How To Increase Engagement On Instagram: 15 Ways

Instagram marketing is an essential part of the social media marketing landscape. With about one billion users, brands and businesses globally understand the importance of getting their content right on the platform.

A key part of mastering your brand’s success on Instagram is engagement. Engagement is a huge part of how brands can measure the progress of their campaign not just on Instagram but across social platforms.

Today, we will chat about how to increase Instagram engagement.

What Is Instagram Engagement?

Instagram engagement is a way to gauge how many users connect with your Instagram posts. It measures various forms of interaction with your posts, acting as an umbrella metric of sorts.

Beneath this umbrella, you can find metrics including likes, shares, and comments. Most commonly, these are the aspects people mention when they talk about engagement.

You can, however, also calculate your engagement including Instagram post saves, the number of people who use your branded hashtags, click rates, mentions, and direct messages.

Girl checking phone

What’s A Good Engagement Rate?

You can calculate your Instagram engagement rate using all or some of the metrics above, depending on which post responses you’re trying to observe. This number of interactions is what you measure against the total number of your audience.

In this case, your audience can be looked at as either reach, impressions, or your number of followers. To calculate Instagram engagement, divide the number of interactions you got (i.e.: number of likes) by the audience number (i.e.: followers) and multiply by 100.

This rate will tell you the percentage of people who engaged in your content. In the example above, it will tell you the ratio of your total followers that actually engaged in your Instagram post.

A good Instagram engagement rate is relative and subjective to your business. You may have a particular goal set for what level of engagement you want your posts to reach based on previous performance and Instagram analytics.

On average, however, as of October 2022, these are the average Instagram engagement standards:

  • For video posts: 0.61%
  • Carousel posts: 0.62%
  • Photos: 0.46%
  • All Instagram posts: 0.54%

However, many factors affect your Instagram engagement rate including your follower count, posting time, the Instagram algorithm, etc.

Easily check the engagement on any non-private account with our Instagram Engagement Rate Calculator.

Girl in field of sunflowers

Why Does Your Instagram Engagement Rate Matter?

Understanding your Instagram engagement can completely transform how you approach your Instagram strategy.

A good engagement rate tells you that your audience has an interest in the content you post. It highlights the Instagram post types that do and don’t work for your Instagram account, guiding you on how to improve and where to keep things steady.

Your engagement also varies according to when you post on Instagram. Engagement is linked to when people are most active online, of course, as they cannot interact with your content if they don’t see it.

By observing your engagement and experimenting with different posting times, you can learn when your followers are most active and establish your brand’s best posting times. This makes it easier to manage your social media calendar and post-scheduling.

Engagement is also a big part of how the Instagram algorithm works. The algorithm uses it to rank content that interests people and makes sure Instagram users see it. The more engagement your content gets immediately after posting can land it on more feeds and get more user seeing and engaging with it.

Above all, however, you need good engagement so that your social media activity can translate to tangible business growth.

Your brand may have goals to increase brand awareness, sales, and so on. Social media can be a good tool to help you achieve these goals.

You can use it to reach potential customers and get more people talking about your brand. However, these efforts won’t yield results if nobody engages in your Instagram posts.

Woman holding coffee and phone

15 Ways To Increase Engagement On Instagram

Here are some of our top methods for how to increase engagement on Instagram, including prioritizing particular content types and ideas, shifting how you think and work, and more.

1. Know Your Crowd

Your audience is the core of your social media strategy. You need to know their interests and preferences when it comes to their content consumption and Instagram.

What is your audience demographic? What types of content do they like to consume? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when trying to increase Instagram engagement.

Do research into how your audience engages online using social listening tools.

For example, you can scope your competitors’ pages. See which of their content performs well by looking at their likes, comments, and shares. You can then draw inspiration from the kind of content they share.

2. Create Valuable Content

There is so much content online right now that there are over a thousand posts going up on the platform per second. This makes it easy for your content to get lost in the mix, especially if it doesn’t add any value to other users’ experiences.

But what does value look like on Instagram?

Well, there are many ways that you can bring value to your audience’s Instagram feed. You just need to understand what they want to see and any gaps that exist in your niche.

Some ways that you can create valuable content is by creating informative posts like DIY videos, educational clips, infographics, interviews, etc. That way, you share something new with the audience that they may not have known.

You can also brand-specific value by positioning yourself in your content. Basically, you can tell them about yourself and what you have to offer.

What do you bring to the table and what do they gain from your Instagram account? This can include internal team videos, behind-the-scenes clips, content on how they can use your product or service, and more.

Happy girl looking at phone

3. Master Consistency

There are few things more key to your IG success than consistency. It may even be more important than engagement because there’s a very low chance you will get good Instagram engagement numbers without remaining consistent. And there are two layers of consistency when using IG.

The first is consistent branding which we will discuss more when we chat about Instagram aesthetics below. You need to create a distinct Instagram personality and brand that users can spot anywhere.

The second part of consistency that you need to think about is your posting habits. When do you post and how often? Users can keep up with your posts more regularly when they know when to expect your content.

For example, if you run a weekly #TBT social media campaign, they will know to keep an eye out for these posts so they can engage with them. Consistency equals comfort for users.

You also want to post consistently and regularly. If you post once every other week or month, users may lose interest in your Instagram profile. You want to share content consistently and give them something to connect to your brand constantly.

Schedule Instagram posts so you never forget to post when you mean to.

Instagram and Twitter

4. Get Familiar With Video Content And Instagram Reels

Video content is one of the content types that receive the most engagement on Instagram with double the engagement of normal photo posts.

