February 24, 2021 - Brittany Garlin

15 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement in 2021

Just a while ago, the success of a business in social networks was measured by the number of followers. Social media followers are not always active, and an increase in their number is not equal to an increase in sales. Instagram’s algorithms prioritize content that collects more reactions, i.e., content that engages the target audience. The higher the Instagram engagement is, the higher the value of the Instagram profile will be. According to the statistics, the average Instagram engagement rate is 1.22%.

Engagement Rate (ER) is the average number of reactions to content made by one average subscriber. This indicator reflects how actively the audience interacts with the content of the account. It is a measure of how many users view, like, comment, share, mention, and save your posts.

For instance, the profile can have 1 million followers, and the Instagram engagement will be equal to 1,000 (very low), or vice versa – 3,000 subscribers and engagement is 1,500 (very high). This means that a vast number of followers is not an indicator of high engagement on Instagram. On the contrary, ER of a small account is usually better due to the audience’s quality.

Why measure engagement?

Engagement demonstrates such Instagram-important indicators as:

  1. Brand credibility. If an Instagram audience interacts with your posts (for example, finding out the price of a jacket in the comments), it means that they trust you. After all, you will agree that we will not write to someone we subconsciously expect deception.
  2. The brand’s popularity. The more people like, comment, share, and save your posts, the more popular you are. Well, it is quite obvious. Do you agree? Instagram engagement directly demonstrates the degree of development of a personal or corporate brand.
  3. The virality of content. How often do you send a picture of cute kittens to your friend? Is your content so cool that we want to share it and talk about it? Viral content is web content, such as articles, images, or videos distributed through links on websites, messengers, social networks, and more.
  4. Brand’ instagrammability’. Each of us has come across such a situation. Let’s imagine that there is some adorable thing (for example, a notebook). And now it is advertised everywhere on Instagram; celebrities take photos with it, they show it in their Instagram Stories. Sure thing, we do want this notebook. We make an order and pay good money for it. Then, we get our fantastic notebook, and we are disappointed. Because yes, it is beautiful, it is cute, but it is not necessary. And when we saw this product on Instagram, we just wanted to buy it on emotion. This is all about ‘instagrammability’ of a brand.

Engagement rate is essential for all business development stages and plays a critical role in marketing competitive analysis. By calculating the engagement rate, you can get answers to the following questions:

  • What is the Instagram audience’s response to different posts?
  • What type of content works better?
  • How to make an account as effective as possible, even without having a vast number of subscribers?

The Best Ways to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Creating an Instagram account is only a small part of the complex and painstaking work of promoting your brand on the social network. For good reach and high engagement, you need to work on content, communicate with followers, and attract a new audience. 

The more likes, comments, and saves you get from them, the higher the ER level in your account will be. Therefore, to increase engagement, you need to improve the content quality and the audience’s quality.

How will you do this? We have compiled the top 15 useful tips to help your business account on Instagram achieve maximum efficiency. Here you go.

1. Quality content

If you look for a way to increase engagement on Instagram, keep the course for high-quality and relevant content— this is already half the success. Within the same account, different posts can collect hundreds or thousands of likes. It all depends on what and how the information is presented.

GoPro Instagram Engagement | Agency Vista

Colorful photos, sincere selfies, exciting newsworthy events collect the most likes and comments. Also, people often save something useful to the bookmarks. For example, recipes, checklists, life hacks, and so on. If you want to cause a lively discussion under the post, publish something compromising, provoke discussions.

2. Posting time

When talking about engagement with your Instagram audience, it is worth remembering the best time to post on social media. Publishing your posts at the right time ensures that most of your followers will see them. At the same time, the probability of likes and comments increases significantly.

The peak activity of subscribers, as a rule, falls on the evening, but it is quite specific for each individual case. Statistics will help you determine the appropriate time for publication. Analyze the time of the posts that gain the most likes, and track the priority time online of your followers.

3. Removing bots and dead accounts

ER is the ratio of the number of subscribers to their activity. No wonder that all sorts of bots in the list of your followers reduce engagement. By default, such accounts do not like anything and do not comment, no matter how cool your content is.

You can find inactive accounts manually, but it will take a lot of time. It is much easier to use special tools to clean up bots in several stages. If you remove all of them with one click, organic reach rates can drop dramatically.

4. Audience Interaction

Try two-way communication, and you will see how your audience will liven up. Subscribers like to see real people behind the company’s face, ready to answer comments and questions. Be interested in the opinion of your followers, do not ignore their comments.

Buffer offers never miss a comment with a new feature added to their subscription. Instagram business profiles are lucky to use this time-saver and discover the faster way to engage on Instagram

Do not be afraid to ask your followers what they would like to see in your account. Describe the situation you have encountered and ask for advice. Ask any relevant thematic question. A win-win option is to start any hype topic and provoke its discussion. Whether it is a political news story, a celebrity sensation, or a provocative question, the number of comments will please you. The image below shows how BaliBody uses Instagram Stories Highlights to group and feature FAQs.

