Let's face it - getting engagement on Instagram is definitely not as easy as it used to be. In 2021, the average Instagram engagement rate was about 1.22%, while just 3 years prior in 2018, the average was around 4.5% (socialmediacollege.com & statista.com)
Instagram has had a steady decrease in engagement rate over the past several years, but there are brewery accounts that seem to be unaffected by this trend. What gives? What are they doing that you're not?
Tip #1: Utilize Instagram Reels
You've probably heard this a million times - but I think you should hear it again.
Instagram reels are the single best way to reach new customers and get more engagement.
Instagram wants to be able to compete with TikTok, and the way they'll do that is by getting users to scroll through short-form video content. The Instagram algorithm will show your video reel to non-followers at a rate exponentially higher than your single photo content.
I think making 1 reel per week is the sweet spot here - but don't expect every reel you make to go viral. As we'll discuss in the next section, viral content will usually always fall into 1 of these 3 categories - funny, shareable, or relatable. Keep this in mind when you're making your next reel.
Tip #2: Stop Being Sales-y
Nobody on Instagram is looking to be sold to. Sure, companies run ads and sponsor posts and in some cases make a ton of money in return - BUT, the platform is meant to be entertaining for its users.
The goal of the algorithm is to keep the user on the app for as long as possible. More often than not, a user is going to scroll right past a post that is clearly trying to sell them on something. In turn, Instagram will show that post to less and less people because of the lack of user interest.
To combat this, you want to create funny, shareable, and relatable content. Memes, short videos (reels), funny tweets that pertain to your product, etc. Go back to the last 4 or 5 posts you 'liked' or 'shared' and compare that to the content you're putting out.
If your posts aren't funny, shareable, or relatable, chances are they're not going to perform very well. You don't ALWAYS have to share this type of content, but every post should not be made with the intent of selling a product.
Tip #3: Become More Active
This may be an obvious tip, but I can't express how many breweries I speak with that are not active with other accounts on Instagram. What do I mean by active? I mean actively commenting and interacting with beer lovers and breweries on Instagram.
Here's a quick exercise:
Pick ONE hashtag that is related to your business (something with around 3-5 million posts total), and I want you to leave ONE thoughtful comment on 5-10 posts that use that hashtag. Do this every single day. It takes less than 10 minutes and pays off exponentially.
Why is this effective? Well, we want to drive traffic to your Instagram page. After all, the only way you'll actually get new followers is if you have people click through to your Instagram page.
How many times have you visited the Instagram page of someone that has commented on your photo? My guess is quite often.
This is all about awareness. We want people to know you actually exist. Behind reels, this is the second best way to do so.
Stop trying to sell. Nobody wants to be sold to. Create funny, shareable, relatable content. Use short form video (Instagram Reels) to do this - and engage with other breweries and customers in your market. It pays off exponentially.