Engagement. It’s the word that gets thrown around like weights in the gym. If you’re in the health and fitness industry, you’ve definitely heard your fair share of it both on and offline.
People always say “you need to up your engagement if you want to get followers” or “engagement is the key to a successful Instagram”—and they aren’t wrong.
Engagement can be a major factor in growing your Instagram following and getting new customers, but it requires tactics and strategy—not just a few likes and a mediocre comment.
Trying to build your followers and engagement on Instagram without engagement is like trying to make friends at a party by talking about yourself and all your accomplishments.
Social media is called “social” media for a reason. While Instagram is one of the most powerful tools for building your brand and business, it’s meant to be a platform where people can connect with other people.
So, what does this look like?
We’re going to show you how to create engagement on Instagram that converts followers into paying customers.
Let’s talk IG engagement…
Identify your target audience on Instagram.
Your target audience those people who need to see your content—plain and simple.
Identifying them requires some time and research. Start by following those people who have already engaged with your content as well as those coaches and brands you aspire to be. Doing this will put your name in front of people who follow those other coaches and chances are, if they like that content, they’ll be a fan of yours too.
Remember, don’t flood your following list with a bunch of random accounts, be tactical and specific about finding those people who you think can benefit the most from the content you bring to the table.
Focus on the top 20
Building off number one, begin with a list of 20 people who perfectly match your target market. These are not partial matches, but rather perfect matches. Think of the ideal follower for your content and find 20 of them who will be beyond excited to have you on their feed.
If you’re unsure where to find these people, here are three big time-savers that’ll help you identify your top 20.
- Let engagement inspire your content. The more you engage with your market, the more deeply you’ll understand your audience’s needs and interests. As you’re engaging, keep a running list in your notes or Google Docs of content ideas that your audience is really responding to.
This is an easy way to continue to generate content ideas while also narrowing down your ideal followers. (If you need some extra ideas here’s 50 of them)
- Use your targeted top 20 from above and build your engagement list from there. As you engage with potential clients and partners, note who is following and engaging with their content.
For example, if you’re building a nutrition following, you might follow Sadia Badiei and then look at those people who like and comment on her content. Those are the individuals you want to have following your page as well.
- Try out the suggestion feature on Instagram(see example below). We love this feature. It’ll help you hone in and build your list of people to engage with. Once you’ve found someone who perfectly fits your target market, use Instagram’s suggestion feature to find other similar accounts by clicking the small down arrow next to the follow button.
Start a daily engagement habit
Consistency is key when it comes to creating great content for your followers. But it’s also helpful while engaging. If daily dedication overwhelms you (after all, you have a business to run and clients to meet), don’t worry. Consistent engagement isn’t necessarily constant engagement.
Create space in your schedule for 1 hour of Instagram engagement a day. This hour can be broken up to match your schedule for your convenience. If you do want your time to have the most impact, though, study when your target audience spends their time on Instagram.
As a starting point, most people are on Instagram Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The range is pretty broad, but you’ll probably be better off avoiding hours before 6 a.m. and after 9 p.m. If you’re serious about seeing growth, hold yourself accountable to hit your engagement goal every day.
Dodge the “DM us!!” comment
Here is the secret recipe for taking your engagement to the next level:
Like 3 pictures and write one strong comment for each IG account you want on your follower list.
The comment doesn’t need to be drawn out, just sincere and authentic—trust us, there’s a lot of fake engagement out there.
After looking at the picture and reading the caption, simply send them an encouraging word. Tell them, “Great work! Keep it up!” Or “Thank you for sharing your thoughts on ____. It’s really helpful!” Or “Can’t wait to try out your ___ workout. I love that I can do it from home!” Throw in a 👏 or 🙌, and call it a day.
Also remember, people on Instagram—especially influencers—are being bombarded with the generic “DM us for a feature!” comment. When engaging with potential clients, if it looks like you’ve copied and pasted the same comment to hundreds of people, it’s worth zilch.
Rinse and Repeat
With these simple strategies and just an hour a day, you’ll create a strong social cadence that your audience can rely on. Now it’s time to try it out and see the results for yourself.
Need more free-peeks into our well-seasoned Instagram tactics? Here are dozens of content ideas for coaches that you can download and use on your IG for the next two months.
Ready to step up your coaching business game? Join the SPRNG Accelerator Marketing Group where we’ll coach you through each step to building a health and fitness business that makes you lots of money doing what you love.