Instagram has become a social media behemoth.
Indeed, this visual social media platform now boasts over one billion monthly active users!
Clearly, Instagram offers a mindbogglingly large audience to showcase your photos to. This is a major boon for any individual or business trying to grow their brand.
However, that doesn’t make it easy to connect with them!
As anyone new to the platform knows, Insta-fame isn’t that easy! Alas, you can’t just throw up some photos and expect instant traction. Likes, follows, comments, and tags take work to achieve.
Unfortunately, it’s engagement alone that drives Instagram success. You can have thousands of followers. But if they don’t engage, then what’s the point?!
It’s high engagement that brings the wins. Are you looking to improve in this vital Insta-area?
Keep reading to discover nine tips on how to increase engagement on Instagram.
1. Post Awesome Content
Everyone knows it. Content is king.
The benefits of Instagram all begin with posting great pictures. After all, it’s a visual platform. People want to look at interesting, captivating images. Make sure you prioritize quality imagery.
It isn’t just about the pictures though. No, the quality has to extend to the overall aesthetic.
Aim for a cohesive, stylish, beautiful overall profile. Each photo should be on-brand. Don’t play around too much with different styles, subjects, colors, and so on. This creates a disjointed and off-putting vibe.
People should land on your profile and be impressed by its appearance.
Of course, it isn’t quite as simple as just posting awesome, brand-related pics. If it were, then there would be far more profiles on Instagram with insane levels of engagement.
There are high-quality images and profiles everywhere. But not all of them get the same levels of interest.
Think of top content as the bedrock of Insta success. From there, the following tips should help you build upon these strong foundations.
2. Engage with Others
Sometimes you have to make the first move.
It’s the same in real life. What happens when you go to a party full of people you don’t know? They’re engaged in their own conversations with their friends. They’re unlikely to bat an eyelid at the new guy in the corner.
It’s up to you to go over and introduce yourself.
Take this tack on Instagram too—especially when you’re new to the platform. It’s highly unlikely you’ll ever get a following if you don’t engage with others first.
Start liking, following, and commenting people in a similar niche. Look for the profiles who get masses of engagement and reach out. You never know what might happen if you get their attention. Try sending direct messages with thoughtful, friendly comments and questions.
Do this over time and people will naturally start engaging with you too. Indeed, many users automatically reciprocate a like or a follow!
Follow 10 people and you can almost guarantee at least one will follow you back.
3. Engage with Your Followers
Let’s imagine you’ve started accruing followers.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that followers don’t always beget engagement. But it’s a definite help.
A useful way to get their attention is to engage with them first. Head to their profiles and like a few of their pictures and/or leave them a nice comment. Direct message them to let them know how much you enjoy their content. And so on.
Remember, your followers are more likely to want to hear from you. After all, they’ve chosen to follow your profile!
Reaching out to them serves to build the relationship further. The more they care for you, the more they’re likely to engage. The more they engage, the more they’ll see your images. A snowball effect takes place!
4. Seek More Followers
Again, followers don’t necessarily beget engagement.
In fact, someone can buy 100,000, or even a million followers. It might look impressive to an outsider. But, more often than note, these ‘followers’ are only bots and empty profiles. There’s very little value-added in reality.
Having said that, genuine followers definitely help in the pursuit of engagement.
It’s a bit of a catch-22 though.
To get engagement, you need followers; to get followers, it helps to have engagement.
Thankfully, there are ways to go about increasing your follower count organically.
Begin by spreading the word. You need everyone to know you’re on Instagram. You want to shout from the rooftops of the web that you have a profile full of epic content for all to see.
Talk about it on your blog. Advertise it on your social media platforms. Email your current subscribers. Use any distribution channel you currently have to inform others of your Insta account.
Engagement tends to grow with the following.
5. Leverage Hashtags
You may have been on Instagram for a while already.
If so, then you’ve almost certainly heard people talking about hashtags. Everyone uses them to some extent.
And that’s for good reason! They’re pivotal in driving impressions and engagement.
Hashtags need a place that’s front and center of every Instagram strategy. Using them provides novel exposure to your feed in line with what users are searching for on the platform.
Even one hashtag used in a description will drive greater engagement with your post.
Utilizing hashtags sensibly. Don’t just stuff your descriptions full of them. Instead, find a selection that is relevant to your content. All of them should hold the middle ground between broad and unique.
Too broad, and it’ll get lost in the crowd. Too narrow, and no-one will search for it.
6. Utilize Video Content
We’ve already mentioned the importance of posting great content.
However, not all content is made equal.
Video is now more popular than almost any other form of media online. People simply love consuming video content. For instance, people watch 1 billion hours of it on YouTube every single day. That’s insane!
Now that Instagram has opened its door to video, you can jump on the bandwagon. People love it for a reason. Good videos are emotive and tell a story. It’s natural that people want to share it.
They’ll show their friends and family, share it with their audience, or comment on their reactions.
Be sure to drive engagement by incorporating video into your Instagram strategy.
7. Include Subtitles
Here’s a related point: make sure you’ve added subtitles to videos that you post.
There are multiple reasons why this is helpful.
Firstly, the content becomes available to people with hearing problems. That immediately opens the door to a whole new potential audience.
Secondly, subtitles are known to increase view time. Facebook itself reports that view times go up by an average of 12% when subtitles are included.
Finally, many videos are played automatically with their sound off. Adding subtitles means users can still view it in times when sound is inappropriate (such as at libraries or at work).
Obviously, for people to engage with your content, they first need to watch it! Including subtitles is an easy way of facilitating that process.
8. Post at the Right Time
Posting your photos at the right time is another vital means of driving engagement.
Your audience needs to see your latest pic in order to engage. And in order to see it, they need to be active at the time you post!
It makes no sense posting when everyone’s asleep, for example. Nobody but you is around to view the content. Instead, work out the times of day, and days of the week, when your target audience is online.
People debate about what really constitutes the ‘best time’. You’ll come across a wide range of answers. It takes some experimentation to get right. It also pays to take note of any analytics you can get your hands on.
These will tell you exactly when your audience is most active.
9. Start a Competition
Contests are popular methods of attracting engagement and exposure on social media.
Why not set one up of your own?
Put together a prize (try teaming up with other Instagrammers for a bigger collective prize and greater access to new audiences) and advertise it on your profile. There’s nothing like the chance of winning a prize to incentivize engagement!
The contest itself could be anything. You could literally ask people to engage with your profile in order to enter. Ask them to follow you, comment on three photos and like another five, or so on!
Hashtags are a useful means of tracking submissions and entrants. Set up a specific unique hashtag for everyone to use.
How to Increase Engagement on Instagram
There you have it. These tips are exactly how to increase engagement on Instagram.
Instagram is a giant of the social media world. With a billion active users, the opportunity for businesses and individuals to reach new audiences is enormous.
However, the key to success is engagement. With no likes, comments, and follows, your profile is never going to get the exposure you desire.
Thankfully, there are relatively easy ways to drive engagement organically. Hopefully, this post has highlighted the best ways of doing exactly that!
Looking for help growing your Instagram? Contact us today to see how we can help.
Best Regards, Myfollowershop Blog – 2019