In today’s digital age, social media is a vital part of our lives, with an increasing dependence day by day. From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and TikTok, the way we connect and communicate with each other has changed forever. Amongst these, with over a billion monthly active users, Instagram offers a vast opportunity for everyone, including businesses, influencers, and individuals, to expand their audience. However, as more people join these platforms, the competition and need to stand out has increased tenfold. It is now crucial to adopt strategies that can boost your Instagram engagement.
In this article, we'll explore nine tips (and many zero budget marketing strategies!) to help you boost your engagement on Instagram!
Your Instagram profile is the most important part of being on the platform. It is your digital identity, calling card, roll number, amongst other things! Your unique username, profile picture, and bio will tell everyone who you are on the platform while differentiating you from the rest. To boost engagement on Instagram, you must start with optimizing your profile.
1. Choose a Memorable Profile Picture
Select a clear and high-quality profile picture that represents who you are. If you are an influencer, use a picture with your face and a happy expression as those boost engagement better as compared to serious photos. If you are a big brand, choose a high-resolution image of your logo while if you are a startup or small business, you can choose between your logo or team photo depending on what works better. Use both photos for certain times and decide based on how much they are clicked. Make sure that the photo matches the Instagram identity you will be creating for yourself.
2. Craft a Compelling Bio
Your bio is the first words the audience will read when they come to your profile. Make sure to introduce who you are, what you do, and what your brand is about, whether it is personal or professional. Make sure your personality comes through what you write and keep it brief. Include relevant keywords based on your niche audience or the industry you operate in to boost engagement by showing up more in search results. Also, include links to your website and rename the link to something that incentivizes the audience to click it, which will in turn boost engagement for the brand. For instance, if you want people to sign up, add the sign-up link in the bio and rename it to something like “Join our community of XYZ number of members!”
3. Add Contact Information
Add a call-to-action button with your email so followers can reach out to you easily. Also add your business phone number and hours so new users can call you to find out more about your brand. If you have a physical store for business, you can even add the address for users to visit or check out. However, do not forget to add the email ID as it is the most important piece of contact information. With Instagram’s features, audiences can click on the email button and immediately get redirected to their default email composer. This will help you boost engagement, answer queries, and collaborate with others easily.
Instagram is meant for visual content and posting high-quality photographs, stories, videos, and reels is essential for boosting engagement. This includes curating your entire feed while also making sure each individual post also adds value to the audience.
1. Use High-Resolution Material
Blurry or pixelated images can be a quick turn-off for users. If you are posting photos, make sure they are clicked using equipment that produces photos that are memorable. Invest in a good camera (DSLR) if you shoot a lot of content for your brand or use professional mobile editing apps for your photos and reels to ensure your content is liked and saved by your audience, boosting engagement.
2. Maintain a Consistent Aesthetic
Over time, create a feed with a visual style that is cohesive and maintained consistently. Whether this includes creating feed-covering photos or following a particular color scheme or pattern of posting, make sure you keep it up to boost engagement, especially by impressing first time viewers. Even if you are creating a mixture of reels and photos, make sure the cover art or thumbnail for each post matches your overall design and is visually appealing while boosting engagement.
3. Diversify Your Content
Although having a consistently personal style is a good tip, don’t be afraid to diversify your content itself. If you focus on posting a lot of photographs, try your hand at reels and carousels. In the beginning, you can create carousels with up to 10 photos for an “Instagram dump” or create reels with popular templates available for your use on the app. Over time, remember to mix it up and create content that you connect to boost engagement.
Instagram is a powerful tool that helps you create and post content that can be easily found if you use simple additions like octothorps AKA hashtags. If used strategically, hashtags can help boost engagement by making your content reach a broader audience. By using trending and highly searched hashtags, Instagram's algorithm will also push your content to more users’ “Explore” pages in the long run.
1. Research Relevant Hashtags
Research and keep an eye out for popular hashtags at any given time. Include global, regional, highly searched, and industry related hashtags for you and your brand to boost engagement and reach the right audiences. You can use Instagram’s search feature or other keyword ranking applications to search trending hashtags online and then integrate them in your content.
