How To Increase Your Instagram Engagement (Grow Your Audience) | Ethan Bridge | Skillshare

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How To Increase Your Instagram Engagement (Grow Your Audience)

teacher avatar Ethan Bridge, Social Media Marketing Coach

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

17 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Course Introduction

      1:01
    • 2. Why Engagement Is So Important

      3:59
    • 3. Creators Who Thrive

      4:00
    • 4. Tip 1: Show Your True Self

      2:59
    • 5. Tip 2: Build Relationships With Your Fans

      2:47
    • 6. Tip 3: Take Time With Your DMs

      2:46
    • 7. Tip 4: Utilise Your Stories

      5:20
    • 8. Tip 5: Feature Your Fans

      2:26
    • 9. Tip 6: Having A CTA

      3:25
    • 10. Tip 7: Engaging Yourself

      3:32
    • 11. New: Ask A Question

      2:27
    • 12. New: Keeping The Conversation Open

      2:25
    • 13. New: An Attention Grabbing Headline

      2:14
    • 14. New: Design Consistency

      2:53
    • 15. New: Make Your Content Relatable

      1:39
    • 16. New: Content Structure & Storytelling

      3:04
    • 17. Course Conclusion & Your Project

      2:51
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About This Class

Have you been posting consistently but aren't getting the engagement you hoped for? Or, are you new to Instagram and want to hit the ground running with the best engagement strategy possible? If so, then this class is PERFECT for you.

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Engagement is what drives our content quality score and prompts the algorithm to promote our work by ranking us on hashtags and pushing us to the explore page. Reaching this wider audience outside your usual following is going to be what assists your page growth dramatically.

That's why it's incredibly important, when creating your content, to think about how you can increase the likelihood of those likes, comments, shares, and saves.

So, in today's class, I walk you through my top tips and tricks that you can implement to increase the amount of engagement you receive on your Instagram page!

The modules are as follows:

Module 1 - Why engagement is so important

Before you can learn about the strategies to increase your engagement, you need to understand why it is so important. I tell you exactly how engagement on your content works with the algorithm so that you can take the correct steps going forward. 

Module 2 - Creators Who Thrive

In this module, I show you some creators who are perfect examples of all the strategies I mention. They're incredible teachers and I urge you all to follow them so that you can learn about their tactics.

Module 3 - Tip 1: Show your true self

The creators who thrive are those who are completely transparent with their audience. They take their masks off and let their audience know everything they need to know about them. I break down some awesome strategies you can adopt.

Module 4 - Tip 2: Build relationships with your fans

Trust is EVERYTHING on social media, hence why building relationships are so important. Learn how to do this the right way.

Module 5 - Tip 3: Take your time with DMs

DMs are where you can turn those followers into friends and therefore, should play a huge part in your Instagram growth strategy. However, there is a technique to do it the right way!

Module 6 - Tip 4: Utilise your stories

Stories are one of my favorite types of content on Instagram. They're much less formal and less polished than that of which is on your feed. I teach you how to use stories to build trust and in turn increase engagement on your content.

Module 6 - Tip 5: Feature your fans

This is an awesome tactic used by many creators. Although I'm not going to explain anything here, you need to take the course to find out more about this little golden nugget!

Module 7 - Tip 6: Having a call to action 

A call to action is one of the most important aspects of your content. In this module, I explain why this is the case, examples of how to use them, and how you can extract the most out of this one little statement!

Module 8 - Tip 7: Engaging yourself

Saving the best point until last. You should never expect something if you aren't willing to give it yourself in the first place. I explain why engaging yourself is so important (especially when starting a new account) and how you should be engaging with your community.

Module 9 - Class Conclusion & Your Project

A quick recap of everything you should've learned throughout the class and I talk through your class project.

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For more social media marketing advice listen to my podcast Social Media Marketing School.

Follow me on Instagram: @themarketingethan

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ethan Bridge

Social Media Marketing Coach

Teacher


Who's Ethan?

Ethan Bridge is a social media marketing expert from London, England. 

Where it all started:

He discovered his passion for social media marketing when he launched a podcast where he interviewed entrepreneurs, discussed their journeys, and extracted key tips for business success. Guests included 7 and 8 figure business owners, investors, NBA & NFL stars and so many more inspiring individuals.

