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Interacting followers = engaged followers.
Pretty visuals are great! But what are you doing to really invite interactions from your Instagram community?
Likes, comments, shares, direct messages, poll responses (and more!) play a massive role in determining your Instagram success. These interactions send the Instagram algorithm gods important signals about whether you’re interesting to your audience. If they’re scrolling on by, the answer is no.
So, needless to say, creating content that your audience interacts with needs to be a crucial part of your Instagram marketing strategy.
Let’s dive in and take a look at why interaction matters in social media marketing and how you can continue to create interactive content for your audience on Instagram. We have 21 post ideas to get those creative juices flowing!
The Cambridge dictionary defines interaction as “an occasion when two or more people or things communicate with or react to each other.”
This translates to brands and their followers interacting with each other via content and interactive actions such as liking or commenting on a post on social media.
On Instagram, interaction includes likes, comments, direct messages, shares, saves, poll responses, visiting your profile, clicking links, mentions, tagging, and more. All these interactions can help you understand whether your target audience is actually interested in your content.
In other words, interaction is what many social media marketing experts know as Instagram engagement. Measuring interaction on your social media posts is ultimately about measuring your engagement.
It’s simple, really. If your audience is interacting with the content on your business page, it’s hard evidence that they don’t just see your content, they like what they see, and it resonates with them.
Whether it’s a quick double-tap, a response to a poll on Instagram Stories, or sharing your content with their friends — these interactions are proof your social media content is hitting the spot and is engaging.
Measuring your interaction or engagement rate is key to improving your Instagram content marketing efforts.
You get it. Creating engaging posts is important. But when it comes to actually creating your social media content, you often get stuck for ideas or end up making the same thing over and over again.
Here are 21 different types of posts you can create that will invite interaction, boost engagement, and, most importantly, keep your audience interested in your content.
Everyone loves a good meme. They’re fun, they’re relatable, and are a great way to increase engagement for brands.
As you’ve probably noticed on Instagram, many brands and businesses have begun sharing memes. They’re highly shareable content, and when it shows up in your audience’s news feed, they’re more likely to engage with than a standard product photo, for example.
Don’t be afraid to share images as well as gif memes as appropriate for your brand. Just be careful not to make your entire social media marketing strategy about posting memes on Instagram. You don’t want to turn into a meme account and have people forget that you have a product to sell.
@ultravioletteau does a great job of jumping on board trending topics to create unique and funny memes.
2. Host giveaways
Giveaways are very popular on Instagram and not without reason. Who doesn’t love to win something? Instagram giveaways are an excellent way for business owners to engage new and potential customers while creating some buzz.
Giveaways involve a prize (naturally) and usually require some sort of engagement as part of the entry criteria. This could include tagging a friend, sharing to the feed or stories, leaving a comment, or more. These actions invite interactions and usually increase engagement for the brand’s Instagram account.
Stuck for ideas on new content? Keep an eye on trending topics. Trends are a trend (if that makes sense?) on both Instagram and TikTok, so keep an eye out on these platforms to see what’s new.
Brands that can adapt to trends quickly are more likely to keep up with their audience and thus engage them further. If you create Instagram Reels, trends like certain audio, songs, choreography, or transitions are prevalent for Reels.
@blogilates is great with using trends to create her own fitness-related version of it.
Fill in the blank posts have been done to death, but they still work! They’re almost a surefire way to get comments from your audience. Just be sure to ask something fun or interesting. For example:
Like fill in the blanks, questions are another classic social media content idea, and if done well, they continue to work. Ask questions within your post, within stories, or even in the caption. Keep your questions simple, so responses are easy and invite the audience to respond.
If appropriate for your brand, you could host a challenge to really get your audience engaged. A challenge invites your audience to take on the challenge and post about it on Instagram, usually using a specific hashtag and by tagging you.
This is especially popular in wellness, but you could do it in almost any industry. Check out #yogachallenge to see this trend in the yoga community on Instagram. You could do something similar with food, health, tech, or even creativity.
Engagement isn’t just limited to the news feed, of course. Create interactive content for your Instagram Stories as well.
If you’re posting a video, directly talking to your audience - ask them questions. Be specific. Ask for feedback. It doesn’t always have to be something serious but talk as if you’re talking to a friend and invite responses.
Use features like questions, polls, or quizzes to get responses from those watching your Stories. You can even share a countdown if you’re counting down to a launch or something similar. These features are all straightforward to interact with, and if used well, you’ll likely find many people responding and engaging with your content.
We get it. Content creation is a lot of work. Instead of trying to do it all yourself, why not get influencers involved and have them create different types of content for your social media platforms.
Plus, influencers usually have their own loyal communities too. The right partnerships can help introduce your own Instagram account (and your brand) to a whole new audience.
Got a new product in the works? Getting close to launch? Share sneak peeks of your new product to create excitement within your community. You can share snippets of the product in production, or even share a little glimpse of a product to get your community excited.
You could even get your community further engaged by asking them questions about their expectations about the new product. Build buzz while you also build engagement. Double win!
@bonmaxie often does product sneak peeks to create excitement for upcoming launches.
If you have a really active community on Instagram, it can turn into a fantastic source for content too!
Instead of constantly creating your own content, share user-generated content (with permission!), and you’ll automatically up the levels of engagement on content too. People love seeing content from other, real users like themselves.
When you share UGC and tag your users, they are more likely to share the content with their followers as well. Instant boost in engagement!
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Nothing quite beats real-time interaction with the “fans.” Instagram Live is a great way to host a live stream and interact with your audience through their comments.
For brands, the most common approach to a live video is an interview, a Q&A, or even a behind-the-scenes broadcast of an event. But you could do much more.
