[MUSIC PLAYING] What's the difference between a follower and a fan? Here are some ways to know if your following are engaged fans or not. Followers are passive. They like once every few posts and they've almost never visited your profile page or website. Engaged fans like almost every single post and will often comment on the stuff they really like. They become your brand advocates. Your very biggest fans will be posting your products, tagging you, and mentioning you on their own page.
It's better to have 1,000 engaged fans than 10,000 followers when you want to optimize for sales. Now I'd like to share with you 10 ways to engage your current following, so they become engaged fans. First, be real. Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way. Don't buy likes, don't use bots, and cancel any of your automation services right now. That includes order scheduling, too.
Every time that your account does something that Instagram doesn't like, it penalizes you. Imagine that when you first start your Instagram account, you begin with 10 stars. Instagram likes you and they're rooting for you to do the right thing. Then as time goes on, every time you make a move that they don't like, like generating engagement from automated bots, Instagram takes a star away until you're down to nothing. The less stars you have, the poorer your account performance.
Welcome to the abyss. You're being punished and your account is suffering because of it. But it's not all doom and gloom. Once you've identified the mistakes you've made, you can stop doing things that are penalizing your account in order to get your engagement back up. Here's the thing, though. It takes time to earn your stars back. So be persistent and over time, you'll be back up to scratch. Next, be consistent.
You've no doubt heard this time and time again, but it's really worth reiterating briefly for those of you who know you should be consistent but still aren't. Consistency covers a range of things. But most importantly, it means being consistent with how frequently you post content to Instagram. Best practice is once daily and no more than twice. This is for a few reasons, but the main one is ultimately Instagram will penalize you if you're not consistent.
They want their users to be active on the platform end of story, so make sure you're posting daily. Number 3, engagement pods. Yes, they are the real deal. All the big influencer and brand accounts that you follow on Instagram participate in engagement pods. To put it simply, a pod is a group of 5 to 10 like-minded Instagrammers, bloggers, or businesses who operate in a similar niche and have similar audiences.
In this group, they agree to mutually engage with each other's content in order to boost their organic range and their Instagram following. Remember, Instagram tracks how much engagement your posts are getting. This helps determine whether it will show that content to more people. More engagement means increased exposure. Instagram pods are the secret trick that tell Instagram that people are engaging with your content and that it should therefore gets shown to people who are similar.
Pods work by boosting your organic engagement, making it more likely for your posts to appear in your followers' news feeds, in the top post for hashtags, and even on the Explore page. You can try and start your own pod or find one to join. Start by making a list of accounts of a similar size in a similar niche that post similar content to yourself, then simply approach them via email or direct message about joining your engagement pod.
Once you start asking around, you might find out that they already have one that you can just join. If you want to do this faster and understand engagement pod etiquette, check out Hey Engage, the pod discovery and management tool that my company created. Alternatively, you can just do it yourself. It's just a little bit more time consuming. The fourth key factor to developing an engaged audience is shoutouts.
There are a couple of different ways that you can organize shoutouts. First up, the most cost effective way is to do a shoutout for shoutout, which is often referred to as an SFS. This involves finding another Instagram account in your niche with a similar target audience and at a similar size. You both agree to do a post on your respective accounts to give a shoutout to the other account. And by shoutout, I mean tagging and mentioning them in your post.
It's a win-win and works great if you can have a clear call to action in your caption. The second way is to identify a much larger account in your niche and pay them to do a shoutout for you. This operates much like paying influencers to post for your brand, except in this instance, you'd usually be approaching a niche or vertical account that has a really, really large audience. By niche account, I mean an account that has a large following and their posts are based around a particular topic of content rather than a person.
Example topics include humor, makeup, fitness, wellness, and motivation. Number 5, segment your content and weight the distribution properly. The way I recommend you do this is by creating content pillars. By this, I mean determining content categories that you can source and create content around. For example, if you have a yoga business, your content categories might look something like this-- in the studio where you have shots of practitioners in yoga poses.
A second content category could be balance and well-being. These would be lifestyle images of holistic daily well-being practices, things like wholesome breakfasts, fruit bowls, and meditation. And a third category, daily wisdom, quote-based mantras for daily inspiration. These do really well on Instagram. You then create and curate content that fits with your chosen content pillars or content territories and schedule it accordingly.
Doing this ensures that your content makes sense and that your audience has consistency, which is absolutely vital for a strong Instagram presence. Now once you've chosen your content pillars, you need to figure out how frequently you should be posting each type of content. This is the weighting part. For example, your strategy might be to post each type of content equally or you may post one type more frequently than the others.
