PSA: Instagram engagement is a far better measurement of your social media strategy success than follower count.
Higher engagement means more visibility for your brand. When your followers like, comment, save or share your Instagram posts, it shows they’re interested in what you’re sharing. And a smaller audience paying close attention will be far more likely to buy from you or work with you than a broad but disinterested audience, according to Convert Kit.
Instagram Engagement Plan Goal Setting
Before we dive into an action plan, let’s talk about goals. Spending hours scrolling and liking posts isn’t an engagement plan. It’s not about spending hours on the platform interacting. It’s all about being intentional about why and how you spend your time on Instagram.
Setting goals for Instagram not only holds you accountable but also helps you keep track of your progress while keeping time-sucking scrolling in check. You cannot come up with an engagement plan if you don’t know what you want to achieve in the first place.
Identify the purpose of your Instagram:
- What do you hope to achieve on the platform?
- Who is your content designed for?
- What should be the main takeaway from your profile?
- What do you want your account to be known for in your industry?
Make a list of goals you want to achieve:
It’s much easier to create meaningful content when you have a specific goal in mind. Each month or quarter, identify measurable goals that your content will help you achieve. For example,
- I want to sell X amount of services in 90 days.
- I want to become a thought leader in my industry.
- I want X number of people to sign up for my email list to launch a new product or service via email marketing in 90 days.
How to Map Out a Purposeful Instagram Engagement Plan
High-quality content, a sustainable posting schedule, strong calls to action, and time spent proactively engaging on Instagram are the four biggest factors for growing your account month after month.
1. Find On-Brand Content Ideas
There are many ways to increase engagement on Instagram, but the most important one is creating high-value content. Because, without high-value content, you cannot expect people to engage with your account.
Coming up with a content plan gets easier when you have a list of content ideas ready to use. Anytime something catches your eye, make a note of it so that you can refer back. Here are a few more ways to find content ideas for your niche.
Now that you’ve done some introspection and get goals, it’s time to check your Instagram insights.
Creating high-quality content that attracts your dream clients on Instagram doesn’t happen by chance. If you want better engagement and growth, then you need a clear strategy. And the best way to formulate your plan is by running an Instagram content audit.
Here’s how to use your Insights to find content ideas and create better posts.
Every 30 days, head over to your Insights to take an honest look at what’s working and what’s not. You can filter posts by reach, number of likes, number of shares, and even post type (i.e., single posts, carousel, stories, IGTV, etc.)
Make it easier tip: Look for patterns in your high-performing posts. Think about post style, topic, and tone. This gives you a good idea of what’s working and WHY it’s working. Now, you can repurpose content and update those posts to make it easier to reach your engagement goals.
See what posts performed the best and repurpose them into reels, stories, and carousels. Another make-it-easier tip you can use is repurposing your long captions into engaging carousels.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose old posts, reels, captions, and stories because you’ll always be gaining new followers who wouldn’t have come across your old posts. And, most of your existing followers would’ve probably forgotten/never come across your old content due to the algorithm.
2. Pick a Posting Schedule
Once you’ve decided what you want to post, it’s time to pick a posting schedule. I’m pretty sure you know that the Instagram algorithm rewards consistency. Here are a few pointers for posting regularly on Instagram.
Decide how often you’re going to post. Showing up consistently on social media is about finding a content schedule that works for you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking consistently means constantly posting daily.
Then plug your ideas into a content management system. Tools like Trello will help you stay on track with your social media posting schedule by giving you a visual do-to list on what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed. Consider content format when plugging in your ideas. For example, make sure you use all of the features Instagram provides (reels, carousels, stories, IGTV, lives, etc.) while creating an engagement plan.
Finally, batch your content. At its heart, content batching —or tasks in general — is when you set aside a specific time to focus on one project until it’s complete. Then, carve out time to bulk create posts.
3. Call to Actions
Anytime someone interacts with your content, Instagram takes it as a sign to push more of your content to them. A strong call to action (CTA) encourages people to interact with your posts in a meaningful way.
While batching content for Instagram, come up with a list of calls to action you can use alternatively on your posts. This way, you can persuade your audience to do multiple things (like, share, click on links, etc.) without being repetitive or pushy.
Not everyone will comment or tag you on their story because 70-80% of your followers (and potential followers) are usually silent followers who admire your work but won’t say it out loud.
Generic CTAs are like white noise on Instagram. Blanket statements such as “like,” “comment,” or “tag me” are most likely going to ignore your post.
What you can do instead is ask a question or a request specifically related to your post. For example, if you write a post about Content Pillars, you can ask your content pillars? Or have you started developing your content pillars? These actionable CTAs make it easier for people to respond, and therefore they’ll be more likely to engage.
Need inspiration? Swipe my 50 Instagram Engagement Prompts.
4. Set Aside Time for Engagement
To get the engagement you want, you must give engagement on Instagram. You can expect to spend at least 20-40 minutes a day engaging on Instagram if you want significant growth.
Swipe my Daily Instagram Engagement Plan:
- Right before you post respond to all comments or direct messages.
- After you post, check your feed for ten posts you can comment on. Don’t just hit the like button. Leave a meaningful comment directly related to their post. A sentence or two does the trick.
- Then find 5-10 posts or accounts with the same interests as you by searching for popular hashtags relevant to your field—Instagram will help you by recommending other related hashtags in the search results. Again, you’ll want to leave meaningful comments. This is an opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader, and it will help people discover you and, in turn, increase engagement to your Instagram account.
- Share your post to your Story (use an interactive sticker to increase engagement).
- Finally, respond to comments on the post you published to show the algorithm it’s popular.
- If you have some time later in the day, you can use these guidelines to engage more.
I go over more simple strategies to boost Instagram engagement in this post.
These were some of my tips to create an Instagram engagement plan unique to you. What will you be implementing?
Cyndi, Owner of Ascent StoryCraft
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