Two of the main buzzwords in social media right now are algorithm and engagement; and in many ways they go hand in hand. Good engagement rates help boost your algorithmic success, and the more success you have, the more engagement you get.
Great! But how exactly do you get that needed engagement?
There are a couple of ways to increase your social media engagement rates. First off, think about what inspires you to engage with other accounts. When you’re on Instagram, are you just passively scrolling through your feed, or do you stop, leave comments and share posts?
Once you realise what’s inspiring you to engage, you can apply the same principles to your own social strategy.
Here are some surefire ways to engage with your followers on social media and build a loyal audience.
The most basic way to get your followers engaged and responsive is by asking them leading questions. Captioning your photos with “how are y’all doing today?” probably won’t do much; you’re better off asking things that will encourage them to respond.
Even something simple like “what’s your coffee order?” or “what’s your favourite emoji?” can be great at bringing in a flood of comments. Just be sure to make it relevant to whatever you’ve posted, so it doesn’t look like an obvious grab for engagement.
Make use of Story features
When Instagram added poll and quiz features to Stories, they inadvertently helped brands and influencers boost their engagement overnight. These are definitely tools you should be utilising at least weekly. The more that your audience engages with polls and quizzes on your story, the more the algorithm favours your content in their feed.
One really cool thing that some influencers have been doing is letting their followers dictate their day through Insta polls. They’ll post questions like “should I have toast or cereal for breakfast?” and “should I catch the bus or the train?” giving their audience a chance to see a day in their life, while also having a hand in their actions.
Polls are also a great way to get an insight into your audience’s tastes and preferences. Some influencers like to use polls to determine what kind of content their followers most enjoy seeing. Pretty valuable intel if you ask us!
Q&A box challenges
Another excellent Instagram Story feature is the Q&A box. You can use it for a simple ‘ask me anything’ session, or to get feedback on a certain issue.
Influencers are getting creative with their Q&A box feature, with multiple ‘challenges’ kicking off on Instagram in the last few months.
A popular way this feature is being used is by asking your follower to submit a date, and then sharing a photo from their camera reel from that day; or conducting a fill-in-the-blank quiz to see how well your followers know you.
Save and highlight your Stories
We all know that Stories disappear after 24 hours, which is why you should be making use of the highlights tool to save some of your best ones for future followers.
Categorise them by themes or categories to help people find the exact content they’re interested in.
Live videos for real-time engagement
Live videos can seem daunting, but they’re such a great way to create a connection with your followers, IRL. Let them know in advance what time you’ll be going live to ensure you’ve got as many eyes on you as possible.
It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, a live Q&A session is enough to get your followers engaged and asking questions. You can also use live video to share important announcements, your morning routine, do a mukbang, or live-stream special events.
Boost your reach by doing a joint Live video with another influencer and leveraging each other's audiences.
Replying to comments
Remember that engagement has to go both ways: if you want people to interact with you, you’ve got to give them something back as well. People love it when influencers actually take the time to read and reply to comments.
Even just a simple emoji or ‘thanks’ can go a long way. Many big influencers say that if their followers see them replying to other users, they’re more likely to leave a comment as well.
Similarly, make sure you spend time engaging with other accounts that you follow. Leaving friendly comments or questions is a great way to get on the radar of other influencers and brands, which could lead to future collabs.
Get creative with Instagram Reels
If the success of Stories is anything to go by, then Reels is about to become the next big thing. Currently, Reels are favoured by the algorithm, so now is the time to jump head first into video content.
Whether you’re making new content, or just repurposing old videos and jumping on existing trends, Reels should be a key part of your social strategy.
Conducting small-scale competitions and giveaways on your social media is an excellent way to generate engagement.
You’ve probably seen many brands and influencers call for people to enter a giveaway by tagging a friend in the comments. This means you’re not only getting a comment, but also expanding your potential reach. It’s a good idea to offer an extra entry to people who share your post to their stories as well.
Perhaps you can get in touch with a brand that will donate some goodies you can use for your giveaway.
Work with brands
Speaking of brands, creating for brands you actually use and love is a foolproof way to get noticed for your creativity, boost your followers and up your engagement.
Check out TRIBE to start getting paid to create content for your fave brands today.