2. Create Personal Hashtags
Over time, create unique, personal, and branded hashtags for you and your online personality. If you run a company account on Instagram, make sure to create hashtags with your company name, mission, and important campaigns in mind. For instance, our hashtags include personal hashtags like #doerscircle, #independenttogether, #knowmoretogrowmore while other general ones are #entrepreneurship, #startups, #singaporebuisness. The personal hashtags are related to our brand and are added on most posts, creating a unique collection and boosting engagement every time someone searches for these. The general ones help us get higher audience reach by being listed in numerous posts with the same hashtags.
3. Don’t Always Repeat
Although there will be some hashtags that will always be included in your posts (brand name/mission), don’t rely on the same set of hashtags all the time. Experiment with new ones based on the subjects of the content you create and reach different audiences. Instagram allows you to post up to 30 hashtags on each post, so remember to mix it up and boost engagement through reaching a larger variety of people. Try to utilize some less competitive but interesting hashtags to have your posts show up on the top when someone searches them. Even if the hashtag may not be popular, you will have a much higher chance of getting recognized from them without the avalanche of other posts.
Even if you spend hours curating the best post and doing 20 retakes for the perfect reel, it will not create impact if it stands alone in your feed. To boost engagement in the long run, you need to continuously create and post content, even if it feels like a chore sometimes.
1. Follow a Content Calendar
Plan your content in advance by creating a weekly or monthly content calendar. Decide how often you will post on your Instagram account and at what timings. Also brainstorm what kind of content you will share throughout that time period and plan. For instance, if you want to create 10-12 reels a month, spread them out and decide what days each week are the most responsive in terms of audience engagement. Use tools like Hootsuite to schedule your posts in advance and not worry about posting in real time.
2. Balance the Quality and Quantity
While consistency is essential, don’t sacrifice quality for your content. Don’t post regularly just for the sake of posting. If you know your content is not adding value to your audience, being consistent with it won’t make the impact you want it to. To boost your engagement on Instagram, you will have to balance your posting and creating high-quality content and post it regularly. Remember to pay attention to your audience and their activity patterns to understand what times they are most active. Try to schedule your posts in the same time frames to boost engagement and garner more viewership. Remember two things:
Boosting engagement is a two-way street. You cannot keep posting content and expecting people to always like, comment, and save your posts without communicating with them directly. Engaging with followers is important for authentic growth in social media because it fosters a sense of community and connection between you/your brand and the audience. You should encourage communication between you and your audience while also empowering them to talk to each other. You will have to foster engagement first and then boost it.
1. Engage with the Audience
When you post your content, make sure your captions include calls to action for followers. For instance, if it is a reel about your favorite mindfulness habits to start the day, ask the audience to comment about their favorite too. Or if you create a carousel about the best marketing techniques for small businesses, try to get other small businesses to reply to you about their favorite ones from the list. Furthermore, once followers respond to your content, make sure to reply promptly and authentically. Make your replies personal and show appreciation for their engagement, boosting it further. Create two-way communication channels with your community and engage them by asking for their feedback/choices, initiative conversations, running polls, featuring them in your content, and responding to them when they reach out
2. Give Attention to Others
Besides getting people to comment on your content, do the same for others as well. Follow your favorite creators and interact with others’ posts and accounts. Reciprocity will help you boost your engagement in the short run while building long-lasting and authentic relationships with other creators in your community. In your responses to others, talk about why you like their content while also mentioning what you and your business do. Try to also comment on pinned posts on Instagram feeds as they stay on top of the screen, which will lead to every new follower having a higher chance of seeing your comment. Make your communication authentic as Instagram and its algorithms will prioritize your content if there are high levels of organic engagement such as likes, comments, saves, reposts, and shares. At every stage, networking is extremely important and can help you grow personally and professionally.
In the long run, boosting engagement on Instagram can be done through collaborating with others and finding partners that are likeminded and on the same page as you.
