Are you frustrated with your Instagram engagement or lack thereof?
You’re posting consistently, you’re trying to put content out there that would receive good engagement, and then… nothing.
If that’s you then you’re going to want to read this whole post.
Because today, we’re sharing 6 tips for Instagram engagement that actually work.
6 Proven Tips To Boost Your Instagram Engagement
- Use all of Instagram’s features
- Engage with your competitors’ commenters
- DM a hello to new followers
- Optimize your posts for search
- Respond back immediately to any comments you get
- Post about things that are valuable to your audience
So you may have heard of this before, and maybe you try to post consistently, but just posting to the feed does not equate to using all of Instagram features.
You’ll also want to post on:
- Stories (and save those Stories to your Highlights by category),
- Reels, and
…create Instagram Shops and lists if it’s applicable.
Now if you’re not familiar with some of these features, don’t worry.
But beyond just posting to those outlets, we want to take it a step further and ask, what features are you using on your Instagram Stories and such?
You’ll want to use Instagram engagement stickers that specifically draw in viewers to interact with your posts.
Some popular stickers for this include using polls, where you can ask your audience either/or and yes or no questions.
If your question is too long and doesn’t fit in the allotted character space there, you can actually leave the question “empty” within the poll.
And then, just type the question out as regular text.
Also, a popular trend for this is the THIS OR THAT trend.
Use the poll feature to point to different pictures on your stories and ask your audience which they prefer, this or that?
This is a foodie Instagram, so of course they’re having their audience pick between their favorite dishes.
And in this case, this clothing store is having viewers pick their favorite headband from their shop.
So you’ll want to pick items that are fun for your audience to choose between while still being relevant to your business.
Another good engaging feature to boost your Instagram engagement is the “Ask me a question box.”
This is where you can ask people to submit their questions to you and change the color of your questions box as needed.
And then, you can answer the questions people submit to you publicly on your Stories.
This is a great opportunity to answer some FAQs from your audience.
You can use the slide bar where people can slide from least to most of whatever question you’re asking them.
And usually, it measures excitement for something.
And then, there’s the quiz feature.
This one is different from the polls feature in that there is a wrong answer.
So you can use these to lightheartedly test your audience’s knowledge on things that are, again, related to your business.
You can add up to 4 possible answers.
And if you’re having trouble thinking of what questions you could ask, you can tap the dice icon there and Instagram will generate some questions for you.
The point of all of these features is to get your followers to interact with you on your Stories. Thus, boosting your Instagram engagement.
This doubles down on telling the algorithm they want to see your content.
You could even use multiple features at the same time, like this example here.
PRO tip: When using the poll feature, or any feature really, try to keep it more in the middle.
This is because we’ve seen people put their polls towards the right side of the screen.
And when you go to answer and you tap on the screen, it just taps you to the next Story.
Instagram isn’t registering that you’re trying to tap on the poll, it thinks you’re tapping to the next Story because the poll is too close to the edge.
And most viewers don’t care enough to tap back and try to answer the poll again.
So just keep your features more towards the middle of the photo if possible.
But to wrap up this first Instagram engagement tip, be intentional about doing more than just posting to your feed.
Use all of Instagram’s publishing options and the engaging features that exist within them.
This tip is pretty straightforward but it can help you tap into a qualified audience that you may not already be reaching.
Make a list of your top competitors, and then go to their Instagram accounts.
Starting with their most recent posts, look at their comment section.
Tap on the profiles of people who comment pretty frequently on their posts. But pick out the people who leave real comments.
Stay away from the automated comments that are like “Cool!” or “Yeah!”, and find the ones who look like genuine followers leaving engaging comments.
Then engage with those people either by:
- liking their pictures,
- commenting on their pictures, or
- watching their Stories and replying to them with one of the reaction emojis
The trick with this Instagram engagement tip is to be genuine about it – don’t be weird or comment one-word comments.
