Instagram Engagement: 17 strategies to Increase Engagement Rate on Instagram

Instagram Engagement

To increase Instagram engagement, you must post consistently, use relevant hashtags, use story telling technique, use captions, stories, reels, AR filters, carousels, include CTAs, use GIFs & Geotags and reply to as many comments on your posts as you can. Instagram engagement is the amount of “total interactions or engagement” in terms of likes, shares, comments, saves, followers, click through etc. received by an account, over a particular period of time, expressed in percentage.

Do you want to connect with your potential target audience and convince them to purchase your products or even more, build a community of loyal brand advocates around your brand? You must increase your engagement which revolves around how your target audience is interacting with your content, representing your social media marketing efforts’ effectiveness. With one billion people using Instagram every month, it’s a platform with serious potential for ROI (Hootsuite). Building your brand’s creditability and cultivating an online audience by making an impact on them, requires developing a solid strategy to increase engagement.

“There was a time when IG was all about pretty pictures, and that’s long gone,” says D’Shawn Russell, founder and CEO of southern Elegance candle Co. “Now the most brands engage with their customers”. Now let us understand about Instagram Engagement Rate in detail.

What is Instagram engagement?

What is Instagram Engagement

Instagram engagement rate is a measurement of how much your followers are interacting with your content-posts, Stories, Reels, or IGTV videos and is measured by metrics like; comments, shares, likes, saves, followers growth, mentions, branded hashtags, click-throughs and DMs. It is a key factor in IG’s algorithm. This means, the higher the engagement, the more likely it is will your videos rank higher in the newsfeed, reaching more target audience.

According to Oberlo, engagement – measured by likes, shares, and comments from consumers – is also off the chart, boasting a rate of 4.21%. That’s 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.

Why you must increase Instagram Engagement Rate?

Increase Instagram Engagement Rate

Increase brand’s credibility

If you have a huge following but a very low amount of Engagement Rate, audience might think your followers are fake, for which you may lose your potential leads and hurt your credibility. Brands, influencers, and potential collaborators look at this rate for social proof & reliability, even your potential target customers can check it out too. More than 200 million IG users visit at least one business profile daily (IG Blog), so why shouldn’t yours account be one of them? If you are using IG for business, you must track your engagement rate. When it comes to your target audience, you must use a strategy to ensure you’re maximizing your followers, reach, and engagement. And when you work to increase engagement your brand’s credibility grows simultaneously with more sales of goods and services, increased audience loyalty and brand awareness. This data can also come in use when you invest in paid campaigns on social media.

It helps you build an online community on Instagram

An online community is a group of your target audience with meaningful connections and shared interests. Unless your audience intermingles with your content and shares it with their associates, your content won’t gain traction. The more a follower feels connected to you, and your brand, the more likely he/she will engage with your content. Low Instagram engagement rates represent that you have been unsuccessful to grab your followers’ attention, which kills the chances of them to interact with you in the future. But if you use the right techniques to boost engagement on IG, you will get successful in creating a community of loyal and devoted followers too. Many creators even buy Instagram followers legit to build a loyal community.

Your content gets promoted in audience’s feed

IG algorithm uses engagement metrics to govern a post's admiration. Based on the supposition that popular content is usually quality content that users want to see, it pushes those posts to the top of the feed. A higher engagement rate tells IG’s algorithm that your content is being well consumed & enjoyed. Having an engaged following also indicates that the audience is interested in what you will be posting next, and make them stay more on the platform. Amplifying your reach, discoverability and boosting brand awareness Instagram Engagement is vital metric to work on in order to become successful. Instagram Bio is also a crucial thing that also contributes it. Now after discussing its usefulness, let’s head to know how to calculate & find it.

How to calculate Instagram Engagement

Calculate Instagram Engagement

1. You can calculate it manually using the simple formula

(Total number of likes and comments/Follower count) x 100 You can identify other engagement metrics like the number of DMs and saves that matter the most for your campaign and twist the formula accordingly.

2. Calculating Instagram engagement rate for specific number of posts

For instance, you want to calculate engagement rate for your last 20 posts. Add up the likes, comments, and saves that they received. Then divide that number by 20 (or whatever number of posts you choose). Then divide that by your total number of followers. Lastly, multiply by 100 to get your percentage. {[(Likes + Comments + Saves) / no. of Posts] / Followers} x 100 Remember, it’s not the size of your audience, but the amount of their participation/interaction/interest with your brand's content that matters most.