Take advantage of this by posting more videos and Reels on your feed. Reels have become a fun and well-received content tool on Instagram as they allow brands to play and show various aspects of the business.

Play with Reel features including transitions, music, text, etc. You can even ask questions and request responses in videos and reels to get engagement via comments and DMs.

Plus, the algorithm is really pushing Instagram Reels onto feeds, which makes them a great way to get your content users’ screens, including people who don’t follow you.

5. Create Shareable Content

Whatever the kind of content you choose to create, you want to make it interesting and worthy of sharing. The more people that see your content, the more likely they are to engage with it.

Memes, Reels, video clips, and content that is generally both entertaining and informative will be something that people want to slip into their friends’ DMs or onto a Story.

Another way of sharing that has increased with the advent of Reels on Instagram is remixing. Make content that people can and want to “collaborate with” or remix and share onto their feed.

Increased engagement on Instagram

6. Create Carousel Posts

Top on the engagement list is carousel posts. Followers interact most with these content types. This may be because a carousel combines different kinds of content into one. You can include video, text, images, and audio.

Using a carousel post is a fantastic way to encourage engagement on Instagram.

7. Perfect Your Aesthetic

Instagram is all about visuals so if you want to get people glued to your stuff, you have to get the aesthetics.

Develop a brand styling guide that outlines your brand’s vibe, mood, and general Instagram feel. This guide should include branding colors, fonts, language, tone, design cues, and more. With this standard aesthetic instruction, all your content can feel the same- consistency!

But it’s not just about perfecting this. It’s also about bringing the va-va-voom! You need users to think, “Wow, that is so cool or beautiful.”

If there was ever a space where people judge a book by its cover, it’s on Instagram.

8. Learn Instagram SEO Techniques

When people think of SEO, they often jump to search engines, but social media channels also utilize SEO techniques and principles.

Instagram search optimization is a key way to get people to see your content. If you optimize your content using keywords, people who search on the Explore page using relevant phrases and words will be more likely to see your content as it becomes more visible.

This also connects you directly to your target audience as these people are already searching for your products or relevant topics in your industry.

Woman pointing and smiling

9. Use Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are a must-include, although often overlooked, Instagram content tool. We get so stuck on the image, aesthetics, and visuals that we forget the caption and text parts.

But hashtags aren’t just alphabets and symbols thrown together. They increase your content visibility significantly if you use relevant hashtags that mix in your SEO keywords.

Instagram makes it easy to find content with hashtags on the Explore page and users can see your post when they look under a trending hashtag. #Everything to boost your Instagram SEO and get your posts seen.

10. Be Authentic

Social media is all about creating community and, well, socializing with other users. And the best way to make friends that will support you and what you’re about is, of course, to just be yourself.

Give your audience a glimpse into what makes your business work and the people involved. One way to do this is by using your Instagram Story to really show your brand personality and the people behind the account.

11. Use Story Stickers To Engage Your Instagram Followers

Instagram Stories are a great way to promote authenticity, playfully connecting you to your followers. They also have various features made just for interaction, opening up a chance for you to share and for those watching to engage creatively.

Instagram Story stickers that work really well for engagement include:

  • Quizzes
  • Polls
  • Sound On
  • Support Small Business
  • Questions
  • Hashtag
  • Mentions
  • Location
  • Countdown

12. Go Instagram LIVE

Instagram Lives work in a similar way to Instagram stories by opening up two-way communication with your audience.

With an Instagram Live video, you can interact directly with people on your Instagram business account.

You can use Lives to make announcements, answer questions, and just have a chat with viewers, cultivating more engagement and a deeper connection with them.

Going LIVE on Instagram

13. Share User-generated Content

Another way to socialize more intentionally with other Instagram users is to share their content.

Users constantly tag brands in images and post content that’s relevant to your industry. Reshare these posts to your story and your feed. This will make supporters feel valued and engaged, too.

It may also encourage others to follow you and mention you so they can also stand the chance to get a shoutout.

Collect UGC by creating a branded hashtag, tracking your mentions, and regularly viewing your followers’ content.

14. Partner With Instagram Influencers

Influencers are social media figures and thought leaders in their specific niche or industry. They nurture a community of followers who respect their opinion and recommendations. So dip your toes into some Instagram influencer marketing.

When influencers collaborate with your brand, they endorse your products, offerings, perspective, and your social media account.

Direct actions that can increase engagement on Instagram in an influencer partnership include having them tag you in posts, hosting them in social media takeovers on your page, doing giveaways where people have to follow your account, etc.

15. Host Giveaways And Contests

A great social media campaign type to consider, whether working with an influencer or not, is a giveaway or contest.

Everybody likes a freebie or a good discount and so do social media users. They will flock to your page and interact with your content if it means they stand a chance to win something.

Although contests will generally attract people to your page, you need to encourage this. Ask them to follow your profile, mention you in posts, tag a friend, comment on or like a post, etc.

You can link the conditions of the giveaway directly to your engagement goals so that you’re guaranteed to see higher engagement rates.

The only problem with this is that it can be temporary. You may see higher numbers for the duration of the contest, only, and excessive drops afterward.

Two women celebrating with confetti

Conclusion

Your Instagram engagement rate is not a hard metric to boost. It’s all about listening to your audience and understanding how you can create content and a brand personality that they want to connect with.

The most important thing is to keep in mind that social media is a two-way street. As much as you use it to share information about your brand and reach particular goals, you have to connect to your audience.

Something as simple as commenting on a follower’s post or answering your DMs can keep your followers invested in your brand and help increase engagement on Instagram.

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