Updated: 12/26/2023 | Instagram Tips and Tricks to Increase Engagement
Instagram currently has 2.4 billion users. It’s a huge marketplace for brands to drive business.
Instagram engagement is a metric that refers to a measure of how people are interacting with your content.
It considers details such as your follower count along with interactions such as likes, comments, saves, shares, and much more. This metric helps you gauge how well your content resonates with your audience.
Here’s how most brands calculate Instagram engagement:
((likes + comments)/post) \followers = % engagement rate
However, Instagram is actually measured by a range of metrics, which can include:
- Use of branded hashtags
- Accounts engaged
Does a good engagement rate even matter?
So what’s the big deal about Instagram engagement? Check out these key benefits of having a good engagement rate on Instagram.
According to the latest Instagram stats, posts typically get an average engagement rate of 0.98%. So anything around this number should be safe. That said, you’d ideally want to shoot for a higher engagement rate than the platform average.
Improves Platform Visibility
The Instagram algorithm uses several factors to rank and display content. While relevance is one crucial element, engagement is another major consideration. Even among relevant content, posts that see tons of engagement are more likely to show up in a user’s Explore. So having a good engagement rate is essential to improve your visibility on Instagram.
Attract New Followers
With higher visibility comes an increased chance of attracting a new audience. Instagram will typically show your content to people who are most likely to be interested in it. If these users like your content enough, they may want to check out your profile and even follow you. In other words, a good engagement rate may help you grow your Instagram following.
Boost Your Credibility
To the average Instagram user, a post that has tons of engagement means other people are enjoying it. Good engagement serves as social proof and reflects positively on your brand. People may feel more comfortable trusting your brand because others are engaging with it.
Below we’ll share some tips and tools that we’ve found helpful in growing our Instagram content creator and influencer account at @schimiggy.
Instagram Tips and Tricks to Increase Engagement
#1 Post Interesting Content
One of the most straightforward ways to engage your audience is by giving them what they want.
If your niche is in food, give your audience food content such as new recipes or new restaurants to try, or the best spots to eat in a neighborhood.
If your niche is in fashion, give you audience styling tips, brand reviews, sizing reviews, and more.
A great way to find out what your audience is looking for is by doing some research and seeing what previous posts of yours performed best and continue building upon that type of content and style of creation.
#2 Write strong captions
Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters long.
While short captions can sometimes be enough, don’t be afraid to take up space when you’ve got a good story to tell. No matter the length, good captions add context and showcase your brand’s personality and what you stand for.
#3 Reshare User Generated Content
Ask to download specific images from Instagram that you can then repost on other accounts or other platforms.
Make sure you ask creators for permission to use their content first. This can be done via DM or in their comments section.
This is known as UGC (User-Generated Content), which can help improve the authenticity of your brand and further humanize your brand by connecting and appreciating your followers by sharing their content.
How to Download Instagram Images and Reels to Repost
Instagram Downloads allows you to download videos and images from public accounts on Instagram.
If you use Google Chrome, we recommend checking out the Image Downloader extension to easily download images and videos from any Instagram account you are connected with.
#4 Use Instagram Stories to Drive Engagement
Each time you create a reel or post, make sure to share it onto your stories. This gives people an opportunity to browse past your content and then reshare it.
Be sure to tag friends and brands and encourage them to reshare the story.
Instagram also offers stickers that make it easy to drive engagement. Every time someone engages with a stickers, it counts toward your engagement.
Use the stickers to conduct polls, ask questions, quiz, or visit a new reel or post.
The question sticker is also perfect for hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) opportunity. You’ll then be able to share a series of Stories answering those questions.
One of the latest Instagram trends involves using the “Add Yours” sticker. Use this sticker to start a challenge and get people to engage with your brand. Share a prompt and encourage people to participate in your challenge by resharing your story and adding their own content.
#5 Use the Meta Sound Collection to Add Music to Your Videos
Music is a great way to engage your audience! Music gives another dimension to your posts and can impact the engagement of your followers. People love trending songs and discovering new music.
Need stock-free music? Use songs from the Meta Sound Collection to add to your Reels.
And best of all, they’re free to use and won’t block you from collaborating with business accounts that haven’t paid for music licensing.
#6 Schedule Your Posts During Your Audience’s Most Active Times
Don’t want to spend all your time on Instagram? Try scheduling your posts!
