9 tested tips to boost your Instagram engagement in 2022

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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: start building your Instagram engagement.

Instagram engagement includes all of the ways that users can interact with your content — through likes, comments, shares, and saves. When engagement is strong, this means that your audience may feel enough of a connection with your brand to make a purchase.

Heightened 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 who would be interested in your brand.

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

What is a good engagement rate on Instagram?

Your Instagram engagement rate is the number of likes and comments you receive per post, divided by the number of followers you have, multiplied by 100. A result of anywhere from one to three is thought to be good, while anything above three is considered an excellent engagement rate.

In order to increase your Instagram engagement, try your hand at these nine easy steps we’ve compiled below.

How to increase your engagement on Instagram

Track your Instagram engagement

Have you ever tried to find out your current level of Instagram engagement? To access this information, go to your Instagram profile and tap on the Insights action button. The metrics you’re looking for will be in the “Overview” section, including more detailed breakdowns based on what you’re trying to find out. Granted, this information will only be available once you’ve switched over to a Business or Creator account. These metrics on your Instagram post, Story, Reel, Live, and feed engagement are essential for understanding where you’re at before you put more effort into your account.

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 repeatedly reference and share with their friends—but don’t make it a bore. Instagram marketing always requires a great visual regardless of the context.

Offering eye-catching infographics is a simple 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 highlight specific facts.

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

If you want to keep your caption simple but have a ton of information that should be highlighted all 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 for your profile stats either way.

Master your aesthetic

Visuals are everything on Instagram; on this platform, they make the first impression. But if you don’t pay attention to your branding, the 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.

Here’s the good news: you already 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 features that tie together your vision for your brand. You could also publish images with similar color schemes next to each other or make quote graphics every other post, as SLP Now often does.

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.

Video has a permanent place on our Instagram feeds — and on the web — and statistics show that 91% of active users watch Instagram video content on a weekly basis. Making video a part of your Instagram strategy can win engagement from all the users who are already tuned in for that kind of content.

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 with their followers.

Engage with Instagram users

No one likes the feeling of being left on read. Not much better than ignoring your followers is simply 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 not exactly the best way to make someone feel heard.

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

Use hashtag 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 which 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.

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

Get creative with Instagram Stories and Reels

One of the most notable ways social media channels have evolved over the last five years is with the addition of multiple ways to post content — and Instagram has been at the forefront of this change. Instagram posts will always be there, so it helps to make use of the Stories, Reels and Live features as they’ll provide new and different opportunities to capture audience attention. The way in which your audience prefers to consume content will undoubtedly differ, and a multiformat approach boosts chances of engagement. Always take time to think about which messaging will work best in which formats, and check back on your analytics to stay on track.

Utilizing all of Instagram's content options also increases the frequency at which you can post without becoming an annoyance. It lets you experiment with posting at different times and on different days to see which post style garners the best results. Don’t be afraid to expand your content offering even further by making use of user-generated content through re-posting Stories and posts from other followers, customers, and collaborators on the app.

Produce consistent quality content

It’s much easier to lose an audience than gain one, especially on channels that build engagement on current content rather than loyalty. Instagram content obviously needs to be very visual, but should also be a mix of relatable, aspirational, and endearing. This is your chance to show the human side of your brand. The best way to keep your content Instagram-friendly is with the “people test” — this involves asking other people if they would relate to, enjoy, or engage with your posts. If your content doesn’t pass the people test, it’s on the wrong platform.

Post at the optimum time of day for engagement

It goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: post to Instagram at the optimal times! This means publishing your content when the majority of your audience is online and ready to engage with your content. As a general guide, the best times to post on Instagram are 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. on Thursdays, 11 a.m. on Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. on Fridays. The best overall day to post on Instagram is Tuesday. While we encourage you to use these posting times as a guide, it’s still important to consider your personal social media audience and vary your posting times to discover what works for you.

Don’t forget the basics

More followers can mean more consistent engagement over time, so it’s important to put some effort into making your account look legitimate rather than only focusing on your content. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to do so.

Instagram profile pictures are always cropped in a circle shape, so choose and format your image wisely. Instagram bios can only be 150 characters in length, and there is no need to try and use keywords or optimize your bio for SEO/SEM as they are not searchable. However, both your profile picture and your bio should align with the values, visuals, and tone of your brand. If you decide to include a link in your bio, make sure it leads to something that will personally engage your audience.

Now that we’ve covered how to increase your engagement on Instagram, you’re ready to put your skills to the test. Just remember to plan content in advance, regularly check your Instagram analytics, and don’t be afraid to keep refining and experimenting!

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