Did you know that increasing your Instagram engagement rate is important? Instagram uses this factor to determine who will see your content.
New accounts face challenges just finding followers, but that’s not all. You’ll also need to engage those followers in interesting ways. Otherwise, they won’t take notice of your content.
Before you worry about Instagram engagement, you need a solid social strategy. You can learn more in our social media marketing strategy guide.
Engagement is always mentioned as being the most important factor. No matter how many followers you have, if no one engages with your content, you won’t make connections with your audience (or sell anything).
Before you get started…
In order to understand Instagram engagement, let us consider how it works.
In Instagram, the algorithm decides what to show users by looking at your engagement rate. This is why you should increase it as much as possible!
An Instagram post that doesn’t receive any comments is less likely to be shown to your followers.
In contrast, if your post is flooded with comments (especially if it’s within 15 minutes of you posting it), it will appear in a lot more of your followers’ feeds. There’s even a possibility of it showing up in the Top Posts under a hashtag you’ve used or on the Explore page.
If you want to increase your engagement rate on Instagram, there are more factors to consider than just comments (like direct messaging & views or interactions with your stories).
Listed below are a few of the best strategies to increase engagement on Instagram.
1. Instagram Stories
A simple task, but one that is easily forgotten. Putting up an Instagram story only takes a minute or two, but if you don’t plan, you won’t be able to stay consistent.
Make a point of taking 10 minutes every week to decide which stories to post and when to post them. You can save time by reusing old photos you’ve taken for story backgrounds.
Using polls and questions is also great, because you actually get to know your followers & customers that way.
People love to discuss their passions, and it’s fun to watch their responses. Who knows, you may get an idea for your next product!
Make a list of topics that people in your niche enjoy. For example, in a niche dedicated to books & reading, you can ask people whether they prefer vintage or modern books.
Your followers can also be asked about their favourite children’s book and the best book they read this year. Make sure to share your own answers as well!
The Instagram stories feature is also great for announcing news, getting feedback, and sharing announcements. Find out what your audience likes about your products, or what products they’d like you to create.
Then, after creating those stories, save the highlights on your profile so users can access them later (or re-watch them).
2. Make use of Direct Messaging
Your account’s engagement will also improve when you use direct messaging. Make sure that you don’t spam – begin an organic conversation based on a related interest, or let your followers start the conversation.
This will often happen after you post an Instagram story. You can also start a conversation if they tag you in their own story.
Get to know how they feel about your product, or even just say thanks for sharing!
3. Promote the sharing of photos and videos of your products
Because it offers increased engagement, social proof, and free marketing, this is a favourite strategy!
Seeing your products loved by others is a wonderful feeling for a business owner. Could there be anything better?
In addition to your posts and stories, you can also partner with brands to share your products. Starting this momentum will encourage others to join in.
Make sure your packaging is unique and creative to attract attention (a great opportunity to share a video! ), and to make your brand more memorable.
4. Comment and like other users’ photos
You need to do this for your current followers as well as for people who don’t yet follow you.
Comment with something meaningful, not just “Nice!” or a random emoji. Otherwise, it feels forced and wasteful.
Give your comments some thought. You don’t have to write an entire novel! Several words of encouragement or appreciation can go a long way (but more is always better).
Hopefully, you will spark a conversation while the user appreciates your efforts. Additionally, they’ll be more likely to follow you or comment on another of your photos in the future. A win-win situation!
5. Caption Your Posts with a Riveting Question
There is no better way to increase your Instagram engagement rate than by encouraging comments on your posts.
At first, it will feel strange, especially if you have very few followers. Possibly no one will respond. That’s okay.
It’s important to start somewhere, and your followers will be more likely to respond if they’re trained to expect a question.
People love to give their opinions, and you can open up a conversation between you and your followers with an interesting question. Users are more likely to interact with posts that they find interesting.
6. Instagram Engagement Groups
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding this one. Whether or not you want to try it is up to you.
Despite Instagram’s recommendation not to use this method, some people still do.
What are Instagram engagement groups? These are small groups of Instagram users who agree to comment and like each other’s posts.
These groups take up a lot of time since you usually comment as soon as someone posts – so you have to be available whenever someone posts. Ideally, these posts would be scheduled for a specific time of day so as not to disrupt people’s lives so much.
If you’d like to start an engagement group with other creatives in your niche, you can direct message them. Perhaps they will invite you to join the one they are already in. To avoid awkward situations, be sure to set up expectations in advance.
7. Explore Behind-The-Scenes
Post a picture of your shipping station or office space. Record a video of you working on your latest project. Caption your photo with a cause you are passionate about, or share the reason you started your business.
Following you on social media will give them a glimpse of your everyday life as well as your personality, and that will help them connect with you more deeply.
Don’t forget that your engagement rate isn’t everything.
Last but not least, have fun! People from all over the world are using social media (Instagram in particular) to discover your brand and your products. Be sure to focus on more than just increasing engagement.
This is the perfect platform for getting to know your audience. You’re using social media to make connections with people, so get out there and start interacting!