In today’s post, I’m going to give you the number one growth hack. Something that is going to tremendously increase your visibility and growth on Instagram.
It’s as simple as audience interactions which are also known as content engagement.
There are a few specific hacks you can do to increase interactions on your content but first let me break it down. Why do you want interactions?
Well, engagement/interactions on your posts are a way for the Instagram algorithm to evaluate your content. Is it worthy content that people want to see?
The algorithm needs to decide whether it should push your content out to more people or keep the visibility low if it’s not that good (by the algorithms standards).
Instagram is reliant on content creators feeding the platform with posts – otherwise, the platform isn’t a very interesting place to be, right?
As there are so many people posting content to Instagram, the algorithm’s job is to prioritize real estate (the space on the app) and give visibility to the ‘best’ content.
What the algorithm wants to do is to keep people on the platform for as long as possible. So it favors posts that it sees have had a lot of interaction from Instagram users. It’s as simple as that.
But, why do they want users to spend lots of time on the platform? Well, the longer you’re scrolling through your news feed, the more ads you’ll see. The more ads you see, the better it is for Instagram to keep their ads service running successfully.
While the majority of people think that an interaction is simply hitting the like button or leaving a comment, there’s more to it than that, the algorithm is tracking everything we do.
For example, when you post a Story, somebody viewing it is counted as an interaction. However, if you add a poll or slide barometer and it gets used; you guessed it, that’s another interaction.
By using these tools that Instagram provides, you’re optimizing your content.
There are tons of hacks you can do to greatly increase your interactions – which is why this week’s article is outlining all of the details so you can feed the algorithm exactly what it wants to see in order to increase your visibility.
Bonus: by using these ‘hacks’, you’ll actually start engaging with your audience a lot more. Winning all round!
Building a community around your music and brand is a long term strategy but definitely the most effective strategy as a musician. By building your fanbase one by one, making every single follower feel like they’ve got access to you, they should feel like they almost know you.
The days when superstar DJs used to ignore their fans online and only interact with other high profile celebrities are long gone. It’s all about being approachable, available, and engaging in today’s digital world.
However, a follower on your Instagram does not indicate they’re a fan yet. It’s your responsibility to make them a fan through the content you share and the interactions they have with you. Make every single one feel counted.
And guess what? The secret to building your fanbase is through the followers you currently have. These guys are the ones who have already allowed you into their space – sharing and engaging with your content.
What these early followers do is leave comments on your posts which new visitors to your profile will read and give new fans a better idea of what to expect from your page.
These people are advocates for what you do and will help with growing your following on social media (well, all social media platforms in general). So it’s important to not focus too hard on those who aren’t following you – give more energy to those already consuming your content.
So, here are 4 areas you can work on to increase your interactions on Instagram.
1. Within Your Content
So many people leave the ‘call to action’ (CTA) and questions in the caption of a post. This is when you directly ask viewers to interact and drive engagement on content.
Try including this in your actual content piece too. Of course, on a still image this can be challenging but with a video post it’s very easy to do.
Try directly asking your audience specific questions and ask for feedback in the form of a comment in the comments section. By doing so, you’re catching their attention while they’re still engaged in your content.
By asking them during the video (not right at the end) – there’s a higher chance that they’ll head over to the comments and leave their two cents. Always reply to these comments – every single one – except the automated bot replies (obviously).
Another way to do this is through using carousel posts. The function on Instagram where you can have up to 10 images/videos in a scrollable post. Why not use the final slide to ask a question?
The viewers who have taken the time to scroll to the last slide are obviously interested and highly engaged so you’re essentially catching them at their peak. This only works if you’re using carousels in the correct way.
Let me know if you would like me to make a tutorial on how to create the perfect carousel posts. You need to be able to glide users across each slide while triggering an emotion and telling a story.
If you’re not up to speed on how to do this, leave me a comment or send me a DM…
See what I did there? 😉
Another way of implementing this strategy of luring your audience in to engage with your content within your actual content is to interact with them when you go live. Ask questions and get viewers to reply in the comments. Increase the interactions as much as possible.
Now, there are several ways of getting people engaged in your content through the actual content you share. But what’s the importance of getting people to comment?
Comments are the most important metrics to encourage. Comments show other people how strong your fanbase is and also shows the algorithm how good your content is.
If your audience takes the time to leave lengthy comments, you will score high with the algorithm and new visitors to your profile will get a sense of how important your audience values your content.
2. Replying to Comments & DMs
It might seem silly that I actually have to say this out loud (write it on an article) – but I still see so many comments sections with unanswered interactions. A lot of musicians still have that superstar-whos-too-important-to-reply ethos about them.
Do you think that being unapproachable makes you look ‘cool’? It’s a very common misconception that’s still very prevalent on social media. Well, let me break it to you – the internet is a different place now and you have to reply. It is social media after all.
Musicians must form a strong community around them and this is achieved through being super approachable and answering every single comment, question, and feedback somebody has taken time to write out in your comments section or inbox.
Until of course, when you get so many that it takes up too much of your time – that’s when you’ve got killer growth and engagement. When you get to this point, that’s when we can discuss a different strategy.
When somebody has cared enough to comment, this is your followers starting to engage and you have the perfect opportunity to build a better relationship by acknowledging them.
It can be a simple reply such as: “thank you” or “I appreciate it”. However, the more creative you get with your comments, the better the experience will be for the follower as well as visitors to your profile who are seeing that you care about your followers.
