4 Ways to Boost Instagram Engagement

If you choose to use Instagram as a marketing tool, there’s one thing you need to remember; the platform is famous for social engagement.

The success of your Instagram presence depends on it and yet there’s more to it than likes, comments and direct messaging. You need to consider how your profile looks to your audience and what brand message you are communicating.

Using eye-catching and high quality images is just the first step. An aspect that is often overlooked is using relevant captions and hashtags to accompany them.

After Instagram announced their latest algorithm, how can you as a brand boost your level of engagement?

The following four tips will hopefully point you in the right direction;

  1. Encourage Curiosity – Ask a question

Captions are used as a resource to give your post some background. They also provide a chance for you to engage your audience into a conversation. If done well, the captions you use will boost your post engagement.

A recent study by Facebook found that Instagram posts that pose questions receive substantially greater engagement rates than those who solely concentrate on making statements.

You need to encourage your audience to interact with your posts, don’t just post pretty pictures. It’s not breaking news, but it’s something many companies forget, so make sure you take advantage and capitalise on the benefits.

     2.    Link Posts To Your Website

Don’t overload your posts with links, hashtags, and buzzwords. Your followers will see right through it. Instagram was created to be an interactive and social experience so confusing your audience with too many options will have the reverse effect.

Rather than pushing your followers towards your website for sales purposes, use a “call to action” within your posts every so often. Ask them to follow a link to a blog post or direct them to your Facebook page to enter a competition. This will invite your followers to find out more about your brand and could result in a new customer for you.

      3.    Cross-Platform Sharing – Take Advantage!

If you’re going to spend all this time and effort on producing informative, creative posts, you’re going to want to utilise the results.

Capturing great photos, editing them and then writing a relevant caption is time consuming. Aim to gain the biggest return on investment you can by making sure your posts lead to the right kind of engagement for your business. If you and your brand are new to the social media scene, this is the mentality you should adopt.

Instagram allows it’s users to cross-promote their posts onto different social media platforms. You can easily share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Remember Twitter will benefit from more effective hashtags and Pinterest prefers keywords.

      4.    Be the Storyteller

We all know the saying “a picture paints a thousand words”, and it’s true. When it comes to Instagram, there is also something to be gained through the use of good quality captions.

Instagram is famous as a visual social channel, however a few words can only add to the connection a follower is able to make with you. Captions allow you to tell a story and clarify the purpose of your post.

Instagram has a 2,200 character limit on a post. This means providing some context to each of your posts is easy and doable. It will enable you to make a connection with your followers. Whether describing a funny work-related experience, allowing behind-the-scenes access or letting customers brag about your brand, this extra insight will only strengthen the appeal of your company.


Instagram has an incredible 400 millions, and there’s a good reason. It’s a great social medium for all kinds of people and business’. Without a doubt, the type of customer your brand is searching for is in there somewhere. Applying the strategies of the above four will empower you to appeal to your target audience. Good luck and enjoy!

Instagram – Why is it so popular with 13-24 year olds?

Why is Instagram so popular amongst 13 to 24 year olds?

Millenials and Gen-Z live and breath the photo-loving platform. Instagram, for many,  is the first thing they see when they wake up, the last thing they check at night and backs up many conversations throughout the day.

Is it the focus on visual content? Or is it because it enables them to delve into new passions, trends, topical issues and people of interest within seconds?

It appears the current social media trends visually express ideas in a “snackable manner”, #foodporn? This perfectly describes what it is we want from our virtual hobbies. Not only do we feel we lack the time to read through the vast majority of media thrown at us in today’s society but the imagery allows us to be globally fluent.

We take inspiration, knowledge and insight from all over the World and visual content allows anyone to express themselves in any language. We can communicate digitally to all corners of the globe, giving a snapshot of what it is we are advertising or promoting. Whether it’s product based or mind-set memoirs.

Facebook wanted to explore the role of visual language throughout the lives of 13 – 24 year olds. They studied this demographic in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US, trying to get to grips with what it means to grow up in a world of constant connectivity. So what did it prove?

Inspiring the journey.

Of all the social media platforms, Instagram allows it’s audience to dream. We’re exposed to idyllic travelling shots, “squad goals”, luscious lifestyles and fitness model physiques. All somewhat inspiring us to thrive for more. Whether it’s a motivation to pursue a dream job, stick to an exercise regime or purely materialistic, seeing such images on a daily basis fills the mind with “what ifs” and a sense of “well if they can do it so can I!”