What Ethan's doing now:

This podcast was the foundation of his social media marketing career. It ignited that flame and provided him with a plethora of business knowledge. Ethan now hosts the popular podcast Social Media Marketing School - your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about social media m... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Course Introduction: Have you been posting consistently for a long period of time now, but aren't seeing the engagement rate you want to be seeing? Or have you just started your page and want to get the ball rolling from the get-go? If so, this course is just for you. Hi, guys. My name is Ethan and I am the host of the Social Media Marketing School podcast, and the guy behind the page at The Marketing Ethan on Instagram. In today's Skillshare class, I'm going to be showing you my top tips and tricks to increasing your engagement on Instagram. We're going to start off the class by telling you a little bit about why engagement is so important and how it works alongside the algorithm. I'm then going to show you sum examples of people who do it perfectly, and then, I'm going to go through and talk about six or so tips and tricks on ways you can increase your engagement. If you are looking to grow your Instagram page and increase our engagement rates so you can work alongside the algorithm, stay tuned and listen to the rest of this class. I hope to seen you in the next module. 2. Why Engagement Is So Important: How is it going, everyone? Welcome to the first module of this Skillshare class on how to increase your Instagram engagement. Now, before I can actually go into some tips and tricks on how to increase your engagement rate, I first need to tell you why engagement is so important, and how it corresponds with the Instagram algorithm itself. Because once you understand this, you can then cater your actions accordingly to try and work alongside the algorithm. Algorithm, it seems like a pretty complex concept. When you break it down though, it becomes pretty simple and it's quite easy to understand. Essentially what the algorithm wants to do, is it wants to keep people on the platform, that's all it wants to do. When you think about it, Instagram makes money through showing ads to the users on the platform. The longer it can keep people on the platform, the more ads it can show to those individuals scrolling through to feed. The more ads it can show, the more they can charge their advertisers, it's as simple as that. You need to be creating content that is keeping people on the platform. How does the Instagram algorithm know that your content is keeping people on the platform? Because it's getting good engagement. This is why engagement is so important, and with your posts you have the four different engagement types. You have likes, comments, shares, and saves. Although likes and comments are these things that you could falsify, and a lot of people think engagement groups are the best way to do it, I'm going to say now, never ever use an engagement group. Never, if you're in one, get out of it right away, it's a huge red flag to the Instagram algorithm. It can damage your page for the foreseeable future, if not forever. Get out of one right away. The algorithm is clever enough to notice these false engagement through likes and comments from these individuals, and it will flag them. They are people that comment a lot of different pages, and it's normally just great post or fire emoji, thumbs up. The algorithm knows this, it's not hard to spot. If your comments section is just filled with engagement types, just like this, then it's going to be flagged and your content is going to be stopped from being pushed two a wider audience. If you think an engagement group is a good idea to increase engagement, it isn't. I'm just going to put that out there now, it is not good at all, and it is going to harm your account forever, essentially, so never use an engagement group. Now the other two engagement types are shares and saves. Now, arguably the most important engagement type are saves. Let me explain a little bit why. Saves show that people want to come back and revisit your content. Someone has already taken the time to consume your content, so if they save it, then it shows the algorithm, they've already spent time consuming it, but they want to come back and consume it again at a later date. That shows that they are doubling there time using the platform just by consuming your piece of content, which then cycles back around to showing the algorithm that these people obviously spending more time on the platform due to your content. It's going to push it out so that wider audience. It's as simple as that when you think about it. Now, that's not to say that likes and comments aren't important because they are. Comments are huge, if they are genuine. You want to build this audience of genuine individuals who love your content, and that is what I'm going to be teaching you in today's class. But now you understand how the algorithm works with the engagement types. We can now talk about some good individuals who have been able to structure their accounts and build that really engaged audience. 3. Creators Who Thrive: Let me ask you this, ''Do you prefer to follow content or people.'' The individuals who have the highest engagement rates have their masks off. They are genuine with their audience. Their audience knows about them personally. You aren't following a brand, you're following a person. This is why influencers nowadays are so valuable. They have built an incredible amount of trust with their audience. That trust is pretty much what a lot of companies would spend there whole marketing budgets on. They aren't spending the influencer marketing budgets on a brand page to promote their product. They're spending it on influencers who have personal brands. They have their faces to their pages. People are following them, they aren't just following their content. This is what you need to think about, when you're producing your content and structuring your page. Why do people actually like to follow people opposed to content? People follow people because they like who they are or they aspire to be like that individual. It's as simple as that. Especially in the entrepreneurial space like I'm in or marketing, people would follow me because they want to know about the advice I am sharing, the advice I am using. I don't want to sound cocky or obnoxious but some might want to be in the position that I'm in. Have an account like mine one day; that has a great following, has a great community. So they are willing to follow my content because it is the content I am producing that has allowed me to get to that point. If they can see that, act on that, and use that in their own journeys, they one day can get to the point that I am at, with my page. It's as simple as that when you think about it. When you are creating your content, when you are going about structuring your page, take that mask off. Take that mask off because people want to see you. They want to see a page that has