There are many ways you can increase your following and engagement on Instagram and many methods can be impactful for your social media presence.
However, we have found one method that stands above the rest. While time-consuming, this method is cost-free, promoting genuine, authentic, and relatable conversations with your audience.
By utilizing this one approach, we have improved the follower count and overall engagement of many of our client accounts.
One-to-one engagement is the act of getting on your Instagram account and engaging with your audience in a way that is genuine and true to your brand. This can be searching through hashtags that are relevant to what you’re trying to sell and engaging with those posts, or it could be responding to the people who are engaging with your posts. Your followers seeing a real human behind the account is what will grow your company’s presence on Instagram.
There are two factors that will influence how you approach one-to-one engagement. First choose the right person in your company who will engage with your audience on behalf of your brand. Next, you must decide how much time you are willing to have that person dedicate to your Instagram. The more time and energy you spend engaging with your audience, the higher your engagement rate will be.
The best person for the role should be a brand ambassador, someone from internal marketing with a demonstrated understanding of how your company wants to be seen externally. They should be willing to take ownership of these marketing activities. The best person would have a frontline connection to your company and a good understanding of product/service knowledge.
This role could be assumed by an agency, but there would have to be a high level of indoctrination to the brand. As we’ve said, we handle this effort for several of our clients but it comes with a little bit of a learning curve to act as one of their internal people. Ensuring your ambassador has the best understanding of the brand enables authentic engagement with your social media following.
Your expectations from this method should be based on the hours you are willing to spend engaging online. If your brand ambassador spent all day, every day connecting with your audience, you should expect your follower count and engagement level to increase dramatically. If your ambassador spends an hour a day, your results will be noticeable but much smaller and incremental. The more time your ambassador builds relationships, conversations, and community around your brand, the more your audience will increase.
Our Case Study
Our firm has several food brands we manage. To see how this method of one-to-one engagement can make a difference in one of these food brand’s social media accounts, we conducted a one week experiment. During this experiment, we posted organically once a day and we engaged one-to-one for two hours a day. We knew that by posting organically that we would not achieve the reach we wanted. From our results, we found significant gains in adding one-to-one engagement.
By adding in one-to-one engagement for one week, our client’s follower count increased 25% and their engagement rate of new dialogue increased by 60%. This client had a lower follower count, but the increases we achieved were huge for their prospective customer reach. We tracked our progress over 30 days and found a 250% increase in engagement and a 330% increase in follower count.
The Next Steps
The effects of this case study can be felt with other business to business clients and business to customer clients. Across the board dedicating time to relevant outreach one-to-one on Instagram can increase your social media presence at a consistent rate.
The first step to implement this would be to choose a brand ambassador to manage your channel and engage proactively. This will bring awareness and engagement to your brand. You could also appoint someone to engage reactively.
The second step would be dedicating the time and prioritizing. If you want to increase your follower count to gain sales, making one-to-one engagement a higher priority would be more beneficial to you than to someone who wants to naturally organically increase their follower count over time.
The third and last step is to be authentic. Brand voice is very important to how people perceive a brand commenting or liking or sharing a personal post.