Bali Body Instagram Engagement | Agency Vista

5. Hashtags

You can either love them or hate them, but hashtags are the best free promotion tool on Instagram. If you offer a product or service and want users to find you, be sure to add them to your posts. Their use allows you to increase your account’s posts’ visibility and increase the number of likes, comments, and followers.

Today users can subscribe to hashtags. This means that your posts can be seen even by those who do not follow you if you choose the right hashtags. You can add up to 30 different hashtags to a single post, but make sure that they are all relevant and not repeated in the same sequence. Otherwise, you can run into a ban.

6. Video content 

Video content rules today. Not everyone likes to read long captions. Everyone’s stress level is too high, and often you want to relax while watching unobtrusive content.

Make bright, dynamic, and funny videos; try to tell something important in the video format. If you do everything right, people will actively comment and share your videos. Besides, due to the statistics, the video content collects more likes and comments.

7. Surveys

One of the best ways to increase engagement is to conduct surveys. By doing surveys, you let your Instagram audience know that their opinion is important to you, teach them to communicate and provoke them to leave comments.

Unlike complex questions and discussions, surveys are easier to participate in. Simple questions are immediately supplemented with answer options. Who wouldn’t want to give their opinion if it is that simple?

Vanity Fair also proved how fun the quiz format can be when they created a Royal Wedding quiz to prepare audiences for Meghan and Harry’s nuptials.

Vanity Fair Instagram Engagement | Agency Vista

8. Stories

Instagram Stories are still one of the powerful tools to attract your audience’s attention. You can use Stories to draw attention to the main feed posts. Let your Stories tell the audience about the announcement of interesting upcoming events in your account. It can be anything – notifications of new products, promotions, discounts, events. You can also respond to Stories, which is another activity that increases engagement. Make sure that this feature is enabled for your stories.

9. User-generated content (UGC)

Allow your audience to participate in your content creation. 90% of users find the UGC useful and believe more what existing customers say about your brand. 

Communicate in the comments, ask to share exciting stories (do not also forget to ask to mark your account), track hashtags and mentions. Add photos of your customers with the product to your feed, share reviews and other content to show that real people love your product or service.

10. Location Tag 

Posts that contain a location tag get more engagement than those accounts that do not use this feature. Try to specify the location in all your activities: posts, Stories, hashtags. As for hashtags, we recommend analyzing the popular tags for your location, for example, in the local accounts of the region or the accounts of famous places in your area.

11. Instagram Captions

Instagram allows you to create captions up to 2200 characters. If this is not enough, you can move part of the post to the first comment.

First of all, the photo caption is a functional part of the post. Bloggers here talk about the product they are advertising, and brands convey a key message that cannot be expressed visually. The caption is not just a dump of emojis. This is what can make people react to your post.

What is a strong post caption? Among the tips you can focus on are: use calls to action, tag your partners with tags, use emojis and hashtags, write either very short or, conversely, very long captions to attract more attention.

12. Post carousels

We intrigue a follower on the first slide, give interesting information on the second and third… the tenth, and only then go to the caption. And in a single post, we only have one slide and a caption, which reduces the time spent on the post and reduces engagement level.

Even though you can make up to 10 slides in the carousel, the main thing is quality, not quantity. Our task is to keep the user’s attention and make sure he sees the carousel to the end.

13. Saveable content

What can be useful for your Instagram audience?

  • Collections and trends.
  • Secrets, tips, and life hacks from your niche. By the way, it may not necessarily be real advice; you can go from the opposite and destroy some myths.
  • Instructions, lessons, recipes. The video format is particularly good, such as makeup lessons, cooking recipes, or training programs.

If humor is appropriate for your profile, why not add some fun to the posts?! Entertainment content is always at the top since most people go to social networks for recreation and willingly consume light, entertaining content.

14. Go live 

Live communication is the key to a loyal audience. A reliable assistant in this is Instagram Live. You can go live during the release of a new collection or answer subscribers’ questions before an important event.

Add the most successful moments of the live broadcast to the Highlights, so you will allow people to review the content even 24 hours after publication.

15. Direct Messages (DMs)

This is true that sometimes the strongest engagement happens in private messages. In the age of instant messaging, we manage communication on our own terms. We can respond immediately, we can do it in 2 days, or we can ignore the sender at all. The last option is not acceptable for a reputable business that values its clients. Make sure to answer the direct messages from your followers and treat them properly.

Conclusion 

Engagement is one of the key indicators for SMM on Instagram. Too much depends on this indicator to be simply ignored. But unfortunately, the engagement with your social media audience does not increase in one post or contest. This is painstaking work that requires step-by-step implementation and constant monitoring. The essential thing in the pursuit of high engagement is to remain yourself and be sincere. Follow our tips to grow the number of your followers and their activity continually.

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