intentions. Celebrate others successes, will others to do well,  be proud of them when they do, give credit where credit is due. Be generous with your praise and do it without hesitation. Always be authentic. I believe that radiating positivity through your Insta feed and in life will draw others towards you… Think about it; it’s pretty much the same in real life… You want to be around positive energy sources, don’t you?  Because not only do those sources of energy have the power to uplift you. They can increase your passion for life and reinvigorate your energy for loving what you do.  They make you feel good inside. Tell me this… who doesn’t want to feel good inside?

THE ART OF WRITING CAPTIONS

Are you utilising your captions? Now I probably should be developing a more serious and measurable strategy for my Instagram captions and I’m sure that in good time I will, but right now my only strategy is this… I choose to write from the heart. I want my community of readers to be able to learn from my mistakes, to celebrate in my successes and I want to be able to do the same for them too. It’s about learning together, sharing in each other’s journeys, it’s about not being afraid to be real … not being afraid to be vulnerable.

My audience has been with me on a journey. I’ve revealed my darkest thoughts and my strongest desires, I openly admit to my mistakes and my weaknesses and I do so without hesitation. Share an authentic journey so that your followers can learn from your failures as well as your successes. It’s funny though… I’ve often told by close friends that I have a case of verbal diarrhoea (apologies for using that word) when it comes to Instagram.  But it’s easier for me to write this way… it’s easier for me to connect with my audience on what feels like a more genuine level… so, that’s what I do. Could that be your thing? Could that be the one thing that works for you?

THE ART OF CONVERSATION

Ask questions at the end of your posts that you genuinely want to know the answer to! Questions play a key factor in learning more about your audience, their hopes, their desires their way of life. Go on a journey with your readers, discover things together. Instagram isn’t about posting, sitting back and waiting for the likes and comments to roll in!  NO! There is a reason it is called SOCIAL MEDIA! You are meant to be social!

Think about it like this… your response to your comments is another opportunity to create value. To teach something new… If they are learning … then so are you … it works both ways! You are both learning from each other… and that’s a beautiful thing! Is it not?

I think it goes without saying that when it comes to responding to comments a simple “Thanks” just isn’t going to cut the mustard.   There have been many a time I’ve heard the tale of the disgruntled Grammer complaining about the algorithmic changes… about their lack of engagement and struggles with reach.  Then when I look at their profiles and scroll through their feeds to see their replies to comments… I see nothing, nada… tumbleweed. I’ll say no more.

Be more.   Do more.  Give more.

 

THE ART OF ADDING VALUE

How many ways can you find to add more value to the lives of your readers…

What do they want to know? How do they want to feel, where do they want to go? Why do they want to go there…? If they go there, how will they get there?  Once they get there what will they do?  When they have done it how will they feel…  You get the idea?

For me, Instagram engagement is all about capturing people’s imaginations, showing them something that they can do right now to further develop their own talents and get just that little bit closer to living the life of their dreams.  Even though your Instagram page is all about you… really, it’s not. It’s about your audience.  It’s about showing up, It’s teaching them how they can create a life for themselves, a life that they will love. It’s about emotion. Sharing in each other’s emotions…together.  It’s about laughter, pain, uncertainty, fear, freedom, love. loss. It’s about all those things… It’s about lifting people up, rising above life’s challenges, rejoicing in the good times and supporting each other in times of need. It’s about being social. That’s just what it is.

So, there you have it. That is my unique and slightly unconventional approach to increasing Instagram engagement.  Do let me know if you enjoyed reading and if you end up trying any of these tips. Click the link here if you’d like to track your individual engagement rate (or the engagement of others) using this nifty little engagement calculator… just type the name of your Instagram handle in the box and wait for the magic to happen! Such fun!

If you enjoyed reading this post do let me know. If you’d like to see more of this type of thing again, let me know. If in fact, you think I should just stick to my day job can you also let me know… Just kidding!!!!!! I don’t think my heart could take that kind of treatment at the moment!

Hope you enjoyed reading!  I look forward to seeing your comments below!

 

22 thoughts on “THE ART OF ENGAGEMENT: My unique perspective on increasing Instagram engagement.

  1. These tips are great, Jumi! I like the fact that you focus on inspiring others and being useful. I’ve read so many Instagram ebooks and unfortunately they all focus on bits and artificial growth. I don’t have many followers but I enjoy the platform a lot.

    1. Awww thank you Juan, It means a lot that you enjoyed the post, Juan. Yes My following isn’t very large either but like you I grew my audience without artificial means and it takes a lot longer that way! Instagram is an enjoyable app and a great community, especially for creatives! Hopefully all the bots will one day become a thing of the past when people realise that just having large numbers isn’t the most important factor. HA I’ll keep dreaming! Thanks so much for commenting!

  2. Hey Jumi, this is superb blog and honestly I think all the Social Behemoths should use you advice as a founding guide for their users. ps can’t seem to find link for engagement measure (The FOUNDiiD Boys).

    1. Thank so much for reading this guys! Laugh out loud at Social Behemoths! Yes, I hear exactly what you are saying… for some of them, it really is just about the numbers… now don’t get me wrong I’d love to grow my numbers too but for me first and foremost it’s about the social connection! I love having chats with you guys and learning something new… as an individual… I think having this mindset means you get more out of social media too… it becomes a tool for personal growth as well as a tool for business!

      P.S I’ve now updated the link, Thanks guys for the lovely feedback and comments.

