8 Ways To Get More Engagement on Instagram

Ahhh, engagement.

The social media buzz word of the year.

2020’s must have social media item.

Engagement. Everyone wants it, but how do you get it? Wanting it isn’t enough.

First, what is instagram engagement?

I’ll tell you this first—it’s not the number of followers you have. It’s the amount of interaction you get from the followers you have. And that is what matters—to you and the algorithm.

So you can stop worrying about how many followers you do or don’t have. Pay attention to the engagement rate instead—the percentage of your followers who do something with your posts (like, comment, share, save, etc.).

Think of it this way…

Engagement = Connections and Connections = Conversions

Now that we know what engagement is and why it’s important, let’s talk about some ideas on how to get more of it.

How to Get More Engagement On Instagram

#1: Engage your audience

I say it all the time—if you want engagement, you have to engage. Reply to every comment, DM, Story reply. This is your first step and one that isn’t optional. Until this is part of your daily routine, don’t try any of these other tactics.

Here’s the thing…the algorithm rewards engagement over impressions or follower count (at least for now). The algorithm shows people content from accounts they engage with the most first. So that means that the more people engage with your content, the more often they will see you content. If you don’t respond to them when they do engage with you, the next time they see your content they will be less like to engage. You want to foster those connections.

And don’t just respond by liking their comment or posting a heart emoji. Make it personal (use their real name if you can find it), and make sure your response is at least four words long. No copy/pasting responses either!

#2: Use Emojis

Speaking of emojis, use them in your captions. This catches people’s attention, breaks up the copy, and encourages them to stay on your post longer, which means they will be more likely to engage.

Thinking of adding bullet points to a post? Use emojis instead of a traditional bullet point. Remember that Instagram is a visual platform. While longer posts are great for engagement, there is a right and wrong way to format longer posts.

#3: Tell A Story From Time To Time

Stats have shown that as Instagram has evolved over the years, so has the behavior on the app. Every year longer captions perform better from an engagement standpoint.

Longer posts have a higher engagement rate. Is that surprising to you? Check out the chart below.

Now, I am not suggesting you make every Instagram post 1000 characters or more. But occasionally be sure you are adding in some of these longer captions. But make sure they are adding value. Use them to connect with your followers, to share a story or something personal.

The other benefit to these posts is they help you connect with the right people. The people who are likely to read your whole post are also likely to interact with the post, thus adding to your engagement.

#4: Use GIFs or Memes

If you find or great a GIF or meme that is relevant to your industry or audience, share it. These can be highly relatable and funny which means they will get good engagement. I recently shared the GIF below. You’ve gotta go see the full thing on my Instagram account.

This post was successful because it was relatable to both others in my industry, as well as my clients.

#5: Use Clear Calls to Action

When in doubt, be clear. Tell your followers what you want them to do. Don’t assume we know what action you want us to take on your content. Don’t make us guess. Just tell us. Want us to share your post, like it, leave a comment. You got it, just let me know.

The more clear you are in your call to action, the more likely you will see that action taken.

#6: Jump on new features early

It makes sense that when Instagram rolls out new features like Stories or Reels, it rewards people who adopt them early. They want the release to be a success, and the more people using it, the more successful. So give the algorithm what it wants by taking time to dive into new features early.

While figuring out how to best utilize new features can be daunting at first, give it a shot and have fun with it.

Want some ideas for how to use Reels for your business? Here are 10 ideas.

#7: Video, Video, Video

I feel like a broken record, but video needs to be part of your Instagram strategy. Why? Since we are talking about engagement today, I will keep it really simple:

Video gets more engagement than any other type of content

Here’s a little experiment: Go to your Explore page on Instagram. Do you see what I see? That’s right…videos appear 4 times bigger than images in the Explore page. So not only do they increase engagement, they also increase discoverability.

But here’s the thing…to the algorithm, video is video. It doesn’t matter if it is a 10 minute video of you teaching something, or a 15 second GIF or Boomerang. Both count as video. So don’t be afraid or overwhelmed. Here are a couple easy ways to include video in your feed that don’t involve you being on camera (although I recommend that highly):

  • Add animation to a static post (if you have Canva, you can do this super easy)
  • Instead of a regular image, film a Boomerang. Movement catches people’s attention and will stop their scroll.
  • Look for relevant, engaging stock video on Pexels and use that instead of a stock image
#8: Review Your Insights

As you start to implement some of the strategies above, be sure to take a look at your Insights to see what is working. What posts are seeing the most engagement with YOUR audience? When you figure that out, you can focus your strategy on creating more of that type of content.

Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to Insights in the top right menu
  2. Click on “Content You Shared”
  3. In the second drop down menu, toggle between different engagement indicators like Comments, Likes, Saves, Shares

Well there you have it, folks. Eight different ideas to help you start to see more engagement.

Which are you going to try first?

Remember, this takes time. Stick with it, be consistent, and have fun. It is social media after all. Be social!

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