As important as the size of the follower base is, it is even more important for businesses to build an engaged community of users who genuinely like and trust your brand rather than just a huge number of followers who are entertained by the content you publish on Instagram.
Some effective tips:
Respond To Follower Engagement
Failing to engage with customers actually wastes the entire investment made in creating content and publishing it to attract eyeballs. Answer questions promptly and resolve complaints as quickly as possible so that you come across as a business that truly cares. When responding to customer comments encourage conversions by including a shopping link with your response. Instead of waiting for customers to start the interaction, you can provoke them by asking something with an open question or running a poll. Also, ask for product reviews and invite customers to tell you what sort of content they prefer.
Use Instagram Stories
Stories are the hottest thing on Instagram now with more than 500 million users hooked on to it on a daily basis, mentioned by Search Engine Journal. The informal but short-lived stories act to reduce the barriers that exist between your business and customers when you use them to introduce yourself and other key people. You can also easily demonstrate why your products or processes are better by giving them an insight into your buying process or quality control techniques. Most interestingly for customers, you can use stories to convey the brand attributes and benefits in a more convincing way.
Use Freebies to Reward Followers
As useful the practical tools for boosting engagement are, brands can also boost customer engagement with rewards in the form of free giveaways, deals, and discounts, and surprises to encourage users to engage with you. You can even think of a customer appreciation day that will give you the excuse of pampering some of your loyal customers with a show of love that they will remember. Make sure that when you are giving away the freebies, you, make a lot of noise and publicize the occasion on your posts and Stories for maximum awareness and participation. These reward programs are also very good for earning free Instagram likes.
Use Shoppable Tags to Drive POS Opportunities
The launch of Shoppable tags has meant a huge leap for Instagram in terms of offering point of sale opportunities as earlier customers could only shop using the link in the bio section. Shoppable tags have proved to be very popular; each month over 90 million users tap on the posts to reveal tags that makes shopping possible with just three clicks. Even as a dedicated shopping facility is being tested on the Explore tab, there are stray rumors that Instagram could very well be launching a separate shopping app to monetize its follower base further.
The real success of your Instagram marketing efforts will show in the level of follower engagement that you achieve. However, you need to keep in mind that engaging followers is not a one-time exercise but a continuous effort with which you can achieve a positive ROI.