#1: Encourage Instagram Engagement With Brand-Relevant Puzzles
The typical image or video post on Instagram can generate, at best, a few seconds of engagement. Why not give your followers a mind-bender to keep them occupied and engaged with your post? Research shows that participating in activities results in better recall than simply talking about them. Additionally, puzzles engage people longer.
Quizzes and puzzles make people stop in their tracks and think for a minute. If you also succeed in tapping into your audience’s emotions, people will be more inclined to share the puzzles with their own networks. This generates engagement and provides interesting feedback for you.
Keep in mind that the puzzle posts you create for Instagram should tie in with your overall brand message. Be sure to choose a theme that reflects your brand and its core message. Also, research topics that your followers will have an emotional connection with.
#2: Grow Your Instagram Following With an Emoji Scavenger Hunt
Another creative way to engage your audience on Instagram is with a mind-bender where your audience has to find hidden emojis. Chanel and Stevo of How Far From Home started hiding emojis in their travel photos as part of a fun weekly game on their popular Instagram account.
Content like this has helped them attract over 167,000 followers on Instagram. They’re indeed an enviable couple, quitting successful careers in advertising to travel the world. That’s the reason for part of the excitement surrounding them. The other part is the clever ways they hide emojis inside their travel photos.
#3: Nurture a Community With a Recurring Instagram Challenge
Generally, an Instagram challenge is when you choose a theme and ask your Instagram followers to share photos based on ideas that stem from that theme. The challenge may require participants to post photos daily, weekly, or monthly and the announcement is made in advance.
Sometimes there are prizes, and other times there’s only the satisfaction of having participated. The challenge is always to think ahead and creatively.
What are the benefits of a recurring challenge on Instagram? It’s a way to invite passive followers to actively create content you can use to fuel your own profile. You not only get content you can post on your account but also engage your audience at the same time.
Designer and illustrator Joanne Hawker first launched her #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge in 2016. As the name suggests, this Instagram challenge takes place throughout the month of March.
Here’s how it works. Joanne, the creator of the challenge, selects a theme for each day of March and then designers create something about their business based on that theme. The idea is to tell their business’s story in the context of an overarching theme. The challenge gives designers a platform to exhibit their work and grab free traffic.
Plan Your Posts for the Challenge
Planning a month-long Instagram challenge is hard work. Ask friends and even active members of your community to come up with ideas that might be worthy of a challenge. When choosing a topic, pick something that fits with the overall mood of your brand.
Choose a Hashtag for the Challenge
The challenge hashtag is key. Be creative and think of something unique and closely tied to your brand. Ask participants to use the hashtag in their Instagram captions so you’re able to track every image that’s posted as part of the challenge. All you need to do to find the posts is search for the hashtag in the search bar.
Engage With Challenge Participants
Engaging with people goes a long way toward improving participation rates in your challenge. Take your time to engage with them by commenting or liking their content. Many participants will reciprocate the behavior with other participants, creating a chain reaction. This helps build a sense of community, too.
Promote Your Challenge on Other Platforms
Spread the word about your Instagram challenge with the larger community outside of the platform. Promote it on your other social networks and even run paid ads to get it going.
When Joanne and Jake started their respective challenges, they didn’t have a lot of participants initially. But after repeating the challenge over the course of a few years, the number of participants grew exponentially.
#4: Generate Link Clicks With Instructional Videos in Instagram Stories
According to research by WR Hambrecht + Co, 7 days after a training session, participants forget 65% of the material covered. In 6 months, they forget almost everything they learned; the recall percentage is about 10%.
However, an instructional video can give users a new level of experience that’s simply absent in other media. Visually stimulating and multifaceted, video engages viewers in ways that text can rarely achieve and helps people remember concepts and details.
Smitten Kitchen posts instructional cooking videos in their Instagram stories, like this one for chicken curry. As an added bonus, they use the See More link to drive traffic to the full recipe on their website.