Interestingly, Instagram may not only be a wish list forum but a tool for teenagers and young adults to define themselves. 53% of the study claimed it helped them discover their passions, personal interests, role models and the new communities to feel a part of. The study also found that 13 – 24 year olds were the age group most active, participating in all of these.

Snapshot diaries.

Instagram is often used as a tool to document our lives. Diaries and photo albums are no longer as common as they once were, instead, we chose to keep a record of what we get up to through posting photos of special moments, new experiences and quotes that reflect are current state of mind.

According to Facebook, 63% of Instagram users agree and are an avid fan. If we compare the amount of photo albums a family household contains to the 72% of Instagram users who post monthly, the frequency and amount of moments published is substantial in today’s society. A difference we’ll all be glad of in years to come I’m sure. Not only are we savouring more special moments, but we are digitally enhancing the finished product to be more creative, generally adding filters to make ourselves look as good as humanly possible.

Filtering isn’t limited to personal appearance. Gen Z are more focused and proud of what they do compared to what they have. They’re eager to fill their life memoirs with experiences and memories rather than cars and handbags. This is where Instagram flourishes. Users are keen to show their peers the wonderful day they’ve just had on a beautiful beach, rooftop bar or holiday resort. Instagram can enhance this experience.

One finding from the study showed that 56% of users believed the platform made them feel more connected to the people they know, giving 52% a sense of community. Not only does this help along the path of self-discovery, it’s also true that receiving a “like” or a new “follower” leaves you feeling supported, that what you published was worthwhile, true or interesting.

When do teens and young adults use Instragram?

Remember what we said about Instagram being the first and last thing we see of the day? Well it appears we were spot on! 39% of 13 – 24 year olds have a flick through right before they go to sleep and 33% wake up and immediately check their feed, #guilty.

Slightly obsessive or extremely passionate? Deem it as you will. We’re leaning more toward the FOMO line of thought (Fear Of Missing Out).

Is there future hope for “Brand-Stagram”?

It seems so! 68% of 13 – 24 year olds say they interact with brands regularly, either by scrolling through photos, liking posts, following new profiles or clicking a link after spotting a product they like the look of. As an audience they are more open-minded when it comes to being introduced to new companies and brands. As long as the content is authentic, they are curious to discover new trends and sites. They can also be quite impulsive!

As a generation, we are used to good quality digitally. Facebook recommends brands try to engage it’s audience through offering an organic experience that puts a heavy emphasis on this. They need to stand out in the design department.

A brand that is current and becoming well known can further utilise Instagram by strategically posting content. The younger audiences often identify Instagram with real-time updates, further information and entertainment. Brands can benefit from this knowledge by allowing a sense of exclusivity through it’s online activity. Giving snippets of behind-the-scenes action, exclusive looks, upcoming events and building stories of the company through bite-sized chapters, all enhance the users felt sense of brand community. If a customer not only likes the product or service, but they know more, feel involved and welcome, they are more likely to chose that brand over another faceless company.


 

So there you have it, 13 – 24 year olds can gain a lot more than pretty pictures if they so wish. Lets not limit this to one demographic though, I think we could all benefit from some strategic Instagramming. Albeit with our self-esteem, new past-times, fresh business ventures or supporting one another.

It must be said, they’re a clever bunch over at Instagram HQ.

Social Media Top-Tips for New Businesses

Are you a new business owner or have you recently started a ‘side hustle’ alongside your 9-5?

If so, you need to understand the relevance of social media as a way to connect with your customers.

When people are on the hunt for a new product or service, the search usually starts online. More and more companies are creating social media portfolios within their marketing strategies. (Not all of which are effective!)

Social media platforms provide us with an insight we never had before and as a new business, you need to ensure you’re going to tick all of the boxes from the word go. Not only is it a way to find out more about a brand, but we can also to see what current customers have to say about a company or service.

