One of the reasons I'm obsessed with Instagram is the opportunity it presents to cultivate community. Real community - where people are willing to champion the 'community over competition' mantra, where people are open to network, where people are willing to collaborate and work together to achieve their goals and dreams.
There's no doubting community is powerful - and very needed.
Here are 3 ways you can cultivate an Instagram community that interacts:
1. Invite engagement by including calls to action in your posts
Calls to action are the secret sauce that can make your engagement pop!
That's why EVERY single caption you write should include a call to action, which is simply invitation for audience interaction.
Now this DOES NOT have to be a pushy call to action like... “buy our thing, “give us your email” or “share our account with everyone you know.”
It should actually be much lighter than that.
Your call to action should be asking your followers to do something that makes them feel good, helps them to engage with their friends, or reaffirms their beliefs or goals. It should be an action your followers ENJOY taking!
Here are a few examples of what you could ask your audience
Tag three friends to share the message.
What do you think about ___?
What are you up to this weekend?
What is your favourite thing about ___?
If you could have coffee in one place right now, where would it be?
2. Put yourself out there and add value to other 'grammers
When it comes to Instagram land, you reap what you sow, my friend! ;)
Just like you can't expect a romantic relationship to last without each person putting in effort, you can't expect people to engage with you on Instagram unless you've engaged with them, too.
So you've got to give
Like, follow and comment on accounts that fit the profile of your target audience.
But the key to this kind of engagement is being AUTHENTIC.
I strongly advise against commenting random emojis or generic words like 'cute', 'beautiful', 'fun', 'love'. Come on, you can go deeper than that. I know you've got it in you. ;)
Instead, add value to what that person has got to say. For example, if their image is of a place they've traveled to, then ask them questions about the destination, and tell them about your experiences traveling.
Remember, people want to talk to a REAL person, not a robot. So the more authentic you can get, the better. Who knows, you could even form a valuable networking relationship or long-term friendship while you're at it! I have done just that, time and time again. :)
3. Connect on a deeper level - give direct messaging a go
The Direct Messaging inbox is probably the most underused feature on Instagram.
You're probably thinking 'Uh, yeh... that's only used by teenagers or spammy brand accounts, right?'
It's a powerful tool to foster authentic relationships, and build trust and loyalty with your followers.
You could use it when someone follows you by introducing yourself, commenting on what the other person does, asking the person about what they love to do.
Or, you could use it to reach out to prospective followers. You could simply say hey, share your mission, comment on something to do with their account (this could be a blog, niche interest, etc) and ask them if they'd like to get involved in what you're doing.
Direct messaging presents the unmerited opportunity of being able to build one-on-one relationships, networks, loyal followers, and leads to your blog or biz website, so why would you just leave it sitting there unused? ;)
Are you ready to build an engaged audience on Instagram?
5 Days to Doubling Your Instagram Engagement is for you!