“Engagement” is a term that a lot of marketers and PR professionals throw around that might sound fluffy, but when it comes to social media sites like Instagram, it is a critical factor for your success.
You see, in the last few years, Instagram has become a goldmine for creators, influencers and brands. CNBC claims that Instagram has climbed to 2 billion active users monthly – that’s around 26% of the world’s population.
Practically every business tries to market and promote its services or products on the platform. But having an Instagram presence isn’t enough. If you have a solid following, it also doesn’t guarantee success.
What matters? Instagram engagement.
When you’re connected with your audience, you have more chances to monetize your profile. The more followers are involved, the more engagement you get. So whether you’re a brand or a content creator, engagement should be high on your list
In this article, you’re going to learn what Instagram engagement is, why businesses should bother about it, and how to boost engagement with 12 evergreen tips.
What is Instagram Engagement?
Instagram engagement is a metric that shows the sum of interactions with your content through likes, comments, shares, saves, etc. To analyze your profile performance, marketers pay close attention to the Instagram engagement rate–the sum of the likes and comments that your content receives divided by the number of followers that you have.
Why Should You Boost Instagram Engagement?
Here are three main reasons to boost Instagram engagement on your profile.
- Reach a wider audience of potential followers and customers: Instagram prioritizes popular content. The more people love what you post, the more people can see it. With two billion people using Instagram every month, it has serious potential for ROI.
- Achieve your goals faster: Engagement is one of the important ranking factors for Instagram’s algorithm. When your Instagram profile receives more engagement, the social network will present your profile more frequently on the Explore page. This allows you to move dynamically to your targets.
- Stand out from your competitors: Just a few companies that have an Instagram presence bother about their followers’ preferences. If your account has a high engagement rate, it’s more likely that your content satisfies your customers’ needs which means being ahead of your competitors.
What Factors Affect Engagement on Instagram?
So how does Instagram engagement work? Here are some common factors that affect followers’ involvement:
- Hashtag usage
- Sticker interactions in Stories
- Link clicks/swipe-ups
These sort of actions are evidence that people aren’t just seeing your content. They’re actively interested in what you have to say. The more your audience relates to your content, the higher your engagement will be. This is a clear sign that your social media strategy is paying off.
12 Evergreen Tips to Boost Instagram Engagement
Now that you know the importance of Instagram engagement, it’s high time to share actionable tips on how to boost it so that your social media team could create engaging content for your profile.
1. Rely on Instagram Insights
Instagram provides massive benefits to marketers because it has a native analytics tool that provides data about followers’ demographics and actions as well as information about your content. Using this tool, you can easily find out what types of content work best for your brand and audience.
You’ll get insight into how each piece of content is performing with metrics as shown below:
2. Use Relevant Hashtags and Geotags
Since hashtags help to organize content and help people find relevant posts with ease, they should be part of your strategy. Researchers have found that using 11 or more hashtags boosts engagement by up to 450% compared to posts that don’t have any hashtags.
If you have trouble writing down relevant hashtags for your posts, use an Instagram hashtag generator tool to help find the right hashtags. To wow your customers, it’s important to create branded hashtags that attract your audience.
For example, Lulus created the navigation hashtag #lovelulus for fans to upload user-generated content and get a chance to be featured on the profile.
Then, the company reaches out to authors and asks their permission to post these images on the profile. Just look how amazing Gaby looks in Lulu’s dress.
To connect with the local community, use geotags relevant to your current location. Why? Being interested in a current neighborhood, people tap on geotags and discover content published with them. What is more, geotags can increase engagement by 79%, so they may be one of the best additions to jumpstart your social media strategy.
Further Reading: The 14 Best Instagram Hashtags Generators 
3. Create Eye-Catching Instagram Visuals
Most people are visual creatures. In fact, 65% of people are visual learners and 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual. As a photo-sharing app, Instagram has a focus on visual content, too.
