How to increase Instagram and Facebook engagement

Do Instagram and Facebook drive you up the wall at times?

You spend a lot of time carefully creating content but you don’t seem to be getting anywhere? You are not alone!

We know that as a small business owner you have a lot of plates to spin. And that trying to stand out on Instagram (and Facebook) can start to feel like a tedious chore if you’re not getting the audience engagement or growth that you’d like.

So, we asked three of our favourite social media experts to share their top tips for boosting engagement. Tips that you can put into action straight away in your business!

Because with so many brands competing for people’s attention, it’s getting harder and harder to increase engagement (likes, comments, engagement from your Stories, IGTV views and so on) – and we want to help you build a community that supports your business growth.

We asked: How can small businesses successfully increase engagement on Instagram and Facebook?

Here’s what our fantastic experts said:

Boost engagement with Instagram Stories

Joanna Michaels, social media coach and founder of London-based Beyond Social Buzz shared her top tips for creating brilliant Instagram Stories:

If you want to build a loyal and engaged following on Instagram, use Instagram Stories!

Instagram Stories have a unique ability to motivate users to take action. And Instagram is helping brands further boost engagement with their followers by offering a variety of engagement stickers. Add them to your Stories to encourage your followers to chat, answer questions, get to know you better by asking you questions, vote and lots more.

The more engagement you have on your Stories, the higher the visibility given to that particular Story by Instagram’s algorithm. The result? More exposure for your brand!

Joanna Michaels, founder of Beyond Social Buzz

3 top tips for nailing Instagram Stories:

1. Tell great stories: To increase the completion rate on the viewing of your Stories tell a cohesive story – one with a clear beginning, middle and end. Lulu Lemon Stories are a perfect example, so check them out and learn how to keep people watching.

2. Make use of apps: To make your Stories more engaging, check out the following apps:

  • Unfold: Offers customisable templates and helps to maintain brand aesthetics
  • Canva: Enables you to create branded Stories templates and even custom fonts
  • InShot video editor: A photo and video editing app that will help to adjust your video to fit Instagram Stories

3. Include a clear ‘call-to-action’: Don’t forget about a clear call-to-action – give a direct instruction for what you’d like people to do next. E.g., ‘Swipe up to download’. And remember that Instagram users scroll through their feeds very quickly, so keep your headline and copy clear. And be sure to let users know straight away what they’ll get if they swipe up/click on the link in the bio.

Tell your story with video (and keep things fun!)

Helen Perry, social media content creator and founder of Not About The Kids shared her top tips on video and the importance of keeping things fun:

Helen Perry, founder of Not About The Kids

Include video content

Even short video clips are often more engaging than still images. If you are nervous about trying this (especially speaking to camera), I recommend experimenting in Stories format – either on Instagram or Facebook. What’s the worst that can happen? It’ll be gone again in 24 hours.

And remember, your footage can be very short – just a few seconds long. But when you are thinking about how to tell any story, consider how you can incorporate video.

Keep things fun and light

Generally, people open their social media apps to be entertained or distracted. So, try and think about how you can make your content fun, funny, light, casual and even…ordinary.

Use relaxed photography and video, and then make great use of all of the brilliant apps available to make your content as accessible as possible. From brilliant photo and film editing on VSCO and InShot to classy Stories templates at Unfold.

Use hashtags and targeted ad campaigns

Isil Simsek, social media consultant and founder of boutique agency Social Thyme shared her tops tips on hashtags and targeted ads:

Isil Simsek, founder of Social Thyme

Don’t post and go on Instagram!

If you want to generate engagement on Instagram, don’t just post and go! When you publish a post, stay on the platform and engage with your audience by liking and commenting on their posts. Search your key hashtags and go on the recent posts to like and comment on them. As they are recent posts, it’s very likely that those people are still on the platform and they will check out your profile and reciprocate. Take 5-10 minutes before and after publishing your content to connect with your audience.

Use Facebook & Instagram ads for targeted campaigns

Don’t waste your money by boosting Facebook posts. Boosting a post has a place, but it’s not strategic and you don’t have most of the options Facebook gives you in Business Manager. By boosting a post every time Facebook tells you your content is performing well and throwing £10 at it (hoping it sticks!), will not bring you any results.

The Business Manager gives you more strategic tools so you can target your audience based on their interests, lifestyle, searches and many other factors so you actually only hand out a ‘leaflet’ to those who are more likely to buy from you.

The beauty of Facebook and Instagram ads is that you don’t have to spend a large sum of money only to find out nobody is interested. You can see how your ad campaign is performing and react accordingly. If, after a couple of days it isn’t working, simply turn your ads off and change your strategy – test different creatives, copy and offers to find what resonates most with your audience.

Helpful resources

If you’d like to find out more about how our social media experts could help your small business, you can work with them in a number of ways. Our top picks:

  • Sign up to Not About The Kids mailing list to access a growing treasure trove of free resources that will help you communicate beautifully on social media (plus keep up-to-date with expert tips, tricks and upcoming events)
  • If you’re London-based, attend a Beyond Social Buzz course or training to help you use social media more confidently
  • Book in for a Power Hour with Social Thyme and get all your social media questions answered

Thank you to each of our social media experts for so generously sharing their knowledge and insights with us!


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