I typically try to schedule all my weekly posts in a day so that I can have free time to do other things throughout the week. You can schedule your posts directly in the Instagram App (currently not via the web version) or via other software plateforms can also help you bulk schedule your posts such as Hootsuite, Later, and Bulk.ly.
We recommend posting during the times that your audience is most engaged. This can be found on your Professional Dashboard > click Total Followers > Scroll down to see Most active times.
#7 Engage With Your Audience
Your job isn’t over after you’ve posted your content. You now have to engage with your audience.
You can engage with your audience by responding to comments and DMs. This will also allow you to truly connect with your audience a foster a strong relationship.
When you show your audience you care about their opinion, they will like you even more. And this will translate into a higher engagement rate on Instagram.
You can even automate your responses using software such as ManyChat. This allows you to automate your responses so that followers get a response immediately. This is done by asking your audience to use keywords that trigger an instant message directly to their DMs.
It’s super easy to set up and is worth it if you do a lot of social media marketing and want to increase conversions and engagement without being on your mobile phone all day long.
And don’t forget to check your hidden DMs. There may be opportunities hiding in your hidden direct messages (DMs) folder. We recommend checking this folder 3-5 times a week to make sure you haven’t missed out on any opportunities.
#8 Use Call-to-Actions (CTAs) in your posts
Every Instagram caption should end with a CTA. After you present your audience with a new concept, service, or product, you need to tell them what they should now do with that information.
The CTA (click-to-action) has to instruct the user what to do next. It should be something like:
- Get yours here now on (website)
- Use code SCHIMIGGY for a discount
- Try it out now in our locations
- Tag someone you’d love to go with.
- Enter our giveaway!
- Check out our link in bio to buy. – You can now add up to 5 links!
- Would you try this?
- Let us know in the comment section
- Comment “Link” to get outfit details
- Use the Instagram CTA buttons for “Call Now” or “Make an Appointment” – These need to be set up.
Continuing the conversation with your audience is very important for engagement and relationship building
#9 Reels are The Way to Go
Short-form video content has become increasingly popular. They’re called Reels on Instagram and TikTok videos. Depending on your niche, videos should be anywhere between 10-30 seconds long. While Instagram allows videos up to 1 minute (60 seconds) we recommend creating shorter videos if you want to go viral.
Create Reels showing how-to tips and tricks or behind-the-scenes processes, for instance. Reels can be informational as well, providing a quick list of things people might want to know. See how Drunk Elephant creates a Reel listing some reasons why a certain product is great.
They have tons of tutorials on TikTok. You can use the free version which has a lot of great features or upgrade to a paid version for even more features.
#10 Promote Your Posts via Instagram Ads
Don’t be afraid to use Instagram ads! When launching a new Instagram campaign, you should consider boosting your content using Instagram ads.
25% of your target audience’s feed is filled with sponsored posts. And that if you start investing in Instagram ads, your brand can be part of that 25%.
The great part about Instagram ads is that you can target your audience and customize it to your advantage.
When targeting your audience, you can use all your sources, like newsletter lists, customers, former customers, people who have visited your store, and people who have engaged with your Instagram posts.
Then let ads do their magic and contribute to your brand’s visibility and growth. I typically do an ad spend of $5-$10 per day, up to 3-5 days.
#11 Use Subtitles in Your Videos
Subtitles help people who are hard of hearing and people who just don’t like to view their videos out loud still have an opportunity to digest your content.
We recommend using captions whenever you can. Instagram allows you to produce captions from your audio content.
Below is an example of a video I created substitles for.
View this post on Instagram
#12 Make Your Images Stand Out
Instagram is a visual medium and aesthetics are very important. And while you don’t need to be (or have) a professional photographer to thrive on the platform, creating images that catch the attention of others is important.
To get engagement on main feed images, you need something that stops thumbs in their tracks and encourages followers to stick around long enough to like, comment, or share.
You may also want to make your Instagram look consistent so followers recognize your content and pause to see what you have to share.
#13 Edit Your Photos
I never ever post without editing my photos. No one who serious about their content creation posts without careful editing.
If you need to edit your photos, I recommend the following Apps:
#14 Upload Photos Without Cropping
Instagram automatically crops images that exceed its maximum aspect ratio. As a photographer, this is annoying because there are components that are intentionally part of the composition, and cutting them out would take away from the original image.
So if you’re looking for a way to avoid cropping, I recommend resizing your images and adding a black or white background. This can be done in the Snapseed (free) or InShot (free with paid features) Apps.
