Everyone’s after a large following when it comes to Instagram. However, that approach is outdated and just wrong. Instead of focusing on a large following, influencers should be focusing on something that’s more important: engagement. Instagram engagement is measured by the types of interactions your audiences are taking with your posts. For instance, engagement could cover anything from likes, comments, shares, and saves. While there’s a certain hierarchy to what types of engagement weigh more than the other, having a high overall engagement is key to landing long-term and high-paying brand collaborations, regardless of your following size. So if you’re like everyone else on Instagram and you want to improve your engagement, here are 12 ways to increase Instagram engagement.
12 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement
Even with the emergence of TikTok, Instagram still remains one of the most-used social networks. Not to mention, out of roughly 1 billion active users on Instagram each month, 80% are following brands they love and support. Influencers, entrepreneurs, and business owners on the app can generate more sales and income simply by improving engagement, and it’s much easier than you might think! Let’s dive into how you can increase Instagram engagement through these 12 simple techniques.
1) Post Consistently
First and foremost, posting consistently is non-negotiable. You might’ve seen Instagram’s suggested posting guidelines for increased growth, and it’s a lot. But one of the most enlightening pieces of information that a member of Instagram’s team shared was the importance of consistency.
If you’re unable to post every single day, don’t worry. It’s more important to pick the right frequency for your posting schedule and to stick to it. Go a step further and post at the same time on the days that you’re posting on. This will inform your audience and Instagram as to when they can expect you. In the end, inconsistency will create confusion, which can result in your audience’s disinterest in your content.
2) Know Your Best Posting Times
If you’re ready to start posting consistently, you need to discover what your best posting times are. This is the specific window of time where your audience is the most active, which increases the chances of your post getting seen. The end result? A higher chance of increasing your engagement.
Identifying your top posting times requires diving into your insights and a bit of trial and error. Take a look at your insights to get a general idea of when your audience is most active. Then take a week or two to test these time frames until you land on the sweet spot.
This seems pretty self-explanatory, but it’s worth saying. Sharing content your audience will love means getting absolutely clear on your niche and content pillars. Before you create any piece of content, ask yourself: is this something my audience will find helpful, interesting, inspiring, or entertaining?
If you’re creating content that your audience has absolutely no interest in, they won’t take the time to engage with it. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t experiment with new types of content. However, if you do decide to experiment, pay close attention to your audience’s reactions and responses.
4) Write Longer Captions
Gone are the days of irrelevant, one-liners. Today, Instagram users demand value! So start treating your caption space like a micro-blog. If Instagram users are going to spend their time on your content, it better be worth their while. Every piece of Instagram content can be broken down into two main components: the visual and the caption.
While the visual component can be powerful enough to garner likes, the caption will encourage your target audience to take further action. And when it comes to Instagram engagement rates–comments, saves, and shares are more valuable than likes. Plus, long captions take more time to read. This will let Instagram know that your target audience is spending more time consuming your content. If you want to increase your Instagram engagement, writing longer, value-packed captions are a must.
P.S. Don’t forget to close your captions with a strong call to action!
5) Start Implement Good SEO Practices
Speaking of writing longer, value-packed captions, implementing good SEO practices are now more relevant than ever on Instagram. You can do this by inserting relevant keywords throughout your captions and optimizing your bio and profile for SEO. Furthermore, treat your hashtags like keywords for each post, and don’t forget to generate alt-text for your images.
There are a lot of rumors and hearsay when it comes to hashtags. But no matter what the latest hashtag rumor is, choosing the right hashtags will always matter especially when you want to increase your Instagram engagement. To do this, make sure that each set of hashtags are specific to the post they accompany. Use a mix of high, medium, and low competition hashtags, and brand and niche-specific hashtags. Choosing the right hashtags does require time and research, so buckle up and use a site like Flick.tech to get the right hashtags for your post.
When your hottest audience members share your post, it gets in front of their audience’s eyes. Creating shareable content is an important component to increasing engagement rates. Shareable content can be anything that lives on your Instagram feed, from static posts that feature a relatable graphic, Reels that teaches something valuable, or swipeable carousels that speaks directly to your target audience.
Say you’ve created an engaging, informative shareable post. What usually happens is your target audience finds the post valuable and important, so they end up sharing your post on their Instagram stories. This is a great way to grow your community by getting in front of fresh eyes.
8) Utilizing Instagram’s Features
Instagram rewards users who use their features, especially their new ones. It’s why the influencers, businesses, and creators who have embraced Reels consistently are growing exponentially. Furthermore, Instagram just released Instagram Rooms, which happens to be their answer to Clubhouse. And if I were you, I’d hop on Rooms as soon as possible.
9) Create Engaging Stories
Utilizing Instagram’s latest features is important, but so is utilizing their older ones, too. Instagram stories are a great way to take your audience behind-the-scenes. This is where you’ll get candid by having direct conversations with your audience, asking them to take action in numerous ways.
Utilize stickers such as quizzes, polls, and question boxes. These are quick tools to help engaged audiences to sound off and share their thoughts in a quick, simple way.
10) Respond and Listen to Your Audience
Engagement is a two-way street. When you receive a comment or DM from an engaged audience member, be sure to respond. This will let your audience know that you’re appreciative and excited to engage in a conversation with them. However, if you receive a mean or irrelevant comment, feel free to delete it or address it kindly.
What’s more, if your audience is asking you specific questions regarding your content pillars or niche, take note of it. This could guide your content strategy in the future. Similarly, you’ll want to know which pieces of content gained the most interactions and engagement. That way you can create content you know your audience will respond well to.
11) Show Up Authentically
There was a time where Instagram focused primarily on a heavily curated feed. While there’s still a place for these highly curated photos, Instagram users are craving authenticity. If you’re not comfortable with breaking out of your Instagram feed’s aesthetic, start by showing up on stories daily.
12) Start Producing Video Content
2020 was the year of video content and video isn’t about to slow down. With the rise of TikTok and Instagram’s obsession with Reels, creating video content is a great way to increase Instagram engagement rates. Take a look at any brand with high engagement right now and you’ll notice the crucial role that user-generated content, Reels, and video content play in their social media marketing strategy.
The Power of an Engaged Community
No amount of followers matter if your community isn’t engaged. Frankly, I’d take a small engaged community over a large uninterested one any day. And if you’re wondering why micro-influencers are all the rage when it comes to influencer marketing, it’s because the smaller you are, the more engaged your audiences tend to be.
No matter, increasing your Instagram engagement is something that you should work towards, regardless of the size of your following. Start implementing these 12 tips and start watching your engagement soar.