a face behind it. Now, let me just give you some brilliant examples of this because there are some people that would say, ''Okay, look, Instagram is impossible to grow on nowadays,'' that, ''It's far too saturated. You have got no chance in starting an account from scratch now, not using paid ads, growing organically, and getting to a 100,000 followers.'' I will tell you now, for a fact, that is wrong. There were multiple creators out there that have grown two a 100,000 followers in less than one year. Just because, they've built fantastic communities and they're posting content to cater for that community. dainwalker, davetalas, thestevenmellor, they have all gained 100,000 followers in the past year. They've started their accounts less than a year ago and they've all got over 100,000 followers. Now, one thing they all have in common is they have a strong brand presence to their page. People know who they are. They're not some logo and they're not hiding behind pixels and free pic images on the headline page. Their face is present to their page and that's what makes them so appealing to the people who follow them. People get that extra connection. People understand who they are. They are showing behind the scenes on what they're actually doing day-to-day. People see this and then they adapt that into their own lives. That's what people want. They want to know how you can get from step A to step B. Step A being where they're at, step B being where you are. If you're able to take the mask off and show people who you really are, how you're doing different things, then that is how you're going to succeed. That is going to be what gets you that increased engagement rate. Now I've shown you some brilliant examples of people who do it great. Go check them out. I probably would have left some little tags of them, of their pages so you can go and seen what they're doing. But now we know who does it best. Let's just dive in now, to how you can increase your Instagram engagement. 4. Tip 1: Show Your True Self: Tip number 1, your audience needs to know the true you. I don't mean they need to know your cat's name or your dog's name, they need to know about you personally. You need to show them sum behind the scenes, if who you are, your day-to-day life, what you're doing and that essentially builds that trust. Trust is the key word in all of this. The more trust you can build with your audience, the more likely they're going to engage with your content, and let me put it this way, would you ever buy from a brand that you didn't trust? No, you wouldn't. You would never buy from a brand that had a bad reputation. If you've got a great reputation as a creator and people trust you, people are going to shout about you. People are going to engage with your content because they know you were genuine. They known what you are saying is valuable and it's true. The more your audience knows about you as an individual and about what you do day-to-day that is what builds that trust. You are being transparent. You need to be as transparent as possible from day one. You can't put this massive guard up and expect people to trust you because you don't want to show them your journey. It's those individuals that are willing to share things for free for a long period of time without asking anything in return that are able to build that trust in a shorter period of time. You will see a bunch of creators posting their standard content and holding back premium content to pump out in an e-mail list or put in a course, so sell in an e-book. Don't do that. Don't do that straight away. You need to build that trust first before you can go and sell that e-book. Because put it this way, if you've got 3,000 followers and you've posted mediocre content for a long period of time and you've been holding back all of this valuable content that possibly could have got you that increase reach or increased engagement and wider audience, you've really held yourself back. You need to make sure you were posting everything. In my opinion, those that hold back they're most valuable content, are somewhat insecure about what they're talking about. You need to be willing to give away your best quality content because it's that quality content that will bring you the leads. People will seen that and go, Okay, this guy really knows what he's talking about. I'm going to reach out to him, you could potentially, even get a paid client from this individual rather than just a follower bit of engagement. So to summarize, make sure your audience knows as much about you as possible, be as transparent as possible, and show them everything about your journey, that builds that trust and in turn will increase that engagement on your account. 5. Tip 2: Build Relationships With Your Fans: So tip number two, you need to be building relationships with your biggest fans. These are the individuals that are going to rave about you. These are the individuals that are going to tell people about who you are and what you do, they're going to bring in those referrals and that is what's going to help your account grow exponentially in the long run. It's the concept of 1,000 true fans, if you haven't herd of that concept before, definitely search it up, give it a read, just type into Google 1,000 true fans, it's a brilliant braid. Essentially, what it is, is it says every content creator, whether that be a Music Producer, a social media guru, a YouTuber, all you need is 1000 true fans to make a living. By 1000 true fans, I mean, these people would do whatever for you. They will follow you across the country to see a concert. They will bought every single e-book that you release. They will sign up to every single course. They will watch every single video you produce from start to finish. It's those individuals and you only need 1000 of them to make a living. Just 1000. So if you can have 1,000 true fans on your Instagram page, you are off to the races, because put it this way 1000 true fans means 1000 comments on every single post. In the grand scheme of things, 1000 people, isn't that many when there's a billion active monthly users on Instagram, 1000 is next to nothing. So you really, really need to focus on building that core follower base for your page. You need to make sure you are building those relationships with people that do love your content. So let's say you see someone comment on your post three consecutive times, reach out to them. Don't just reply to their comment saying, "Thanks, I really appreciate it," because that's not going to help you in the long run. They want to feel rewarded for their engagement. So send them a DM. Be like, "Okay, thank you so much for engaging with my content, it has been really good. Tell me a little bit about yourself. I'd love to get to known you." Build that connection, give them a follow because they clearly love what you do. So if you give them a follow back, that's going to make them feel good. Imagine if your favorite creator followed you back, you would be ecstatic. So be kind to these people that are engaging with your content religiously because these are the people that are going to refer you to others in the long run, these are the people that are going to help you grow your account exponentially. So those people that are engaging consistently with your content build that relationship, make them a friend. 