How to Better Engage People on Instagram in 2020
That’s the number of people using Instagram monthly in 2020. 200 million of those Instagram users visit at least one business profile each day. When people go to your retail business profile, what they see should increase the chances that they’ll stay and view and interact with your Instagram content.
Not sure how engaging your content is at the moment? Here’s a simple formula for calculating your engagement rate for content you post on Instagram.
(comments per post + likes per post)/(total number of Instagram followers) × 100
To get the number of comments per post, you’ll calculate the average number of comments the Instagram account has over a while. That can be anywhere from six to twenty days. Add that to the average number of likes per post in the same period, and divide it by the total number of your Instagram followers.
To get the rate, multiply the quotient by 100. But if you’re anything like many people, you don’t like extra math. An easier way to get your engagement rate is by using a tool called Phlanx.
Using this tool, you’ll be shown metrics like the number of current Instagram followers, average likes and comments per post, and the overall engagement rate of the Instagram account. If you’re planning to work with an Instagram influencer to promote your brand, it’s a good idea to check these numbers as they will want to hear them.
But working with influencers is something that many retailers on Instagram are not quite ready for right away. Which is OK, as there are other ways you engage and delight your followers with Instagram content right away.
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram introduced stories in August 2016, and the live stories feature was added later in November 2016. Over three years on, more than 500 million people use Instagram stories daily. But, statistics from stories are not included in the engagement rate calculator, so why bother anyway?
First, as the numbers demonstrate, people love Instagram stories. They are quick and easy to consume, especially as once clicked they ‘run’ automatically without the need for users to do anything else other than consume the content.
When you create Instagram stories, your followers and even visitors to your profile can view and interact with these stories.
Apart from polls, you can use Instagram stories to direct attention to your site or store, and even other Instagram posts. You’re only limited by your imagination as to the type of content you create for your Instagram stories and there are some great examples of small retailers doing great things to be found all over Instagram.
If you feel it’s too much work to strategize and create content only to have it disappear after 24 hours, there’s a feature you might be interested in – story highlights. Anyone who visits your profile can see them automatically. This is what it looks like in practice.
You can add stories to your story highlights in just three steps. According to Instagram itself:
- Go to your profile and tap Story Highlights below your username and bio.
- Tap to select the story or stories you want to add to highlights, then tap Next.
- Choose a cover photo and enter a story name for your highlight, then tap Add (iPhone) or Done (Android).
62% of Instagram users say they become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in stories. So using the Instagram stories feature to enhance your engagement with followers and visitors to your profile makes a lot of sense for any retailer.
This tip is an oldie but goodie. Instagram accounts that hold contests grow 70 percent faster than accounts that do not hold contests.
Here are some steps to creating successful giveaways on Instagram:
- Determine the purpose of the giveaway.
- Decide what you’ll giveaway and how long your giveaway will run.
- Set metrics you’ll use for measuring the success or failure of the giveaway.
- Design or create photos and videos you’ll use for your giveaway.
- Create the giveaway post with its unique hashtag.
- Amplify the reach of your post by using ads, posting on contest sites, or tagging people in your niche who may be interested.
- Keep promoting the giveaway.
- Engage with the giveaway entrants.
- Select your winner.
- Give the prize.
One tip you should note from the steps above is choosing the right giveaway prize. Choose prizes that are directly related to the products and services you’re offering.
Showcase Real Life Use of Your Products
In this age of “what I ordered versus what I got” memes, this could be the single most valuable tip for growing your engagement on Instagram. This type of Instagram content will also increase your brand loyalty because people will see that what they get from you is what you advertise, something that is a special concern for those who shop online.
Clothing site Fashion Nova does this exceptionally well. Mixed in with the professional models – and Kardashians – you’ll see lots of posts featuring their customers wearing and/or using their products.
Here’s what it looks like in practice.
This can be applied to almost anything. Sell home decor products? Showcase them being used and displayed in a real home. Tying the concept in with contests, ask customers to post their own images with prizes going to the most engaging. Here’s an example from Tupperware:
User generated content is always a great thing to have, and this is an excellent way to gain it and offer the visual ‘proof’ your customers are looking for when it comes to comparing the products you sell in ‘real life’ versus how they are showcased in your product listings.