Social engagement is becoming more essential to the survival of brands. The pervasiveness of social media, especially Instagram, is now driving how brands and companies engage with their audience.
As such, it is important to get a grasp of how Instagram is defining the landscape of social engagement. Here we will reveal the benefits of social engagement and the power of Instagram.
Image Source: toolshero.com
Essentially, social engagement is a conversation. According to CX Social, this conversation occurs in online communities or across social media platforms. Social media engagement allows businesses and brands to keep in contact with their customers.
When brands use social media engagement, customers spend 20% to 40% more money on that brand. Social media engagement bridges the gap between a brand’s interest and customer needs. Without it, brands might not be able to control the direction of their company’s message and online perception.
Social engagement is the key to shaping how potential customers see your brand or product. It is the perfect way to establish a strong message about your company. Not to mention, starting conversations with your customers allows them to build long-lasting relationships with your brand.
When it comes to your brand’s survival, trust and credibility
Over the last few years, social media has become the dominant method for marketing and communication. As such, it is so important that brands establish a strong social engagement strategy.
Image Source: starmark.com
Measuring your social engagement rate deals with analyzing interactions with your brand’s posts or content. However, social media engagement has more to it than just your number of followers.
Moz shares that there are five major engagement metrics. They are conversation rate, applause rate, amplification rate, economic value, and relative engagement rates.
The conversation rate measures audience comments and replies per post or the
The applause rate measures a post’s favorability with the audience. Facebook and Instagram
The amplification rate measures the “reach” of a post. This means the number of times a post is shared between people. This could be retweeting or resharing content across
The economic value measures revenue gained from posts. However, the most complex metric to measure is relative engagement rates.
Relative engagement rates have to do with comparing engagement between different social media platforms. You will see this in action in the next section.
Image Source: intern.hu
In 2015, there was a surprising fall in social media engagement. Forrester, a marketing research company, studied 3 million user interactions with branded posts across seven social platforms. Their research revealed that people do not engage with social content often.
The brands studied had a less than 0.1% engagement rate on six of the seven social platforms. In other words, the ratio of fans to
On Facebook, for every 1 million fans, brands recorded only 700 likes, comments, and shares. Twitter saw even less. For every 1 million followers, brands saw only 300 responses.
However, Instagram’s social engagement rates towered miles above its counterparts.
Branded posts on Instagram had an engagement rate of 4.21%
Instagram was 58 times more engaging per follower than Facebook and 120 time more engaging than Twitter.
In practice, these numbers look even more impressive. On Facebook and Instagram, Red Bull shared a video of snowboarding on a half pipe.
Red Bull’s 43,000 Facebook fans liked the video 2,600 times. On Instagram, the video was liked over 36,000 times.
The numbers speak for themselves. Clearly, Instagram is vital to unlocking strong social engagement rates.
Image Source: bottrellmedia.com.au
The statistics clearly prove Instagram’s favorability. There is little doubt that Instagram is the best place to expand your brand reach. However, what makes Instagram more engaging than other platforms?
According to Forbes, Instagram rules for four reasons: mobility, visual nature, novelty, and functionality.
Instagram’s interface is built specifically for mobile use. You can edit and post images directly from your mobile device, giving it an attractive instantaneous feel. Moreover, its simple scrolling feature delivers new content to users at an efficient rate.
Human beings thrive on visual cues more than anything. In fact, images are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Moreover, 65% of people are more likely to recall information if presented with an image.
Instagram, by nature, is a visually-driven network. Its main form of communication is through images. As such, it is likely to attract and engage more people.
Compared to other platforms, Instagram has attracted and kept younger audiences. In turn, Instagram can outlast trend changes over the years.
Lastly, Instagram’s functionality is extremely flexible. Advertisers, professional businesses, and personal networks are all welcome on Instagram.
Image Source: salesforce.com
What also makes Instagram
Iconosquare is a great social media monitoring solution. This comprehensive tool can track your tag and filter usage, your growth history, source of
If you want a simpler engagement analysis, Phlanx can do the job.
Finally, it would be remiss to overlook Instagram’s native analytics tools. Instagram Insights analyzes impressions, engagement, brand reach and more. You can even see your audience demographics to improve your communication with a target audience.
There are far more tools than what we have shared above. Considering how diverse the platform is, there are multiple tools at your disposable.
