How I increased my engagement on Instagram by 154.7% in 30 minutes

This week I gave an ‘Instagram stories masterclass’ at the Excel Centre as part of the Hotel Restaurant Catering Show.

Have you ever attended a talk at an industry event? You listen, you think it’s great, then you wander off to get some free merch or a coffee and suddenly it’s all gone, you can’t remember a thing.

So I thought about how to make my talk a bit more memorable – to make it ‘stick’ in people’s minds.

My presentation started by talking about the benefits of having an Instagram stories strategy. I talked about:

  • Stories getting over 500 million views a day
  • Brand awareness as the algorithm loves stories so helps you out
  • Increase in reach by tagging in other accounts
  • Showing the ‘human’ side of your brand
  • Etc etc (there are lots more I can assure you!).

As I said my talk was a practical ‘masterclass’ so next up I used screen capture to show my lovely audience how to make an Instagram story using some of the cool effects which stories provides.

Then I encouraged people to make a story of their own. I asked them to take a photo of me while I took a photo of them. Then I asked them to make a story and to tag me in to their story. I made a firm promise that I would re-post their stories on my story (increase in reach you see).

Here are some of the stories – aren’t they fab?

Not a bad incentive? Would you have done it? Hmmm.  Personally, I’m pretty ‘on it’ when I go to things and I like to ‘have a go’. I’m aware that not everyone is the same however and that some people would rather eat coal than participate in a group workshop.

So, how did I encourage those people in the audience to pull out their phones and make a story of their own and tag me in? How did I get that ridiculously high engagement in such a short time?

I ran a competition at the end of my talk, BUT I publicised it at the beginning.

Right at the beginning of my talk – on my 2nd slide in fact – I announced that there would be chance to win a free audit of their Instagram page. Also, I left that slide up for a biiiit longer than the other slides.

I didn’t let on HOW they could win, I didn’t want to give everything away just yet, I wanted my audience to be curious.

When I got to the point where I announce that, as well as me sharing their story if they tagged me in, that they could also win that audit by doing so, you should have seen the hands move and the bottoms wriggle on those chairs as out came the phones!

I mean, why would you walk away from a talk on Instagram stories, when you have the chance to win a free audit of your Instagram page? You’re going to sit there and wait to see what you have to do to win right?

Would you have a go? I sure would.

So the lesson is – competitions with an easy entry, low ‘stake’, and a reasonably high value prize do work to increase your engagement and your following.

If you want to know more about my workshop, send me a message or fill out the form below and I’ll get in touch!

(legal bit: stats recorded by Agorapulse measuring monthly engagement on @Sarahclaysocial Feb/March)

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