I would like to share how I have doubled my Instagram reach within 6 days using two fundamental principles: engagement rate tracking and an identification of the type of content that resonates with my Instagram community.
It is far too often that you see a group of specific Instagram influencers, who complain about their Instagram posts not perform as well as they did in the past. The answer here is that one must look at their social media account, Instagram is no exception, as a community page. Sometimes it will do better than other times. However, when you notice a systematic change in your Instagram reach, it could either do with algorithm changes, or a simple fact that your engagement has fallen.
What is Engagement?
Let’s discuss why user engagement is probably one of the top, if not the top metric social platforms use in pushing out your content to their users. From the perspective of the algorithm, every post is equal the second it goes life.
You must understand that the algorithm is absolutely blind to the content you’re posting. Now, if you were the algorithm, how would you identify what is good and what is bad content. Well, first you will show it to people (impressions) and you will see how many people actually watch the content (reach). If the content is shown to 100 people, but on;y watched 5 times, you would probably not want to waste resources and show it to more people right? Well, not so fast… What if those people scrolled past the video by accident?
Then you would look at the engagement time or video completion percentage. What percentage of the video content has been watched by every user. The more of your video people watch, the more your content appeals to the audience. Remember that any social platform like Instagram tries to keep the user engaged on their platform for as long as possible.
Finally, the algorithm looks at the number of likes, shares, bookmarks, follows etc. These, except for follows, count as “engagement”. In simple terms, it is how many times has your content has been shows to people and of those times, how many times have people done stuff with your content (shared it, liked it, bookmarked it etc.). You take the number of impressions and you divide it by the number of actions on the post. This gives you your engagement. Say your post has gotten 1000 impressions and 200 actions performed on it, your engagement will be at 20%.
Where to See Your Instagram Engagement Metrics
By the way, this metric is not given to you by Instagram. I get mine free at Famejar. It is a free tool that gives you your engagement and many other important metrics. Take a look at an example from CNN’s Instagram Page on Famejar.com.
For huge accounts like CNN, 0.44% engagement is an okay number. If you are wondering how does that engagement stack up against other accounts on Instagram, you could scroll to the bottom of the report page and see a comparison chart (as shown below).
As it turns out, CNN might be performing a little poorer than others in that space. However it is very niche-specific.
Now, how did I use this information to double my Instagram account engagement and its growth within 6 days?
What gets measured — gets improved. How would you constantly monitor your engagement rate on daily basis. You either have to keep checking Famejar or SocialBlade every day for every Instagram account that you have, or unlock a report. This is the option I have opted to. At the time of writing of this article, Famejar offers a 1 free report when you sign up (see below)
When you sign up and unlock a free report or a $1 report, they actually email you a report like this every single day for 30 days.
You cold clearly see the changes in your followers and the engagement rate. This is absolutely golden! Especially if you can get your hands on the free report promotion! That, combined with their highly relevant tags function (which I will show you), will do you wonders, like it did to me.
Day -6: Measuring Our Baseline
So, let’s rewind to 6 days from today. According to my Famejar (you can also use SocialBlade)report, I was sitting at 3.62% engagement rate (see below). I always posted once per day and generally at the same hour.
My account was losing followers and my posts were reaching 4 times less people than before. I must admit, this was a very prosperous period for everybody else, as everybody was forced to stay home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Let’s see how my post performed that day. As of this moment, I have reached 29,179 people from 33,297 impressions. Notice that the amount of hashtag views were at 7,624. Let’s use this as a baseline.
Beginning the next day, I have changed up my content to better match the interests of my followers based on my Instagram report at Famejar and it was revolutionary. You’d ask, how did I identify what to post. I could discuss this content selection strategy in detail if it is interesting to you. Just leave me a comment if you’d like to see it.
Day -5: Engagement Changes Were Surprising
On this day, I have switched my content to better resonate with my user base. There was an immediate difference in my Instagram post report (see below).
My post reach changed from 29,179 to 53,682 people. The amount of impressions have risen from 33,297 to 60,192 . The hashtag have also increased from 7,624 to 8,323. As you can see, the content type adjustment was highly effective. I could’t wait for the Famejar email report numbers to come in. Finally when i have received the report, this is what I saw!
to my surprise, the engagement has gone down. Upon pondering, it was clear that this post alone could not have compensated for the lackluster performance of the rest of my 1,500+ posts. Despite this, I was very excited, because if I kept going forward with this strategy, my future posts would continue to perform well. This will eventually change the engagement rate for the entire account. remember that it is much harder to change your engagement if you have a larger account, due to a larger number of posts. The average is based on far more data points.
Day -4: The Damage Control Is Working
On the following day, my post performed just as well, with a significant upper trend. Please see below.
This is what my Famejar email report showed that day!
It looks like I was doing a better job with damage control. The engagement loss rate has decreased two-fold. I was getting positive signals from both platforms, which was very reassuring. This is where i understood that looking at just Instagram analytics is not enough. And it is also not enough to just look at one Famejar metric. There are many others, which I will cover in a separate article, if you wold like me to. Please leave a comment if you’d like me to write another article.
