Create content that encourages interaction and builds relationships.
Refer to your brands’ buyer personas, market research, and web analytics to define your target audience’s interests, problems and goals.
Your team can later use this audience specific information to tailor your Instagram content for their interest and enjoyment to encourage more engagement from your followers.
Review the engagement rate for your posts over a set period of time and denote which specific posts and formats tend to receive the most positive response from your audience.
Identify what types of content your followers engage with most via Instagram Analytics. Businesses that use a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Buffer can also gain insights from these platforms’ analytics.
Pinpoint the days and times when your followers are most active on the platform by monitoring your Instagram Analytics.
If your business’s Instagram account is too new to draw usable data from your analytics, you can reference industry leaders’ research on the best times to post on Instagram as a starting point. Closely monitor your results over time and adjust your posting schedule to match up with your audience’s behavior and activity on the platform.
Develop a posting schedule for your Instagram content that aligns with peak engagement times for your audience.
Your team’s posting schedule should include a consistent frequency for the number of posts published per day or week, at the most optimal time of day that you pinpointed for your specific audience. The appropriate posting frequency will vary from business to business. For example, one business may have success with posting just once or twice per week, while others yield the best results with posting daily.
Make a plan for how your team will monitor and engage with your audience’s comments and messages.
Delegate this role to specific members of your team to ensure someone is always monitoring the comments and interacting with your audience. Establish guidelines within your team to determine how quickly you should respond to comments, messages, and questions. You can also set rules for how to reply to both positive and negative comments, and when it is appropriate to remove comments, to create consistency across your brand’s responses and reactions.
Create a mix of feed posts that align with your audience’s interests and content preferences, and that provide relevant value to your industry.
Use a content calendar to plan post topics and formats ahead of time. Your team can experiment with image, video, and carousel posts to determine the right mix of these formats for your audience. Consider the 80/20 rule when it comes to your content. Approximately 80% of your content should be intended for entertaining or informing your audience based on their interests, and only 20% should be used to promote products.
Write engaging copy in your post captions that will intrigue your followers, provide more value to the post, or inspire interactions with your content.
Using storytelling elements in longer-form captions or asking your audience relevant questions in the caption are helpful ways to humanize your brand and encourage more likes and comments from your audience. Avoid using too many hashtags in the caption; it’s often best to limit use to only a few hashtags in a post caption. If you are using more than three, you can add a comment under the post to add additional hashtags.
Make Instagram stories to share live updates, conduct polls, interact with your audience, and share other casual content that might be time-sensitive.
These features can create great opportunities to gather direct feedback from your audience and respond to them in real time to strengthen your relationship with your followers.
Encourage user-generated content from your audience by hosting periodic contests and giveaways or using branded hashtags.
Contests and giveaways provide your audience a unique incentive to participate by producing their own content around your brand. Additionally, using these methods can help increase relationships and your followers’ trust and loyalty towards your brand. User-generated content can be showcased and repurposed into various other content avenues for your brand, such as email campaigns, sharing on your other platforms, or featuring them on your website.
Track and test different types of content to make sure you’re continually offering your audience the types of content they enjoy the most.
Review your Instagram Analytics or the insights pulled from a social media management tool, if your team uses one. Compare the engagement rates between various types of content, and look for trends in high engagement on your posts to help decipher which formats and content topics interest your audience the most.
If a certain type of content performs well, you can adjust your content calendar to include more of that type of Instagram content in the future. Types of content that under-perform may either be phased out or repurposed into content that better suits your audience.