  3. Great post Jumi and thanks for your honest and open take – it’s always hard to not peek at numbers (I’m even more starting out than you 🙃) but really it’s like you say – it’s about the engagement and finding people that are interested in discussing by being inspired by your post – and you do have a lovely engagement so I find your thoughts on that very helpful – though I am as I am on my posts maybe it’s also good not to get too waffly – but to focus on one point per post (talking about me here 😄) I’d love to get more of a discussion going and you helped me realise it’s not about me it really is about my readers and how I can make their day more interesting! Thank you 😘

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting Karin, I still have a lot to learn myself on social media and could still make my content yet more audience focused also! Yes you are talking about youself but sometimes I too feel I can waffle on a bit, we are all in this together. I once listened to an on Sara Taskers hastag authentic podcast. Where the interviewee Laura Jane Williams suggested that if she has to scroll when reading your captions then you have written too much! What are your thoughts on that!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. I feel a lot of pressure to grow my following but not sure why. I am very pressured for time and I am not sure I am engaging with followers in the right way but I feel that when I do, it is a lot of work and that frustrates me a lot. This is meant to be a fun social media platform, but it feels to me like a second job sometimes…

    1. Thank you so much for reading this Jenny, yes there is still a lot of pressure to grow as sadly it seems that having high numbers is still seen as the measurement for determining level of success. People still believe that this shows an accurate representation of how talented you are etc etc but it doesn’t always ring true. Jenny you want to grow your numbers that’s fine I do too. But I think you are right, the question we must ask ourselves is why. Instagram is just a social media platform and yes it really can feel like a second job at times. My solution (for now) has been to post less frequently … because for me numbers are not the be all and end all. For that reason, I prefer to post when I have the time to engage but I’m aware that this isn’t a good strategy if you want to grow your following, that would have to be a separate post and to be honest not one I am qualified to write about at the moment 😂. Hopefully, you can take something useful away from this that could help to make Instagram that little bit less of a frustration and more of a journey… Thanks so much for your lovely comments!

    1. Agreed, yes have experienced both the ups and the downs! But yes you are right! it really is about connecting with people! Thanks for commenting!

  5. What a fantastic post ! i have always applied those not because i wanted to gain anything but purely because i believe its a social media and we are meant to socialize and support one another , Sadly not everyone is social or supportive and are just out for themselves but thats a whole new different subject

    1. Yes, those are exactly my thoughts, the cue is in the name! Glad to hear that you are a social being too! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  6. I really enjoyed this post Jumi, and I’m so glad I’ve discovered your blog! Your perspective is very refreshing. I completely agree with Juan – I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve read about ‘growing your follwing’ that are absolutely soulless… All about numbers and statistics and ‘bots’ – almost encouraging you to find ways to ‘catch’ people rather than connect with them. I really hope that social media is moving towards a more authentic future. As you say, the clue should be in the name! It’s disheartnening that these days it feels like a fame game. When did we all get so solopsistic! I’m definitely on board with your ethos. Rx

    1. Rosanna! So glad you enjoyed, I’m going to hope over an check out yours too… Yes in writing this post I am hoping to change some people ways of thinking… some of the methods used nowadays can seem less than authentic. I do hope we move towards a more authentic future too! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Some great tips Jumi! As much as we don’t want Instagram to be all about the numbers and we try to not care about slow growth or fewer likes, it can be hard to ignore. I personally think its how Instagram has put in place a “divide and conquer” mentality by only allowing you to have certain features such as swipe up once you’ve reached 10k. It appears if you made it before the algorithm changes you were one of the lucky ones. It makes it all the more challenging for new accounts, frustration sets in and our love of the grid can easily dwindle to the point you wonder why you’re even bothering. I do love the community side of it and as other social media platforms actually bring more traffic to my blog that Instagram, I’m less concerned about the likes or growth of followers.

    1. Maria, I’m totally with you on that! Yes the whole thing can be quite disheartening! I hear Pinterest is very good for bringing traffic to blogs something I will be sure to start looking into. Yes I’m a long way off from 10k and sometimes I do question myself over it’s worth even trying … but onwards and upwards… we can only do what we can!

  8. What a lovely post and a great approach Jumi. I’m sure your followers will really appreciate your authenticity and honesty. I think Instagram can be quite off putting as it is so highly curated and edited to only show the best of everything and it can make people feel inadequate. It’s no wonder people engage with you if you also show your mistakes and failings.
    I’ve never really felt pressured to grow my account. I’ve always known that photography and styling aren’t my strong points so I’ve never seen Instagram as my strongest platform. I don’t let the numbers game bother me and I really feel for those who have been affected by the algorithm. It must be very deflating!

    1. That is such a great attitude to have and must feel very liberating! Yes Instagram is very edited indeed! There are however talks of more authenticity coming back through in some peoples feeds 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting x

  9. These tips are great, Jumi. As a late adopter of Instagram I feel I’ve been in the slow lane for so long. I post regularly, ask questions, comment on others feeds, and yet I go no-where. It’s sucked the fun right out of it. I like to micro blog in the captions, and I enjoy putting it together but the TIME it sucks from the day is arduous. I do it though because every PR is interested in numbers….. which is such a shame.

    1. I just had a look at your Instagram account and you are doing very well! I feel you, on the whole, sucking the fun out of it thing. Interesting and somewhat disappointing to hear that PR’s are still so interested in numbers!Thanks for commenting!

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