How To Increase Engagement On Your Instagram Posts

Instagram is one of the biggest and busiest social media platforms. As of June 2018, it boasts more than a billion monthly active users, half of which are active on daily basis!

But it’s not just the massive audience that makes it an ideal marketing platform. It’s a highly-targeted and visual marketing platform that’s great for building a loyal audience. More than that, the above numbers mean it has one of the largest engaged audiences as well.

But with so many brands vying for post engagement, how do you ensure you earn the lion’s share? Here are fourteen of the best strategies to help you increase Instagram engagements for your brand.

What is Instagram Engagement?

Before we move on to discussing the actual strategies that can help your business, let’s first try to understand Instagram engagement. Engagement rates, on any social media platform, can be considered as a measure of your followers’ loyalty to you.

It’s not about the size of your audience, but the degree of their involvement with your brand’s content that matters most. It’s the measure of their interest and interaction with your photos, videos, and Stories that actually count towards marketing success.

Some of the key parameters you should be looking at to track your engagements rates are:

1. Followers

This is an obvious factor that you should be monitoring. The size of your audience or those of your influencers are important, but not the most crucial parameter. More than just the number of your followers, you want to analyze how quickly you’re gaining new followers instead.

2. Likes

Likes are another fundamental parameter that contribute to your engagement rates. It’s a base level measure of whether your content is well received by your followers. It’s a rather straight-forward indicator of how popular your profile is among your target audience.

3. Comments

Comments are the next metric you want to look at when tracking the increase in your Instagram engagement. Analyzing the comments will give you a more qualitative understanding of what your followers think about your posts.

Liking a post is one thing, but comments are a better sign of their involvement because they spend time writing one.

Of course, the quality of comments is just as important. Often, people leave simple comments like “Nice” or “Looking good” which don’t really mean much. Just look at the spammy emoji comments below.

Image via Instagram

4. Shares and Reposts

Building on the above, the number of shares and reposts your posts get are also very important. If a user is willing to share your content with their friends, then you know they really liked the content you’ve posted.

How to Increase Instagram Engagement

Moving on, let’s take a look at some strategies that can help you increase your organic engagement on Instagram.

1. Leverage Hashtags

The power of hashtags on a platform like Instagram cannot be understated. The right, and more importantly, relevant, hashtags help you grow and reach the right people on the platform.

Typically, you want your hashtags to be relevant to your brand, your products, your post, and the message you’re trying to convey.

But how do you find the right ones to use? You can try using tools like Websta to find them. Here’s what a good hashtag game looks like.

Image via Instagram

2. Post Meaningful Content

What better way to increase Instagram engagement than post meaningful content that entices users to engage?

It’s not just the actual image and your captivating captions that count but also the kind of content. You want to share content that shows users the true value of your product.

But what does that look like?

As a fitness business, you could share before-after photos of your clients who’ve benefited from your services.

That’s exactly what fitness guru Kayla Itsines does to advocate her Bikini Body Program. She frequently shares the success stories of her clients on her Instagram page.

Image via Instagram

3. Tread Carefully Around Follower Fatigue

While platforms like Twitter are all about constant micro-conversations and interactions, that’s not the case with Instagram. Increasing Instagram engagement has more to do with posting high-quality content than posting frequently.

Ideally, you should limit yourself to one or two captivating photos or videos a day.

Over post, and you stand the risk of damaging your engagement rates due to follower fatigue. Users are likely to get disinterested if they think you spam a lot, resulting in an eventual drop in engagement.

4. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram users spend around 28 minutes on Instagram Stories on a daily basis. Such is the popularity of the feature that around 300 million people use it daily.

What better way to engage your audience than share behind-the-scenes images and blooper videos with them.

Renault leveraged the feature wonderfully to promote their new Twingo Midnight models among millennials.

Image via Instagram

5. Find the Right Filters to Use

Instagram is all about captivating audiences with the maximum visual appeal.

One rather simple way to go about it is using Instagram filters. Each filter has its own appeal and can add a unique dimension to your images.

Juno, Clarendon, Valencia, and X-Pro II are some of the more popular ones.