If you want to ensure you hit the ground running, take some inspiration from these top tips:

  1. Who are you?

You are the number one person to effectively communicate what your brand represents. What are you looking to achieve, what is your vision, how do you want to be perceived? You know your product and company better than anyone and therefore your social media needs to speak as if it were coming from you directly. Whether you will be physically posting online or you’re fortunate to have a team to do that, it’s best practise to start with a plan. Decide which topics you want to discuss, the language you want to use, which platforms are suitable for your brand and who you want to interact with. This will help establish if you’re on the right path, and get creative!

  1. Be current

The online reputations that are the most successful are the ones that can provide up-to-date, relevant information. Whether it’s breaking news, hot trends or celebrity disasters, consumers stick with the sites that keep them informed first. In order for this to happen you need to be aware of what and when you’re posting. If you’re launching a new product, get your audience involved with the process. Perhaps behind the scenes action or “sneak peeks” in the run-up to the launch will allow a sense of exclusivity and enforce your business know-how.

Now, social media is not just a tool for gossip. Don’t feel inclined to post about celebs or a real world crisis; there are plenty of sites that do that. If your company represents something else, stick to it! Don’t confuse your brand identity.

  1. Understand YOUR audience

Emphasis on the “YOUR” here. Who is it that you want to engage? This is a good starting place. You should also look at what time of the day they are online, what do they do for a living and what their interests are. These snippets of information will allow you to target your content effectively to catch the interest of the right people. There’s no point creating fabulous content to then throw it at the wrong people at the wrong time.

  1. Assumption is the Mother of all Muck-Ups

Even though your audience seems virtual, it does not mean they are all robots. They are people and people are unpredictable. Treat your audience as a subject, rather than an object. Your social media output is a dialogue. It’s fluid and conversational between you and that individual. In order to continue engaging your audience, you need to acknowledge how your audience is changing. To do this, you should communicate with your social media team frequently; they are the people who can help you understand what’s working and what isn’t, they live and breathe social media so they will also have a good grasp on which directions you should be moving in and where the market is heading. Just because you think or want your brand to be perceived a certain way, that does not mean it is being. You need to keep a record of what content is creating interaction and what is being ignored.

  1. Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Although it may seem an unnecessary expense to outsource your social media advice or activity, it isn’t. As already mentioned, fresh customers are generally coming from internet searches and the first impression they will have of your company is extremely important. Investing in someone who is an expert will not only ensure you have frequent and relevant content, it will also enable you to create realistic and measurable goals for your brand. Having a well thought through strategy puts you in a great place to execute your online, and consequent business, goals.

  1. Don’t assume having an online presence automatically means you are a Social Media Guru

Just because you have a personal profile doesn’t mean you now know the nitty gritty of Facebook ads, Twitter promoted-posts and Instagram sponsored ads. Even if you posted a successful ad a year ago, these platforms are continually evolving and adjusting to what society now deems necessary. Having an expert on hand will save you a lot of stress and anxiety about content being out of date or irrelevant. Their job surrounds being current and knowing what’s going on online, leaving you the freedom to focus on what you love the most, your company.

  1. Adopt a ‘Test and Learn’ methodology

In the beginning of your online journey, it’s wise to get together with your social media team to test the waters with many concepts and ideas. Put out a variety of notions and monitor what works and what doesn’t. By doing this you can not only eliminate the ineffective methods, but you can build upon the successful ones, creating a strong  foundation for future creativity. Google Analytics is a fantastic and easy way to collate your online interactions, and it’s free! Your social media consultant will be able to walk you through the data, don’t worry.

The important thing to comprehend when it comes to building an online presence is that it takes time. You can’t buy your way to a genuine, profitable following, it takes a lot of effort and patience to gain support and awareness, but once you have it, it’s invaluable.

  1. Don’t get comfortable!

In the beginning you may be excited and pro-active when coming up with fresh ideas. Posting regular content and promptly responding to interactions. Don’t let this slip! If you don’t have the time, or the passion to focus that energy online, then definitely outsource it. The Inter-Web World moves fast. A lot faster than the real world. Building a great website or twitter account to only neglect it when you hit your follower goals will only mean you have to start all over again a few months down the line. The goal should always be to engage new customers. Your business can only grow so much with a static customer base.


 

In short, keep your strategy fluid, enabling your brand to move with the times. The goal is to develop new relationships and engage more communities, obtaining respect, interest and future custom.

Social media can potentially make or break your company. By taking your online activity seriously you are on the right path. Remember first impressions count!