8 Expert Tips for Driving Instagram Engagement

Social media marketing is a top marketing tactic today, with many businesses utilizing their social accounts to engage consumers on a more personal level. 

One of the most popular platforms businesses use is Instagram. At the end of 2017, Instagram put the number of business profiles on its platform at 25 million, and that number has surely skyrocketed since then.

Instagram has many features you can implement, from Stories to live-streamed IGTV videos, to help you connect with prospective clients and customers. We took to — you guessed it, social media! — and asked our followers to share their No. 1 tip for engaging with your audience on Instagram. 

Try these eight suggestions from experts to help improve your Instagram engagement.

1. Vertical images

“Lately, I have been posting as many vertical images as possible. To take full advantage of Instagram’s layout, vertical images take up the most real estate. This way, the entire image/post is taking up most of the viewer’s phone; and as a result, they will be more engaged.” — Andrew Forino, Architectural Photographer

2. Personalized comments/conversations

“Use [your] name when talk[ing] to them! It shows you did research and it personalizes your convo.” — Lundyn Majstorovic, owner of Sea Turtle Social

3. Emotional posts

“Evoke an emotion. Not every post needs to be about your product or service.” — Maxwell Bachemeier, Business Analyst

4. Responding to customer comments

“The best communication tip is that business should directly get involved in the comment section with customers. This way, the customer knows that their opinions matter and are acknowledged by the business.” — Syed Irfan Ajmal, MD and founder of SIA Enterprises

5. Frequent, consistent posting

“Trying to consistently post every day is another way to keep your followers up-to-date and engaged. I find that if I don’t post for a while, I get less likes.” — Forino

6. Sparking discussions

“Engagement is a two-way street. It isn’t about talking at people; it is about a discussion and recognizing where there is potential for a mutually beneficial relationship. You can’t expect consumers to engage with your art or your product if you aren’t providing them with something of value.” — Mark Macaluso, poet and musician

7. Curated, relevant hashtags

“Hashtags are another super important thing when trying to get new engagement and followers. But something I read up on is that the hashtags should be relevant to the post itself. If they aren’t, then the hashtag is ultimately pointless.” — Forino

8. A distinct voice

“It’s equal parts value-giving and engaging, and doing it all with your own distinct voice.” — Rehnuma Choudhury, The Conscious Copywriter

Interested in improving your Instagram engagement, but don’t know where to start? Contact us or check out our social media marketing packages.

How We Approach Our Social Media Marketing Strategy

Whether you own a local shop or nation-wide company, having a social media marketing strategy is critical for running a successful business today. 

With nearly 3 billion people around the world using social media, companies are building their brands through the various platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. With the rise in social media usage, business leaders often hire in-house or third-party experts to manage their accounts and build their brands. 

At Lightning Media Partners, we create a personalized social media marketing strategy for each client that helps them increase their brand visibility and build relationships with their customers. Here’s how we approach social media content marketing for ourselves and our clients.

1. Creating unique content

Every brand deserves to have their unique voice shine on social media. Our team works closely with you to produce excellent, visually appealing content that attracts the right followers to your social media pages. We conduct extensive research to determine which demographics, content types, and hashtags are best for spreading your message. Then, we create original graphic, text, and video content in your brand aesthetic to help you stand out.

2. Fostering human connections

Now more than ever, people are craving interpersonal connection and are putting themselves out there on social media platforms. People want to share their honest opinions. Social media facilitates better connections between brand and consumer by creating communities with other like-minded people. That’s why we strive for a more holistic and human approach when cultivating social media content. We help brands build strong relationships with their audiences by creating content that resonates with them on a personal level. 

3. Sparking engaging conversations

Initiating thought-provoking and meaningful conversations creates loyal audiences on social media. People want to know that there are humans behind a brand’s social media account, so initiating two-way conversations is critical for thriving on social media. We don’t just create and schedule content; we dedicate time to comment responses, direct messages, and proactive engagement on followers’ posts.

4. Producing natural growth

Some brands attempt to cut corners by paying for fake followers to boost their numbers. You may be able to purchase thousands of followers for a small amount of money, but you can’t buy brand loyalty. That’s why organic growth through well-researched, targeted hashtags and continual audience engagement is the cornerstone of our social media marketing strategy. Our top priority is creating transparency between brands and their customers, and being honest about follower counts is a good starting point.

Need help managing your social media accounts? Consider one of our social media marketing packages. We’ll help you discover and create social media content that will best engage your target audience, and start building real, authentic connections that will spark growth for your business. Get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

5 Good Reasons to Outsource Your Social Media Management

Social media has the potential to be a valuable marketing and customer service tactic for businesses across all industries. But if you don’t prioritize it — or if you only have a few minutes a day to spend on it — you won’t see the results you want.

Busy entrepreneurs can only do so much. To ensure you’re making the best of your social media strategy, you might consider hiring someone to help you out. Here are five good reasons to outsource your social media management.

1. Consistency in brand voice and scheduling

When you’re being pulled in every which way, it’s difficult to be consistent in business — especially online. However, your social media accounts are crucial to reaching consumers and providing quality content on a regular basis. Neglecting your profiles because you’re too busy can damage your company’s reputation.

You might think to ask your employees to help out, but if they don’t have experience with social media for business (or if you have multiple individuals managing different accounts), you’ll end up with inconsistencies in your brand voice, creating mixed messages for your followers.

A good social media presence requires time and commitment; but as a business owner, you only have so many spoons. If you don’t have the time or energy to be consistent in posting and engaging with your followers, it may be wise to outsource your social media to an experienced agency.

2. Better audience engagement

Social media allows your business to foster a more personal relationship with your customers. While you likely don’t have the time to scroll through your feed and answer questions and comments on all of your pages, hiring someone to do so could increase audience engagement and drive more traffic to your sites, thus increasing your revenue and improving customer service.

Additionally, an engaged audience is a loyal one. Build your following by investing in them, providing the valuable content they crave.

3. A new creative perspective and marketing expertise

Many business owners underestimate the importance of social media. They might scoff at the idea of “wasting time” on Facebook and Instagram when they could be focusing on their products and services. This attitude can be detrimental to your business.

You might believe you’re “good enough” at social networking, but that won’t drive results; it won’t help you attract new followers or connect with existing ones. 

Social media managers are experts in their craft. They have creativity and insights, and their input can help you showcase your brand in a whole new light.

4. Save time

As an entrepreneur, you simply might not have the proper time to invest in social media management; and the short period you do spend upping your social game is likely insufficient against competitors who outsource.

Hiring a person or agency with the right expertise will allow you to forget about your Twitter posts or Facebook likes and focus on your own skills and passions in relation to your brand, while still reaping the benefits of a quality social media strategy.

5. Earn new customers

You might think you can’t afford to outsource your social media management, but this investment can actually pay for itself in the long run. Not only will you gain back valuable time to dedicate to current and new clients, but you’ll also be able to drive traffic and sales with a solid social media strategy. It’s a win-win.

It’s normal to be hesitant when considering outsourcing this major business operation, but doing so can benefit your brand in ways you’ve never considered. You’ll not only increase your customer base and loyalty, but you’ll also form valuable connections that could lead to future referrals and organic sales leads. 

Lightning Media Partners offers full-service social media management for small businesses and independent creative entrepreneurs. Check out our social media management packages or contact us for more details.