Be consistent. Follow a theme. Engage with your audience…
If you’re working on up-leveling your Instagram game we’re sure you’ve heard this advice. And it’s good advice, but there is so much more that you can be doing to make Instagram work for your brand or ecommerce store. As Social Media Management experts we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves and in this blog post, we’re sharing 5 of our favourite hacks with you. Curious? Keep reading.
1. Use DM’s (Direct Messaging) to have one-to-one conversations with consumers
Whilst it might be nice to see the likes roll in against your latest Instagram post and interesting to read the comments, engagement that drives business growth occurs when you have conversations with your followers. Yes that can occur in the comments underneath your post, but increasingly consumers are reaching out to brands privately – via Instagram DM’s. Which means if you’re not sliding into the DM’s to communicate with your audience, you’re not getting the most out of being on Instagram in the first place.
According to SproutSocial 59% of consumers DM a business because they want to share a great experience and 37% send a DM’s to report customer service issues. 19% of consumers DM a business because of a product announcement. Those three statistics alone indicate that there’s a lot to be gained by promoting to your customers that they can contact you via DM.
According to Instagram 150 million people are having conversations with businesses via the platform which makes it clear that consumers find it convenient to message a business this way.But we all know engagement is a two way street, so this isn’t just about you responding to DM’s. You can send them too.
One of the ways you can increase engagement is to be on the lookout for loyal followers who regularly engage with your content in a positive way. When you see someone like this, slide into their DM’s to simply say hello and, ‘thank you’, or go a step further by offering them a discount code or free shipping offer.
Socialised Pro Tip:
Mix up the way you send a DM. Try video, GIFs, voice notes and text based messages and monitor what works best for what type of message.
2. Use Instagram Story features to build brand awareness, sell your products and engage with your followers
- According to Instagram, over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories every day (Instagram, 2021).
- 58% of Instagram users say they become more interested in a brand/product after seeing it in Stories. And 50% of those users say they have visited a website to buy a product/service as a result of seeing it in Stories.
- 45% of Instagram users prefer to use Stories to become aware of new trends and happenings.
Instagram engagement is one of the best ways to build your following on the platform. And you’ve probably heard that you should be using Stories to help you do that, but if you’re unsure whether they really could work for your business, check out these statistics.
Okay, you need to be using Stories, but with every other business owner feeling the same, how do you stand out?
Your first strategy is to get creative with how you use the features available to you within Stories. Being on social media means you’re a content creator – so create – and get creative with the features available to you within the platform. Just posting an image of a product with a funny sticker over the top is not going to cut through the noise. Quizzes, Polls and Questions Boxes are just some of the interactive features you can use within Stories to put brand relevant and engaging content in front of your followers. There’s even a DM sticker which ties in with the first hack we shared with you in this post. And don’t forget that you can tag your products with a shopping bag icon, making it seamless for users to be able to shop right through Instagram Stories. Now that’s engaging!
3. Stay up to date with the latest trends, updates & features
The best way to improve your ranking with the Instagram algorithm is to drive as many interactions (likes, comments, DMs, saves, and shares) as possible. As you build momentum with your existing followers your content will show up in front of new audiences. But this isn’t the only way you can improve your results on Instagram. Staying up to date with trends, new features and algorithm updates will help you to discover new ways of using the platform. And it’s a well known fact that Instagram favours users who embrace new features (such as Instagram Reels).
At Socialised we recommend subscribing to the Later newsletter for reliable and easy to understand information about all things Instagram (Later is an Instagram planning and scheduling tool). But if you find managing your business and staying up to date with Instagram overwhelming we’re here to help with Social Media Management.
4. Utilise Micro & Nano-Influencers
If you think using influencer marketing to help promote your products is only for ecommerce brands with budgets big enough to attract celebrities, it’s time for a re-think. Consumers are more likely to engage with an influencer with a smaller following than a bigger one. Later recently reported that influencers with 0-25k followers had higher engagement rates regardless of their genre, target audience or topics and that you could potentially reach more people through 20 Instagram posts with a micro-influencer, than you could by investing in 1 Instagram post with a large influencer.
And in the same report Later said that nano-influencers (those with fewer than 1,000 followers) usually enjoy an engagement rate of 7.2% on Instagram compared with 3% for accounts with 100-250k followers. Nano influencers can be a valuable investment for a business when they’re trying to reach a hyper local market – so a geographic niche that the influencer is located in.
Most ecommerce brands can take advantage of the power of influencer marketing but this is a more advanced Instagram ‘hack’. If you would like some help finding an influencer for your brand, contact us.
5. Extend the life of your Instagram posts – embed them on your website
When you’re investing time and resources into creating great content for Instagram, it makes sense to get the most out of it. One of the ways you can do this is by embedding your posts on your website.
When visitors come to your website via a Google search for example, they will be able to click on your posts to be taken to your Instagram account, which should lead to more followers for you to engage with on Instagram.
Because you choose the posts you share, you can highlight the content that is going to be the most effective for your business. This hack is a great way for your most strategic or highest performing posts to keep driving engagement long after you’ve posted them.
- Open Instagram on your desktop and navigate to the first post you want to embed.
- Tap the ellipsis button in the top right corner and select embed.
- Select ‘Include the caption’ to keep the caption, or exclude by deselecting the ‘Include caption’ checkbox.
- Select ‘Copy Embed Code’
- Create a blog post on WordPress and select the ‘Text’ option to edit the HTML
- Paste the embed code.
- Repeat for the next post you would like to include.