With over a billion people using Instagram every month, it has become a powerful platform for any business to build a brand and create an audience online. However, it also means that it has become difficult to capture your target audience’s attention and engage with your community. So how can you easily improve your Instagram engagement rate?
Such a powerful tool has a high potential for good ROI, but for that, you need more than just an audience, you need engagement and proof that your content is resonating with the people who are seeing it.
Before we begin, what exactly is engagement?
Engagement is more than likes and followers, it is the interactions your target audience makes with your content.
It is often measured by metrics such as Comments, Shares, Likes, Saves, Followers, Mentions, Branded Hashtags, DMs, and Click-throughs. Through these metrics, you’ll get a clearer idea if your audience is just seeing your content or if it is actually making an impact on them.
Ready to see your metrics skyrocket? Here are 7 tested easy hacks to improve your Instagram engagement.
#1: Get to know your audience
It might sound obvious, but you must know who you’re making content for. Not only is it important to know the demographics of your target audience, but you also have to know what time of the day your followers are most active to post at peak times of the day.
You should also keep in mind where your audience is located to ensure you are posting during their local hours to maximize engagement. The more people who see your posts, the more engagements you will receive and if your audience is asleep, it might be a bit of a struggle!
#2: Be authentic!
Instagram users want to feel seen and heard, so relatability is a must! It’s better to be honest, funny, and relatable, rather than perfectly polished.
Memes are the way to everyone’s heart and they’re the perfect excuse for your audience to share your posts with friends, on their stories, like, and comment. Again, the more people who share your post, the more engagement you’ll see.
The Instagram page @apracticalwedding for example shares memes on their page from time to time, and they are usually the posts with the most comments.
If you do not feel comfortable yet with posting memes, behind-the-scenes footage or a funny caption can go a long way!
#3: Post carousels
Instagram carousels allow you to share up to 10 pictures, videos, graphics with your target audience in one post. They usually get 3.1x more engagement, on average, than a regular post and they usually have the highest engagement rate of all types of Instagram posts (1.01%).
You can use carousels to share information, tips, before and after photos, photo dumps, quotes… Let your creativity roam free because when you think about it, it’s a 10 for 1 deal!
Try to share as much information in these posts to encourage your audience to save the post for later, boosting your engagement rate this way. Instagram users also love to share aesthetically pleasing quotes or re-purposed tweets on their stories. Carousels are the perfect way to provide some and let them choose their favorite.
#4: Write strong captions with a call to action
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a thousand words are also worth a thousand words. An engaging caption will keep your target audience on your post for longer and will likely encourage them to like, comment, share, and save.
Remember to also include a call to action, especially a direct question to increase the chances of your audience responding in the comments. It must be a genuine and relevant question.
The @Nike account for example is good at creating a meaningful storytelling caption that also opens the discussion for their audience in the comments or pushes them to re-share the story on their stories.
#5: Mix up your content and leverage your stories
Posting the same kind of content will get a little repetitive after a while. Try to mix it up with contests, polls, questions and directly encourage your target audience to get involved. A great way to do this is through stories.
Instagram stories stickers are a great way to encourage your followers to engage with you, which will then ultimately create a loyal audience that feels connected to your brand. The question stickers, polls, countdowns, etc. are amazing tools to boost your engagement rate to a whole new level.
#6: Community management
At social events you don’t just stand there and wait for someone to come speak to you, it is a two-way conversation. It is the same for Instagram.
Community management boosts your engagement rate and when your target audience sees that you go out of your way to interact with them by answering DMs and comments, they will likely engage more with your posts in the future.
It is also important to engage with your followers in the first hour after posting as it’ll determine the rate at which your post will be shown to other followers.
To boost it even more, you should ideally like, comment, and start a conversation on similar creators’ posts.
Another great way is to repost your audience’s content when they tag you in stories or posts. It will establish a trustworthy relationship with your followers.
#7: Leverage hashtags
Using Instagram hashtags can be a bit of a tricky tactic. Used correctly, it can bring you a lot of new attention and traffic. If you use too many, you can come off looking desperate.
Make sure your hashtags are relevant to niche communities that identify in your content. They are an amazing tool to expand your reach and increase your engagement rate.
Ideally, you should check what hashtag is trending and which ones your target audience follows, and remember to use calendar-specific hashtags such as #WorldWaterDay or #InternationWomensDay.
All in all, increasing your engagement rate will not happen overnight. It takes time, consistency, and dedication. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new things, see what works and what doesn’t and one last reminder, don’t forget to track your performance through time!
Worb, Jessica (2021 December 01). “11 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement in 2022”, Later Blog, Retrieved from: https://later.com/blog/how-to-increase-instagram-engagement/
Newberry, Christina, Sehl, Katie (2021, April 08). “How to Use Instagram for Business: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide”, Hootsuite, Retrieved from: https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-instagram-for-business/
Vamp-brands (N.D), “10 powerful ways to increase your Instagram engagement rate”, Retrieved from: https://vamp-brands.com/blog/2021/05/05/10-powerful-ways-to-increase-your-instagram-engagement-rate/