You could collaborate with other brands or influencers to go live. You could host instructional videos or a live event such as a live meditation or yoga class. Be creative!
Instagram is a popular place for many seeking inspiration for their next project. This includes home renovations, interior decor, cooking, crafts, children’s projects, or more. If relevant for your brand, consider creating a clever hack video or a tutorial video to teach your audience something valuable.
Think about content that may be useful and valuable for your audience instead of just trying to sell to them. How-to style videos rarely go out of style, so get creative. Whether it’s a quick hack on how to make better coffee or a tutorial on how to use a particular product for better productivity.
The Instagram @creators account shares a lot of tutorials on how to create better content.
As we mentioned when we discussed user-generated content, people love to see themselves on a brand’s Instagram account. Spotlight your customers on your Instagram account. Share their photos, videos, and stories, especially as it pertains to using your product. You could even share testimonials from your customers.
Plus, you could also spotlight team members. Introduce new team members to your Instagram community and highlight the work they do at your company.
As a brand, this is a very human way to showcase the real people who use your product and how your product has helped them. Showcasing your team humanizes your brand. You are no longer just a company. Your customers see the real faces behind the brand. It makes your brand more attractive to potential customers.
@upwork does this well. They tell stories about their customers that are often inspiring to others in their community. As the posts are relatable for so many, they usually draw a lot of comments and likes.
Struggling to make a decision about something? Need help choosing a product color? Why not get your community involved and ask them for their thoughts.
People love the opportunity to have a say, so ask them for feedback. Let them chime in with their opinions on some of your business decisions. Who knows, they may even come up with some ideas that you would’ve never thought of on your own.
Give your Instagram followers a look at your day-to-day. It may seem boring to you, but people love to see what goes on behind the scenes of a business.
Share a “day in the life” on your Instagram stories. If you produce products, you could go into the production center and share snippets from there. If you design products, share your process.
If you’re a small business owner or a solopreneur, introducing yourself and sharing a bit about who you are can be a great way to connect with your audience.
It’s a good idea to share an “intro” post now and then to re-introduce yourself to your followers, especially as you will have gained new followers who may not have seen your previous post. This gives your followers an insight into the business and who you are.
It humanizes your brand, and this connection could be the reason someone buys from you vs. a different business.
Got a lot of interesting data but not sure if your audience is interested in the numbers? Turn it into an infographic or carousel post for Instagram. Do it well, and you’ve got yourself a template for highly shareable and saveable content.
Make sure you focus on good design and making the information easy to digest. People love to learn and consume data on Instagram, but you will probably lose their interest if it’s too difficult to read.
@visualcap does an excellent job of condensing dense data into interesting infographics about critical social issues and topics.
Great storytelling is a surefire way to hook in your audience. It works on every social media platform. If you’ve spent any time on LinkedIn, you will notice that even on a professional, work-oriented channel, the posts that generate the most engagement are usually ones that tell a story.
So why should a Facebook group or your Instagram business page be any different? Instead of selling, think about how you can tell a story about your brand, your products, or the people behind it all.
@humansofny is one of the leading storytellers on social media. They often post the same content on their Facebook page and their Instagram account, but the stories resonate across the board.
Often the posts will have a fundraising request attached to it or more information about a cause. People often donate generously because they are moved by HONY’s stories.
Games are another fun way to get your audience interacting with you. This could be a simple puzzle or a “Where’s Waldo?” style game. Or you could go all out, get creative and create your own Instagram game too.
Whatever you do, just make sure it’s something fun, eye-catching, and easy. Make sure your games are accessible for most people. Some ideas include This or That in Stories, A topic-relevant Bing, Truths and a Lie, a pop quiz, or even a puzzle.
Do your research and take a look at what others are doing on Instagram, and you’re sure to find lots of inspiration for your own Instagram game.
Here’s a simple This or That game from @spanx that’s also product-related.
When you post videos on Instagram, make sure they come with subtitles. This is not only great for accessibility, but many people will watch videos without the sound on. Subtitles allow them to understand what’s going on in the video without having to have sound on.
This way, your followers can engage with your video, especially on Stories, even if they’re not listening to the audio.
A good old-fashioned question and answer session is always great for inviting interaction from your target audience.
You could host your Q&A via live video on Instagram live. This is very popular with brands and allows for real-time interaction with your followers.
If you don’t want to go live, you could ask your community for questions, then simply record a video interview answering those questions. Share this to Stories or even in the main feed.
By the way, we’ve been asked if the content ideas above can double down as Facebook post ideas as well? We think so, yes! As we all know, organic Facebook engagement can be challenging, so there’s definitely no harm in trying them out to see if you can make your Facebook content go viral too.
In addition to the above content ideas, there are two more tips we wanted to remind you about.
The hashtags you use can be key if you want to increase engagement. A well-thought-out hashtag strategy will help you get the most out of every piece of content you publish on your Instagram page.
Without hashtags, you limit your reach on Instagram. Without enough reach, you drastically reduce your engagement as well.
Ideally, you should have different hashtag sets for different types of content, so you’re not recycling the exact same set of hashtags on every post. Sked Social’s post Template Manager can help you keep your hashtags organized.
The Template Manager helps you to stay organized with multiple groups. When it comes time to add hashtags to your posts, simply type the list name, and your entire hashtag list will appear.
Your Instagram captions matter. Don’t get so focused on the visual content that you forget to write a good caption to go with it. Some tips:
Social media engagement is a constant work in progress. Don’t get stuck in a rut and keep posting the same things. Innovation is the name of the game here.
A social media management tool like Sked Social can help you manage your content, scheduling, and engagements better so you never miss out on an opportunity to interact with your audience.
Learn more about Sked with a free 7-day trial today.