This means visuals matter. According to Forbes, 91% of consumers now prefer interactive and visual content over traditional, text-based or static media. When you share eye-catching visuals, you get a chance to draw the attention of Instagram users and receive more interactions with your content.
Starbucks is a great example of a company with successful visual content marketing.
4. Include a CTA in Your Caption
When done right, social media can be a valuable marketing tool. Writing a strong CTA in your caption, not only can you interact with your following and engage your fans, but you can also achieve your business goals.
Whether you want to encourage viewers to comment on your post or get more leads from Instagram, your call to action guides people on what steps to take.
However, it’s important to write a CTA that resonates with your post content. It wouldn’t make sense to ask people about their favorite books in a mirror selfie post, for example.
Here are several calls to actions that drive engagement:
- Save it, so you don’t forget
- Tap ♥ if this is just like you
- Share this to make someone’s day happier
- Let’s chat in the comments
- Describe your mood with an emoji
- Tag someone who…
- Follow us for more (insert topic) content
- Get more details in the story
- Don’t miss my IG story for more updates
- Find more info in the highlights
- Let’s connect in the DMs
Look how easily and vibrantly M and Ms communicates with the audience. An eye-catching photo with the CTA phrase “They’re all a vibe, but which one is yours?” involves followers in the post and coaxes feedback. Just perfect!
Further Reading: Instagram Captions: 14 Tips on How to Optimize Them to Boost Engagement
5. Post Relevant and Useful Information
When you are planning to write a post, make a story, or share a video, always ask yourself: “What do I want to say? How does this contribute to my social media goals (engagement, sales, etc.)?”
Strive to create product posts that focus on useful and relevant information. Look how Neal Schaffer conveys his feelings about the current situation in Ukraine. It creates a sensitive mood, an association that you want people to think of when they see your brand name.
P.S.: Neal, thank you for your involvement and support.
6. Interact with Followers
To receive high interest in your content, it is crucial that you be active yourself. It’s important to show your interest in followers and interact with them.
One of the most important rules: if you get feedback on your content in the form of comments, you should thank the contributor for it. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate and extravagant text – just keep your reply simple and concise and thank each user who has shared their opinion with you. Do vary your responses, though. You don’t want to look like a bot!
The result? The more comments you get, the more influence you have. Be active, interesting and sincere with your fans.
Here are other ways to interact with followers:
- Add CTAs in the bio, posts, and Stories
- Monitor brand tags and mentions
- Include poll/question stickers in Stories
7. Work with Instagram Influencers
Influencer marketing perfectly works. People need social proof. We trust what other people say about brands more than we trust what brands say about themselves. Instagram influencer marketing is an effective way to reach your audience. Moreover, 71% of respondents claim that Instagram is primarily a place to follow influencers and celebrities.
Influencers spend years building an audience and earning trust. At least one purchase each of us have already made by clicking an affiliate link on your favorite blog or checking out a creator’s merchandise.
Working with niche influencers can improve ROI as these opinion leaders share the same audience. For instance, CLUSE Watch and Jewelry know pretty well how to boost their sales by collaborating with influencers. When Cluse posts images from brand advocates or fans, it provides followers with social proof and therefore encourages them to buy from the company.
Further Reading: Instagram Influencer Marketing: The Complete Guide
8. Stay Authentic
Since Instagram is a public platform, it’s normal to want to show the best aspects of your life, but what does it really mean to be authentic?
Dive beyond the filters and #realtalk reminding yourself that you don’t need just any followers — you are interested in highly connected, engaged, and supportive followers.
Spice up your account with your cute face without hiding it behind a fleshy filter. Live and breathe your values at the forefront, even if they’re not for everyone. Stay weird. It’s normal.
Here’s a case from Tailwindapp that has a series of posts where the company turns to its female employees who share their success stories. Not only does it help the company be authentic, but it also increases brand trust.
