Are you struggling to get more Instagram Engagement? Check out these quick tips for getting more engagement on your feed posts so that your followers not only like and comment on your posts but actually engage in conversation with you. It’s time to get the party started with Instagram engagement.
BY DONNA MORITZ | UPDATED 19 JUNE, 2020
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Strategies, tools and features change, which is why we’ve done a complete update of this post to add current Instagram engagement strategies for newsfeed posts. Enjoy!
If you’re not getting the engagement you expected on Instagram, try some of these tips to jump-start the party on your newsfeed posts. Just by changing up the content, you are posting it can attract more engagement from your followers (who are, after all, your potential customers).
Instagram engagement is not just about likes – what you really want is conversations, and true engagement. You want to get comments too and even better, direct messages and conversations with your ideal customer.
First, let’s take a look at how Instagram Engagement works.
A quick reminder about Instagram Engagement
Instagram actually tell us what they are looking for in this post on Twitter:
Put simply, what shows up in someone’s Instagram feed is, in part determined by a number of factors, including the posts or Instagram accounts that they most engage with, the timeliness of posts and how often that person uses Instagram. It’s also impacted by how many people they follow (ie the more they follow, the more those people are competing for space on their newsfeed for them to see that content).
We all know this – if we engage with somebody’s account, comment on their Instagram post or story, chances are we then end up seeing more of their posts over the coming days. Every time someone engages with your content (a “Touchpoint”) they are more likely to see more of that content.
What is an Instagram Touchpoint and how does it relate to Instagram Engagement?
There are many types of touchpoints that can tell Instagram that somebody is interested in your content and wants to see more of it. These include:
- saving a post,
- swiping through to view a carousel post,
- sending a DM,
- swiping up on a Story,
- pressing and holding the screen on a story to view it for longer,
- watching an IGTV episode after seeing the preview on the newsfeed
- engaging with a poll or question sticker on Instagram Stories… and more.
- Anything that involves engagement and tells Instagram that “I want to hear more of your story”. That results in more Instagram Engagement.
So let’s jump in and take a look at 5 super simple strategies (with examples) that you can use to boost Instagram engagement on your account. This post began with 5 simple tips so in our update, we’ve updated the examples to help you with your Instagram engagement.They’re all super simple to apply to your own business, and should spark your creativity.
5 Tips for Instagram Engagement that You Can Use Now!
The following tips are helpful on Instagram feed posts where your goal is to not just stop the scroll but to get real Instagram engagement. How do you do this?
pssst… Focus on Comments
Comments are the beginning of a conversation and should be the main goal of your feed posts. Likes are no longer held in any level of importance by Instagram (hence why they took away the ability to see our public like counts). But a comment is best for showing Instagram that the person is interested in engaging with you.
Also, Instagram recently confirmed that it doesn’t matter if your comment is less than 3-4 words. All comments count as engagement. Although there is no harm in commenting with a few words at least to encourage your audience to share more too.
One way to encourage comments is to follow up a great image with a great caption. Start conversations with your captions by doing the following:
- If someone comments – always reply if you can.
- Hook us in from the first sentence. Ask a question, start a story, share something personal or announce something super interesting. We’re more likely to respond with a comment back when you do.
- Share stories that relate to your post. Stories in your caption are everything and they are a great way to encourage comments.
- Ask engaging questions or ask for opinions. Use short answer questions that just require a few words or a short phrase at most.
Here are a few examples of the types of posts that work well to encourage comments:
1. Post motivating, inspiring content – with captions!
There’s no denying that quotes and motivating content – whether about life or business – do well on Instagram. But the key is to find a way to post this type of content so that your audience responds and engages with you – better Instagram Engagement.
How do you do this? With stories. In particular with storytelling in the captions. Don’t just post a random quote or motivational post. Instead, write a captivating comment that draws us in. Hook us with the opening sentence so that we keep reading and tell us a story. Relate it to the image.
Telling a story in the captions is something Sara Blakely does well (CEO of Spanx) resulting in high instagram engagement:
It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO or a one-person show, sharing something about yourself is very engaging! Sara isn’t afraid to laught at herself, but also shares a lot of useful, helpful advice for entrepreneurs.
2. Ask Questions and Involve your Fans
The key to Instagram engagement is asking fans to engage! At the heart of it, we love to have our say, to contribute and to feel a part of something.
Stop and ask your fans to give their opinion, share their favourite thing, give their advice.
Give them an easy way to contribute – a short answer, quick response question. This post resulted in over 40 comments including responses… and not just between me and those that commented but between the commenters recommending podcasts to each other!
Jasmine asks the question straight up… what are you most proud of this year? Then she repeats at the end of her caption, just to be sure we reply:
Instagram Engagement is about the people behind the business, so be more than a logo on Instagram.
People like to connect with people. Yes, post quotes. Yes post tips, but stop and let your followers in. We are human and love human connection and one of the best ways to get that connection is to share you and the people behind your business.
Chocolate Johnny from Perfection Chocolates is a great example of this – he will show behind the scenes of is chocolate factory and store, but often shares images and video of himself and his team.
…and some goofing off.. with chocolate:
Even if you’re not a chocolatier, you can still show your fun side, like the team at TripleSeat. Oh, and look, they did include chocolate:
Show up and let us get to know who the people are behind your business!
3. Reveal a secret, an insider tip or a sneak peek!
Just like we feel like we want to know the people behind the business, we also like to feel like we have a backstage pass.
Think about how you can provide a sneak peek, a backstage pass or inside information.
I love how Martine Emdur (one of my favourite artists) shows her work in progress and isn’t afraid to poke fun at herself. Fans and buyers love to see the process behind her amazing paintings!
It could be as simple as showing something you are working on so your followers feel like they are there with you! Your followers like to feel like they are seeing something that nobody else gets to see. How can you give them a backstage pass? A backstage pass to Instagram Engagement.
4. Give a Shout Out
There’s one thing fans love talking about as much as themselves – it’s the people or pages or brands or profiles they love!
So… stop and give a shout out from time to time, or better still ask your fans to give a shout out about their fave people, pages, brands or profiles!
Sue B Zimmerman, the Instagram Expert does this well:
Asking us to give a shout out is a clever way of getting more Instagram Engagement – and we love giving shout outs for friends or people who have helped us, so it’s hard to resist!
5. Find a common interest
I’m not talking about your products and services here. What I mean is that you should find a common interest between you and your followers that’s maybe NOT about your business.
It could be that you have a dog that you feature all the time on your Instagram Stories, or perhaps you’re a huge target fan (as well as being an Instagram expert), like Tyler is here.
Or maybe you’re a book-lover (as well as a social media expert) like my friend Peg Fitzpatrick.
These topics might not be the core content that you share but by sharing a common interest with your audience, it gives you another way of connecting with them and having conversations.
That’s a Wrap!
Phew, that’s a lot of strategies and tips to help you boost your Instagram engagement.
Of course, there are dozens of ways you can increase engagement, but these will help you to get the party started!
What Instagram engagement strategies work best for you, and what new strategies will you try next?
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a “Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019”. Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.