How Can I Increase the Engagement on My Company's Instagram Account?

Posting high quality content is of course important.

How do I dramatically increase Instagram followers for my organization’s account? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

How do I dramatically increase Instagram followers for my business?

I assume that your organization has a business optimized account. If so, I would recommend using the analytics provided by Instagram to inform when you post. For example, once you have over 100 followers, you can see when your followers are online most, both by days and by hours. Make sure that you time your posts so that they are most likely to be seen by your current audience.

Look for top hashtags in your niche, and use a mix of those as well as less-popular hashtags that are specific to your area. You don’t want one that is so specific and rarely used that no one is ever going to be looking at it, but you also don’t want one that is so broad and popular that several new posts on that hashtag are made every second and your post gets buried and lost immediately.

Ask engaging questions to your audience. When Instagram sees that your followers are taking the time to comment, they will show your content more quickly to more of your followers.

When people comment on your posts, be sure to comment back as quickly as you can to keep the conversation going. Build authentic relationships with the people engaging with your account.

Engage with your ideal customers/followers that don’t follow you yet. If you have competition in your industry, go to your competitor’s pages, and click on the accounts that have commented on their posts, go to their pages, like a few posts, and leave thoughtful comments on them. The reason you want to do this is because those are super-fans, and are people who may be more likely to engage with your page as well.

One way to sort of “cheat” the algorithm and guarantee engagement would be to start an Instagram engagement pod, where you and several accounts all agree to like and comment on each others’ posts as fast as possible, to encourage the Instagram platform to put your post at the top of peoples’ feeds.

Make sure that your message is clear, and that you post content that is consistent with your brand and still personal. Few things are more frustrating than getting things that completely don’t fit an account’s focus - like when you follow an account for recipes and nutrition, and suddenly there’s an outfit of the day post. Someone should be able to look at your profile bio's last six images and be able to tell exactly what your organization does and what type of content they can expect to see from your organization.

Posting high quality content is of course also important, whether it be ensuring that the photography is high quality (Instagram is a highly visual platform, almost like a magazine), or that your followers will get value from it. Before you post something, you should ask yourself if it is entertaining, informative, or at the very least attractive, and if you’d “like” or comment on it if you saw it in your feed.

Tai Lopez has done podcasts talking about a VRIN score to use to guage whether your content is good. It is to judge your content on: Value, Rarity, whether it can be Imitated, and if it is Non-substitutable. This is why posting behind-the-scenes content can be very helpful - it gives users a peek behind the curtain, so to speak.

Finally, my last tip is to take advantage of all of the features that the app offers, including using new features right away. Consider the goals of whatever social media platform you are on - it’s to keep you there (because then more people will pay that platform for advertisements - they can prove people are there to see them, making it worth the ad spend). If the app knows that you are using the stories feature (which you can use to promote recent posts as well), using the live feature, communicating via comments and direct messages, adding GIFs to your stories, etc., it will consider you a “super user” of the app, and again, reward you by helping you with the algorithm.

Above all, it takes a lot of time and genuine content creation and relationship building. I don’t believe there’s an easy answer to it, and believe that most shortcuts (buying followers, using bots to auto-comment, follow/unfollow, etc.) rarely pay off long term with building a community of real people who will actually invest in your product or organization and become passionate fans.

This question originally appeared on Quora. More questions on Quora:

* Entrepreneurship: What is a decent founder salary in Silicon Valley?

* Social Media: How can a small business leverage social media?

* Instagram: How do I become a public figure on Instagram?

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