Both apps allow you to add an image you want to post into the App and then choose a ratio that fits for you. They will both allow you to create a white or black frame to prevent image cropping.
Save your image and then post to Instagram once you are done.
#15 Increase Engagement with Instagram’s Collab Feature
A Collab is when you are co-authoring a post on Instagram with someone in your niche or with a business.
Collaborative posts are a great way to boost your Instagram promotions! It allows you to post the same content across multiple profiles. This is also great for SEO because there is no duplication in content.
#16 Focus on Instagram SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is very important because it relates to the elusive Instagram algorithm.
It’s very important to craft Instagram copy and focus it on SEO. Include relevant keywords to make yourself more discoverable.
Here are some areas to focus on SEO:
- Your Bio: Your handle (username) helps people find your brand. But your Instagram bio can help people find your account when they search by industry, or when they don’t remember your handle. For example, my account name is @schimiggy and my keywords are travel food and fashion photography.
- Captions: Your captions should be compelling and include a CTA. Add natural keywords and terms that will help searchers find your post.
- Alt text: Alt text was created for social media accessibility. It allows people who are blind or have visual limitations to understand what your content is about. Add relevant keywords to make your content more likely to appear in Explore. The Alt text field is available only on posts where you can add alt text under every image on the post.
- Hashtags: Instagram hashtags are searchable so make sure to use relevant hashtags that have not been banned.
#17 Use Geotags for Local Discoverability
By tagging a location on your content or stories, people searching for that location can come across your content on Instagram.
It can help promote your business to a local and relevant audience. You can also contribute your posts and stories related to that location.
#18 Pin Your Top Posts
Instagram allows you to pin three posts to the top of your feed. This gives visitors an idea of what you like to feature or what your best posts are.
We recommend pinning your top posts so that people can see your top-performing content and decide if they want to work with or follow you.
To pin a post go to your post, click the three dots in the top corner and scroll down and toggle on “pin to your profile.”
#19 Run Contests and Giveaways
By running contests and giveaways, you can attract a higher number of people to you and a brand’s page.
Some of the things you can ask users to do include:
- Follow the accounts holding the giveaway,
- Like the post/reel,
- Share the post/reel to stories,
- Use a specific hashtag,
- Tag a friend in the comments,
- and leave a relevant comment.
It’s best to state the prize people will be winning (ie. a $100 gift card to a restaurant) and the end date of the contest.
When choosing a winner, I use Google Sheets to input all entries and then use a formula to draw a random winner. Hit me up if you want me to show you how to do this.
Check out this giveaway example below to see how I structured it.
View this post on Instagram
#20 Use Relevant Hashtags to Promote Your Posts
Hashtags are a great way to make your content searchable. Instagram allows people to follow their favorite hashtags to discover more similar content to the stuff they love discovering.
We recommend using hashtags with less than 1 million tags or creating your own relevant #hashtags that people would be motivated to follow.
#21 Use Instagram Scheduling and Posting Tools
Applications are software tools that enable you to build and engage with your audience. They can help with scheduling your posts, give you insights via analytics, and help determine the right hashtags for growth.
#22 Join Engagement Groups
Engagement groups are often chat groups on Instagram or Facebook where members post their content to receive engagement. To be honest, engagement groups are great but not a long-term solution. A lot of times people are penalized for not meeting engagement group demands. They’re super tedious but some perks of engagement groups are that you meet people in your niche.
The best way to engage is by responding to people who message you on your platforms and meeting people in your same niche.
I attend a lot of events and meet people online. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with people via DMs. One day your online relationship might turn into an in-person collaboration!
I have met plenty of bloggers online and met them in person at social events years later and now we’re great friends that support one another.
I recommend spending 30 minutes to an hour each day engagement with similar accounts by liking, commenting, and DM-ing accounts you want to befriend.
#23 Network at Influencer Events!
A great way to meet people in your niche is by going to influencer events.
Influencer events are typically held by businesses, companies, and PR agencies. These events are held so that influencers can attend and then promote them on their socials. This drives brand awareness and also connects businesses with influential people within the community.
We love this type of engagement because it builds community, helps people learn about the brand and one another, and often fosters collaborations between everyone who attends.
#24 Archive Underperforming Images and Posts
Have posts that aren’t doing well? We recommend archiving them so that your grid looks more curated and engaged.
You can always repost the same or improved content at a later date when you have more followers and higher engagement.
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If you're a brand and want to work with us, please visit this page to get in touch.