The verdict is in from the Instagram gods. Hashtags are no longer the way to grow your page, and Engagement is. I use Engagement with a capital E because it really can feel like a specific thing in the world of Instagram. But the truth is that people make it way too hard on themselves. They’ll spend hours every day hunting down the right people to engage with and then not know how to get back to those people again.
But that isn’t the case for me and my clients. I make it incredibly easy by curating the feed so that engagement is the priority, not the afterthought. Here’s how I do it in 5 easy steps:
1. Follow people and hashtags with whom you want to engage
In order to get the right people in your feeds, you have to follow them. So when you come across someone who is an ideal client, follow them! That’ll get their attention to start with. Then they will begin to show up in your feed, and you can engage with their content.
The same goes for hashtags. Follow the hashtags you want to see in your feed. I wouldn’t suggest following all the hashtags you use and would engage with, but follow a few where the people posting in them are almost exclusively ideal clients. You won’t see every post in them, but you can always click through to the hashtag from your feed instead of having to search for it.
2. Mute people in your feed and stories that are not target clients
This is the tricky part. Go through your feed and ask yourself for every post you see, “will engaging with this person increase my visibility or possibly result in a working relationship?” If the answer is no, then either unfollow them or mute them from your feed. If they’re not ideal clients or industry superstars, they’re not worth having in your feed. Repeat this step with stories as well.
Of course, if you’re like me, you probably have friends and family in your feed as well, and you do actually want to see their content, you can leave them unmuted. Just remember that if you engage with them more than with others then you’ll see their content first and the rest will be pushed down.
3. Engage within your feed and stories
Now it’s time to start engaging in your newly curated feed. Everyone should be a fruitful follow, so feel free to engage on every post knowing that it’s helping you. Watch all the stories, and be sure to vote in polls, answer questions and respond with DMs. The key is to respond in a way that adds value and doesn’t feel spammy. I’ve got some good guidelines and best practices in this post.
4. Pay attention to Instagram’s follow recommendations
I’ve put this one AFTER the engagement step for a very important reason: Instagram will recommend people similar to those with whom you have been engaging. So AFTER you have started engaging, pay attention to Instagram’s recommendations. There may be ideal clients in there for you.
5. Turn on notifications for warm leads
Once you’ve been engaging for a while, there may be some accounts with whom you have a good rapport, or whom you’d especially like to target. For these accounts, turn on notifications for their new posts. That way you can comment on all of them as they are posted. They will definitely start to take notice at that point, and the next time you message them they may have a bit more to say back.
And just like that, you have an Instagram feed that is working FOR your business rather than distracting you FROM it!
If you want to learn how we can help you monetize your Instagram by using it to get real leads for your business, click here to schedule a free strategy call.