6. Tip 3: Take Time With Your DMs: So we are moving on to tip number three now. Now I'm going to take things down into the DMs. We've already talked about building relationships with your biggest fans of your page but now we're talking about people who just reach out to you in the DM for help because you will get it as you post more consistently over time, people will start reaching out to you, asking you for advice, asking you about who you are? What you do? What you're about,? You need to take time of these individuals. They may not be fans here, but this is your opportunity to turn next follower into one of those fans. So you need to give as much attention to these individuals as possible. You shouldn't just have them ask you a question, you answer it and then that be it, that's conversation over. That's not what you want to do. Answer their question, but then ask them, "Why did you want to known this? What do you do?" It be great to learn a little bit more. That way you are showing genuine interest. These people will be thinking, "Okay, this guy's got a great following. He's got a good community already, but he's taking a lot of time out of his day to talk to me on a more personal level. That is great. That is what I want from creators, that is what I want to see showing up in my feed." So if you can take the time just once, even just once with these individuals is better to obviously do it time and time again, checked in on them, seen how they are, what are they up to? Have they progressed since you last spoke to them? Even just once of giving someone the time of your day to engage with them more genuinely for a longer period of time that could turn that follower into a friend. Those are the fans that will comment on every single post. You are getting every step closer to those 1,000 true fans that I previously mentioned. One of the things I like to do most is refer people elsewhere. So if they asked me a question on increasing engagement, let's just use this course example as an example. I will give them tips and tricks, but then I'll refer them to somewhere else where they can learn more. I'd be like, "Okay, look, if you loved what I've told you, here maybe you should read this book by X author or read this blog," send them to 1,000 true fans, or refer them to a YouTube video, and then they'll go, "Okay. This guy is actually really helpful, he's not just helped me, he's referred me somewhere else and I am now going to go and consume that." Give it a week, then go back to them. How did you found that book? How did you find that video? Did it help? That then engages that conversation again and you further build that relationship. Do you see how it works? It's not hard because these people reach out to you first. You just have to engage them more genuinely. Talk a little bit about them, get to know them, and that turns that follower into a fan. 7. Tip 4: Utilise Your Stories: Tip number 4, and this is one of my favorites. This is something I like to do a lot of time. That is to use Instagram stories as much as I possibly can. Instagram Stories of phenomenon. They were a great addition to the platform and you can see how they have developed over time. Instagram really focus on these. If you've seen recently, it's actually been testing, doubling the amount of stories that are shown on your feed. The moment it's just one bar, but they are thinking of actually doubling it to two. The fact that they're testing this, just shows how important they are to the Instagram community, and how important it is for you to be using them. But you might be thinking, okay, brilliant, fine, Instagram stories are good, but how can I use them to increase my engagement? Instagram stories are less formal content than that of which you post on your feed. They are less polished. They don't have to take as much time all you have to do is click ''Record,'' have yourself talking for 15 seconds, 30 seconds, however long you want your story to be, stop recording, hit ''Paused.'' There's no editing needed. Just add a couple of captions. But what it allows you to do is give your followers are behind the scenes, looking into what you're doing. Your story content should be a completely different content strategy to that of which you are using on your feed. You shouldn't just be using your stories as a place to promote your new post. That's what I'll see a lot of people doing. All of their stories are just comment on my new post. I've posted something, go check it out. You need to be using your stories as a completely separate content strategy. You need to be making the most of them. If you are creating content for the week on a Sunday, let say, and you are going through your content process, take people through it, take people step-by-step on how you do things day-to-day. For example, if you've got a morning routine once in a while, take them through that morning routine. If you're reading a book and you come across a great part, show them, read it out to them because it will resonate with them as well if they follow you, they already love the content you produce and probably have a similar mindset on wants to know similar things you do. If you come across great pieces of information when you're reading a blog post or reading a book, show other people these. That might encourage them to read that book as well, it may teach them something new, that is what you want. But it's a great way to give people an inside look into your life without having it to be on your feed as a more formal piece of content. Let's just say you're doing something day-to-day, or you reach a milestone, or buy a new house. Then that's quite extravagant one, but people will be interested in that people are following you for who you are. They want to know about these things. People are dancing, believe it or not, people want to see these things about your life. If you do have something that is big or milestone, let them know if it's your birthday, let them know. It's as simple as that. Just give them an inside look into your life. That inside look really builds trust. Because let me say this to you, some of your favorite influences. It may be one of my favorites was Caseyneistat. He was a phenomenal YouTuber. He still does YouTube, but he was the guy that pioneered vlogging. He was one of the very first people to start daily vlogging and I followed him since day one. I found his account before he started daily vlogging. But daily vlog, pretty much took people into his life. But he didn't know these individuals, yet he would have people come up to him on the street that he had no idea who they were complete strangers. But just to think that complete stranger almost knew pretty much everything about him is quite scary concepts. But that is how he built his trust with his audience and why he was so popular. People loved his