3. But if you want to track your Instagram engagement manually, some of the key parameters you must take note of are:

A. Followers

You must monitor your fan base. The size of your audience is important, but not the most decisive parameter. All you need to do is study how quickly you’re gaining new followers.

B. Likes

Likes are another essential parameter that donates to your engagement rates. It’s a fundamental level of measurement representing how your content is appreciated by your followers.

C. Comments

Comments are also a crucial metric you must look at when tracking the increase in your engagement. A deep study of the comments will give you a more qualitative data of what your target audience think about your posts. Likes can be very primary source of IG Engagement, but comments are elaborated signals of the consumer behaviour, involvement& response.

D. Shares

Shares and reposts show that if a user if sharing your content with friends, then he/she surely liked your content. After knowing all the aspects of calculating engagement rate, let’s move on to understand…

What is a good Instagram engagement percentage?

An ideal engagement rate depends on numerous aspects, including your marketing objectives, niche, and target audience.

But we will provide you a basic understanding:

  • < 1%= Low IG engagement rate
  • More than 1% to less than 2%= average engagement rate on IG
  • 2.5%-3.5%= good engagement rate on Instagram
  • Between 3.5% to 6% or above=High engagement rate

A recent study by SocialInsider elaborated this subject well. The study researched more than 100 million IG posts and found that the average Instagram engagement rate per post is 2.02%. Also, it discovered that the average engagement rate has been plateauing since 2019 despite a surge in the first half of 2020.

A research study published by Mobile Marketer found that:

  • Engagement rates on sponsored posts have dropped from 4.0 percent in early 2016 to 2.4 percent in early 2019, suggesting that some influencers may be losing their influence.
  • Moreover, travel influencers, known for their high Instagram engagement rates, have seen an average drop of 3.5 percent year on year.
  • Remarkably, the study found that influencers with fewer followers are attracting the highest engagement rates. Influencers with 1,000-5,000 followers have an engagement rate of 8.8 percent, while influencers with 5,000 to 10,000 followers have an engagement rate of 6.3%.

Also read: How to Make Instagram Story Highlights in 2021

How to increase engagement on Instagram

Now we will explore the best strategies that can help you increase your organic engagement on IG.

1. Leverage hashtag feature

Leverage hashtag feature

According to ‘State of influencer marketing report’ 2020 a post with at least one IG hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. The supremacy of hashtags on a platform like IG cannot be ignored if you want to increase your engagement rate. Rather than including random ordinary hashtags at the end of your post, use more targeted & relevant ones to reach the more target audience on the platform. Therefore, it’s indispensable to find the right hashtags for the maximum impact. To find these hashtags, you can use HashtagsForLikes.

2. Post consistently

Post Consistently

Consistency gives more opportunities to attract eyeballs to your content and make viewers habitual of consuming your content. Union Metrics released a white paper with data taken from 55 top-performing brands on IG and found, on average, they posted 1.5 times per day. Though, that does not mean 1.5 posts per day is the ideal posting regularity for IG. Also, According to HubSpot, Monday and Thursday are the best days to post on Instagram. And the best times to post on Instagram are 2:00 AM, 8:00-9:00 AM, and 5:00 PM. Posting a video at 9:00 PM, however, gets 34% more interactions.

3. Build communal connections with story-telling technique

Build Communal connections

Don’t a wash your content with unexceptional brand messaging that overlooks the social network is likely to be a ‘visual stimulation platform. You can influence the target audiences through graphics, video, and text, not simply rate marketing epistles at them. To know, how to get more engagement on Instagram, you must become a storyteller and offer a path for interaction via your captions, videos, IG stories, and profile. Remember, when viewers feel associated with your content, they are much more expected to convert as loyal customers and share it with their peers. Companies that are winning it on IG are merging exciting images and video with a tempting narrative that makes for more unforgettable and engaging visual storytelling; for example; National Geographic, Airbnb, Playdoh, Airbnb, Red Bull, Lego, Patagonia, and Nike.