Not sure how to figure out what's best? Here's how I recommend that you think about weighting your content correctly. To start, let me ask you a question. Have you ever heard the saying, smell what sells? Imagine that you've opened a small gift shop that sells different types of merchandise. Let's assume that you sell things like little teddy bears, notebooks, greeting cards, and flowers. Every week, you sell an equal amount of all the items except for the little teddy bears.
Your customers absolutely love your teddy bears and you sell triple the amount of these every week. At the end of the month, you have a bit of money left over to invest in new stock. What do you replenish? No, this isn't a trick question. You invest in more teddy bears. You invest in what your customers love and give them more of it. The same applies to social content. Figure out what types of content your audiences love to consume and give them more of it.
You may love posting images of flat lays that have your product in it, but your audience isn't engaging with that content. Why make this your main content pillar? This doesn't mean you should only be posting one type of content. It just means that you should actively ensure that you're weighting your content heavily toward what your audience loves and what they really engage with. The way to do this is to take a look through your posts and identify the ones that have performed significantly better than others.
If your posts usually get 200 likes and one kind of post consistently gets 600 likes, you've got it in the bag. Here's a tip to remember. Since you have analytics on your business account, you can identify your top post by impressions by tapping the analytics icon, scrolling down, and hitting see more. Let's move on to number 6. Use stories as a call to action to engage with your latest post.
Instagram stories are a great way to recapture the attention of your audience who might not be seeing any of your feed content. Different people have different preferences in the way they consume content. Stories can offer a bit more personality and authenticity, which goes a long way on Instagram. In your story, post a call to action that asks viewers to check your page for your latest post. This operates as a bit of a teaser and helps to drive more people to your actual page to engage with posts that they might have otherwise not seen.
I have an entire lesson dedicated to Instagram stories later on, so keep watching. Number 7, mix up your media. Videos often receive more engagement than photos and provide an opportunity to expand upon the story you're trying to tell or the message that you want to convey. Currently, I've found videos are still favored within the algorithm to encourage users to post them more.
This is because they're a relatively newer feature than static posts. Note that Instagram is always changing and you'll need to keep on top of any new content changes happening on the platform. Number 8, giveaways. This one's pretty self-explanatory. And if you've read any resources about engaging your Instagram account, you'll know that giveaways are a no-brainer. However, the giveaway scene is getting pretty crowded. Most of us can't go a day without seeing at least five giveaways happening on our Instagram feed at any given time, so it's time to get a little bit creative.
Garyvee's 60 Second Club Giveaway might give you some ideas here. Not only does it drive organic engagement with Gary's die-hard fans, but the engagement is being driven within the first minutes of the post. The earlier people engage with your post, the better. So directly encouraging your audience to engage within the first minute and making it a competition is absolutely genius. It's also a smart way of prompting his audience to turn on post notifications for his account.
Another form of giveaway that's doing the rounds at the moment is the loop giveaway. In module 3, I'm going to tell you all about loop giveaways and give you a few other formats that you can use to engage your audience. With giveaways, keep in mind, a large number of people often unfollow you after the giveaway. Consider running something like a second chance for right after you first one ends to retain more of your new followers and build a relationship before they unfollow you.
Number 9, find and repost viral content. In line with what I said in number 4, don't just look at your own page to see what your audience likes. Go out and research similar accounts to see what their best performing content was. If an account average averages about 800 likes per post, but one of their posts happen to get 2,000 likes, you've identified content that that audience particularly loves.
So where appropriate, repost it on your own account with credit to the original post, of course. Instagram uses visual recognition software that can tell when the same image is uploaded several times. So reposting viral content within a few days of it first being posted will mean that you get some of that viral momentum going with your own post. And number 10, tell people what you want them to do. Last but not least, when increasing engagement on your account, don't forget the call to action.
If you want more people to like, tag friends, or comment on your past, just tell them to. You'd be surprised how many people will do something if you explicitly ask them to. Here's just a few ways that you can ask people to do something. Ask your audience to tag a friend that can relate to the post. Ask them to like or double tap the post if they agree with the content or comment if they don't agree.
Use a motivational quote for this one. Ask them a specific question. For example, if it's a travel account, what's your favorite destination in the world. This sort of thing works really well because at the end of the day, we all love to talk about ourselves. Here's another quick tip. If your post goes viral and it makes its way to the Explore page, it's important that you have a call to action in your caption that says follow at your account.
This does wonders for all those fresh viewers of your content actually engaging with your page and converting into followers. This is one of my best hacks for growing off a viral post. So there you go-- 10 ways to engage and re-engage your Instagram account. Let's recap. Be authentic, stay consistent, use engagement pods, do shoutouts, segment content, use stories, mix up your media, run giveaways, repost viral content, and tell people what to do.
Next up, I'm going to show you how to create beautiful content on Instagram. [MUSIC PLAYING]