Putting out quality content alone isn’t enough to succeed on Instagram. Up against tens of millions of other creators worldwide, it’s engagement that makes all the difference. The question is – how to get more engagement on Instagram and gain a competitive edge? The truth is, there are dozens of things you can do to build your audience and raise your engagement rate.
But not all of these approaches are equally effective – some are better and faster than others. Ultimately, it is engagement that will determine the ROI you get from your activities on Instagram. The quality of your Instagram posts matters, but not nearly as much as building a good engagement rate.
What Does Engagement Mean on Instagram?
If your goal is to increase your Instagram engagement rate, the first thing you need to do is understand what engagement means. Engagement refers to the way people respond to or interact with your content, along with the efforts you make to engage your audience directly.
Some of the primary metrics used as measurements of engagement include the following:
- Direct Messages
- Click-Through Rates
The Instagram algorithm keeps a careful watch over each of these metrics when determining which posts and profiles to promote. If you want your Instagram account to stand out from the crowd, you need the Instagram Algorithm on your side.
Again, this is about more than simply coming up with a killer Instagram feed. Along with quality content, your Instagram strategy needs to be built on a foundation of engagement and interaction.
What is Considered a Good Engagement Rate on Instagram?
The truth is, it’s entirely up to you to determine what’s an acceptable engagement rate on Instagram. There are numerous factors that can influence Instagram engagement rates, and all creators have their own expectations. As a very general rule of thumb, social media marketing experts suggest 1% to 5% as a decent engagement rate.
This would mean that for every 100 people who come across your posts, one to five of them take some kind of action. Interestingly, research has shown how different types of content on Instagram have very different average engagement rates. In addition, most creators fall far short of hitting the 1% to 5% engagement rate guideline.
Here’s how a selection of different types of Instagram content performed on average last year, in terms of engagement:
- Instagram Photo Posts: 0.81% average engagement rate
- Video Posts: 0.61% average engagement rate
- Carousel Posts: 1.01% average engagement rate
What’s also important to bear in mind is how your follower count will have a major influence on your engagement rate. The more followers you have, the lower your engagement rate is likely to be. A few figures on average Instagram engagement rates in accordance with follower counts last year:
- Fewer than 10,000 Followers: 1.18% average engagement rate
- 10,000 – 100,000 followers: 0.94% average engagement rate
- More than 100,000 followers: 0.74% average engagement rate
The lesson to take away from the above is simple – more followers do not automatically translate to more engagement. Importantly, having just a few highly-engaged followers is far better than having thousands of unengaged followers.
How to Increase Engagement on Instagram?
Experimenting with different methods to boost engagement on Instagram is highly recommended. Depending on the type of content you publish, you may find some approaches more effective than others. Though in all instances, each of the following is a tried, tested, and trusted way to enhance your Instagram engagement rate:
1. Create Content for Your Audience
First up, it is essential to ensure that everything you publish hits the right note with your target audience. The images and videos you share need to be tailored to suit their exact tastes and preferences. Before publishing anything on Instagram, question its relevance and value to the people you are targeting.
2. Be Authentic
Authenticity on Instagram simply means being yourself. It means staying true to your niche, showcasing your personality, and doing what you do best. Under no circumstances should you attempt to portray yourself as anything but the real you. If they don’t like you for who you really are, you’re clearly targeting the wrong audience.
3. Post Video Content
Video content is exponentially more engaging than static content on Instagram. Putting out plenty of videos on a regular basis comes highly recommended, alongside the images you post. Live video, in particular, can be hugely engaging, giving your audience the opportunity to get to know you on a more intimate level.
4. Post-Great Images
Of course, it goes without saying that posting great images on Instagram is an absolute must. Bear in mind that the key to putting out quality content on Instagram lies in originality. Your job is to come up with the kind of content your target audience cannot already get from a thousand other publishers. Or at least, take something that’s already out there and do it better.
5. Post Carousels Images
Research conducted by Hootsuite suggests that carousel images on Instagram are away more engaging than standard posts – often generating up to 300% more engagement.
Why carousel posts are so engaging is open to debate, but it’s a fact, nonetheless. And as they’re fairly easy to create, they’re something that should be brought into your regular publishing schedule.
6. Create and Share Funny Memes
Memes continue to hold huge appeal on platforms like Instagram. They’re entertaining, engaging, and inherently sharable – sometimes with major viral potential. Sharing funny memes is fine, but coming up with your own memes is even better. If you can come up with something original and amusing, it could work wonders for your engagement rate.
7. Captions Are Essential
Never underestimate the important role captions play in generating engagement. Instagram provides you with 2,200 characters to play with – more than enough to tell an inspiring and engaging story. While coming up with captions for your content, be sure to include SEO-friendly keywords and search terms to appeal to the Instagram algorithm.
8. Create Savable Content
Savable content is the kind of content people want to check out again at a later date. This is the kind of evergreen content that can work wonders for engagement – step-by-step guides, recipes, tutorials, infographics, reference materials, and so on. As most content published on Instagram has limited practical value, posts that serve a purpose are always well received.
9. Share Audience Content in Your Stories
Not just in your stories but in your everyday output in general. User-generated content never fails to boost engagement while at the same time lightening the load for creators.
