7 Smart Ideas to Boost Your Instagram Engagement

If you’re using Instagram to boost your business, you’ve got the right idea. It’s one of the top two social media apps in the United States. The next step for turning your IG presence into undeniable results is simple: Build your Instagram engagement.

Instagram engagement includes all of the ways that users can interact with your content—for example, through likes, comments, shares, and saves. When engagement is strong, this means that your audience may feel a strong enough connection with your brand to make a purchase. Great engagement can even help your content get prioritized by the Instagram algorithm, which means you’ll continually reach more and more of the right people.

Having a large number of followers alone doesn’t guarantee a high engagement rate. To activate your following, you need to focus on building an active community of people who are loyal to your brand.

Here are seven steps you can take to increase Instagram engagement.


1. Create Valuable Content

Saves and shares are two of the most valuable types of engagement that you can get on Instagram. To snag these unique interactions, offer value on your Instagram account. Create the content that users will want to reference again and share with their friends—but don’t make it a bore. Instagram marketing always requires a great visual, after all.

Creating eye-catching infographics is a super digestible way to give helpful tips or insightful facts. Create a visual breakdown of a step-by-step process or design colorful charts and graphs. Then, use your Instagram caption to provide more context. Or, you can highlight specific facts.

Passion Planner‘s Instagram profile is filled with examples of useful and engaging content.

Instagram engagement: screenshot of Pomodoro Technique by passionplanner on Instagram

If you want to keep your caption simple, but have a ton of information you want to highlight at once, create an Instagram carousel post. You’ll be able to break down your information into multiple graphics and avoid cluttered text. Carousel posts are actually the most engaging type of Instagram post, so it’s a win-win!

2. Master Your Aesthetic

Visuals are everything on Instagram. On this social media platform, your visuals make the first impression. But if you don’t pay attention to your branding, that first time a user engages with your brand could be their last.

Instagram users want aesthetically pleasing content on their feeds. If they’re going to give you a follow—and help boost your Instagram engagement rate—they need to know that you can consistently deliver high-quality visual content.

The good news is, you have a built-in “portfolio” of sorts on your profile: your Instagram grid. When users scroll through your grid, they should see on-brand graphics, images that use complementary filters, and more. You may also publish images with similar colors next to each other or make quote graphics every other post, as SLP Now often does.

Instagram engagement: screenshot of slpnow profile on Instagram

Need help with your grid planning? Use a free tool like Planoly or Preview App to plan out your grid before you post. You can upload your images onto these platforms, then drag and drop them around until you find the perfect order for your visuals. And create a consistent look by setting up your brand and following a consistent color palette and font pairings.

3. Embrace Video Content

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new content formats. Instagram is pushing video more than ever by highlighting user-created Reels—which are short TikTok-style videos—on its own tab.

Beyond creating Reels, you can use your Instagram business account to go live, post to IGTV, and upload short form animations to your feed and Stories. With animated graphics, you have the added benefit of catching eyes and communicating with emotion–all while getting around the fact that most Instagram scrollers are watching videos without the sound.

Try your hand at short form video by remixing the examples below: Instagram engagement: animated graphic of SUPER DUPER HAPPY BIRTHDAY


Video has a permanent place on our Instagram feeds (and on the web)—and yet, only 18% of Instagram posts are videos. Making video a part of your Instagram strategy can win engagement from all the users who are waiting for something different to catch their eyes.

You don’t have to know how to edit professional movies to master video on IG. Just like top Instagram influencers, small business owners can stand out by stepping behind the camera and simply chatting like their authentic selves.

4. Engage With Instagram Users

No one likes the feeling of being left on read. Not much better than ignoring your followers is just tapping the heart icon when they reach out. Imagine if you tried starting a conversation with someone and they just smiled and walked away—it’s a bummer at best.

Each time an Instagram follower engages with your brand, it’s time to engage right back. Show your followers that you’re listening by responding thoughtfully to comments, DMs, and the Instagram content they tag you in. A great brand response can inspire followers to engage again in the future, while creating the stepping stones for strong two-way relationships.

Want to take your engagement a step further? Grow your engaged community by reaching out to like-minded users yourself! Be proactive and make the first move. Comment on posts from accounts with a similar target audience to gain exposure within their following. You can also follow relevant hashtags to easily find and comment on posts from potential clients, directly on your feed.

5. Use Hashtags and Location Tags

Adding hashtags and location tags to your Instagram posts is an easy way to make them highly searchable. If a user follows one of your listed hashtags, your post might even show up directly on their feed, too! These two types of tags can easily boost Instagram engagement by getting your posts in front of people who already have related interests.

So how do you know what Instagram hashtags to use? The best hashtags are relevant and not oversaturated with posts. Broad hashtags like #interiordesign won’t help as much as niche ones like #midcenturyhome. More specific hashtags also help you more closely target your audience, boosting your relevancy on their feeds.

Hashtag research can be as simple as using your Instagram search bar. Start typing in terms and see what suggestions pop up, then use the ones that have between 5,000-500,000 associated posts—the perfect range to generate a decent amount of interest without getting lost in the crowd.

screenshot of #artsandcrafts results on Instagram

You can take a similar approach when choosing location tags. Tagging your state is definitely too broad, while tagging a specific location (that’s not a major destination) may be too niche—that is, unless you’re tagging your own shop to drive shoppers to your location. City or community tags are usually best for generating good engagement and gaining new followers.

6. Post Instagram Stories With Stickers

screenshot of Instagram story with stickers of pizza and burger

Over 500 million unique users view Instagram Stories every day. No matter what type of business you own, this feature has the potential to get a ton of engagement for your brand. Not only do people love Stories, but Instagram also offers engagement-boosting “stickers” that you can add to your Stories to get you even more interactions.

Using Instagram Stories stickers, you can create polls, quizzes, and emoji sliders or even host a Stories-based Q&A. They’re fun, interactive elements that your audience will love.

And the best part is, they can go over any content. Whether your actual Story content is a video, photo, Boomerang, or an attractive graphic, you can drag stickers on top to get more results from your content strategy.

7. Post When Your Instagram Engagement is Highest

Want to ensure you get the engagement you want? Consistently post at your audience’s favorite times of the day.

You don’t need a special analytics tool to get the knowledge you need. Just jump into your built-in Instagram insights and you can see what days of the week and what times of the day your posts are performing best. Prioritize those times in your posting schedule and always publish your most important messages during the top slots.

Learn more about how you can use Instagram analytics to boost your brand’s performance.