In college, I started a small Etsy shop and blog from the storage closet in my sorority house. A few years later, and through a very non-linear journey, that small Etsy shop grew into an internationally recognized sweatshirt brand & that little blog led to bestselling books and a publishing career. Now, I'm obsessed about helping other women uncover what they're made to do and take steps to make it happen, too.
Every Wednesday, I send my insiders exclusive resources, ideas, and advice directly from me.
Is your engagement down? Are you annoyed with the algorithm?
You’re not the only one.
Even with the best strategies, I don’t think any of us are completely immune to the fact that social media apps like Instagram are becoming more and more of a “Pay to Play” space, which makes organic engagement a little tougher.
However, there ARE ways to keep your engagement alive. You just need to put a little system in place for every post (I’m a huge fan of systems, btw).
I’m often asked how I’ve managed to keep my engagement considerably strong even with the changing algorithms, and as a business account.
I’d love to give you a million tips but I’ve always found that I’m more likely to implement and see results if I have one, maybe two, clear steps to take. Even if you do one engagement strategy consistently until you master it – until it becomes second nature – it can be massively helpful.
So, how do you boost your engagement on that post you spent an hour getting just right?
It’s important to know when the majority of your following is online, and when your best engagement times are. Regardless of how big your following is, your post is going to have much more success if you’re publishing it to as many active users as possible.
If you have a Creator or Business account on Instagram, you should be able to see this in your analytics within the app.
If you have not converted your account from a personal account to a Creator or Business on account, you can use other tools like Tailwind, to see these insights.
Once you determine the best time to post, you’ll want to make sure you take full advantage of the engagement window after you hit Publish.
How a post performs in the 20-60 minutes after it is published is crucial to its success (such as whether or not your content be shown to more and more of your following, and possibly even land a spot on the explore page).
The reason this window is crucial because within this time frame, the Instagram algorithm essentially decides if a post is “good” or “bad” based on its initial performance.
The more engagement – likes, comments, saves, and story reshares – a post has, the more it will be distributed. In other words, more of your audience will see it and it has a better chance of showing on your ideal client/potential followers explore page.
So, you’ll want to do these steps for at least 20-30 minutes after posting, which means you probably want to be very strategic about the time you post so that it doesn’t interrupt dinner with your family or a coffee date with a friend.
In other words, don’t just sit there staring at your phone for 20-30 minutes straight if you’re not prepared for it. Set aside that time ahead of time, and if you can’t do it everyday (because you know, you have a life), then only plan to post 3-4 times a week so that you can give the posts you do make a shot at better success instead of posting a ton without actually stewarding that content.
Quality over sub-par quantity will provide more value to your audience anyway.
To maximize your engagement, spend the next 30ish minutes doing the following (rotate through the steps) after you publish a post on your feed.
4. Share your post to your story and try to include a juicy headline or promise that creates curiosity. Remember, people are tapping through their stories quickly. You want to hook them and be super clear about what they’re going to get or answer they’re going to find by reading your post. Here’s an example of one of the many times I’ve done this:
For reference, this video amassed over 77,000 views – more than any IGTV video I’d posted before! It was not a professionally produced video…literally just an iPhone selfie video… but I believe it performed well because I followed these steps and also gave it a super CLEAR title that related to a large part of my audience, as many of them are newlyweds, or in the engagement (or soon to be engaged) season.
5. After sharing in your story, post 3-5 story slides with selfie videos summarizing or diving deeper into a concept you shared in your most recent post. Then, pull a quote from that post and share it as a story slide. Again, people are tapping through stories and scrolling quickly. Lots of people are trying to get them to read their posts or swipe up to read their blog or buy their widget. Also, people remember what’s repeated. So, you need to grab their attention by being IN FRONT of them and REPEATING yourself in a way that doesn’t feel repetitive. In other words, you need to find creative ways to essentially tell them the same thing over a few story slides. So, summarizing or diving deeper with a few slides of selfie videos, as well as a strong quote from the post, can be so powerful in driving people to go check it out!
Here’s an example of how I did both steps 4 and 5 on:
Juicy / Intriguing Heading + Story Series Sharing More Context on the Post I Made
Snuck in a poll for increased engagement 😉
Lastly, after that video series, I added a slide with a quote from the post. This put the same content in front of a follower three times in a row but in three different ways. The more they see it presented in a dynamic way, the more likely it is that they’ll go check it out. Plus, everyone takes action for different reasons. Some may have really resonated with something I shared in the video series, while others may have simply been curious by the big red headline on the first story slide that said, “Sorry not sorry. Needed to be said,” and still others may have really loved the quote shared here and finally been convinced they were missing out if they didn’t check out this post!
Give these steps a try the next time you publish a post and let me know how it goes in the comments below!