How to Generate Organic Engagement on your Instagram Posts (by utilizing your Story!)
With the Instagram Algorithm making it impossible to feel "up to date" with your feed at all times, it can get a little overwhelming. Luckily, Instagram implemented a helpful new feature a few months back, Instagram Stories. According to my own data, you are more likely to get a view on your Instagram Story than your Instagram Post. Why? Well, there's a couple reasons for that.
Obviously, the first reason is the algorithm. Instagram purposefully pushes certain posts and accounts on your feed for a variety of different reasons. For example, that company (if it's a brand) might be spending thousands of dollars a day in ad spend. Instagram will recognize that and push their organic content (actual posts, not sponsored ads) to you. They are paying Instagram to make sure you see them, after all. Another reason may be your region, or how much you've engaged with a certain account. One thing is for sure, though. Instagram always knows whose story you care about seeing.
Here's a peek at my Instagram Story set up. This is pretty typical for me. First is a popular blog I'm dedicated to engaging with, San Diego Business Babes. Next is my best friend in the whole wide world since high school, Terrance, and after that are friends, bloggers I love, and some of my closest friends. However if I scroll down to check out posts, it's sponsored posts, a lot of brands, maybe a photo or two of someone I actually know, etc. Instagram has given you all the tools you need to get engagement on your post without them even needing to see it on their Feed!
Instagram Story Polls
Literally my favorite feature on Instagram! This was a game changer for me at work. Content marketing is all the rage these days. For instance, I work for a prenatal DNA test biotech company. What do those three polls have to do with biotech? NOTHING! That's why our marketing is so successful. We know our customers and what they like. Relatable mom content, fashion, food, technology, and more. If you limit yourself to sticking to your "market", you're doing yourself a disservice.
This goes for bloggers too! If you're a fashion blogger, it doesn't hurt to dabble in food blogging, travel blogging, and more! At least, engaging with bloggers and content that resembles that. It's like anything in life--if you don't go outside the box, you're going to be stagnant forever. These types of engaging Instagram Stories are easy to engage with and they're so quick. In the digital age, the speed in which you can absorb content is important. FOMO makes people tap faster than they can read, because images mean more. I urge you to utilize polls, people love having their voices heard!
Share Your Post to Your Story
The days of screenshotting your posts are over! Instagram added this feature a couple months ago and, again, was a game changer for me as a Social Media Manager. If there was something reeeeally important that I needed our audience to see, I would make a post about it and share it to our Story. That way, the people who are new to your brand will see it on your page when searching (my data says 40% of our followers look up our social media after purchasing and taking our test) and the followers you already have will see it on your Story.
I work really closely with our Customer Care department, so sometimes we need announcements sent out quickly for our customers. Luckily most of our customers are really digitally-savvy and know that we communicate through social media, so that also helps. If we're ever backed up in the Lab, or our shipment of samples is late, we can make a post reassuring our customers that everything is okay.
Ask Your Followers to Engage!
I know it can feel weird, but like I said above, people love feeling like their opinion matters. For us, it actually does! Like I said previously, Customer Care and I work very closely to get inside our customer's heads. A lot of the data I collect is through these types of polls, and surveys we send out to our customers. Simply asking for feedback makes such a difference, especially if you show you care about your follower's opinions.
A way to relate this to fashion blogging or travel blogging is by doing a few "try on" hauls and asking for opinions or asking where you should wear it! For instance, if you're having a date night, pick two outfits then have your followers vote on which one you should wear! Wear the winner, then make a post about it. I guarantee you'll get comments and messages from those who engaged saying "I knew you would look amazing in that!" or "I'm so glad my choice won! You look amazing!" Or something along those lines. Instagram is a really supportive community, you just have to align yourself with the best.
Questions on how to start content marketing for yourself? Contact me!