Over the past 4 weeks, I've turned my focus more heavily to Instagram; I've shared multiple times on the blog about why I love it so much, and as much as Instagram keep shifting the goalposts, we all just adapt at the end of the day and get on with it (checked out the latest carousel feature? Check out my post here!).
I reached out to the communities I'm involved in to ask what makes content on Instagram easy to engage with, because why else are we posting images to the platform (on a public profile) if it isn't because we want people to appreciate our photographic / artistic efforts and click like, and even take the time to leave a comment?!
How Many Times Should You Post Per Day?
Once per day or multiples times per day?! ...I think the answer to this question comes down to a number of factors which I'm sure include, but are not limited to, how much time you have in a day to commit to IG and also the quality of your photos.
The argument for posting multiple times per day is that your images will show up more often in your followers feed and therefore you are more likely to get engagement. However, bear in mind that if you post multiple images of the same sort of thing, that makes it harder for people to engage - there are only so many comments you can write about (basically) the same picture, right?!
If you are posting multiple times a day, you should ensure that those images are of the best quality that you can create. If quality becomes an issue, post less! Posting once a day, consistently, is better than posting images where we can't even work out what we're looking at! Poor content will not encourage others to engage; if you're unsure about your content, maybe ask a friend / colleague / someone for some feedback on some of your images and / or follow others whose images you adore to seek inspiration! Because if you're trying to build your online presence then you really *should* be finding and sourcing/taking pictures that are good quality to contribute to your feed.
Instagram Tip from @Lolography: using a camera or phone remember to clean your lens to improve focus and remove 'mist' #keepitsimpElle— Elle @keepitsimpElle (@X_eLle_S) February 27, 2017
My final point to consider is time to post - keep in mind that people will be working during the week or out and about on the weekend so typically, early mornings, lunch breaks and evenings will always yield greater engagement as people are more likely to be online. I've noticed that evenings are also the highest points of engagement on weekends too especially Sunday when it seems everyone's winding down and getting ready for the week ahead!
So, personally my strategy is to post less often (once per day) but to post quality images which is far better than posting content I'm not completely happy with multiple times a day.
How many times per day do you post?! ...what is a quality image to you?!
What Should I Caption My Image With?
This one is a bit of a "different strokes for different folks" conversation as it kinda comes down to what you like to write and also what any of your particular followers like to read. But I think the important point is that tour photo does need a caption.
I've seen plenty of images on IG with no caption and just a few hashtags. And if the picture doesn't speak a thousand words then we kinda need a little back story to get the gist! The caption helps to bring the photo to life and adds context so consider sharing what the picture is of and why you're posting it especially if it may be obvious to no one but yourself.
When it comes to captions, one strategy I use is to end with an open question; I find this useful myself when engaging with others as it allows me as a reader to know what the person posted is after and I can get straight to the point.
Should You Only Engage With Those Who Share A Similar Interest?
This question was raised in conversation amongst blogging buddies and I guess it's again down to personal preference. Personally, I like following a mix of accounts as my interests are not just in fitness, and I think maybe just because someone is into make up doesnt mean they don't want some fitness inspiration. And going back to the previous topic, an easily understandable caption (no jargon) along with posting a question allows those who may not be 100% into what you're into still feel able to engage.
Does Being 'Salesy' Just Apply To Brands?
IMO, this applies to bloggers just as much as brands. Because remember, we technically are a brand along with the fact we're all trying to earn the products we've probably been gifted, are selling our own products, or are keen to make a few pennies through affiliate programmes. And that's all before you promote your actual blog and any new content you have created!
Let's start with the pedalling of blog posts. From what I've heard, IG is probably one of the hardest platforms to lure people away from. It starts with the fact that there is only one clickable link per profile which creates a lot of posts saying "click the link in my bio" etc. How often do you click the link in someone's bio?! I very rarely read the blog posts linked to an image unless it's something I just need to read right now!
IG does have that fab new feature where you can save someone's image which is super handy to find it later - I use this mostly for images where I'm inspired by the styling! But just like Facebook, I don't check that collection much!
If you have converted your account to a business account you will be able to see how many people actually do click your link - or via google analytics you will see how much of your traffic comes from Instagram and make a decision as to whether it is currently working for you the way you want it to!
The main consideration with selling on Instagram I think is to mix it up. Don't make every image about what you're selling / reviewing. And don't make the caption closed because if it just says "here's my new product, visit my shop" ...if we don't follow you to buy (yet!) what are we to engage with?!
What are your thoughts?! ...any IG bug bears you have?! What inspires you to engage with content on IG?!