While we don’t manage the Instagram accounts for our Advice Media clients, we know that many of you have an account for your practice. You may have heard news earlier this summer that Instagram engagement was down as much as one third from 2014 to 2015. While that can be bad news for many Instagram accounts, we don’t necessarily think that trend applies to smaller Instagram accounts, such as those of most of our client practices.
Still, it’s better to be proactive and to shore up your Instagram usage to keep your engagement up. In a bit, we’ll share three ways to improve how your followers engage with your practice’s Instagram posts.
Instagram engagement take a hit
A study by the website Quintly found that in 2015 overall Instagram post interactions (likes and comments) decreased by 33% in a single year. But the study also found that interactions decreased more in Instagram accounts with more followers. For instance, Instagram accounts with over 10 million followers saw a 39% drop in interactions in 2015 versus 2014. Even in accounts with 1000 to 10,000 followers, interaction was down 24%.
But there was one bright spot for accounts with fewer followers, as most practice accounts are. Accounts with from one to 1000 followers didn’t have any decrease in engagement.
Why the drop?
The reason behind the decrease is open to speculation, but it likely has two causes. First, Instagram is probably a victim of increasing size. There are more users and users are posting more often. Every Instagram user is now seeing more content on Instagram than they were in 2014, and that could be difficult to keep up with. Plus, as more businesses use Instagram as an advertising vehicle, some users could be less inclined to interact with it.
Ways to increase engagement
- Use strategic hashtags
Posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average almost 13% more engagement than those without. Hashtags can allow your practice to target new audiences and can help others discover, follow, and engage with your account.
Try and use hashtags that have an engaging community behind them and are specific to your target audience. You can find these by looking at the hashtags your followers are already using. If you keep the scope more narrow, the better the chance of users engaging with it.
- Run a contest
Contests are a great way to promote your practice on Instagram. Plus, they tend to get more involvement than typical posts.
Let’s say you’re going to give away a Botox session. In your post give your entry conditions: Entrants have to follow your practice; Maybe they have to make a comment, like another comment, or tag two friends in the comments. Make it something that forces the user to engage to enter the contest.
- Add a call-to-action to your Instagram caption
Rather than simply having a caption, make it a call-to-action caption. Why? That will encourage engagement. Instagram’s algorithm rewards accounts with more engagement. To create a call-to-action, you need to ask your followers to do something after reading your caption. Ask them a question. Ask them what they think about something. And tell them to leave their answer in the comments.
But don’t close your caption with the call-to-action, as you might do in advertising copy. On Instagram, it’s important to put your most important information first because after 3-4 lines of text, Instagram captions are truncated and must be clicked upon to read the rest.
While Kim Kardashian may be seeing her millions of Instagram minions becoming less and less engaged with her posts, that doesn’t mean your practice Instagram posts need to suffer the same fate. Simply follow the suggestions above to make your posts impossible NOT to engage with!
For any questions on any of your social media practice needs, contact your Advice Media representative.