If you’re here, you’re probably wondering how exactly you can improve engagement on social media. I can’t offer you a quick fix. It doesn’t work like that. But, I can give you some tips to reach your audience on social media.
Have you ever felt so disheartened with your social media that it brings you down? You’re creating content, putting your heart and soul into trying to reach your audience and beyond and nothing seems to work?
I know I felt like it.
We start to blame the social media channel for our woes. We blame algorithms, we blame timings, we blame ourselves. Don’t bring yourself down yet, because it doesn’t have to be like that. There are ways you can boost and improve your engagement. Let’s explore.
It’s annoying, isn’t it? Instagram wants you to pay to reach your own audience. How is that fair? It segregates who has certain features, like the swipe up for 10k+ only, it’s easy to want to quick fix your way up there.
Don’t look for quick fixes
The first thing you need to make sure you don’t do is look for a quick fix. Spending £30 for 5,000 followers might seem tempting, after all, that would get you nearly there! But, here’s why you shouldn’t.
- They will not interact. They are bots. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less. They’ll be driven to your site and do nothing else than sit there adding a number. A nobody. So, you might reach that swipe up feature, but who are swiping up? They won’t like, they won’t comment. You’ll be busted pretty quickly when you’re at 10k followers and 20 likes. Very professional. Not.
- They hinder your current engagement. Social media recognises who has ‘relevant content’. Who they think wants to see your post. If you have thousands of followers and no engagement, they’ll assume if those people didn’t want to see it, then nobody else will either. You’ll drop down.
Check your current engagement. It might be higher than average!
You’re probably thinking your engagement isn’t great. But, here’s a fun part. It might be better than what you think. A good level of engagement is currently set at around 3% [Source: influencer marketing hub] for Instagram. If you have 100 followers, anything over 3 likes is considered good engagement. I currently have 7,000 followers so a good engagement would be around 210 likes. I currently reach around 750, which automatically makes me feel better. Take a look at your stats, you might surprise yourself.
Twitter is a fun one because I guarantee you’re above the game already. A high engagement rate on Twitter sits at 0.33% [source: itpliveme]. Let’s check that with my Twitter. I currently have 3,709 followers, a high engagement rate would be 12 reactions, whether that be likes, replies or retweets. My most recent tweet is on 86 likes, 9 replies and 6 retweets. That means I’m sitting on a 3% engagement rate. That maths is looking pretty good.
Remove ghost followers
I know a lot of you have already started doing this, which is great. Not only does it create better fluidity in the business, but it’s helping brands and businesses recognise that follower count isn’t important.
For some context, on Twitter, I have had 1.9 million impressions these past 28 days and 79.9k profile views. Imagine how many people would have seen a product I was pushing. Not bad for someone with 3k followers. This only works if the followers are real and engaging.
It’s the same with Instagram, the fewer people who view your stuff, the fewer people it will show it to. If all 4,000 of your followers didn’t want to see it, why would anybody else? That’s the way social media is designed. Designed to show you what it thinks you want to see, instead of what you might actually want to see. Following somebody should be enough, but it’s not.
You can remove ghost followers on Instagram by using the app I have been recommending on Twitter, called Cleaner for IG. You can download it on iOS here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cleaner-for-ig/ [not affiliate]. Use advanced settings to automatically highlight everyone it thinks you should clear out. Check before you schedule them to go. Sometimes, there will be the odd normal people, who haven’t seen your stuff. Engage with them, encourage them to engage back and all will be resumed to normal.
After using Cleaner for IG, my Instagram stories average views went up by over triple. Even though I had removed 4,000 followers. It’s better if you can remove ghost followers, as soon as they appear. It’s much easier for me to keep control of now the originals have gone. For someone who has had the same Instagram for 8 years, I had a lot of second accounts that friends had created, bots, spam and people who had just deleted the app. I now check every follower, it helps to see who I want to follow back or block!
It’s also important to check your actual followers’ list. Similar to Twitter, Instagram doesn’t show you every notification. I sometimes find spam and bots in my recent followers, but Instagram doesn’t show me the notification because it sees it as a pointless notification. Every so often, I go through or check the app to make sure there isn’t an account that has slipped through the notification net.
