How and When to Engage on Instagram
I don’t think I need to tell you that engaging on Instagram is an absolute must but I can understand the confusion about the ways that you can engage and when and how often you should be doing it. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for the best way to go about these things but I am going to share with you the tips and tricks that have worked for me.
The easiest way is to engage with the people you are following. I am sure you are following them for good reasons, so show a little love with a like and a comment. Remember, to avoid looking like a bot, make sure your comment is genuine. Also, if you are following an account with a huge following, it might not be the best strategy if they already have over a 100 plus comments. I follow people whose content I really enjoy, people that I would someday love to collab with, and other women entrepreneurs that I sincerely want to support. It’s all about building a community for me.
Let’s find out where your potential audience hangs out. If they use the hashtag #myunicornlife, then that’s where you should be hanging out too. Go to that hashtag and go on a liking spree. I like to go through a hashtag’s feed and scroll through until I find a picture that stands out to me, then I leave a genuine comment.
If a photo inspires you to leave a comment, check out the other people who have also left a comment. It’s totally ok to like their comment, and maybe even start a conversation with them.
Engage with those who engage with you. I try as much as possible to always return the love especially when I notice that someone who isn’t following me likes one of my photos. I usually like a few of their photos and sometimes those accounts turn into followers. If someone leaves you a comment, you should ALWAYS respond. Sometimes I even respond to the emojis with three or more comments because you can boost your own post. Also, when someone leaves me a comment, I go to one of their photos and leave a comment. This has started a lot of online friendships for me.
Got a new follower? Woohoo! A great way to say thanks is to go to their profile and like a few of their pics. If you like what you see, follow back.
Don’t forget about the followers you have! Show them you are grateful that they are sticking around.
Engage with those stories! I love when people interact with my stories because it means I am creating some good content. It’s a good feeling so when someone makes an intriguing story, I like to respond. It can be as simple as saying something made you laugh or that you’re jealous of their vacation view. Keep in mind that if the person is not following you, there is a good chance that they may not see your message. When someone you are not following sends you a message, it goes to a ‘Requests’ folder at the top of your DMs. I try to remember to check mine frequently but when it gets busy, that’s one of the last things I do.
I am constantly on Instagram because it’s my job but I understand how unrealistic that can be for many entrepreneurs. When I have a busy day where I running around for photoshoots or meetings, I try to engage in the morning for 20 min, mid day for about 10, and then at night for another 20. I’m going to be honest with you and tell you that there are some days I don’t want to even think about Instagram so my account gets a little neglected (my clients always get my time). I’m here to tell you to not beat yourself up over the time you are able to spend. Just when you do spend the time, make sure you are making it count. On days like this I mostly engage on my feed and with the followers I do have. They are more likely to give the love back.
Lately, I have been experimenting with engaging 20 minutes before I post. The reason for this is that if people want to engage back, they will more than likely engage with your new post. Instagram decides how much of your audience it is going to show your post to right when you do. Some people say it’s 10 percent and some feel it is much lower. When you get likes or comments right away, Instagram then decides to show another percentage of your audience. So getting those likes and comments right away is important.
I don’t think there is a one size fits all when it comes to engaging so this may take some experimenting on your end. In the end, your goal should be to build an engaged community that really loves and supports your work. Try out some of these tips and continue to do what works for you. If you’re feeling like you are in a rut or still have some questions, I offer a free 15 minute consultation. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your questions in the comments.