9 Instagram Tricks You Can Try Right Now to Boost Engagement
Instagram tricks

It definitely feels like Instagram is the 'cool kid on the block' when it comes to social media right now, doesn't it? 

If you're not already using it for your business, you're probably feeling like you're missing out on the action and that you should be making more of an effort when it comes to learning all things IG. Or, if you're just starting out on Instagram and feel like your account is a little lack lustre then the following Instagram tricks are going to help you to step it up a level.  In fact they're probably going to help you step it up several levels!  You see, Instagram isn't actually that complicated BUT there's an awful lot of myth and misinformation floating around out there, so here's the truth about what's working (and what's NOT working) right now when it comes to growing your audience (and business) with IG.Oh, and if Instagram is part of your strategy to start earning consistent money from your biz and replace your 9-5 income, don't miss the chance to sign up for my tutorial on editing your videos for IGTV with a free app called InShot.

1) Improve Your Bio

First thing's first, please take a look at your bio.  If you're not rocking your bio, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to attract more people.  This is your elevator pitch - your chance to grab someone's attention in just 150 characters, so you gotta make it stand out! Here are a few key things to include:

  • Your WHO: yep, it may be called a bio, but this should be about your ideal clients - not YOU! They need to identify themselves in what you write.
  • Your WHAT: not that you would, but don't forget to mention what you actually do!
  • Clickable Link: your bio is pretty much the only place where you can include a clickable link on Instagram so don't miss the opportunity! (More on this in point 5)
  • Something Personal: People will follow you or engage with you because of the person you are more than the business you are. Share a little about yourself that your ideal clients will identify with.

A great way to get inspiration for your own bio is to take a look at the bios of the people you admire and follow on Instagram.  What have they done that you liked? Of course, don't copy - but take inspiration and add your own touches too. 

Here are a few more tips to help your bio stand out from the crowd:

  • Include a Brand Hashtag: using a hashtag that's specific to your brand will make it easier for your audience to identify with and find your content. It might be the name of your business, your product or even just a word or saying that you're known for (or want to be known for!)
  • Use Emojis: Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, there's something about emojis that seems to grab people's attention. When included in subject lines of emails they increase open rates, when included on social media posts, they increase engagement - and when included in your Instagram bio? Well, they're probably going to help there too!
  • Make use of Highlights: Right under your bio, you can save certain Instagram Stories as 'highlights' - these help you to flesh out your profile and really add a lot more content that people can browse to learn about you, your brand and your business.

2)  Switch to a Business Account

There is an ongoing debate about whether it's best to keep your Instagram account personal or switch to a business account. My 2 cents? You should switch.

Not long ago, I was actually saying the opposite because I felt that Instagram were likely to start reducing the reach of business instagram posts in order to encourage paid advertising and following Facebook's lead in prioritising family and friends' content.

HOWEVER, there are just too many advantages of using a business account to ignore and now it just seems like a no brainer... Here's why:

  • Access to Insights: what isn't measured can't be improved, right? More on this in point 8...
  • Instagram Ads: you may not be thinking about paid ads just yet, but it will more than likely become a strategy you'll use as your business starts to grow. Ads are only available to business accounts.
  • More Profile Info: a business profile gives you the option to add more info such as your contact details.

Not sure how to switch? Here's a great article that walks you through step by step.

3) Don't Ignore Stories & IGTV

One of the fun things about Instagram is that they're always adding fun new features and Instagram Stories and IGTV should not be ignored if you want to maximise your impact on this channel.

According to Adespresso, there are 400 million users watching IG Stories every day. That's a lot of eyes to be missing out on if you're not posting your own stories yet.

As for IGTV, it's still in its infancy but many (including me) believe that it offers a huge opportunity as a potential rival for giants like YouTube. If that's true, then now is the time to get started - and get ahead. For more on getting started with IGTV, check out my Beginners' Guide.

4) Engage More than You Post

Ok, this is a big one. If you want more engagement on Instagram - you gotta engage too!

And just in case there's any doubt, I don't mean by using bots to go like a bunch of posts and leave random comments like 'this is awesome' or 'great pic'... please don't be that person. 

Spend some time EVERY DAY engaging with other people's posts in a meaningful way. Actually take a moment to check out their bio and feed so that you get a feel for who they are. That will help you to make your comments so much more personal and memorable.... and you know, engaging...

Not sure whose posts you should be engaging with? Here are 3 simple strategies to find the perfect ones...