life and he shared everything with them. But he didn't know who they were. Your favor influences. That's how they do it. They just give you an inside look into their life and you think you are pretty much friendships them. You know everything about them, but I know nothing about you. But by them showing you their lifestyle is how they captured your trust and that is how they begin to influence you. If you are using your stories to give people an inside look into your life, you are going to build that trust. That trust is what builds that engagement on your post. People will respond to your story. I'll say, oh, that's really cool. How did you do that? Or I liked what you did on your content creation post there. Please can you teach me, or show me where you got that from. Or you might buy a new house. That is really cool. I love that ornament. It's really simple. Some of the things you show may be completely off-topic and stupid, what you do. But sometimes that's not a bad thing. It's not a bad thing to fear away and show something that is a bit different. You might be a gym lover and you might do a workout, take people for a workout. But people who are following you and also love going to the gym, there'll be able to further resonate with your content. That again, built even more trust, and that is brilliant. More trust, more engagement. Tip number 4, use your stories to give people an inside look into your life. 8. Tip 5: Feature Your Fans: So moving on to tip number 5, and that is to feature your fans. This is a little hack a lot of creators like to use to increase the comments they get on their page. So what a lot of creators do is they feature the best comments they get from their fans in their stories and they tag them. That tag is essentially a shout-out to the individual that's commented. But those people that are viewing your story and they're seeing the people getting featured for commenting on your post, they're going to think what the hell, so if I comment on this person's post meaningfully with added value and I get a shout-out for that, it's a no-brainer. This will encourage people to engage meaningfully with your content and what does that do? Tells the algorithm that your content is worthwhile pushing to a wider audience. Although this tip is a little bit back handed, you're saying to your audience, look, I'll give you a shout-out if you comment on my post and I like it, you are not actually telling them that though, you are basically just showing that you are doing it. That encourages people to engage more with your content. So indirectly, by giving your followers a shout-out for being a great fan, you are getting even more people to engage with your content. Even though it's something small, even though you are giving someone a free shout-out, its not a shout-out. You were just thanking someone for providing some great value on your piece of content, you are going to receive an increased amount of engagement. This was just a little hack, but is a great one to use because you will see a huge amount of comments on your posts if you do so, especially if you already have quite a large audience. Let's say you have 5,000 followers. Those who have one or 200 followers are going to think, if I can get on this person's story, that is brilliant, that is going to increase my chances of getting more page visits and getting my page off the ground. You will see a lot of smaller creators really start engaging with your content in an attempt for you to share them on your stories. That was just a quick tip, definitely use it though because it is really worthwhile. 9. Tip 6: Having A CTA: Moving onto the next step. This is one that a lot of people don't utilize enough and it's really important. People often forget to include a call to action on there post. If you don't ask, you are never going to get, if you want people to comment, ask them to. If you want people to save it for later, tell them to. It's really, really simple. For example, in my carousels, on the final slide I do pretty much all of this. In the top right, underneath the three little dots, I have something that says turn on post notifications, because they have to click those three little dots to turn on post notifications. If you don't ask, you won't get. In the bottom right, I have save this for later, right above the little Save button. Since doing so, has increased my saves dramatically because people then think, that's where the save symbol is. Let me just tap Save. Doesn't cost them anything to do it. You've just told them to, so prompt them to. But on that final slide, I have my call to action. I think about this, it's not something I just put [inaudible] comment what you thought. If my post is about my content creation process, put on the final slide. What is your content creation process? Comment below. Or let's say you've made a post about Facebook retargeting ads. Do you use Facebook retargeting ads? This prompts a conversation in the comments. You can't just expect people to comment. Some people won't think, people will read, they'll like, they'll scroll on. But if you ask them a question, they'll think, " They've asked me this. I've just read that piece of content. Let me respond." That is what you want as a creator, that is going to increase that engagement rate dramatically because that won comment could turn into four or five. If they say something and respond meaningfully and it's something that you could expand on. Say, " Okay, that's great. Have you ever tried this?" They might come back again. This is ramping up that engagement dramatically, and because people keep coming back to seen your content because they often tend to respond to your comment like I said at the beginning, this is telling me algorithm that more people are spending time on your content. The more people that spent time when your content, the more the algorithm is going to want to push it out to a wide audience. You've reached the Explore page, you will increase your ranking on hashtags. That is great for you. It's all through just a few little hacks to increase your engagement rate. Please make sure you are including a call to action. If you are posting a single image posts, don't put it on that, have it in your caption. Because people will often read your captions if you're just posting a single image posts. Finish off your caption with a question that relates to that piece of content that encourages a conversation in the comments section, if you are using a carousel like I do, put it in the final slide. If you are talking in a video like this one, finish of the video saying a question. It's really simple. But if you don't have a call to action and you don't ask your audience for response. Most of the time, you won't get one. Include a call to action on every single piece of content you produce. 