Switch between Business and Personal
The most annoying thing about business is Instagram sees you as somebody willing to pay. You’re a business, you don’t have time to engage, you just want your content pushed and shown, so you’re willing to pay the price.
Well, for bloggers and influencers, that’s not always the case.
If you’ve had a business account for a long time, it’s worth switching to personal for a while. With personal, there is no option to pay to promote. You can then switch back to business later on for the analytics and Instagram will recognise you as a new business as opposed to a fully-established one.
Engage with audience
This one should go without saying. If you see somebody’s post you like, like it. If you see a tweet that you want to engage with, reply.
The same goes for when people reply to you. Always engage with a reply. Whether it’s a reply or a like. It’s not only common courtesy, but it means your content stays higher. If you reply to somebody, your tweet jumps to the top. If your Instagram post has a lot of comments, it jumps to the top of somebody opening their app.
There is a new craze of people replying to spam accounts with something rude or sarcastic. Here’s why you shouldn’t do it. Not all of your audience will recognise that it’s a spam comment, so what impression does that give of you? Not a very good one. You might get a few likes on Twitter when you screenshot, but I guarantee you, you’ll lose some respect.
So, what should you do instead? I delete them. If it’s a photo of a cafe and the reply says “Love your clothes” then I can guarantee it’s a spam comment. Everybody else knows it’s a spam comment. So, I delete. It doesn’t clog my photo with irrelevant comments and I don’t reply and look mean to others. Some people do comment on photos that aren’t matching to my photo, I get it on Facebook, a lot. So, if it’s an unwanted comment, just remove it. To people who do comment to talk to you, it looks rude to tear somebody down. Not everybody understands spam and bot comments. Be aware of the image you’re setting for yourself.
Create engaging content
This is something I’m sure we’re all doing. But, if we’re not completing the other stuff around it, it’s something that gets lost. How can the engaging content be engaging if it isn’t shown?
Ask questions, create polls, create posts people want to see, share photos. They’re all ways people will engage.
Keep your content relevant. Depending on how much you want to be seen, depends on if you want to take this one on board. After all, it’s your own social media. If you want it done seriously, then take it on board. I’m not massively bothered, so I stray away from this one myself.
Social media should give your audience an idea of you. Why they want to follow you. Why they should engage with you and support you. If you’re dragging somebody down and subtweeting about somebody you know, is that relevant? Is that the impression you want to give? If you’re a mental health blogger and you’re tweeting about how annoying somebody is for showing mental health traits, is that appropriate?
Try to keep the content relevant to your audience. If they followed you because you’re a travel blogger, try to keep tweets surrounding that. Whether it’s your travel plans, places you recommend, travel photos. If you’re a movie blogger, post about movie reviews, upcoming movies announcements, news surrounding Hollywood. If you’re a Disney blogger, keep it to Disney.
I’m not one for doing that myself, but, it’s a known way to boost your engagement.
These are tips. In no way do you have to follow them. No way does it determine who is a better blogger. At the end of the day, if you have a blog, you’re a blogger. But, sometimes, when you’re creating amazing content and it’s just not being seen, it can be disheartening.
I see people leaving blogging because their content isn’t being seen. Don’t let that be the case. Don’t bring yourself down. I guarantee you’re doing better than you think you are. Recognise your successes. Make friends in the blogging community, be kind and be approachable. Other bloggers are not your competition. There are enough opportunities for everybody. I promise you, brands would rather work with approachable and kind bloggers than bloggers who belittle others.
If you see somebody post their achievement, maybe they’ve hit a goal, or they’ve secured a collab. Congratulate them, wish them well. Do not tear them down, don’t ask them “why you, though?“. It doesn’t look good. Your time will come.
I’ll add a few more posts soon, talking about how I gained 50,000+ followers across my sites over 5 months, how to approach brands and what exactly you should be saying in a proposal. Make sure you’re following my site by leaving your email in the black box, or clicking follow if you’re a WordPress user.