Engagement for Instagram: Build Your Community, Build Your Brand

Posting consistently to Instagram is crucial for your business. But if you’re not taking the time to engage, too, that posting is practically pointless.


That’s a strong statement, I know. But it’s true.


When used correctly, social media should be precisely that: a “social” experience.


Social networking isn’t meant to be a one-way street. Instead, it should be a back-and-forth exchange where you can build and foster connections with people — and with other brands.


This is especially true for small businesses, where consistent and meaningful social media engagement can impact every aspect of their growth, from brand awareness to customer loyalty to community partnerships.


So, what is social media engagement?


In the most basic terms, social media engagement is an online conversation between people.


You effectively speak to your audience when you post to your social media accounts. And when they like, share, or comment on your content, they’re talking back.


While you need to respond to these actions from your audience, it’s equally essential that you proactively interact with other accounts. You can generate business inquiries, website visits, email signups, and more by engaging with your network.


Even more importantly, you’re forming relationships with people who might become customers or partners in the future. The more engaged you are, the more likely people will get to learn about you, what you’re all about, and whether they want to do business with you in the future.


The Rules of Engagement: 3 Keys to Success


If you think you won’t have time to prioritize social media engagement, have no fear.


Effective engagement doesn’t mean you have to spend all day tending to your accounts. (Who has time for that?!)


Instead, you simply need 30 mins a day to:


  • Spend 10 minutes engaging on your feed.


Scroll through the posts on your feed and like, comment, and share when it feels natural. People can see through phony interactions, so be authentic about your engagement. Leave meaningful comments (more than just emojis and generic phrasing), ask thoughtful questions, and try to start real conversations.


  • Spend 10 minutes engaging on Stories.


Instagram Stories get even more action than posts these days, so spend some time watching these short clips and following up with messages. A word of warning: Stories tend to suck you in (and suck up a lot of your time), so set an alarm for 10 minutes and then move on. You can always go back later if you have time.


Also, I suggest starting at the end of your Story feed and working your way backward to make sure you’re checking in with accounts you may have neglected for a while.


  • Spend 10 minutes engaging with hashtags.


Click on the magnifying glass at the bottom of your screen, type in a local hashtag (i.e., #loudouncountyva or #dcsmallbiz), and click “Recent Posts.” This will provide you with a list of new accounts to follow (who will hopefully follow back) and industry-relevant posts that you can comment on, like, or share if you’re so inclined.


So, who’s ready to get started?


Scheduling this time to engage daily is important because it ultimately gets more eyeballs on your account and your content.


Those eyeballs help you grow your online relationships and your brand because the more someone interacts with your stories and posts, the more likely they are to keep seeing more of your content.


And here’s the best part: Since making this a consistent part of my daily routine, I actually look forward to my engagement time every day. It’s a fun break from the work grind where I get to check out some entertaining content, interact with new people, and make meaningful connections — many of which have drastically impacted my business over the years!


So, are you ready to start nailing your daily engagement and watching your business grow? There’s no time like the present to start building those online relationships, so dive in today!


And if you’re having a hard time making time to engage or just need help with all the steps that make up a winning social media strategy, Brand Social Media can help. Check out our FREE Social Media Tip Sheet or sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter that’s always filled with expert tips and takeaways!


PLUS: We offer management and coaching packages to cover any and all of your social media needs. Visit our website to learn more and to contact us today!