how-to-engage-your-followers-on-instagram-and-social-mediaI’d love to tell you that social media is easy when it comes to business. Just post, throw a couple random hashtags you made up in there and voila! People find you! Then they book you and you can keep a roof over your head and food on the table. I wish it was that easy.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in the past couple years is how to engage on social media and what a big difference it makes. If you feel like you’re doing everything you can when it comes to posting, sharing images, sharing content and your social media is going nowhere, these are some things you can change that’ll help it start moving again. It used to be all about when to post and how often, but a lot of us don’t realize what a huge role engaging with your followers can actually play.

How to Engage on Social Media

Posting to Instagram consistently is an important factor when creating a successful social media presence. Once you nail down a routine that helps you have a consistent presence it’s time to take it to the next level with a few ideas for increasing your engagement.

  • Make sure you’re using hashtags. Even more important, make sure you’re using hashtags with a purpose. You don’t want to just hashtag anything in your post because you feel like it. Take the time to research popular hashtags, especially the ones your potential customers are using, and take the time to start implementing those as well. In some scheduling tools like Schedugram, you can schedule a caption for your image as well as the first comment. A lot of users put their hashtags in the first comment to prevent their actual post from reading too spammy.
  • Try using a tool such as Likestagram that will help you follow other hashtags and will disperse likes on your behalf from your account to people who use a hashtag you follow on a post. I like to call this ‘outreach’ because it’s a great way to find new followers, and build your following in an organic way. Instead of you going out and searching hashtags you like on your own, or meandering through the “explore” option on Instagram, this tool essentially does it for you and can help you engage with new people and even your own existing list of people you follow.
  • Get on Instagram and give a like to everyone who likes one of your photos. If they comment on a photo, go comment on one of theirs. Adopting a “comment-for-comment” or a “like-for-like” routine of engaging with people engaging on your Instagram can also build your list of loyal followers.
  • When someone leaves a comment on one of your photos, comment back and thank them or continue the conversation. Soon you’ll start receiving messages and notes from your followers letting you know how much they appreciate how active you are!

Facebook engagement doesn’t work too differently from Instagram. I find it important to do many of the same things I listed for Instagram, but I include some time to look through my newsfeed and engage with people’s posts that I follow. That said, I think Facebook is becoming a less busy place for the next generation of consumers, so I haven’t stressed spending too much time on there. When people comment on something you post, just make sure you comment back. As always, posting consistently is a good way to be present, especially for those followers who may see you on Facebook, but not on other social media because they don’t make the rounds to every platform.

When it comes to things like Snapchat and Instagram Stories, posting consistently is a great place to start. It’s also great to look through other people’s stories and images and send back messages or comments to let them know your thoughts. The more engaging you are, the more engagement you’ll receive in return.

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