Have you ever found yourself on a rollercoaster of emotion when it comes to Instagram? One day you’re flying high and people are clamoring to engage with your content—and the next? You’re shouting into the void with only crickets to respond. It’s time to ditch the not-so-fun ride and cruise into sustainable growth, engagement, and community building.
In this blog post, we lay out a framework to follow to boost engagement, build sustainable growth, and cultivate a community on Instagram. Scroll on for our tried and true tips!
Why Does Engagement Matter?
Instagram is an ever-changing platform that judges success by your ability to create conversation and interest amongst your online community—a.k.a. how well you keep people on the platform. So IG favors those that receive high engagement as a way to incentivize that creator to keep going, but the platform also reaps the rewards of your community building.
In short, the more engagement—likes, comments, and shares—you get, the more Instagram will push you in front of new eyes.
Engagement is Not What You Think
Creating an online community is not a product of spending 10 hours a day on the platform dropping “cute pic” comments on every post that you see, it’s the product of alignment.
Here’s a simple breakdown:
When your message, your audience, and your content are all aligned, you can easily boost your engagement, your following, and your impact within the platform.
So, Let’s Break It Down Even Further
Find Your Niche
The specialist advantage or “your niche” is the most critical piece to nail on your Instagram page, because if your profile is hard to understand, most won’t click “follow,” which results in lower engagement.
So ask yourself, what topic or area can I provide the most insight or help to someone else in the online space? This doesn’t mean you need to be an award-winning expert or a top person amongst that space, but where can you draw the most insight and knowledge?
Don’t spread yourself thin. We want you to be a “go-to” or a wealth of knowledge to one group of people!
Attract People Who are Invested in You
If you truly want more engagement, you’ll want to have an audience of people that are invested in your content and inspired by your words. That can’t be created when your audience is filled with the wrong people.
So your first task is to revamp your bio to be geared towards your new topic and the people that would be interested in your niche. The goal here is that once you’ve made over your bio, you can hand your phone to a stranger and they’d be able to clearly state what you do and what you talk about!
Create Valuable Content
Think back to the best friend or mentor you ever had. They likely helped you, made you feel good about yourself, made you think deeper and pushed you to be better. This is your job on social media as well!
People are HIGHLY attracted to those that add value to their lives, for free.
So, identify the top 10 problems someone in your niche is having and break it into the following categories:
- Example: 3 tips about (problem 1)
- Example: Ways to avoid (problem 2)
- Example: Struggling with (problem 3)? Here are some apps for….
Once you start creating value-driven content for your aligned audience, engagement will naturally increase without having to spend hours a day engaging.
Be a Champion of Others
Picture this, you get a nice comment, a thoughtful comment on your post from someone, you take a look at their profile and realize they’re speaking about topics you have interest in—you are clicking follow and bingeing their posts.
Conversely, you get a “cute pic” comment from an account that has nothing to do with your topic. You’re not going to follow them, right?
It’s pretty simple really, engagement is most effective when your heart is actually in the game and you’re trying to build an audience of like-minded people, not collecting likes.
Some best practices around active audience building is to comb through related hashtags and competitor accounts for people that will LOVE your content. Reach out, leave them a nice comment, engage with their stories and encourage a future relationship!
Once they are able to pop over to your page and see that you have amazing and helpful content, they’ll click that “follow” button and become a long term fan.
So What Does This All Mean?
It means that engagement is not about working more or working harder to scour the internet, it’s about being intentional and thoughtful with the relationship we are building. Having that narrow focus and an audience full of excited fans will carry your account much further than one full of thousands of dead accounts.
It’s time to niche down, create more value for others and spend your time creating relationships—the true secret to increased engagement!