  • Niche Hashtags: Find some popular hashtags for your particular niche and then go to the 'top posts' section or the 'recent posts' section. Now pick any posts that you feel moved to click on and engage away!
  • Niche Influencers: Who are the key players in your niche? Go check out their posts and start commenting regularly there too.
  • People who engage with YOU: If someone has already shown an interest in your content then encourage that relationship by going and checking out their stuff too!

3 Simple Ways to Grow Your Business with Instagram

5) Create Your Own Instagram Links Page

As we discussed in point 1, you get to include a clickable link in your Instagram bio - so the question is, how best to use that link?

There are a number of different strategies on offer and I'll share them here - along with my preference (if you hadn't already guessed it from the title of this point!)

  • Just link to the key thing you're promoting right now: this is the most obvious strategy. If you only have one link, then use it to promote the most important thing for you right now. It might be your FB group, your latest lead magnet or perhaps your latest blog post... The advantage of this strategy is that you're not distracting people with a ton of choice. The disadvantage is that you're only getting to promote ONE thing...
  • Use a service like Linktree: there are a few of them out there, but Linktree is the one that I have used. You can get their basic service for free. You get one URL from Linktree and it takes people to a page where you can link to allll the stuff you want to promote.
  • Create your OWN Instagram links page: This is now what I've done and it is by far my favourite option! I've created a page on my website specifically for my Instagram bio. It contains links to my FB group, my blog, my latest lead magnet AND my paid membership sales page. Here - take a look!

6) Use All 30 Hashtags

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, so why not use all of them? Each hashtag is an opportunity to reach a different audience so you may as well use as many as you can, right?

If you're not sure where to start when it comes to choosing (or using) hashtags for Instagram, then here are a few top tips to help you:

  • Check out the hashtags that the influencers are using in your niche
  • Check out the hashtags that your ideal clients are using - this may seem backwards, but chances are if they're using them in their posts then they're probably searching them too!
  • Use Instagram's own suggestions! Did you know that when you search a hashtag on Instagram, you're also shown a whole host of related suggestions, along with their current volumes. This can be a great source of inspiration when it comes to finding new hashtags to try. 

The key with hashtags is to be a scientist! Experiment, see what works and then experiment some more...

7) Create Content with Purpose

Do you ever find yourself realising that you haven't posted for a while, but being completely stuck for inspiration on what to post, you just find some random quote or cute cat pic and slap that on your wall?

Be honest...

Don't worry, I've done it too. I'm pretty sure most of us have.

The thing is, that's not going to get results. If you want an engaged audience of followers who love your content, then you need to spend some time actually planning it.  Think about the topics you want to share and how you can give your ideal clients real value.

To keep you on the right track, try answering the following questions each time you create a new post:

  • What value are you giving your audience? Are you teaching them something new about your niche? Perhaps you're inspiring them or maybe just entertaining them and brightening their day. Just make sure you are adding value!
  • What do you want your business to gain? Adding value for your audience is great - but what's in it for you? Are you promoting something? Do you want to build your brand? Perhaps you're looking to connect with a certain audience by sharing something personal that they'll relate to... whatever gain you're after, be clear on it before you plan your content!
  • What's the next step? You should ALWAYS give your audience a next step. Every piece of content will be taking them on a journey that starts with discovering your business and ends with them buying something from you. If you don't tell them the next step of that journey, then they probably won't guess it! 

8) Measure What Works

It's easy to become obsessed with your Instagram follower count. After all, that's what everyone seems to focus on. How to get to the first 1k and then the magical 10k when you can start using the swanky 'swipe up' feature in your stories....

But, there are FAR more important things to measure than just your number of followers and if you want to know which strategies are working for you and which aren't, then you need to measure their performance.

Want to know what days and times are best to post? Test it and measure what happens.

Not sure if pictures of people work better than flat lay images?.... you get the picture..

9) Be Consistent

This might be the most important tip of all when it comes to Instagram success. Whatever you try - be consistent. Don't expect to be able to engage for a few days and then continue to see growth if you stop.

Don't expect the engagement you create to remain if you disappear for days or weeks on end.

You don't need to post every day so create a schedule that's do-able and that allows you to be purposeful, present and consistent with all the content you post whether it be on your feed, your stories or IGTV.

Before you go..

Instagram can be a SUPER powerful tool when it comes to growing your biz.  It's one of the few places where you can both grow your audience, build a relationship with them and even sell to them all in once place.

Even better, IGTV is still new enough for you to really make your mark...

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Instagram tricks