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If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?

How about if you post a photo to Instagram and no one likes it, does it matter?

The answer is ABSOLUTELY.

Your engagement rate is an important factor in proving your credibility while increasing your appeal to potential customers and other brands. You could have 1 million followers, but if no one is actually connecting with your content, then Instagram is useless to your business.

To calculate your engagement rate:

Divide the number of likes your last post received by your total amount of followers. Then multiply this number by 100. This is your engagement rate. An ideal engagement rate is anything over 5%.

Here are a few reasons why your Instagram engagement sucks:

  • Your photos are blurry, dark and not relevant to your business.
  • Your captions aren’t original or meaningful.
  • You’re including too many hashtags in the initial caption.
  • There is no overall “theme” to your feed and visually, your posts don’t create a cohesive look.
  • You post at off-peak hours when your followers aren’t active.
  • You don’t respond back to any comments.
  • You purchased your followers. This is great for a first impression, but buying fake followers only hurts your overall engagement rate.
  • It’s not you, it’s Instagram. There is less engagement overall on the social platform as it’s been around for a few years now and an increase in social video content.

And here’s what to do to increase your Instagram engagement:

  • Post clear, bright and relevant photos related to your brand or business – people like beautiful things!
  • Write original, honest and REAL captions from the heart.
  • Hide your hashtags by pasting all of them in a comment underneath your initial caption.
  • Decide on one theme and curate each post towards it. People like to know what to expect and don’t want to think too much about how things are connected.
  • Find out when your followers are the most active by downloading the Prime app. It will analyze your past content and give you all the statistics you need to post at the most strategic times.
  • Encourage your followers to comment on your posts. You could do this by posting giveaways, asking them to tag a friend, ask a question, comment an emoji, fill in the caption, comment for a chance to get featured or (my favourite!) give 5 likes to the person above you then leave a comment.
  • Respond back to all of your comments in a meaningful and thoughtful way. Refer to people by their first names and by prompt with your replies. This will really help you stand out!
  • Don’t purchase your followers. Instead, focus on gaining organic traffic by putting in the hard work to building your community one by one.
  • Try experimenting with short video clips. Short Instagram videos receive more views than likes on a photo because the viewer doesn’t have to do anything but watch the screen.
  • REMEMBER: It’s better to have a small, engaged community then a massive, disconnect one. Sometimes bigger isn’t always better!

Post by BossBabe Ambassador Kat Gaskin.

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