6. Try Instagram Feeds Themes

Instagram feed themes are another great way you can add some visual appeal to your posts.

While a lot of people use filters, not everyone is capable of pulling off feed themes. That extra appeal will help increase Instagram engagements for your brand.

You could opt for something as simple as a black and white theme, or something more complicated.

Lauren Aston, for instance, prefers a monotheme for her business that focuses on a recurring subject — her knittings.

Image via Instagram

7. Leverage Geotags

Apart from hashtags, you can also use geotags to make your posts and stories discoverable.

Local businesses can leverage these to the fullest by adding location tags to their posts. It can help you engage with posts from other users in the physical vicinity.

Magnolia, for example, makes it a point to tag their location.

Image via Instagram

8. Experiment with Posting Times

One tactic you can use to increase Instagram engagement for your business page is to post at the right times.

You can maximize your engagements by posting content when the most of your followers are likely to be browsing their feeds.

You can use Instagram’s native analytical tool to get a picture on when your audience is most likely to online. By posting then, you’ll gain more engagements within minutes of posting which count more than engagements gained ages later.

Take this a step further by using tools like Sprout Social’s social media publisher to schedule posts before-hand.

Image via Sprout Social

9. Have Story Highlights on Your Profile

When a user lands on your page, you have a few brief moments to convert them into a follower.

One way to do that and increase Instagram engagement on your page is using the “Highlights” feature. Instagram Stories last for 24 hours only but with Highlights, you can extend their lifetime and entice them.

10. Add CTAs to your Posts

A simple act of requesting your audience to comment and inviting them to engage will prove very beneficial. That’s why it’s important to include a call-to-action in your post captions.

They encourage followers to engage with your content through comments and spend more time on your post.

It’s a simple and effective means to increase Instagram engagement. You could try leveraging this tactic in a social media giveaway which we’ll see in just a moment.

Or, you could opt for a much easier approach like asking users a question.

Just look at this page @bestvacations and how they leverage CTAs to encourage users to engage with their posts.

Image via Instagram

11. Conduct Giveaway Contests

One of the best comments you can get is one where a user tags their friend in it. These comments contribute to increasing your Instagram engagement and bring a new member to your audience.

You can rake in loads of such comments by running regular giveaways and contests on Instagram.

MVMT, for instance, runs regular giveaways where they ask users to tag their friends in exchange for a reward.

Image via Instagram

12. Interact with Followers Through Comments

The best way to boost engagement is to simply interact with the people who like and comment on your posts. Take out some time on a daily basis to comment on your posts and interact with your audience.

For one, replying to user comments will make your followers feel special. They’ll be more inclined to stay loyal to you as well as interact with your account on a regular basis.

You’ll be able to maintain a steady increase in Instagram engagements this way.

13. Engage with Similar Accounts

This nifty tactic can help you gain ground on your competitors. Go beyond just spying on their accounts to monitor the kind of content they’re posting.

Take it a step further by actually engaging their audience.

Find accounts similar to your own. Engage their followers, the ones they follow and the users that frequently comment on their posts.

You’d be surprised the kind of relations you can build this way. What’s more, they are likely to find your content engaging too.

14. Measure and Optimize

The final piece of this puzzle involves constant analyzing of data and optimizing your campaign. Only if you know what you’re doing wrong or doing right can you tweak your strategies to increase Instagram engagement rates.

You could use Instagram’s native tool to track your content performance as well as understand audience behavior. You just need an Instagram business account to do that.

Additionally, you should also measure your overall brand engagement rate. Simply enter your profile name into the Instagram Engagement Calculator and voila!

Image via Shane Barker

After Thoughts

The secret to marketing success on Instagram has everything to with your engagement rate on the platform. You need to experiment to find the strategies that best increase Instagram engagement for your brand. These tips will go a long in helping you achieve that.

What do you think? What’s the best tactic to increase Instagram engagement rates? Let us know in your comments.

Originally published at Shanebarker.com.


About The Author

Shane Barker is the Founder and CEO of Content Solutions and Gifographics. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.