10. Tip 7: Engaging Yourself: Moving onto my final tip of this Skillshare class and I've saved the best for last. It may seem like a really, really obvious point to make but people disregard it. If you want to have an increased amount of engagement on your content, you have to engage with other people, especially when you're first starting your page. It baffles me sometimes, people will start their page, they will post six or seven pieces of content, they'll have 100 followers and they'll send me a DM, and they'll go, ''Ethan, why on earth I'm I getting no engagement. I've posted six brilliant pieces of content that are packed full of value, everyone needs to see them but no one is seeing them and no one is engaging.'' I simply ask them, well, have you engaged with anyone yourself? Nine times out of 10, their hearts will be, ''Well, no, I haven't. Why do I need to do that?'' If your page is brand new, you can't expect people to just stumble across your content. You have to go out and find them. What you are going to do is you're going to go on related hashtags, you're going to find related accounts, you're going to respond to comments in other people's comments section, you're going to go on to those commenters and engage with there content. If you engage with other people, people will engage with you in return. You can't expect to receive if you don't give in the first place. Now, there are various different engagement strategies that you can use to make this a lot easier. I'm going to make a completely separate course on this to help you guys out. There are sum brilliant engagement strategies you can use to make this as streamlined as possible and really, really maximize your time that you do spend engaging. But I must stress, you really, really need to engage with other people to increase the engagement yourself and this will be for your first 1,000 followers or so. You won't seen that in organic engagement until that point. You really, really have to work hard on reaching out to those other individuals and making sure that they come back to your content. You need to seek your fans, your fans won't find you initially. Eventually when you can ramp up your engagement organically and people are just automatically engaging with your posts, you're reaching the explore page, you're ranking on hashtags, people will just comment. It's inevitable but that happens with time. When you're first starting out, you have to really, really seek out those individuals for your page. But one thing I must stress when you are engaging with other individuals, I don't mean just going over it and commenting thumbs up or the fire emoji, great post, this was awesome. You need to be really, really detailed with what you're commenting. If someone has posted something about an engagement strategy, go, ''This was really, really helpful. I particularly like the point you made about blank. I try to do this when I engage and I've seen great success doing so.'' By doing this, not only have you showed them that you've properly consumed their content, you were then adding further value to their post. That could increase your chance of getting a pinned comment and if you get a pinned comment on quite a large page, that increases the chance of you getting more profile visits, more profile visits means more eyes on your page, means growing your audience, means increased engagement. To increase your engagement, you need to engage with people yourself. Do not expect anything in return if you aren't willing to give it in the first place. 11. New: Ask A Question: To increase the amount of comments you are getting on your pieces of content, ask a question. This links into that call to action point as well. When you get to that final slide of your carousel, ask your audience a question, but make sure that question relates to the piece of content that they have just consumed. If they don't match, then it's just going to send the audience in the complete wrong direction. They'll get confused and they probably won't end up commenting. But for example, if it was a piece of content on how to increase your Instagram engagement, on that final slide, you could ask the question of, how do you increase your engagement on Instagram? Comment below, because now you're directing someone to comment below, but you've already prompted them with something that they should respond with. When you ask someone a question and you then set their minds in a certain direction on how they should answer it, then they are far more likely to comment. I have found that when I post a piece of content without a question at the end, the comments are far lower in the amount I get because people don't know what to comment. I'm not prompting them to comment in a certain manner, which leaves it up to them as to what they should comment. When you don't prompt people to comment in a certain way, they're far less likely to do so because they are left to their own devices on what they should actually comment. But when you prompt them in a certain direction and tell them that they should be commenting in a certain way, that gets them to think, and people love sharing their opinions and their expertise. People love to show off a little bit. If you're giving them an opportunity to share their expertise or give their opinion, they are far more likely to do so. Ask a question. Ask a question on that final slide and tell them to comment below, but I would also add that same question at the end of your caption because what you don't want is somebody to consume your piece of content, then see the question, but then consume your caption and forget about that question. Have that same question at the end of your caption, and for those that do read the caption, also, because they are then reminded of what they need to comment. Those that read the post and the caption are those that are the most interested in your piece of content, so that's the attention you don't want to be wasting. Direct them again. Ask that same question and tell them to comment below. It's just a hack I've been using, but it's worked extremely, extremely well. 12. New: Keeping The Conversation Open: Keeping the conversation open from the comments you get. I see a lot of people making the mistake of having a comment on their posts and simply responding with thanks, this is a great point or love this or an emoji as a simple response to a comment where they could have been a conversation. What is one comment is now just two, their response and your response. There's no reason that these can't be turned into a conversation to maximize the amount of engagement you are actually getting on your content. What I suggest you do is ask open ended questions. Don't let the conversation die. If somebody makes a great point, ask them about it, go into more detail. Ask them him they've implemented it in the past or how they're going to implement it into the future, or what they thought of the piece of content itself that you gave an opinion on. That's going to lead them to a response. You could then ask another open-ended question or cut the conversation off there. But even if you ask just one more question, that comment has now turned into four because they would have commented, you would have responded, they would have commented again, you would have responded. One or two comments becomes four. But if you then keep the conversation