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Michael Guberti: Three strategies to engage your audience on Instagram

It’s been reported that over a billion people use Instagram at least once a month. And 80% of the people who use Instagram follow at least one business account. One study states that “72% of Instagram users have purchased a product they saw on the app.” Eighty-three percent of the people who use Instagram say they learn about new products and services on the platform.

Here are three strategies to engage prospects and potential customers on Instagram:

1. Create an Instagram poll
Create an Instagram poll, which can be a question in the form of a Yes or No answer, presenting Option 1 or Option 2. For example, I published an Instagram poll for my client in the medical aesthetic industry. The question was “Do you want gorgeous, glowing skin?” The options that people could choose were “Yes” or “No, thanks.”

In 24 hours, 124 people voted for “Yes” and 10 people voted for “No, thanks.” You can manually send a message to the people who voted “Yes” and share information about a new skincare treatment you are offering. For example, to the people who voted “Yes,” you can say something to the effect of, “Then you’re going to love the (name of your new treatment)! It’s our newest service designed to help you get gorgeous, radiant skin. Have you heard of it?”

This message may spark a conversation between you and the people who responded to your poll. The feedback from the poll serves as market research and sends signals to Instagram that demonstrate people are engaging with your business. Instagram polls are published as Instagram stories, which means they only stay up for 24 hours. After that period of time, they expire from the public’s view.

You can view the poll’s results after the Instagram story expires. The option to share the results of the poll is available. Other metrics that Instagram provides include if there were any messages sent in response to your poll, how many times your profile was visited as a result of the poll and if people clicked to visit your website.

2. Ask a question that allows people to write open-ended answers
Consider asking your audience a question such as “What do you love most about (insert the name of your business, a staff member, a service you offer, etc).” You may get positive reviews from people who compliment your business.

The responses would go to the section of Instagram that contains your private, Direct Messages. That means only you, the person who sent the message, and Instagram can see what is being said in that section. Remove the person’s name who sent you the compliment, and add it to the Review of the Week section in your emails, your social media posts, paid ads if you’re running them, and website.

By adding new reviews to your website, you can strengthen your website’s SEO because you have updated the website with original, relevant information. Like an Instagram poll, a question in your Instagram story would be viewable to the public for 24 hours.

3. Publish a countdown timer in your Instagram story
You can publish a countdown timer in your Instagram story. Last year, I published countdown timers for my medical aesthetic practices to share when they were going to reopen after they chose to temporarily close due to the virus. For example, the timer shared that the business was going to reopen in 12 days, 18 hours and 24 minutes. The timer would count down minute by minute. People were able to turn on reminders for the countdown timer and share the timer in their Instagram story. The timer was shared eight times, generated eight replies and prompted nine visits to the business’ Instagram account. We capped off the Instagram story with the words “see you soon” and a friendly picture.

Bringing it all together
You can engage your audience, get useful market research, spark conversations that may lead to purchases and send positive signals to Instagram using these engagement strategies. Looking forward to seeing you positively connect with your prospects and customers on Instagram.

Get your free Instagram guide at MichaelGuberti.com/Instagram.

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