Instagram is one of the best apps to use if you want to get your blog and personal brand noticed. We’ve talked about strategies to follow in a previous blog post on growing your following. One of the most important factors that I discussed in that post is engagement.
You can have all of the followers in the world, however, if you don’t have an engaged audience that can turn into paying customers in the future, then what’s the purpose? Creating a community that regularly supports your content will only benefit your brand in the long run. Even though the process may seem slow, I promise it’s worth it.
In this post, I want to discuss 7 ways you can create an engaged audience on Instagram. I’ve been following these tips and have seen great results over time. Of course, you can’t expect drastic changes overnight—you have to put in the work consistently.
Follow me on Instagram: @naturally_madisen
Create an Engaged Audience on Instagram:
1. Know Your Target Audience
Before you start creating content, you should have your niche in mind. Your niche is the main topic your platforms focus on. It’s good to have a niche because your content can’t be for everyone. Depending on the topics you decide to focus on, this will lead you to your target audience.
One way to create an engaged audience on Instagram is by knowing exactly who your content is for. There’s no point in putting out content that isn’t valuable and doesn’t receive engagement. You’ll know you’re on the right track when your audience consistently shows up for you!
You want to study your followers to understand what their likes/dislikes are, what questions they need to be answered, and what resonates with them the most. Doing this will help you create content that’ll increase your engagement and following over time.
Related Post: Top Lessons I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Blogger
2. Write Valuable Captions
Yeah, you can always post a bunch of pretty selfies and flat-lays, but what you write underneath that post is also important! Another way to create an engaged audience on Instagram is to make sure you write valuable captions that’ll teach others something or tell a story.
Writing captions can be hard at times, which is why I make them a few days in advance before I plan on posting. This gives me time to think of ideas I can put in the caption to catch my audience’s attention. When your caption is engaging, this will inspire comments from others and allow you to stand out.
What story can you tell that relates to your content? What is featured in the picture/video that’ll interest someone else? Are there any recommendations or tips you can provide for your audience? Do you have an encouraging message to share?
No matter what, you always want to ensure you provide your audience with something they can take away from your content.
3. Ask Them Questions
In addition to writing valuable captions, it’s also good to ask your audience questions! I ask a question in the first line of my captions (before someone hits the more button). Since that’ll be the first thing they see, it’ll encourage your audience to answer it in the comments. Asking questions will spark engagement and keep people on your content longer.
Asking questions can also help you get to know more about your target audience and their interests. Interacting with your community and building relationships will help you learn what content to focus on in the future. Remember, you need to know what your audience is looking for before you start posting any and everything on your platforms.
4. Engage With Their Content
You can’t expect everyone to flock to your page whenever you post and leave a bunch of comments all of the time, especially if you’re not engaging with them. It’s important to like and comment on other people’s content if you want to create an engaged audience on Instagram. Engagement is a two-way street, you receive what you give out.
Follow people who create content that inspires you and leave genuine comments on their page regularly. I also recommend clicking through a few of the hashtags you use and engaging with new pages. This will bring more eyes to your content and can potentially help you gain followers. There’s a good chance those same people will comment on your pictures and start supporting you!
Building connections with others is key to improving your engagement.
Related Post: How to Increase Instagram Engagement Organically
5. Remain Authentic
You want to stay true to yourself when creating content. People can spot BS quickly, and the last thing you want to do is lose the trust of your audience. They’re the reason for your growth and success, therefore, it’s important to always remain authentic.
Showing others the real you can improve your engagement because you’ll be seen as relatable. I’m not saying you have to put all of your business out there, however, it’s okay to share pieces of your life that you feel would inspire others. This is a great way to build connections with your community and teach them more about you and your personal life.
People connect to real-life experiences! You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not to get followers. If you have something meaningful to share that can provide value, then go for it!
6. Use Good-Quality Hashtags
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with hashtags ever since I started creating. Although learning how to effectively use them can become frustrating, hashtags are important when it comes to improving your engagement.
You want to use hashtags that are related to your niche. There’s no point in using hashtags that have nothing to do with your content. You won’t be able to reach your target audience that way and you won’t receive much engagement.
Here are examples of a few hashtags I use depending on what I post about:
- Natural Hair: #afroliciouswomen #naturalhairsistas
- Skincare: #blackbeautyblogger #beautyinfluencers
- Fashion: #blackfashionblogger #blackfashionista
- Blog Tips: #contentcreators #microinfluencer
- Lifestyle: #lifestylebloggers #lifestyleinfluencer
I also recommend using hashtags based on the city and state you live in. This is a great way to build an audience locally! For example, I live in Charlotte, NC. Some hashtags I can use are: #charlotteblogger, #charlotteinfluencer, #cltblogger, #charlottenaturals, and #ncblogger.
You can use the search bar on Instagram, type in your niche, and find related hashtags to use for your content. I’d recommend using a mix of small to medium-sized hashtags. You want to stay away from popular ones because your content will get pushed down quickly and no one will see it.
7. Respond to Your Comments
The last tip I recommend following to create an engaged audience on Instagram is to respond to your comments! As a Creator, you’ll receive many questions and compliments from those who are interested in your content. Take the time to respond to those comments and build connections with your community. Don’t be the type to simply “like” a comment or pick and choose who you feel like responding to.
If you ignore comments, this will make others feel like you’re not interested in forming a connection. Eventually, they’ll stop commenting on your content. You want to show your audience that you value their support!
As you continue to grow, keeping up with comments can become overwhelming. However, it’s possible to still respond to everyone. People will truly appreciate you saying “thank you” or taking the time to help them.
The more you respond to your comments, the better your engagement will be. Whenever I post my content, I make sure I’m available to respond to my comments quickly for the next 30-45 minutes. This will push your content in front of more eyes and encourage other people to leave a comment as well.
How to Keep Up With Comments
Instagram can be the number one tool that leads you to success. Implementing these tips has helped me not only grow my following but also build an amazing community of supporters that I have personal relationships with.
Yes, it can get tiring when you try to keep up with engagement on all of your platforms. As it continues to grow, you’ll have to find what works for you and a routine to follow to keep up with your audience.
Here are a few tips that work best for me:
- Engage with accounts 30 min before posting
- Respond to comments within the first hour
- Continue to engage under others’ posts
- Post on IG stories to notify others about a new post
- Check for missed comments throughout the day
These tips have helped me create an engaged audience without becoming overwhelmed. You’ll have to go through trial and error to find a routine to follow that’ll help you continuously show up for your audience!