This post was updated 14.1.

Improving engagement on Instagram is crucial for reaching your target audience and getting your message across. This is because the algorithm works by favoring content users interact with and pushes such content higher in their feed. 

There are a few things you can do to make sure your content is engaging and thus reaches more people. 

From this article you’ll get 5 tips on how to increase your Instagram engagement in order to keep (and grow) your audience.

Focus on creating unique content

Photo by Steve Daniel

To improve your Instagram engagement, you have to create highly differentiated content. You have to bring value to your audience that nobody else can provide. If there are many users creating content very similar to yours, it is harder for you to stand out and be remembered.

Brainstorm what kind of content your audience might be interested in. It might be tips, something inspirational or funny. Most importantly, use high quality, eye-appealing visuals for your Instagram account.

Pick one or several content categories and focus your efforts there.

Have a personalized touch to the content you post. It might be pictures of your unique products or anything else that makes you stand out from the crowd.

It is crucial to be unique and compelling within your content category. Otherwise, there is no reason for the Instagram algorithm to prioritize your posts over others’.

Find out how to capture your audience’s attention

Experiment with your content strategy to find out what captures your audience’s attention the best.

Below is the list of what to consider when deciding your Instagram strategy.

Always post when your audience is the most active on Instagram

Post when most of your followers are online. This way, you will get more initial engagement, and the algorithm will push your posts higher in the feed. 

You can find out when your audience is the most active using the ‘Insights’ feature of your Instagram account. To access this feature, you will need to be using a ‘business’ account on Instagram. You can switch your account from personal to business in the settings tab.

Make your content engaging

You can do that by using a variety of different formats, leveraging hashtags, humorous captions, posing challenges or questions to your followers, etc.

One great example of how to do this is a Call to Action (CTA). Some of the most popular Instagram Call to Action formulas include “double-tap if….”, “tag your friend who…”, “comment your favorite…” etc.

Use the ‘insights’ feature and tools like Hootsuite or Later to keep an eye on the engagement statistics. These utilities will help you to find out if your techniques are working.

Photo by Toa Heftiba

Diversify your content

Different users might prefer different types of content.

In addition to your regular posts, try publishing stories and videos. By doing that, you will appeal to as many users as possible, increasing your reach.

Choose your optimal posting frequency

When choosing posting frequency, keep in mind that you should be able to maintain it. Posting several times a day and then suddenly dropping to just one post a week will negatively affect your audience engagement. You will notice a drop in followers as well as a decrease in engagement per post.

You don’t need to make 3 posts per day to improve your Instagram engagement. Consistency, not quantity, is the key to the stable growth of your follower base.

Once you’ve identified the best content strategy – expand on it. Figure out the behavior patterns of your followers, and think about how you can use them to create more engaging content.

Keep experimenting with your content strategy to maximize your Instagram engagement. 

Use hashtags to get discovered

Use hashtags to increase your reach and find new people interested in your content. 

Find out what kind of hashtags are popular within your content category and utilize them. 

Use the most popular ones, together with smaller, niche ones. Popular hashtags will allow you to maintain a high potential reach, while smaller ones reduce the competition.

Avoid using too many hashtags, as it may seem spammy behavior by your followers. 6-7 hashtags per post will be enough.

Interact with your community to build relationships

Photo by Tim Marshall

It is crucial to interact with your community and build relationships, to maximize your engagement potential. 

Like and comment on posts of other users, reply to comments they leave on your posts, tag and DM them when it’s relevant. 

Such behavior encourages other users to interact with you more often. Once they start commenting on your posts, DMing, and tagging you, you will fall into their “friends and family” category. This means that the Instagram algorithm will push your content higher in the feed of these users.

You don’t need a big community to have it active and engaged. For Instagram accounts with fewer followers, it is even easier to build longer-lasting, more trustful relationships with their audiences. 

In fact, this is one of the reasons which made Instagram micro-influencers with smaller communities more popular among advertisers. 

Conclusion

The key to increasing engagement on Instagram is giving your audience something nobody else can provide. 

Take time with your content, think creatively, and produce content that is different. Build relationships with your audience and forge your image on Instagram. 

Be your unique self, and you will find a niche in this global network.