It can be tough to get people to spend the time it takes to write an insightful comment on your Instagram content.
That‘s why Instagram posts always have more likes over comments because it’s so simple to make a double-tap.
Check out your own engagement. 🧐
Most posts don’t have insightful conversations happening in the comments on Instagram.
Your content has to provoke commentary.
People won’t just do it automatically.
One of my favorite tactics to promote natural Instagram engagement is using what I call a versus post.
So you are probably wondering, what is a versus post on Instagram? 🤨
It’s simply a style of content that represents two things for the viewers to compare and vote on a winner using the comments directly on the post.
It’s much more than just something like this though…
It doesn’t just have an image directly comparing two things.
You have to get creative with what you post to get someone to spend time on your post rather than one of the other 95 million photos and videos uploaded on Instagram every single day.
You have to create a sort of curiosity that makes people want to share their opinions.
Let’s discuss the details of this strategy with examples along the way.
How to use a versus post to skyrocket your engagement
I’ve seen this tactic work really well with physical brands, so let’s look at it for an example.
Take two items that you want to promote by comparing both of them — here’s what you’ll do.
- Create a carousel post that will include a type of “versus” between the two items. It can be anything like two pairs of jeans, bags, shoes, socks, — most products work well.
- On the first post of the carousel, entice the user to look at the rest of the carousel by tying it to some sort of incentive or intrigue.
- Next show the two items you are comparing, one on each post, with a little personal touch to each. Don’t just have an image or description of the product.
- The last post in the carousel should be a call to action that tells the viewer to leave a comment to cast their vote on one of the two items.
- Be sure to include niche hashtags to further increase your reach. Since these types of posts will have more engagement than normal you will likely reach the Top Posts for the relevant ones you use.
- Be sure to spend time on the caption and make sure they stop scrolling and click the “more” link to read the details of your post.
Pretty simple right? 😅
Let’s dive deeper and explore each portion of the strategy.
Tactics that provoke engagement on your content
Ultimately we want someone to stop scrolling, swipe to the end of the carousel, read your full caption, then make an engaging comment.
The leading post in the carousel must trigger the viewer to swipe.
Remember, you don’t want people to just see the first image or read the caption and then comment.
We want everyone to swipe all the way to the end.
Provoke commentary not collect votes
Simply asking viewers to vote on what they’d prefer will get you a one-word answer.
But we can do better than that. 🤓
You want to entice them to write a sentence or two instead of a one-word reply.
Even better if you can turn their comments into a conversation where you can talk back and forth about it.
Often that involves asking them to choose one of the choices and providing a reason why that was their pick.
Get creative and try other methods relevant to your brand to get the conversation started.
Whenever you’re using this Instagram strategy, make sure you respond to all relevant comments, as fast as possible.
Incentivizing engagement with giveaways
When you give away something for free. It will get extra attention. 👀
That concept applies to most things in life and Instagram is no exception.
People are willing to give you a like, comment, follow, etc in exchange for the chance to win something.
If you aren’t selling a physical product then that’s no problem.
It can be anything such as:
- A free shoutout
- One-month free for a service
- Gift cards to related your niche
- Offering a consultation or your expertise on a topic
- Products you don’t sell
- Discounts on products/services
Depending on how sweet the deal is and what you are willing to giveaway…
You can ask for much for than a comment. 🤩
You could go as far as asking for someone to follow your account, follow other accounts, like other posts you make, tag a friend, and more.
If you can nail this strategy down it can have a really high ROI for your post.
Using other Instagram content to promote it
A single post is not enough.
To really make sure you get as much out of your post as possible you need to continue to promote it using other Instagram features.
Stories are the obvious and most effective way to refer back to your verses post and entice them to engage.
But don’t leave out using other normal posts, videos, and more to have viewers come back to your post and place their comments.
After a few days, make a follow-up post and/or story to announce the outcome of the giveaway or comparison.
Mistakes to avoid with this Instagram tactic
As effective as the versus post can be in making an impact on your Instagram engagement, there are some common mistakes I see people make that can ruin all of the hard work.
Whenever you’re using the versus style post, you should have it at the back of your mind that you’re getting people to pick a side in a conversation.
So, always be careful in what you ask people to vote on.
For the best result, stick to having people vote on just 2 things at a time — and not on a ton of different options.
On the other hand, avoid picking topics such as religion or politics which are quite controversial.
You may get plenty of comments but not the kind you are looking for. 🙃
Nonetheless, pick things that people have an interest in or perhaps fascinates them.
The versus style post is unarguably a good Instagram engagement tactic but that doesn’t mean you should use it all the time.
In the long run, your followers will get bored of you repeating the same type of content.
Another mistake is making it too hard to enter if you are doing a giveaway.
You don’t want someone to have to jump through a ton of hoops to be entered for a chance to win a $10 gift card.
The easier the better so you lock in their engagement.
It can be quite difficult to keep up with the latest Instagram strategies or changes to the Instagram algorithm.
But the one thing that remains constant is how Instagram prioritizes engagement metrics.
The tactics explained here can greatly increase the engagement you receive on your verses style Instagram posts, which in turn should help you promote your brand to newer audiences.
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