9. Invest in Instagram Video Marketing
Since video format was first supported on Instagram in 2013, it has become not only a mere cute photos platform but also a site for video marketing. Users posted almost 5 million videos on the Instagram platform within 24 hours of launching the video option. Most brands try to make profits by increasing the frequency of video posts.
Did you know that video content on Instagram is available in five formats?
- Stories – multiple short content, 15-second videos. Users are allowed to upload photos or videos that are only viewable for 24 hours. They disappear after 24 hours but can be saved under highlights.You can record a regular video or record a boomerang on Instagram stories.
- Reels – you can post 60-second videos. Brands generally use reels to post informative content for their users, but keeping up with trending reels, they can be funny ones too.
- IGTV – abbreviated word used for Instagram TV. Here you can post videos a minimum of 15 seconds short and up to one hour long. Instagram launched IGTV in 2018 with a concept like that of a television. When you follow someone on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up on your feed.
- Live – broadcast video live on your page/channel for up to 60 minutes per live session. Your audience can see the real-time streaming of your video through Instagram stories. Once the Live is over, they can also view it as a story.
- Feed Videos – videos for a minimum of 3 seconds and up to 60 seconds long you can post on your page rather than your stories or reels. They can be pre-recorded and uploaded easily without any technical requirements. They show up on your Instagram page, and when you post such a video, it will show on the feed of your followers.
Video marketing on Instagram is a chance for a business to show the world who they are and what they do. A short glance at this H&M promotional video will inspire you.
Further Reading: How to Use Instagram Reels for Business: The Definitive Guide
10. Organize an Instagram Giveaway
Hosting an Instagram giveaway has many benefits. Not only does it help to delight your following, but it also attracts more profile visitors. It’s an effective marketing strategy because giveaways allow you to offer something valuable for free in exchange for an Instagram like, comment, or other pre-determined requirement. Simply put, Instagram giveaways drive engagement.
Take a look at this giveaway from Dunkin Donuts:
There are a few reasons why this giveaway works. First, Dunkin definitely knows what it means to invest in video marketing during Valentine’s Day which traps your attention immediately. Second, Dunkin asks viewers to “tag the friend who’s a sprinkle of joy in your life” which results in more comments.
Further Reading: How to Do A Giveaway On Instagram in 12 Easy Steps
11. Use Instagram Guides
Instagram Guides is one of the latest features, introduced by the app in 2020. It’s the perfect tool for sharing curated, scrollable content with your community. Instagram Guides are like a miniature blog right on the platform. They allow users to scroll through a curated flow of content with commentary – similar to a blog post.
Instagram Guides provide a method to expand your impressions and reach. Users have the ability to search for specific keywords instead of only hashtags, which can make it easier for them to find your content that resonates with their interests. Since Guides are shareable, you can create practical content that others want to share with their markets.
Let’s take a look at Sephora guides where you can freely navigate in the beauty sphere sector without wasting your time. Here you can find ideas for your next Instagram Guide:
12. Create Sponsored Posts for Instagram Engagement
The more people see your post, the more interactions (likes, shares, and comments) it can receive. This means higher engagement, so it’s no wonder that more and more businesses invest in sponsored posts.
Promoting a post on Instagram can help you introduce yourself to new people if you’re having trouble finding and growing your audience. By promoting a post, you will be able to spread brand awareness and get your content noticed by people who may not have otherwise stumbled upon it.
Well, we have to say there is no one door with one key. To create a successful sponsored post takes money and time. Just admit this to yourself and don’t be afraid to spend money on it. After many rounds of testing, you’ll eventually find the sponsored posts that get you the best results and the lowest costs per click.
Further Reading: Your Ultimate Guide to Creating Instagram Ads That Generate Real ROI
Instagram Engagement In a Word
Every business has its own identity and brand voice – Insta engagement is not a competition. Still, it is about staying different from others so people can find you, recognize you and interact with your content.
After all, the following count means nothing unless your followers find your content useful and interact with it for more engagement.
Hero photo by Cassandra Polito on Unsplash