At the risk of blowing some serious smoke up my own arse, when it comes to Instagram engagement, my images have always been consistently high (…and three, two, one, down from your pedestal, Dominique). If I scroll back through my Instagram feed and look at the images I was posting a year ago – when I had roughly about 7000 followers – on average, they were receiving around 1-1.5k likes with some reaching as high as 3-6k (usually the ones I’d put some real thought and effort into). I’m no good at maths so won’t attempt percentages, but the numbers were still pretty impressive. For months I would put this down to general, Instagram luck – I was one of the lucky few whose images just happened to be more visible than others. But, when my engagement continued to grow concurrently with my followers, I knew there was obviously something more that I was doing.
As Instagrammers, we’re often told not to get hung up on our engagement; to ignore the numbers, and I suppose for the sake of our own sanity, I have to agree. If you’re only in it for the likes, then you’re unknowingly limiting your creativity, and it’s improbable that you’ll ever explore new ideas, be daring with your posts, or play around with your style in fear of a dip in your engagement. However, (and it’s a big however), there is no getting away from the fact that engagement is still important; to you personally and to the future brands that want to work with you. It’s that instant gratification, the warm and fuzzy feeling that someone out there appreciates your work, and because of this, it’s hard not to be disheartened when the post you are proud of, not to be received in the same way by your followers. For brands, it’s a clear way for them to see what kind of return they’re going to get from you.
So, what’s the solution?
Can you live in an Instagram world where you can be as imaginative as you like, where you can still withhold an impressive engagement rate, but without being obsessed with numbers? It’s a fine line, but I think so. After months of analysing every post (I did it, so you don’t have to), I’ve realised that luck isn’t a component of the Instagram algorithm – not that surprising really. Ostensibly, the trick is, if you want to achieve something on Instagram – whether that be a feature, a viral image, higher engagement – then you just gotta put the work in – who knew?
Currently, my engagement teeters between 9-12% (still no good at maths, but I do now have an app that works it out for me). And I know that this is not something I should take for granted, as this percentage of engagement is not universal. I’ve received many questions regarding my engagement – how do I do it? What’s the magic behind it? – And while I don’t believe there’s a secret that Instagram have only let me in on (they’d be foolish to tell me if there were because I can’t keep secrets), but there are a few objectives that I consistently do to ensure my engagement stays high. So, I bring you The Instagram Engagement Booster e-book, an online guide to my thoughts, strategies and tactics on I achieve high engagement and as a result grow my following.