open, the amount of comments you get on your post is infinite because people will keep coming back and having that conversation on your post. When you have a conversation in the comments, it leaves it open for other people to jump in as well, which you'll often find. It doesn't even have to take your input of keeping the conversation open because you just have other commenters having a conversation amongst themselves. When they snowballs, I've had hundreds of comments ended up being on my pieces of content simply for the fact that I started a conversation and lots of people got involved and then they carried it on. That is a very simple way of increasing your engagement. Ask open-ended questions. When you ask open-ended questions, you create conversation which is going to keep people coming back onto your content and commenting over and over again increases the amount of comments you're getting, increases the exposure of the content. Because Instagram is saying the fact that people are loving that piece of content because they're coming back to it. They're having conversations on it. Which is then going to cause the Instagram algorithm to pick your content to a wider audience, which then attracts more people. Very simple but works extremely well. 13. New: An Attention Grabbing Headline: You need an attention-grabbing headline. I've seen people using headlines that are far too long. Twelve words, for example, way too long for a headline. You need it to be short, snappy, straight to the point, and intriguing: How to get more followers? It tells people exactly what they want. It tells people exactly what they're going to learn. They know it's going to be value-providing because it's a how-to post. It intrigues them because they want more followers, obviously, so they're going to think, "How on earth do I do it? I'm going to consume this post because I want to learn how to get more followers," and finally, it's not too long. How to get more followers? Five words. Simple, short. People aren't going to waste time having to read the whole headline if it were 12 words to actually learn what they were going to be consuming. It's straight to the point. How to get more followers? Complement that with a nice image, and there you go, it's a great headline slide. How to solve whatever the problem is? They are short, snappy headlines. Grabbing someone's attention is the main thing when it comes to creating social media content. There is so much competition, and a lot of people follow hundreds, if not thousands, of other creators, so in that news feed, you are competing with so much content, so if you aren't able to have that attention-grabbing headline, that attention-grabbing cover slide, nobody's going to consume your content. Actually getting someone to stop and actually begin scrolling through your content or watching your video is so important. It's so important because if you can't grab their attention initially, there's no chance in them consuming the rest of it. It's all about grabbing attention, retaining it, and leveraging the attention you have build, so please pay attention to your headlines. You'll learn, as you go on, what headlines work, you test different things, you realize what your audience interacts with most, what actually they enjoy consuming, so you can tailor your headlines accordingly, and your copywriting will just improve in general, but please pay close attention to your headline and what you're writing because it can make or break your post. 14. New: Design Consistency: Design consistency. Now there's a few reasons as to why design consistency can actually be pretty good feel content, and I'm going to go into detail on two of them. Number 1, it makes it look presentable. Your feed when people come and visit it, can see that there is that consistency in your design, there is the same type of colors used over and over again. It just makes your page look more presentable, and that does play a role in your reputation. If somebody were to come to your page, especially if it's going to be a potential client, or customer, and they come to your profile and they see that it's messy, sloppy, there's no real care going into the design, that may have a bad first impression on that individual. They may think if this person doesn't care about their content, and they're not going to care about their products, so me as a client, and you don't want that. However, if you had that design consistency, you put some effort into the way your posts actually looked, that there was consistency in the colors you use, and that consequently makes your page or profile look far nicer and cohesive then leaves a good first impression. People could have come on and go, oh, this person cares about their content. They're going to care about me also. How you do something is how you do everything. If you want to give off that vibe that you do really care about everything you do, then you have to care about the way your content looks also, because as I said, if it looks rubbish, people are going to look at that and go, this person doesn't really care. You don't want that because that may lose you that next potential client or customer. Now the other reason that design consistency can work in your favor is that people begin to associate certain content with you as a creator. I've always kept a similar style, so when somebody is scrolling through their feed and they come across my content, they know it's mine because they've already consumed content in the past that looks pretty similar, the same color schemes, the same cover photos, the same slides within the carousel, the same type of video. They know it's me. If they like my content and they're scrolling through, they're going to stop because they're going to go, oh, that's Ethan's post. I like consuming Ethan's content. I'm going to stop, I'm going to consume it, I'm going to engage with it, I'm going to like it. It works in your favor in that way also. Get your followers, get your audience knowing the type of content you create so that when they are scrolling through that feed, they know it's yours, so they will stop and they will consume, and they will engage. There's two good reasons there as to why design consistency can be incredibly important and level up your content. It's not hard to do so, just use the same colors and the same design process. It can make it much more streamlined also. Once you know what you need to do and how you need to design, it's just clockwork, rinse and repeat. 