Whether you like it or not, Instagram is the top app on most people’s phones today. Due to its popularity, businesses are doing their best to capitalize on this attention. But, fail to admit their struggle to grasp engagement on an application where its algorithm is based on it.
In this article, i’ll be going into 4 strategies that many people seem to overlook; or write off for a variety of reasons. When it comes to social platforms, it’s best to test different strategies to see how they work for your business. Just because one strategy didn’t work for you, doesn’t mean it won’t work for a different brand, service or person. And remember; stay open-minded, have fun and experiment away.
Instagram = Providing Value
When Instagram first came out as a photo-sharing platform, you could easily grow a following. If you had a cute dog, abs, or if you were headed to tropical destinations every other week. Today, it’s a bit more competitive to grow an account, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t. It just means that you need to share something that others want to share with their friends.
And the best way to do that is to ask yourself if your post brings value to your audience. Does it bring enough value that followers tag and share your post with one or more of their friends?
Most people think that uploading a pretty photo, and a clever caption is enough. To some, that is enough! If you’re only trying to keep a record of what you’re doing at that moment; keeping a personal photo album of what matters to you is the name of the game for most.
But if you’re an event or an agency, you need to rethink your Instagram strategy. Include niche-focused and informative posts, that your audience finds important or helpful to them. You’ve probably seen examples of this on your ‘Explore’ page. For me, I follow and like a good amount of fitness and health accounts. Due to my personal engagement, my explore page is full of nutrition infographics, informational workout, and medical like images.
The point I’m trying to make is that producing informational pieces is the competitive advantage most people are turning to. And it makes sense because we have to remember that Instagram is all about engagement. So, if you’re not providing value then you might need to consider ways to integrate that into your current strategy.
Staying active by not going fancy
A couple of years ago, Instagram added the Story feature. Since then, they’ve added IGTV and Live functionality. We have to remember that Instagram’s success is only determined by the time spent on the platform. So it makes sense that Instagram is coming out with features that will keep you on the platform longer. It also makes sense that Instagram’s algorithm will promote profiles that users love to watch and engage with.
So what does this mean for you? Utilizing all these features and being active, which we all know is easier said than done!
Most people care so much about what they post, that they usually don’t post at all. Or they usually take so much time to craft their post; it might be days until they post something which hurts your chances with the algorithm working in your favor.
I’m not personally advocating for posting subpar content. But, what I am recommending is being active on IG stories, IGTV, and Live. Posting behind-the-scenes content, sharing content you find valuable, and even sharing some of your audience’s content.
The reason for this is simple. Your audience wants to know what you’re up to and what you care about! Otherwise, they would not be following you in the first place. A simple ‘Day in the Life’ sort of sequence will give your audience a glimpse into you, your event. And the beautiful thing is that you don’t need a DSLR camera to make this strategy happen. Most phones today are more than enough to share what’s happening at the moment. So please, let go of the idea that lack of production quality is what’s holding you back.
Instagram Takeovers via Account Swaps
This strategy is nothing new. But just because you haven’t seen it happen in a while doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective. The purpose of an Instagram account swap is to have two users interact with a whole new audience via IG story; with the aim of possibly gaining some new followers.
For this strategy to be effective, you need an Instagram swap with another account in the same niche. Also, it has to have a similar number of followers like yours. The number of followers matters to make sure that the swap gives both users an equal amount of value.
There are situations where swap can happen with different following numbers, but usually, a value kickback is exchanged.
If you are looking to do an Instagram takeover with another account with a larger amount of followers and paying to do so; please be aware of accounts that don’t have an active and engaged following.
One of the many pitfalls Instagrammers fall in with this strategy is not doing their due diligence to make sure the account their about to work with has an engaged audience. You clearly don’t want to be taking over an account’s IG story that gets a small number of views when it says they have 20x more followers.
Multiple Mention Campaign
If you have a product, course or have a service that needs promoting then this strategy could be effective, if done right. What you’ll need to do is first vet out a group of accounts in your target niche, check their engagement to follower ratio and then offer something to them that will incentivize them to promote your product on their Instagram when the campaign starts.
The reason you want a group of accounts for this promotion is that this campaign will run all at once. This group of accounts will share via IG story, IG post, or both at the same time and the effect of this is like throwing a bunch of rocks into a lake. When a good amount of accounts mention your name, Instagram will take notice that your account is getting lots of exposure thus giving you a possible chance to go viral. To further influence the chances of virality, make sure the post that’s being shared is high quality, interesting and calls for engagement.
There are plenty of ways to make this effective. One of which is running a giveaway in tandem with what you’re promoting. For example, let’s say that you wanted leads to your online service. To further incentive this offer for both the audience and the accounts you’re leveraging for this promotion, you may tie a chance to win a pair of headphones that will be raffled a week after the promotion ends.
And that’s it!
I hope you found this article helpful. If you know anyone in the Instagram space who needs some new perspective on their strategy, feel free to share.
Are there any other Instagram strategies working for you? I’d love to hear more about what you’re doing.