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 50 comments and your following is 10,000 then your calculation would look like this:

(350/10,000)x100 = 3.5%

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) Timing is everything

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.

With Instagram’s algorithm, it’s very important to engage your followers within the first hour, if not first 10mins, of posting as this will determine the rate at which your post is shown to your other followers. The amount of interaction (likes/comments/dwell time) on your post will also affect this. Therefore choose your timing very carefully and attentively respond to any comments – especially in the minutes after posting. You may also wish to engage some of your community prior to posting by checking out and commenting on their recent posts which in turn prompts them to check out your latest posts. Sharing the love in this way establishes a relationship with your followers and helps build a community which is exactly what Instagram is all about.

2) Have a chat

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. Even if someone simply gives you a compliment be sure to comment back and thank them – it’s a sign of respect and allows you to start a conversation building the bond and strengthening your community of followers.

@kirstenanderton for Vamp x Bobbi Brown

@justjacky for Vamp x Uniqlo

3) Keep it real

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 and the more they get to know you. Share the story behind your images and don’t be afraid to ask your followers what they want to hear and see from you. Stories are also another great way to show off your personality in a way that can be real and unfiltered.

4) Consistency is key

As you focus on your feed and content you will naturally start to develop your own personal brand. Your brand is determined by the tone of your captions and the look and feel of your images. The more consistent you are with your creative execution the more your following will naturally grow – when your potential followers hit that blue Follow button they are doing so knowing what to expect from you and wanting to see more of it! There’s nothing more jarring on Instagram than posting a photo that looks out of place with your style. If there is a campaign that requires you to post in a way that’s quite different to your style ask yourself, “Would this look out of place on my Instagram?” If the answer is yes then it’s time to say “No thank you!”

5) The art of product endorsement, not product placement

Fact is, the reason why Influencer marketers like you are so much better at reaching people than traditional forms of advertising is that people tune out of 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 their engagement game because you are displaying products in their natural environment and creating stories around the products that people can relate to. Check out our recent guest article which features 7 ways to photograph your hero product. 

@Fivelittlebirds for Vamp x Nivea Sun

IG Feed of @Fivelittlebirds

Monique Llewellyn

Vamp's Global Talent Director has worked in digital marketing for 10 years across both the UK and Australia for fashion e-commerce companies including as The Iconic & Harrods. For Monique working with Influential Content Creators is the perfect combination of creativity, marketing and business.

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