4. Use Longer captions

Use longer captions

According to Instagram influencer Christina Galbato, who has worked with brands like Revolve, the Four Seasons and Olay, “micro-blogging captions are great because they’re very engaging, help you in the algorithm and encourage saves & shares”. Longer captions are powerful because they enable brands to humanize their content and build relationships with their target audience in order to increase engagement rate. According to Instagram, 60% of stories are viewed with sound on, meaning that 40% are viewed without sound. Hence,Captions are a great way to stop scrollers in their ways which increases the time they spend looking at your post.

5. Be consistent with your branding

Be Consistent with your branding

According to a WebDam social media report, 60% of the best-performing brands on IG have a consistent look every time they post. Your look should match with your brand identity and appeal to the audience you’re trying to attract.

6. Formulate a branded hashtag

Instagram Branded Hashtag

A branded hashtag is very important marketing strategy. You can start with a general branded hashtag, which should be short, memorable and include your brand name. #FrankEffect from Frank Body or #ColourPopMe from Colour Pop Cosmetics are good examples using this key strategy. The reimbursements of a branded hashtag are to make your graphics/videos more discoverable, drive target audience to your content and creating a stronger community around your brand to increase engagement rate.

7. Leverage Instagram AR filters

Instagram AR filters

IG supported creation of AR filters to the creators with its Spark AR Studio. AR has taken the app to the next level, with the best filters getting over billion views. Now, many brands are also choosing for producing their own, like NARS cosmetics, which produced few filters letting users to practically try on their lipstick shades. Hence, add an AR filter or video effects to make your videos more beautiful in order to gain more engagement on it and allow your followers to experience your product or reconstruct your pictorial style.

8. Post carousels

Post carousels

Carousels are posts with multiple pictures which work as a great strategy to build engagement. They increase your chances to let algorithm show again posts to followers who didn’t engage the first time around, giving them a second or third chance to make a judgement. By creating perfect IG post, you can drive immense engagement.

9. Post video content

Post video content

Video speaks more than text. Video is both attention-grabbing and engaging. In reality, IG posts with video receive about 38% more engagement than images (HootSuite). You can achieve this by creating IGTV videos as well as Instagram Reels.

10. Enjoy live-streaming

Instagram live-streaming

According to Google, 80% of audiences would apparently rather watch a live stream than read a blog post. With Live video, you can interact with your excited target audience by questioning them, shouting out their names to welcome them and motivate them to interact with persuasive calls to actions.

11. Reply all comments/queries

Reply all comments

You must reply all the comments and queries on your account. Acknowledging your followers with solutions and joining in discussions with them to ultimately give them importance, make them excited to chat with you again in the future.

12. Create Instagram Stories

Create Instagram Stories

These active videos of 24-hour life span are the best tools to drive IG engagements. Half a billion people use Stories every day ( and 62% of users say they’ve become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories (Hootsuite). They are an opportunity to engage with target audience. You can also use add question sticker and other communicating features to share, get response from friends and increase comments on Instagram organically. Questions, Polls and Countdowns are all occasions to fuel Engagement and connect directly with your followers by creating IG stories.

13. Inspire with GIFs

Brands can add elements of humour and pop culture references to their posts by adding Boomerang and trending topics to their content. boomerang records a short sequence of stills before compounding and then looping them backward and forward, making your audience to react.

14. Collaborate with micro-influencers to create brand legitimacy

IG influencer marketing has become increasingly momentous these days, permitting brands to drive the thought leader’s audience in their niche and lift brand awareness out to a wider target audience. Positioning your brand with their commanding voice can add sincere validity to your marketing strategy which will definitely increase your Engagement level.

15. Host an Instagram contest/giveaway

Contests are an incredible engagement generating tool, generating 3.5 times more likes and 64 times more comments than regular posts (Source-Google). Moreover, a giveaway/contest involves giving away a product or service, e-book and users can participate in the contest by following your account, liking the post, saving and tagging their friends in your post. If the giveaway is implemented well, this can be a commanding approach to boost engagement and brand awareness.

16. Use Geo tags

Small businesses can power these to the fullest by adding location tags in their posts. They can help you engage with posts from other users in the same location.

17. Include persuasive call-to-actions

Instagram call-to-action

Requesting your audience to comment, like and share and inviting them to engage will prove very valuable. Hence, you must include a call-to-action in your post captions which encourage followers to spend more time on your post. A compelling call to action can fuel interactivity, likes, responses or shares when done with attention.

I hope you found this a helpful guide to know how to increase engagement on Instagram.

Feel free to share!