Getting to know what your followers will most engage with on your Instagram is an evolving process but that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. We’ve put together a list of top tips for you to build and maintain your follower engagement.
How do I calculate my engagement rate?
Your engagement rate is the number of likes + comments on a photo divided by the number of followers you have, times by 100.
If you have 300 likes on a photo and 30 comments and your following is 10,000 then your calculation would look like this:
(330/10,000)x100 = 3.3%
Instagram users average around 3% engagement so if you’re hitting this benchmark (or even surpassing it) then you know your followers are engaging with your content.
1) Post during your peak periods
Instagram rush hour is a different time for everyone, based on your own unique combination of followers. Get to know your followers; where they’re from, what times they’re on Instagram, whether they’re working 9-5 or 5-9! Try posting at different times of the day on different days of the week and keep track of which photos perform best, when and why. It’s no use posting at 5pm Australian time if you’re hoping to reach out to your American followers, for example, who might be in the midst of a busy working day at that point. Or if your followers are mostly students, posting while they’re in class might mean that they simply don’t see it. Avoid having your photos pushed to the bottom of your followers’ Instagram feeds by planning your posting time carefully.
2) Respond to comments
When a person has taken the time to comment on one of your photos best practice is to reply when you can and try to continue the conversation. People are looking to you for product recommendations and advice so if they ask a question about a product do your best to give them an answer. They’ll be more likely to engage with your content again if they see you as a source of wisdom.
For the Sally Hansen Mani Match App campaign @mollyx___ (right) always responded to her followers’ questions about the app, explaining how it works and where they can find it.
3) Only post products you authentically believe in
Your followers love you for being your weird and wonderful self. Like with any friendship, you’ll find they’ll stick around longer the more genuine you are. So never agree to post a photo of a product that you wouldn’t happily buy in the shops yourself or receive as a gift. If you don’t like the products you’re being paid to create a post for your followers won’t engage well with your content because they know you and they’ll know that it isn’t authentic.
A great example of genuine product love is from our Toby’s Estate Coffee Subscription campaign when @michelle.ong_ (left) wrote a mini blog post in her caption about her admiration for Toby’s Estate in celebration of Australia as a coffee nation. Her love of the product is also demonstrated in the TLC and effort she put into creating her photo.
4) Maintain the aesthetic of your Instagram
There’s nothing more jarring on Instagram than posting a photo that looks out of place with your style. There may be companies that demand you to endorse a product in a way that is unnatural to your own Instagram style and in these scenarios it is better for you to say NO if you feel that it is not authentic to your aesthetic. You might find that you end up saying no more than yes to briefs but trust us, saying yes to briefs that damage your aesthetic does more harms your personal brand and will damage you long term. This is why Vamp will never dictate what kind of content you post on your Instagram. Brands have a great understanding of their consumers and when collaborating directly there may be some negotiations but no one knows your own personal brand, which is what your followers covet, better than you. If in doubt, ask yourself the question, “would this look out of place on my Instagram?” If the answer is yes then it’s time to say no thank you!
@blkwhiteblog‘s post for the Palmers Coconut Oil campaign (above) complemented her Instagram account’s natural, beachy vibes and neutral colours.
5) Product placement, not product endorsement
Fact is, the reason why Influencer marketers like you are so much better at reaching people than any traditional forms of advertising is because people tune out of the in-your-face ads. Where a sponsored post from a brand might achieve around 0.97% engagement (current average) on Instagram, Influencers are way ahead in the engagement game because you are displaying products in their natural environment and creating stories around the products that people can relate to.
@gabimulder’s range of Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 campaign photos (left) showed her using the tablet to plan her New Zealand road trip, edit her blog, listen to music, and even traveling with a picnic in her bicycle basket to keep her entertained at a day at the beach. This has been her favourite Vamp campaign to date:
“I absolutely loved the product so I found creating the content very relaxing and fun. I found myself using the tablet in my everyday life in so many ways, so I never found myself struggling for content inspiration.” Read an exclusive interview with Gabi here.
We loved to see how her four posts gave us snapshots into how she was using her Samsung tablet in her daily life and her consistent high follower engagement shows that they loved it too.