1. Find Partners That Suit your Needs
Look for partners who are in the same niche/industry as you and similar audiences to utilize those connections and get new followers with similar interests. Reach out to potential parties with ideas that could benefit both parties. As for influencers, try to get them to promote you without paying them through referral programs or sending product/service samples to them. If need be, invest in paid collaborations to boost your engagement and create a longlisting relationship by ensuring that your brand is mentioned by influencers with a high reach. By collaborating and partnering with other accounts, you and your brand can tap into new audiences, leverage the expertise and strengths of others, and create content that resonates with now just your followers, but also theirs.
2. Share Others’ Content & Run Activities
Get expert guests to collaborate with you on content while also asking them to guest post from your account. On Instagram, you can conduct account takeovers, with highly engaging creators to take over your account and communicate with your followers by answering their questions, marketing your brand, and enhancing the services you provide. You should also get guest bloggers to write for your platform to increase credibility and expertise in your area while getting them to cross promote material both parties have worked on. On a simpler note, you should also run contests and giveaways to collaborate with your partners and audiences. You can provide your partners’ products/services/discount codes in giveaways while letting them do the same to boost engagement while co-hosting these competitions to tap into different audiences.
Even if you keep putting in effort to boost your engagement on Instagram, you should set up dashboards, track metrics and analyze them regularly to see what you can improve on and what works for your brand. Over time, you should use these metrics to make your strategy pivot whenever necessary. Instagram’s Insights are a good place to look for valuable data about your engagement, reach, and audiences.
1. Analyze Metrics and Manage KPIs
Create a sheet with all the necessary key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to focus on with your Instagram account. This usually includes:
Look for patterns and trends in the numbers and see how the numbers are changing depending on the kind of content you create and post.
2. Experiment, Test, & Set Goals
Conduct A/B tests by posting different kinds of content and experimenting with different campaigns, captions, and timings to determine which permutations and combinations boost engagement the best for you and your brand. Test each metric separately to calculate accurate differences in trends and patterns. Over time, keep continuing your experimentation and refining your approach before finalizing the kind of content, captions, and timings that work for boosting your engagement the best. Remember to also define specific goals for your Instagram account so you have guidelines for your test results. If your goal is increasing likes, focus on the scenarios where the likes are highest for your account while if your focus is on getting higher Link in Bio clicks, focus on what changes to wording and call-to-action buttons it takes to increase website clicks. Make sure your short-term and long-term objectives are clear so you can measure your successes accurately.
Instagram, just like you and your brand, is constantly evolving. With new features and algorithm changes, the social media platform is always developing new facets for its users. To ensure boosting engagement on Instagram, you must stay up to date about the social media platform and utilize new features quickly after they are rolled out.
1. Do Your Research
Read through the Official Instagram Blog to stay up to date on the newest features and rollouts for the app. The blog will also discuss frequently asked questions and include articles about improving your presence on the application, including boosting engagement on the platform. This will also include information about the best practices for you and your brand alongside all the changes you should be aware of. Besides that, you should also follow Instagram’s official account on the app to learn more about the platform and find different creators that are featured on the official account for creating unique and change-facilitating content.
2. Join Communities & Attend Events
Join Instagram Communities and Forums to engage with other Instagram users dedicated to discussing the platform and other topics. Find likeminded individuals through communities and look for potential long-lasting connections, partners, and collaborators. Being a part of such communities can provide you with a lot of valuable information about leveraging Instagram as a social media platform and making your brand stand out. Besides that, attend webinars and workshops hosted by social media experts, influencers, and organizations that specialize in your industry as well as Instagram metrics. Attend events about your industry as well as Instagram to increase your expertise in your job and then utilize Instagram as a platform to showcase that expertise to consumers, respectively.
In the digital age, it is essential for businesses to stand out amidst competition and create an impact on tis consumers. This requires integrating social media and creating an online presence of the brand you and your business want to portray in the world outside your organization. To achieve success, you should use Instagram as one of the social media platforms and ensure that you boost your engagement to make your brand visible to more users while attracting sales and success.