15. New: Make Your Content Relatable: Making your content relatable. If your content isn't relatable to somebody else, then they're not going to be able to connect with it on a more emotional level. You want to connect with people on an emotional level because when people are truly invested in that piece of content, that's when they are much more likely to engage with it. For example, if you spoke about an experience, then somebody else may be easily able to relate to that experience also because it's happened to them or it's happening to them at the moment, or they know that it's going to happen to them in the future. When they can connect with it on that emotional level, they're far more likely to like it. They're far more likely to comment on it because they have an opinion upon it. They're are far more likely to share it with their friends because they feel confident in the fact that they are going through this or their friends maybe going through this. If, for example, it's teaching them something that they're going to come across in the future and they can relate to that fact, they're far more likely to save it because it's far more likely to help them solve that problem when they do come across it. But that wouldn't have happened if that piece of content hadn't been relatable to the audience in the first place. You have to be catering to the needs and the wants of your audience otherwise, they're not going to want to consume it in the first place. If they're not consuming it in the first place, you're not going to get them to like it, you're not going to get them to comment on it, you're not going to get them to share it, and you're definitely not going to get them to save it because they don't need it. But if it is relatable and it is catered to the needs and the wants of your audience, then all of those things will happen naturally because it's of value to them. Very simple point, but essential. With any piece of content you create, make it relatable to your audience. 16. New: Content Structure & Storytelling: Now, the final point I want to mention and this is one that you have to increasingly practice over time again and you will get better at over time, and that's to actually tell a story within the content you create. When you tell a story and you take your viewers of your content on somewhat of a journey throughout the consumption of that piece of content, it's far more engaging, it's far more interesting to actually consume, it holds and retains their attention. I've consumed a lot of content where it seems all over the place there's no structure. Let's say it's a 10 slide carousel and I'm on Slide 2 and it's already sent me all over the place with thoughts and directions, I'm not going to continue to read that until the 10th slide. I do apologize. But it's just not interesting, hasn't retained my attention, it's not kept me on a direct path to help him learn what I want to learn in the easiest way possible. What I encourage you to use is a simple formula called AIDA. AIDA is an acronym. It stands for attention, interest, desire, action, and you need to use them in that order. So your headline slide on your carousel or the start of your video, attention. That's that headline, that's what's going to grab people's attention, who'd have thought it. Interest; this is where you begin to build their interests in the first 3-5 slides of your carousel. Don't go straight into the value, get people excited, warn them up, make them realize they have a problem, build the interest. Desire; the final few slides, the end of your video, or the mid to end of your video, depending on what type of video you're creating, solve the problem, give them what they desire. Don't build up all of their suspense and interest and then leave them hanging because you don't give them what they want, what they desire. Provide the value, and make sure you do it in the best way possible. But now because you've done all that, you've gauged the interest and held the interest, you've given them what they desire. Action; that call to action at the end of your post. Whether it be a question like a previously mentioned to get them to go and comment or engage, or get them to go and listen to your podcast, visit your website, go to your shop, you name it. But don't waste all of this attention that you've built throughout this post. Leverage it, send it on, don't let them simply scroll on to the next post in the feed and because you've provided this person with the value, they're much more likely to act on that call to action. Structuring your post in a way that actually tells a story, it's going to make it far more engaging and far more successful as a piece of content. Think about that AIDA formula, or variations of that AIDA formula so that you can maximize the potential of your content, have a solid structure, and tell some more of the story in what you're actually creating because it's going to help build and retain a leverage attention which consequently makes your content far better. 17. Course Conclusion & Your Project: That wraps up this Skillshare class on how to increase your Instagram engagement. I really hope I've given you some actionable tips so that you can now go away and increase your engagement rate, and this transitions nicely into your class project. I want you to download an app called Ninjalitics. It's brilliant. It shows you all of your Instagram analytical on a really nicely summarized page, and it tells you your engagement rate. Download the app and screenshot your current engagement rate. Save it. Now, I want you to implement all of the tips I have mentioned in today's course. Every single one of them, because that is going to be how you increase your engagement rate over time. Now I want you to spend 30 days religiously doing this. Don't just do it for three or four, come back to me and go, ''Everything you mentioned didn't work." That's because you've only been doing it for four days. You need to do this consistently over an extended period of time to really see the true benefits. Suspend 30 days doing it, then go back onto Ninjalitics and screenshot your new engagement rate. I want you to post these pictures as a before and after side-by-side, as your class project. That way, I can see that you've put the effort in, you've worked on your engagement rate and you've reaped the rewards as a result. That is your class project, 30-day engagement strategy. Do it, have fun, and it will benefit you in the long run. If you guys did enjoy the Skillshare class, go and check out my other classes that are more about Instagram and how to grow your account, [inaudible] , you name it. I will be releasing new courses every single week. If you did enjoy this content from me, you can find me on other platforms. As I mentioned, I am the host of the podcast, Social Media Marketing School. You can find it on pretty much any podcast platform, Google, Spotify, Apple, you name it. Search it, it'll be there. If you want to ask me any questions with regards to anything I've mentioned in this class, please leave a comment as a discussion point or reach out to me on Instagram at themarketingethan, send me a DM, and I will make sure I get back to you no matter what. If you're currently doing the class projects and you're doing the engagement strategy, reach out to me, I want to heard your progress along the way. Give me a five-day update, give me a 10 day update. I want to know your process, so send me a DM on Instagram, and that'll be brilliant. I'd love to know who took this course and get to know you a little more. I just want to finish off by saying, thank you all for tuning in to this Skillshare class. It has been a pleasure teaching you.