All you need to do is ask your followers to share their own tips, tricks, ideas, suggestions, reviews, thoughts, and opinions. The result – is a steady stream of quality content to share with your audience, with little to no effort required on your part.
10. Use Custom Stickers and Filters
Bringing custom stickers and filters into your stories is all about showcasing your personality and originality. Learning how to make GIF stickers is particularly highly recommended as a way to make your Instagram stories more engaging. For business users, branded stickers are essential for boosting engagement and gradually building brand recognition.
11. Respond to All Comments
Far too many Instagram users overlook the importance of responding to comments. When someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts, the least they deserve is a reply.
Irrespective of whether the comment is positive, negative, or neutral, it warrants a prompt response. This not only boosts your appeal to other Instagram users but can help influence the Instagram algorithm.
12. Post Consistently and Post at Peak Times
The best time to post on Instagram is whatever time your audience is at its most active. Instagram analytics will provide you with the insights you need to determine exactly when these peak times are.
After which, it’s simply a case of adjusting your publishing schedule to reflect these peak times. Content goes out of date quickly on Instagram, so you need to engage your followers at the right times.
13. Post Stories Daily
The Instagram stories feature now used by around half a billion people every day. It is one of the platform’s most popular features by far and should be taken full advantage of. Instagram stories can be hugely engaging, particularly when paired with the platform’s other features. For example, you can use polls in Stories to leverage the combined benefits of both.
14. Add CTAs in Your Posts
Calls to action provide a simple yet effective way to remind people to take action. With a CTA, you can literally tell your target audience exactly what you want them to do.
If you want to get more followers on your account, why not tell them to follow you in your posts? If you are looking to generate more comments for your posts, why not encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions? It’s simple, but it works.
15. Use the Power of Hashtags
An effective Instagram hashtags strategy calls for careful moderation. Hashtags should be included in every caption you create but should never be overused.
In addition, your hashtags should always be of direct relevance to the content you publish. Avoid the temptation to resort to clickbait or to jump on the bandwagon with every trending hashtag that comes along.
16. Send More DMs
Sending direct messages can play a major part in boosting your overall engagement rate. For one thing, sending DMs to followers (and prospective followers) generates interest in your feed.
Secondly, the Instagram algorithm keeps a close eye on these kinds of one-to-one interactions. DMs are a demonstration of engagement, which both Instagram and its users respond positively to.
17. Use Insta Ads
Anyone running a business account on Instagram should definitely give paid ads a shot. Insta Ads can be tailored to suit pretty much any budget and are payable on a per-click basis.
This means that unless your ads do their job as planned, you won’t be charged simply for displaying them. For a quick blast of engagement and interest, a prominently positioned Insta Ad can be worth its weight in gold.
18. Partner with Instagram Influencers
Striking up partnerships with Instagram influencers can likewise pay dividends in a big way. Your job is to find influential figures within your niche and pitch your ideas in a convincing way.
Don’t automatically assume that the only way to get influencers on board is to pay them. If your content is as good as you think it is, they should be willing to promote it to their followers for free.
19. Create Sharable Content
On Instagram, instant gratification holds the key to shareable content. You need to think about the kinds of posts that deliver some kind of instant punch at a glance—nothing that needs to be studied at length, but the kind of content that’s instantly satisfying. Not to mention content that’s 100% original and worth sharing.
20. Go Live
Time and time again, research has shown how going live on Instagram never fails to generate major engagement. It can also be great for giving your audience a peek behind the scenes and into your everyday life. If you would like to learn more about how to go live on Instagram or the potential benefits of doing so, be sure to check out our in-depth guide.
21. Use Instagram Reels
Instagram reels work in the same way as TikTok, enabling users to publish short and punchy video clips with various special effects and filters.
Increasingly, this is the kind of short-form content people are looking for when browsing platforms like Instagram. Reels are all about instant gratification, and the same can be said for the vast majority of Instagram users.
22. Promote on Other Social Media Platforms
If you are active on any other platforms, they should be taken full advantage of. Each time you publish something on Instagram, promote it via as many other channels as you can. Preview your upcoming posts, count down to important events on your publishing calendar, and spread the word as far and wide as possible.
23. Buy Instagram Engagements
Last up, and there’s always the option of buying the social signals you need to generate an instant engagement boost. At Media Mister, we make it easy and affordable to buy Instagram followers and likes, along with authentic comments, views, shares, saves, and more.
Our social signals are sourced exclusively from active and authentic accounts, delivered by real people in the normal way. We even cover all sales with a money-back guarantee for total peace of mind, along with a market-leading 60-day retention warranty on all products.
The truth is, engagement on Instagram isn’t something you can force. You need to give people a reason to engage with your output and to take an interest in your profile. All of which begins by focusing heavily on the quality and relevance of your posts. After which, you need to make every possible effort to interact and engage with your audience on a constant basis.
This means taking the time to check out their content, write comments, follow them, share their posts, and become an active part of the community you are targeting.
Always remember that the more active and engaged you are, the easier it becomes to catch the eye of the Instagram algorithm. Bring each of the activities outlined above into your Instagram strategy, and your engagement rate will thank you.
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