Ideally, the best social media monitoring tools look at followers, brand outreach, post reception
Image Source: infomance.com
In 2018, Instagram announced they were changing their feeds from chronological order to algorithm-based feeds. Initially, this caused some upset and a 33% decrease in Instagram engagement. People were convinced the new algorithm was hiding content among other nefarious things.
However, that is not necessarily true. The algorithmic-based feed is actually geared towards encouraging engagement with content that is more relevant to users.
According to Later, Instagram feeds are not just about who you follow. It is also about who and what you like. Feeds are created based on
For example, you and your friends might all follow the Kardashians. If you interact with their posts often, their posts will be at the top of your feed. If you do not, then their posts will be farther down in your feed.
The Instagram algorithm determines users’ content based on interests, timeliness
The more you like an account’s posts, the more they will appear in your feed. Instagram also prioritizes recent posts and it will favor accounts that you have “relationships” with. If you are tagged or comment in photos with friends and family, Instagram
The algorithm change for Instagram feeds clearly has a massive impact on users. But what about brands and influencers?
Besides the initial panic, the change does not necessarily reduce the amount of engagement. Curating and creating unique, valuable content is just more important. So long as a brand maintains engaging content, the algorithm should still strengthen their engagement.
However, this might not apply to small or newer businesses. Harvey Alarcon of M2M says that the algorithm rewards accounts that have always generated high
However, there are several methods that can strengthen your brand engagement.
Image source: blogs.systweak.com
With over 800 million users, Instagram is the prime location for your branded content. However, it also means a greater competition pool. Consumers want to know what differentiates you from your competition and here is how to do it.
Establish a call to action. According to Digital Dealer, look for exciting, but simple ways to incite or direct action in your followers.
Third, make an eye-catching caption. On Instagram, your photo alone should tell a story, but your caption can add dimension and depth.
On that note, make sure your visuals are interesting.
While Instagram is the most powerful platform right now, promote your content elsewhere. Try adding a link in your Instagram bio to articles or other content you have created. In this way, you encourage more brand visibility.
One Instagram feature that is a powerhouse social engagement tool is Instagram Story feature. Of the 800 million active users, 300 million of them are using Instagram Stories
Instagram already makes it super easy to share relatable, personal content and build a following. We have already seen it is a great way for brands to build a personal relationship with
Instagram stories are photos, text, or video that can be instantly shared but only last for 24 hours. This provides a new immediate way to communicate with your customers and increases engagement opportunities.
Their immediacy helps your audience feel like you are personally speaking to them. Moreover, the quick, temporary nature of Instagram stories make the experience almost exciting. It encourages people to watch and follow lest they miss out on valuable content.
Instagram stories are also extremely accessible. If you look at the Instagram interface, the story feature is placed right at the top of the page. As such, your audience is more than likely to see your content.
With Instagram’s algorithm, users see
However, note that Instagram hashtags work in
This is why celebrities or popular brands might not use hashtags at all. Their popularity alone puts them at the
Moreover, Instagram actually penalizes spam hashtags. It has a list of over 60,000 banned tags. So, if you accidentally use a banned hashtag, your content will not appear in people’s feeds.
Used well, however, hashtags can help you gain more visibility. In turn, your engagement has the potential to improve.
Where hashtags categorize your content, tags connect your content with other people, brands, or events. On Instagram, you can tag through
We already explored how hashtags can help you above. Location tags are useful, especially if you are a traditional brick and mortar business. Also, brands can use location tags to find influencers and get a better sense of your audience.
When you tag influencers or people in your content, you gain more brand exposure. It helps if the person you tag has a hefty following. It means your content will show up
According to Mention, tagging has higher engagement results than hashtags. And it makes sense.
Hashtags really only
It practically invites people to interact with you.
It is an easy
It is evident that Instagram has proven
Later talked to thirteen social media experts to get
Now, you have seen that Instagram is more than a novelty piece of social media. It is no longer just a place for people under 30 to share pictures of their food or vacations. It is an active landscape for brands to interact, grow, and learn from their customers.
Instagram stands out because it opens avenues of communication with little effort. For big and small brands alike, Instagram means the difference of falling behind your competition or staying ahead.
I hope this article was informative and helped you see how Instagram could be
Lisa Loeb is part of the content team at Vivipins where she develops resources to help customers start and grow their own businesses.