One of the things that drives me crazy about some of the advice coming from Instagram “experts” or “gurus” is that the advice they give may work for them now – when they have tens of thousands of followers – but it isn’t the advice that got them there. One of their biggest misconceptions? That engagement doesn’t matter.
Spoiler alert: Social media is more than just the media part of it. The social part matters too (a lot more than people think). Utilizing both is key to a good social media strategy (curious about why you need one? Check out this post).
If you feel like engagement is a buzzword that gets thrown around and you don’t quite know exactly what it means to “engage” on Instagram – you’re not alone. Engagement, in the simplest of terms, is connecting with other people on Instagram through actions like following, liking, commenting and direct messaging. There are two general categories:
When you interact with the people you’re following, respond to your comments & DMs or otherwise engage with the people already in your audience, you’re performing inbound engagement. Skipping this type of interaction is one of the five Instagram mistakes I talk about in this post. Forgetting to engage with the people who have already taken the time to follow you is going to stagnate the growth of your account – you need to nurture your audience. Connecting lets them get to know, like and trust you. Plus, it builds the relationship between your accounts in the eyes of the algorithm!
But you can’t just engage with the people already following you. It’s important to put yourself in front of new faces as well! This is where outbound engagement comes in. Whether it’s through browsing the explore page, relevant hashtags, or the followers list of peer accounts, engaging with
If you do it the wrong way it is. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a cold pitch (that “hey girl!” DM sends shivers down my spine 🙃). This is NOT the type of engagement I’m talking about. Authentic engagement, with a human-first approach, isn’t only about gaining followers and closing sales. It’s predominantly focused on building strong relationships and creating a community. Then, the audience and sales comes naturally.
P.S. I recommend learning engagement from the people who do it RIGHT. One of those is Emma of Right Hand Glam – an engagement agency with both Done For You services and her signature The Engagement Academy program, which I went through.
One cannot succeed without the other – here’s why:
From the inbound engagement perspective – if someone follows you for your great content, but you never respond to their comments and their DMs go unanswered, they won’t get to build a relationship with you. While they might enjoy what they consume, they won’t move past the knowing phase and really trust you to eventually make a purchase from you. You can’t just post content for your community to consume. You have to talk to them too.
And if we take a look at it the other way – from the outbound perspective – if you connect with someone by engaging on their page and follow them, and they come to your page but don’t see high quality content (or you haven’t posted in a long time) – all the outbound engagement in the world won’t be able to make them convert to a follower.
You need both content and engagement to support your business.
The act of engaging is different from your engagement rate. But, that being said, let’s dive into how to increase your engagement rate and get more interactions on your page!
I am so passionate about this topic because it works – for my account, for my clients accounts, and for the strategy clients I teach my methods too. Engagement might feel overwhelming and time consuming (I promise it doesn’t have to be!) but it’s such a core aspect of social media you can’t skip it. To see the kind of results that Instagram has the potential to unlock for your business: You need to be connecting with your community.
Curious how this might look for your business? Book a strategy session with me and we can create your custom content + engagement strategy and workshop how to make this effective for you and your business goals.
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ABC Social Media is a Florida-based social media management company serving female entrepreneurs worldwide through comprehensive management and strategy services.