7 Tips for Building an Engaged Instagram Community

March 6, 2017

In today’s visually focused world, Instagram is the perfect platform for businesses to showcase their brands, express their voice, and connect with consumers.

 

However, with over 5 million brands on Instagram vying for users’ attention, standing out can be a challenge.

 

Here are 7 helpful tips to grow your Instagram followers and boost engagement:

 

Optimize Your Profile

Your profile is usually the first thing users see when looking at your Instagram page, so make sure to tell potential followers who you are and give them a reason to follow and engage with you.

 

Include an easily identifiable username (preferably your brand name), a high quality, recognizable profile photo, and a URL link leading to a relevant landing page or campaign. Write a compelling profile description and include keywords to help you get discovered.

 

Check out the Cisco profile for some inspiration. They use their brand logo, have an engaging description, and include a link that leads users right to their news site.

 

Cisco’s Instagram Profile

 

 

Use a Theme

Instagram is all about visuals and with an average of 95 million photos and videos posted per day, yours really need to pop. Consistently sticking to a specific visual theme is an effective way to build your brand identity and stand out in a crowded Instagram feed.

 

You can use your brand colors, or have all your images follow a specific pattern.

 

L'oreal Paris does this brilliantly. They post visually engaging photos that all play on their brand colors of black, white, and pink. This helps their content stand out and attract their audience.

 

 The L'oreal Paris Instagram Page

 

 

Write Appealing Captions

Your beautiful and perfectly edited photo isn't complete until you have an appealing caption.

 

A caption adds depth to your visual. It's where you explain what the photo is about, tell your followers to take action, or ask thought-provoking questions that boost engagement.

 

Instagram prohibits the use of clickable links within captions so make sure to mention your bio link to drive traffic to your site or landing page.


Check out this great example from Australian activewear company Lorna Jane. The caption explains the picture, asks an inspirational question, and encourages the audience to comment.

 

Lorna Jane’s Great Caption

 

Use Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are the best way to build momentum and increase exposure.

 

Use popular, relevant hashtags and keep them at around 11-15 per post so you don’t come off as spammy. You can also create your own hashtags to build your brand on the platform and have a more memorable presence.

 

Use hashtag discovery tools like Hashtagify to identify hashtags relevant to your topic or niche.


Go Live

Live streaming is a powerful way to communicate with your audience in real-time, convey authenticity, and build trusting relationships with your customers and prospects. And because Instagram Live streams disappear after they’re finished, viewers feel a sense of urgency to not miss out.

 

Humanize your business by giving an exclusive behind the scenes look, host an interactive Q&A, or demonstrate how your product or service works.

 

Read this article from Social Media Examiner to help you get started with Instagram Live!

 

Be Interactive

Instagram is also about making connections, having conversations and being part of a community.

 

Show your followers and other thought leaders appreciation by responding to their comments, reply when they @mention you, follow them and engage with their posts.

 

Although it’s a huge company, Lenovo builds personal relationships by replying to comments and participating in conversations.

 

Lenovo Interacting with Instagram Followers

 

 

Promote Your Page on Other Networks

Cross-promotion is a great way to build up your follower count and encourage new people to discover your content. Publish your Instagram posts directly to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr by using the ‘Share’ option on the post menu.

 

Take a look at how Adobe promotes its Instagram account on Facebook by giving their Instagram feed its own tab on their Facebook Page, complete with a "View on Instagram" button.

 

Adobe Promoting Their Instagram Page on Facebook

 

Conclusion

Building an engaged following on Instagram won't happen overnight, but consistency and creativity will attract quality followers and step up your engagement.

 

Have any other Instagram engagement tips? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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