Have you ever had that feeling when you're hitting a perfect stride in your business, you've got a ton of momentum. Suddenly you hit a bump in the road, and you feel like your following is bored and find they've entirely disengaged.
We've all been there. It happens from time to time, just like your car sometimes breaks down. No one enjoys it when it happens, but you can always call up AAA and get immediate help. That’s precisely what we’re here for today, and in this blog post, we will address this with the AAA's of getting out of an Instagram lull and we’ll give you some tips on keeping your audiences engaged and interactive.
1 - Attention
If your following has gotten tired and disengaged with your content and you seem to be hitting a plateau, it's time to win their attention back. A relatively easy method to do this successfully is by capitalizing on Instagram stories. Stories are a relatively new piece of the social media playing field, but they're a great way to stay fresh and relevant.
Why, you ask? Well, for example, Instagram stories keep you at the top of the feed in the app (and we already know that most Instagram users prefer the mobile app than the desktop version of the platform). Instead of just posting regularly to Instagram, draw attention to your Instagram post and yourself using Instagram stories.
Another great way to get more attention is by doing "live" sessions. Live sessions give a new element to your content because merely knowing they can interact with you in real time gets people excited. You can even pre-promote your live sessions or set up a series of them on a precise schedule, so people know exactly when they should be tuning in and coming to see you. You’ll have their undivided attention during that live session, so this is an excellent way for you to get their attention and pull them back in to get them re-engaged with your content.
2 - Ask
Although asking seems so simple, but the amount of companies, brands, small business owners, or entrepreneurs who avoid asking their audience's questions on social media is staggering. Conduct a little experiment: ask your followers a question in the caption area on your post and see what happens (hint: the question is immediately going to boost your engagement).
Another quick small way to ask your audience for more engagement is giving people a specific call to action. They are extremely easy for them to do, so you'll immediately see a boost of engagement. In other words, you're just asking people for engagement and interaction by telling them exactly what it is that you need them to do for you.
You must remember that just because you're on social media all the time, that doesn't mean that your audience and community is, too, or that they know what the behavioral codes and norms are. Sometimes, you have to be very straightforward and let them know what you want them to do because otherwise, they don’t realize it’s what you want.
Another way to ask for engagement is "polls" and "asks": you can ask your followers what's their opinion on a logo, a product you want to buy or even an outfit that you might want to wear that day. Those are a couple of ways that a lot of celebrities and influencers use to boost their engagement, and again, stay in front of their audience more interactively and retain their followers' attention.
Don't forget: social media is just that - social. Just as in every other aspect of social life, it's important to ask for what you want or need and get feedback from the other side of the equation. If all you do is talk at people (and not to them) and interact one-sidedly, you'll eventually end up talking to yourself because they will either tune out or go away.
3 - Audit
We can't stress this enough. If you continue to post the same things over and over and over again, people are going to lose interest. That's just human nature. What you can do to audit your content is pretty simple. Pay attention to the analytics. Or, even better, you can pay close attention to which posts that are getting a lot of engagement and those that are not getting any engagement at all. Is there a common denominator to them? Is there anything that you're uploading consistently, that seems to be getting better feedback and interaction? Great! Do more of that!
You can also take a look at competitors or other people in your niche and see what they're up to and if it's working for them.
On top of that, you can always get ideas from other niches and industries. Sometimes, because of social media niches, all we see is what everyone else in our niche is doing, and eventually, we all start copying each other because even creativity has its' limit. A great solution for that problem is to look at other industries that aren't necessarily related to your own, and see what they're doing and how you can implement some of their game-changing strategies into your content as well.
Fake it till you make it: if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere or growing fast enough, there’s a quick fix for that. You can use Social Proof theory to boost yourself up the ranks on Instagram. Social proof essentially claims that people are more likely to act on numbers, meaning if they see a buzz or hype around something, they’ll gladly jump on the bandwagon. Not all of us were born rich and famous or devastatingly beautiful, obviously, and we aren’t the Pied Piper, as sad as it is. However, we can create an illusion of hype, just like promoters, Public Relations representatives and production companies do: we can always buy Instagram followers, likes and comments. Doing so will artificially create that buzz you want to lure people in with, and you’ll be amazed at how smoothly it works.
Don’t be afraid to experiment: the greatest thing about Instagram is that you can delete your unsuccessful posts and never worry about them again. If you want to try something new - by all means, go for it! Just remember to track the analytics and see if it works for your audience. If it doesn’t, no biggie - just delete it and write it down in the “don’t do” list in your mind.
Remember, it’s virtual: if you’re shy around new people in real life, you can have a huge sigh of relief online, because you have a secret weapon: you’re hiding behind an electronic device! The best thing about it is that you don’t have to be afraid of having your voice crack or maintain eye-contact. Just send a quick message or comment. As with every weapon, please be smart about it and avoid writing mean comments and spreading unnecessary hate.
Don’t fuss over negativity: people have different tastes and opinions. The platform allows you to block those who harass or hurt you and you can forget about their existence. Instead of getting into ridiculous fights, use it. The classier you are, the more your followers will appreciate you as a creator.
Use other platforms: Instagram allows you to upload to other platforms straight from the app itself. If you’re on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube or any other social media outlet - don’t forget to share your new post on them, as well.