Day -3: Let the Gains Begin
We are now on day 3 of content strategy change. Yet another post performed very well, and here are the numbers.
I will not comment on the numbers, as they have virtually doubled across all metrics. Remember that our reach was at 29,179 and now it is at 70,513 people. The impressions went from 33,297 to 76,192. The hashtag views went from 7,624 impressions to 23,443. This was amazing news. This time around, i could’t wait for the Famejar report to see if the engagement gap has been closed completely.
And this is what i saw. By the way, the Famejar reports often went to my spam. I needed to make sure to check my “spam” folder to find them, for some reason.
Finally! We are in the green. Our content strategy is working! Though, we have lost 8 followers, but we are now losing far less and our Instagram engagement is growing.
Day 0: Day 6 Instagram Engagement Result
We have technically improved our engagement on day 3, but I wanted to ensure that the strategy is working. This time, we will skip to day 6 of the content strategy change and we will take a loot at the numbers. Please take a look at our engagement improvement.
In only 6 days, we have increased our engagement from 3.62% to 4.49%. Considering the size of the page (138K followers and 1,500+ posts), this is an impressive number. I definitely see my posts get a much higher reach than before the content optimization implementation. I certainly hope that we can keep it up, which will allow us to grow at a much faster rate. As you can see, we are now not losing followers, but rather gained 31 new followers.
The Content Adjustment Strategy
These results have been achieved upon analyzing the velocity of the current content, identifying the outliers and selecting for the content among this outlier category. Let’s dive deeper into this.
Analyze Current Content Velocity
In order to know what to post, we need to understand what posts do well on our page. There are many tools out there, but I stuck to Famejar, since it had everything I needed.
When you order a report and wait for several days (at least 10 days is what I would recommend), Famejar will collect information in these key areas:
- Post engagement
- Top hashtags used for past 10 days
- Post likes
The average post engagement rate chart will indicate how your page trends over time.
Top hashtags used for past 10 days
Top hashtags from the last 10 posts are ranked. The higher the number in front of the hashtag, the more it has been tapped by users on Instagram to discover your posts.
Post likes is something that you can track yourself via the Instagram analytics (from the app). This is available in the app. if you go to Insights -> Content
Notice the gradual increase in the number of impressions. The last post has broken the record for 132K total impressions within 24 hours.
Similarly, you could get a more comprehensive view of things from the Famejar report. This is what it looks like.
Here you can see the percent change in likes and comments. This is important, as to keep the engagement high, you must provide a compelling copy for your posts. This will drive more comments and consecutively more likes.
How I have adjusted the post strategy
Upon looking at the numbers, i have come to an understanding that the posts which have done better than the others had the following characteristics:
- New (something users have never seen before in the niche)
- Controversial — this sparked a conversation in the comments. Be careful, and ensure that the controversial posts don’t come at the expense of lowering your page competency
- Not necessarily what i used to post. My page is about educating users, however it is nice to mix and match content to make it fun
- Regularity — post at the same time every day. People expect posts from you (believe it or not)
One of the biggest game-changers were gaining an understanding to:
- Post regularly
- Keeping the engagement number high. So this means that if you post daily, on days when you have missed a post during your peak hour, DON’T POST. You would be better off posting tomorrow at your peak hour, rather than compromising your engagement and posting mid-day.
Instagram posts follow a growth progression. When you figure out your best posting time and do so then, your posts will be shown to users. Then, as your users engage with the posts, it will “graduate” to be shown on the “Explore”page or to more hashtag users. This normally takes about 20 -24 hours. If you break this cycle and post too often (for the most part), your posts will not reach the peak of their performance and it will result in an overall drop in performance.
At the end of 6 days, I have learned that content optimization is key to success. But prior to optimizing the content, it is absolutely essential to know your metrics and keep track of your metrics every day. If you are serious about your growth on Instagram.
As a result of this improvement, we have seen a higher number of profile visits, which in turn resulted in a higher number of conversions on our EZBiolink page. The below numbers are from our EZBiolink.com landing page statistics report.
The faint line is the number of unique clicks. Unique clicks come from new and not repeat customers. This is great news, as we are not only getting new eyes on our content, but also new eyes. This will have a positive impact on any aspects of your business.
EZBiolink is our own alternative to Linktree that we were using before. EZBiolink allows you to manage many projects for $5 per month, instead of 1 that Linktree allowed. We can also embed YouTube, TikTok videos, collect detailed analytics and much more. If you are in the social marketing space, i highly recommend using it. As a disclaimer, I am the founder of EZBiolink, and I have created it for myself and other social media influencers who want to have a beautiful landing page for all of their social profiles at a price of a frappuccino.
I hope you found this article educational. Feel free to stay in touch by signing up to my newsletter. Also, feel free to share this article with friends who will find it useful. And if you want me to cover a specific topic, leave a comment and I will definitely get back with you.