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.
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.
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!