Even better – replying to comments with a question will spark a back-and-forth conversation that can lead to a very interesting, rewarding, and highly engaging experience for everybody involved. Because you’re generating lots of valuable interactions – a user will end up leaving multiple comments – rather than just the one.
Not only this, Instagram will reward this kind of interactivity with more visibility.
Most importantly though, you’re forming relationships and becoming more active on your channel which will encourage others to engage too.
When people see conversations occurring, they feel obliged to get involved if it sparks an interest with them. This is how you start seriously increasing engagement on your content.
The bonus here is that every time a user chooses to engage with your content, Instagram will start showing your content further up their feed. This means there’s a much higher probability that your next post gets seen by more people faster than before which drives more engagement on your content.
3. Using Instagram’s Tools
Instagram has tons of tools for you to use that further increases interactions with your account.
The ‘comment pin’ feature is a fantastic way to choose the kind of comments you want to receive and ‘pinning’ it to the top of the comments section. This strategy shows your followers the type of comments they should be posting in order to potentially get pinned by you.
Of course, you need to choose wisely here. Pinning a comment that consists of only emojis isn’t very valuable at all and will not get any sort of conversation started on your content.
Pin the conversation starters and the lengthy replies – show people what you consider valuable and people will begin to follow suit.
It increases the chances of making other people feel safe enough to leave a comment of their own. Nobody likes to be ignored – so seeing you proactively pinning comments gives that sense of security.
Another great set of tools for engagement are the Story stickers.
Even if you’re just sharing a selfie, include a sliding scale with a fire emoji on it so you open up that post for interactions.
If you have over 10K followers, add the ‘swipe up’ function whenever it’s suitable.
I’m not saying to use these tools every single post but every interaction counts – so use it wisely – but regularly.
Even that fire slider – one person sliding it counts as an interaction – Instagram’s algorithm is counting it.
Going Live on Instagram has some tools for engagement too. You can also pin comments while live-streaming too. For example, you could pin a question or something that will cause people to start interacting once they join the live session.
Using this technique means you do not have to keep repeating the question or saying something several times and it’ll encourage more people to leave comments.
Instagram is always trying out new interactive tools for you to use on your content. You should always keep your finger on the pulse of these new tools.
As I always say, you can get some really good traffic by using new tools as Instagram drives more traffic to accounts who are using these tools. It’s a testing ground so they want to see whether the new function is worth keeping or changing.
4. In The Caption
The caption is a very important area to utilise and share value. You have real estate on Instagram here so you should be using it to it’s fullest potential.
Use it to tell a story, share an opinion or trigger an emotion (or all three). You should also include some questions or ‘call to action’ to get people engaging with the content.
For example, if you’ve made a tutorial, add a call to action and ask followers to “save for later” in the caption. Many people will not have time to view the whole tutorial at that given moment in time so reminding them to save it for later spurs action on your account.
A ‘save’ is also an interaction – if you’ve not quite followed the whole article so far!
Actually telling people to do something has a much higher chance of action than leaving them to their own devices.
People need to be told what to do – we all know how easy it is to speed scroll through Instagram and not really take much in or stop for long enough to realise we’d actually like to look at something a bit later on.
You can also tell viewers to @tag a person in the comment section. You need to give them a reason of why they should do it and not just tell them to do it.
If somebody gets tagged in something and they visit your post they may then browse your profile and other content too.
Heck, there’s nothing stopping them from checking out your bio link and heading over to your other channels.
If the tagged person then responds with a comment or follows you – you’re winning more points with the algorithm and have gained a new follower (even a new fan).
If somebody sees your post and then clicks through to your profile – this is also counted as an interaction. Instagram will then rank this particular post even higher as it’s seen as valuable.
Bio link visits, profile visits, follows, comment replies – these are all interactions too.
There are so many interactions somebody can make on your social media profiles.
Content platforms are reliant on creators to continuously feed the platform with valuable content. Instagram’s algorithm needs to work out what content is valuable and what isn’t. Because of this Instagram is constantly evaluating every single post to see how it performed with the viewers and whether to show it to more.
Time and interactions are the two most important overall factors. The amount of time people spend looking at your content/profile is just as important as the number of interactions your content gets.
I don’t want you to only focus on the likes – there are so many more moving parts at play – you need to think how you can get more interactions across your entire account. This includes the DMs too.
Being on top of your interactions in your metrics – optimizing your content with a few of the hacks above – you will slowly see that your fanbase will begin to grow with loyal fans that will regularly interact with your content.
By getting people involved in your profile, you’ll have a higher chance of moving them over to your streaming platform(s). Whenever you launch new music, release tickets to a show or showcase a new product; it’ll be the highly engaged superfans that will be at the front of the queue.
This is how you build up your loyal fans and superfans – it’s the best strategy for growing your business around your music.
So – stay on top of your interactions – work on growing it week after week. Work on increasing the comments through continuing conversations and use as many tools as you can in the Stories (hashtags, location, interactivity stickers, user tags, etc.)
Keep feeding the algorithm with taps, clicks, views, comments, likes, saves, shares, slides, and conversation! You’ll be rewarded if you stay focused on making your content encouraging and engaging.
Thanks so much for staying with me and please leave me a comment as it really helps me with my algorithm… and more musicians should REALLY see my content. Don’t you agree?