9 Tips to Increase Instagram Engagement

December 5, 2019 / Philippa Crick

Tips to Increase Instagram Engagement

The Instagram platform makes use of a constantly evolving algorithm to dictate the order of posts that users see in their feeds. Instagram’s algorithm aims to predict what posts you want to see and the content you care about. The algorithm takes into account several key factors when prioritising content in user feeds; engagement is perhaps the most important part of the algorithm. But what characterises engagement and how is it measured? An even better question is how do you increase engagement on your Instagram?

For engagement purposes, you should focus on several defining metrics:

Views and impressions

Views and impressions are the total number of times your post (whether photo or video) has been seen. They can come from a user seeing your post on their feed, directly on your profile, or the Explore page.

  • Likes

Likes are Instagram’s simplest form of measuring engagement. They serve as a good quantitative measure of how ‘likeable’ your content is. Though likes are not the deepest form of engagement, they still represent the baseline popularity of your post.

  • Comments

Similar to likes, comments are a quantitative measure of engagement but are a much more valuable form because they are much deeper than a simple double-tap. To comment on a post means users are highly engaged with your content because they took to respond or say something about it.

  • Shares and reposts

Shares and reposts essentially act as organic advertisements of your brand or content. This form of engagement goes even deeper than a comment. A share or repost indicates that users are willing to be associated with you and your brand.

While these are the primary measure of engagement, it is also important to keep tabs on interactions, which are the total number of actions taken on your profile such as visits, clicks, and contact.

Now that you know the metrics that measure engagement, here are some tips to improve your profile’s engagement:

9 Powerful Tips to Boost Your Instagram Engagement

  1. Create quality content. It is no secret that Instagram is a visual sharing social media platform. Creating visually appealing posts is essential to getting users to stop scrolling through their feed long enough to really engage with your post. Take the time to create visuals that stand out. Rather than focusing on posting products, try sharing experiences or telling stories that draw people in and gives them a reason to double-tap.
  2. Be consistent. Now that you are creating quality content, it is important to establish and maintain a consistent posting schedule. Posting regularly is a good way to build a loyal following on Instagram allowing followers to build a relationship with your brand and get into a habit of engaging with your content.
  3. Know the best times to post. Knowing when to post ensures your audience is actually seeing your content, which is key to getting high engagement on your posts. You can track previous post engagement and manually using a combination of Instagram Insights, data monitoring, and testing different posting times or there are a variety of different apps and tools available that do all the calculations for you. Either way you do it, it is important to know when your target audience is online so your posts are fresh in their feeds.
  4. Establish a ‘look’ to your posts and overall profile. Give your posts a distinct filter and establish a colour scheme. Establishing a defining look and sticking to it gives followers the opportunity to recognise your posts on their feed and gives your profile an identity.
  5. Regularly post stories and make use of sticker features. Stories may only last for 24 hours, but they are a great way of increasing engagement. Stories can be used to draw attention to new posts and encouraging viewers to check out your profile. Using Story stickers is also a great way to start conversations about your brand. Use the question sticker to let your followers get to you or get more information about your brand. Poll and vote stickers can be used to understand and gauge followers’ opinions regarding your products or services.
  6. Use hashtags. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post and you should make use of this feature; 30 hashtags might be excessive but using a good number of hashtags can increase the reach of your post. Create a basic branded hashtag that should be applied to any post and can be used by followers to share user-generated content associated with your brand. Branded hashtags can also be used for product launches, promotions, and special events. Long-tail hashtags are detailed hashtags that can also be used to reflect the content of your post. Long-tailed hashtags are better to use than simple hashtags because there are fewer associated posts to compete with and you are more likely to be discovered.
  7. Include locations. Adding a location to every post boosts exposure, which in turn leads to higher engagement. By using a location tag, your post appears in that locations’ recent associated posts. Users that search for posts in your area will likely come across your post.
  8. Mention and tag other accounts . If your post features a person or another brand, tag them! Not only will they be notified of the post which will drive them to your page, but it also gives them the ability to repost or share your content. Mentioning other accounts increases exposure and builds relationships with other accounts and users.
  9. Reply to direct messages (DMs) and comments. Remember that building a relationship and brand loyalty are important when it comes to engagement. Instagram is all about community so encourage conversation and then make sure you reply to it. Make sure you take the time to listen and respond to other accounts reaching out to you.

Creating consistent and quality content, analysing your insights and engaging with other social media accounts are some of the most important steps to increasing your Instagram engagement. Follow these steps to work in harmony with Instagram’s algorithm and watch your likes, followers, shares and engagement increase!