We hear you.. The frustration over Instagram’s dropping engagement is real, y’all! But that doesn’t mean you just throw your strategy to the wind and say screw it. It simply means your strategy needs to be adjusted to fit the changes! But today we’re talking allllll about Instagram, it’s coming changes, and most importantly, what you SHOULD be spending your time on with these changes!
First, let’s talk about Instagram’s changes. You’ve likely noticed your engagement take a nosedive lately. It’s super annoying but here’s the thing… more changes are coming and they’re big!
If you haven’t heard about this yet, Instagram is testing taking away like counts on posts in several countries. While this may cause a bit of panic, we actually don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world… especially since actual post likes seem to be on the decline. This will lead to more meaningful conversations and connections with your audience. Comments will be a key way to interact with other accounts meaning your engagement will just be in a different way. You’ll still be able to see how many people like your own posts and will be able to see your own analytics. You just won’t be able to see other’s like counts.
The engagement on your posts might be down but the views on your Instagram Stories definitely aren’t! We used to average maybe 100 or so views on our Stories and now we’re getting in the 200s. People are consuming your content differently meaning they’re spending more time watching Stories than scrolling through their feed.
We still recommend posting to your feed with curated imagery and planning content but it's time to step up that Instagram Story game to REALLY connect with your audience… especially with all these changes with Instagram!
A few ideas on what to post:
Behind the Scenes of Projects: We LOVE to share a look at projects that are in progress. It gives us the opportunity to not only display our work but give people an idea of what it would be like to work with a designer or social media agency. We can walk people through the process and really get them involved!
Ask for Feedback: When we show these BTS looks, we also ask people their opinions. Which color palette do they prefer? Which logo do they think the client will choose? With Instagram’s built-in polling feature, followers can give feedback with very little effort!
Share Valuable Tips: While you may do this in your feed already, Stories gives you the opportunity to expand upon the information you’re sharing. For example, we may show off a cool custom coded feature we just did for a website in our feed but in Stories, we go through why we chose to do that and the benefits behind it.
There is seriously so much you can do with Instagram Stories to showcase who you are and what you do in your business! If you’re not using them yet, you should definitely get on that with these changing times. (Psst! We also have 6 strategies you can start to implement today to crush it!)
So the engagement on your page might be dropping but that doesn’t mean you should stop engaging with others! Maybe the hashtags you’re using aren’t bringing as many people to your posts as they had previously but it’s time to flip the script and just use those hashtags in a different way! Try searching the hashtags and actively engaging with people using the hashtags you use… they are your target audience after all!
Make sure you leave thoughtful comments to create a conversation and a real connection. Follow them. ENGAGE! We can’t stress the importance of this enough!
Don’t forget to watch people’s Instagram Stories and engage there too. Answer their polls. Send a DM if something they share resonates with you. This will definitely catch people’s eye more than a comment and great a better connection.
How we structure engagement throughout the day:
9am: Start by going through our feed and our clients’ feeds and engaging with people we/they are already following
1pm: Search hashtags to actively engage with people in our/their target audience that we’re not already connected to
4pm: Spend time going through our feed again and popping in to watch a few Instagram stories
We spend 10-15 minutes doing this for each account and we actually set reminders on our phones to make sure we don’t forget about it while working on other projects. Once you really get a rhythm down you’ll be able to start seeing what tactics are the most successful and you can adjust your engagement strategy accordingly!
Dig into Analytics
Yes, like counts might be going away but your analytics aren’t and you should definitely be using these to your advantage! One of our favorite things to analyze in Insights is which posts perform the best so we’re always looking at the engagement, reach, etc. on posts! You can filter timeframe and by which key performance indicator you want to analyze so you can really get some good insight… and you might be surprised by what you find!
For example, I don’t often post picture of myself on my personal Instagram but earlier this year I was looking into my analytics and pretty much all of my top posts from the last year are photos of me! And to dig into that even further, the captions all had some very personal element to them. Because of this, I’ve made some adjustments to include more photos of myself paired with more #realtalk on my own account.
We know we’re all jaded by the forever changing algorithm but change doesn’t always have to be bad! Embrace these new adjustments Instagram is making because we truly believe they’re going to help create more genuine connections if you use it to your advantage!