Gaining followers and learning about your audience is a crucial step towards building your social media strategy and a great online presence. However, many people neglect to focus on retaining followers and learning best practices for engagement. You must regularly comment, share, like, follow, and participate in any sort of engagement to prove that your content can resonate with those that see it.
Your engagement needs to have value, be genuine, and it’s important to let your personality and your practice’s personality shine through your content. Before we get into some important tips to increase your engagement, it’s important to know what you should be looking for when measuring your engagement success.
When you are measuring engagement, you are measuring the number of people who saw your post and actually engaged with it. This is called the “Engagement Rate.” Maybe you received a like on your post, or a follower decided to tag their friend in the post. Perhaps your post was saved because you shared a few helpful tips, or some patients decided to share the post on their story to be entered in a raffle.
To calculate your Engagement Rate, you can refer to your Instagram Insights as well as our Sesame Social Suite for your data. You can look by impressions, by posts, by reach, or by followers. From there do a simple conversion to find each of the above-mentioned categories. For example, the engagement rate per post will be the total engagements on that post divided by total followers multiplied by 100.
While Instagram doesn’t necessarily have a standard on good engagement rates, most marketers find that aiming for 1 – 5% engagement rate per post is a good rule. Just remember that follower count can also affect your engagement rate.
When it comes to engaging on Instagram there are plenty of things that you and your practice can work on to increase your numbers and be more relatable.
1. Get to Know Your Audience
It’s hard to make content if you don’t understand your audience. Work on learning about your followers. For example, utilize the Sesame Social Tool to review your target audience’s demographics and start basing your content on who your audience is.
2. Post Quality Images
Instagram is a visual medium and people like visually appealing content. Start creating images that will stand out in your follower’s news feed. You can edit photos, add text, filters, etc. to make your images stand out. Also sharing exciting content such as behind the scenes, day in the life, etc. can make for view-worthy content.
3. Post Carousels
Carousels are Instagram posts with multiple images. They offer a great way to engage with your audience because it holds their attention and viewers have more to look at, which also increases their chances of liking and commenting. Carousels have the highest average engagement rate of all Instagram posts and because of the algorithm, carousels continuously display to those who didn’t engage the first time. This means a carousel can be seen three more times than a regular single image post.
4. Post Video Content
Video content is not only engaging but very eye-catching. In fact, video posts tend to receive more engagement than images. And don’t worry if you aren’t savvy at video creation as, if you mess up, you can always make edits later.
A great way to combine photo posts and video posts is by creating a video sharing your posts. These are fairly simple to make and require little to no prior editing knowledge. Find pictures that you want to put together and share the video. Adding music can be a fun touch as well.
5. Use Strong Captions
On Instagram, you can post captions with up to 2,200 characters and 30 hashtags. This gives you endless possibilities. Using good captions can add context to your posts and help make them stand out. You can also include calls to action by telling your audience how to schedule their next dental appointment.
Using Hashtags can be a great tool to push your post out and drive some serious traffic. However, it is important to be strategic in how you use them when you are attempting to reach a specific audience. Don’t go overboard with Hashtags.
6. Be Authentic
Being honest and relatable is probably the most important thing you can do to increase your engagement. Your audience and followers don’t want to see you as polished and perfect; they want to see the most authentic version of you and your practice. Sharing content that you’re passionate about, causes that you support, and introducing the real people and experiences that make up your practice can all be great ways to show your authenticity.
In addition to all of these tips, we strongly suggest that you work on daily engagement tasks such as sharing your followers’ posts when they are relatable, commenting on posts that you see, responding to comments that are left on your posts, and liking and saving things you enjoy.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for your social media strategy and retaining followers is to engage with them. Show people who you are, and they will be willing to support you and your practice.
—Marie Dubray, Social Media Specialist, Sesame Communications