You don’t want them to think you’re spamming them.
The goal is to introduce yourself and make them notice you and feel comfortable engaging with you.
And you specifically want to engage with the people in your competitors’ comment section.
Not just your competitors’ followers, because the people commenting are the most likely to engage back with you.
DM, of course, meaning direct message.
So whenever you receive a new follower, think of it as an inbound lead. They’re coming to you!
They’ve chosen to follow you on their own.
So now is your opportunity to capitalize on that and meet them where they are with an opening message.
This will definitely help boost your Instagram engagement.
And a great way to go about this is to create a template message in advance.
This is where you can swap out certain bits of information to make it personal to the receiver.
But we would swap out more than just their first name.
We would leave room to ask them a question that’s specific to them based on what you can see from their profile, or what posts they’ve liked on your page, etc.
Here’s an example of a message you could send:
“Hey, Sally! I saw you liked my post on Facebook advertising, have you tried FB ads yet? Also thanks for the follow!
Looking forward to seeing how we can grow your business together! :)”
Something super short and sweet, without being too salesy.
And we would avoid saying. “Hey Sally, thanks for the follow!” in that order.
That’s because people are going to immediately read that as automated or ingenuine since it happens a lot.
That’s why we started out with a statement on an action they took and then asked a question.
It’s because you want to start with something that says I’m a real person behind the screen sending you this message.
The reason this strategy has made our list of the top 6 algorithm hacks for Instagram engagement is because if you are in somebody’s DMs…
…Instagram thinks you guys are like besties.
If you’re messaging back and forth with somebody in the DMs, the algorithm is way more likely to put your content in front of their face more often.
If you saw our new Instagram updates post a few months ago, you know that keyword search was a big update for Instagram in 2021.
People can type in keywords, not hashtags, just plain words like “real estate” in the search bar, and it will come up with a mix of the top:
- hashtags, and
…for that keyword.
So to keep your Instagram optimized for organic engagement, make sure your posts are filled with keywords. Make your content easily searchable.
For example, if you own a young women’s clothing brand, think of things your demographic would type in or search.
And then, be sure to include those keywords in your content, like midi dresses, eyelet, crop tops, top knot headbands, etc.
Now, as we said, keyword search on Instagram is still relatively new.
So at the time we’re writing this post, we have not seen a tool yet that shows search volume for keywords like how we can see search volume for hashtags.
In the meantime, we would use the size of Instagram hashtags as a general guide on what keywords to include in your content.
And when you respond back, do it with a question.
Whenever you post something on your main feed, don’t just post and ghost. That’s not going to help your Instagram engagement at all.
So instead, hang out on Instagram for a little while and make sure you respond back to comments immediately after you receive them.
And to take this a step further, when you respond, ask a question. Keep commenting to keep the conversation going for as long as you can!
The more interactions somebody has with you, like having a full conversation in the comment section, tells Instagram that this user must like your content.
And this leads to the algorithm promoting your content to them sooner and more often in the future.
If you’ve been doing all of the things on the list so far and still aren’t getting good Instagram engagement…
…you may be posting the wrong things or attracting the wrong audience!
So here are a couple of ways to ensure you are posting things that are valuable to your audience.
- Look at your Instagram insights to post more of what has performed well in the past.
- Look at the content on your competitors’ page and take note of the posts that are performing well.
- Make a list of your audience’s goals and pain points and make sure you’re tackling one of them with your posts.
Once you’ve got the right content topics nailed down, you can create posts and encourage people to save them!
Especially if you’re sharing a how-to or a tip in your post, encourage people to hit that Save button and save it for later!
This is another big indicator to the algorithm that weighs more heavily than likes or comments that this user wants to see your posts!
Maximize Your Instagram Engagement Today
So those are our top 6 Instagram engagement hacks! But a quick question for you, have you tried any of these?
Well if you still haven’t but badly wanted to boost your Instagram engagement, then we help you with that.