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Do you know what’s worse than the Instagram update? Asking your audience to turn on post notifications. We all have enough things dinging, pinging and screaming for our attention when it comes to our phones. (If you already asked, don’t sweat it.)

Asking your audience to enable notifications doesn’t help them engage more with your content, it leads to annoyance and anything (including unfollowing) goes once you’ve pissed off your fans.

You don’t need notifications to keep your audience around. You just need to keep making great content, which if you have enough followers to be stressed about the update, you probably already are.

The people that already engage with you are going to continue to see your posts. But when you become another ‘notification’ that’s begging for attention, you risk ruining the relationship you’ve worked hard to build.

But what about all of the passive followers who operate under a ‘look but don’t touch’ mentality? Well here’s 5 engagement strategies you can implement to activate your ‘sleeper fans’ and stay in their feed.

  1. Run a contest

    I don’t care if this feels overdone or cliché. They work. Make it so good they can’t resist but enter via liking, tagging or commenting.

  2. Ask for a recommendation

    This could be a restaurant, fun activities in your city, for traveling, a charity, a gift, you name it and ask.

  3. Poll your audience

    Ask them to choose A or B by either juxtaposing two pictures in one image and asking them to comment or post pictures back to back and have them like the one they prefer. This could be an outfit, a recipe, a gift idea, a room layout, hairstyle, etc.

  4. Do a giveaway

    It can be as small as a $25 Starbucks card, offer to do a random drawing from the pool of anyone who comments. Or better yet, offer to give money to a charity of their choice, and have them enter by offering up a charity in the comments. Choose the one you like.

  5. Switch up your feed with something funny or vulnerable

    Post a relatable meme, funny photo, etc. or share something you’re audience would be surprised to know. People respond to humor in ways you might never expect, and the same goes for revealing your real life struggles. Encourage your audience to tag a friend who could use a laugh or a reminder that they aren’t alone.

  6. BONUS* Tease them with a cliff hanger

    Whatever your brand is about, fashion or food or family, etc. come up with a funny challenge or reveal, that won’t happen unless you get x amount of likes. If you make it enticing enough, people WILL click.

The truth is, as long as you continue to give the people what the people want (and then a little extra) your metrics and your audience aren’t going anywhere. And if you’re a brand, it might be time to think about sponsoring posts. If you need help let us know!