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7 Proven Ways to Boost Engagement on Instagram

Date published: December 12, 2017
Last updated: December 12, 2017

Instagram has been used by its fans to post selfies, kittens, and food for almost eight years.


Those days are far behind us.

Instagram has developed as a valuable social media platform for marketing:

  • The community has grown to more than 700 million users.
  • 7% of U.S. companies use it for promoting their brands.
  • Around 60% of Instagrammers have learned about a brand on the platform.

It's no wonder Instagram is so popular among marketers who want to promote their brands.

However, if you run business accounts on Instagram, you may face problems. Posting regularly means nothing if there's no one actually seeing it.

This is crazy: users miss 70% of the posts on their Instagram feeds.

But in 2019, the real picture is different. Instagram has become a veritable goldmine for businesses, regardless of how big or small they are what they deal in. Businesses are using this powerful communication platform for community building, to deliver their messages to social selling and more.

Instagram is booming right now both among businesses and consumers.

If you want to increase your visibility, think about creating engaging content. When the audience likes, comments, views, shares, and saves the post, it goes higher on your Instagram feed, and the algorithm will show it to more people. There's no need to do crazy math calculations to understand: reaching more people is beneficial to your brand promotion.

When you promote your post on Instagram, its reach will be limited to Instagram. All the comments and likes about the post will stay on that post. So, if you want to boost Instagram post, you can do it easily even without using any hashtag. The increasing number of likes and comments is a great way to gain more followers for your posts.

Thus, generating engagement on Instagram is a must, and here are 7 proven ways how to do it:

1. Stick to a Content Strategy

If you want to promote a brand on Instagram and build its awareness, get ready for posting regularly. Although marketers argue about the posting frequency, it's recommended to post at least once a day. Thus, you need to have something to say.

As it's hard to make up bizarre ideas every day, you need to have a content strategy as it is your basis that helps to stay proactive daily.

Why bother? Sticking to a content strategy helps to:

  • create better content
  • save time
  • plan ahead
  • build your ideal calendar

Although having a content strategy is crucial, you need to stay flexible and react to breaking news when needed. For example, Krispy Kreme has offered its famous glazed donut in chocolate because of the solar eclipse.

You're more likely to engage followers if you post relevant content daily. If you want to create a win-win content strategy, think what your audience wants to see.

The raging popularity of Instagram comes from the fact that it offers you a huge amount of creative freedom. You just have to define your marketing goals and craft your Instagram marketing strategy around those goals.

Experts recommend digging through Instagram content to find some inspiring ideas that can be incorporated into your business strategy after some polishing and tweaking.

The best way to do this is to follow some of the trendsetting brands. It is not a bad idea to follow a few of your competitors too. Experience the Instagram platform not as a business owner but as a regular user. It will help you understand how consumers and businesses communicate on this platform.

Follow some competitors, too. Experiencing the platform as a user is the best way to understand how businesses and consumers interact with each other.

2. Give UGC a Try

User-Generated Content (UGC) is a new powerful tool for marketers. It allows them to save time & effort and grab customers' attention. In fact, it's said to be 76% more trustworthy than branded advertising which means attracting new potential clients.

What makes UGC unique is that it focuses sharply on elements like consumer trust and relationship building.  A large percentage of people are likely to engage with an ad that has user generated content. They are more likely to trust such content that the information provided by the brand manufacturer of their official website. Peer review or an account delivered through word-of-mouth has more value for the consumer that content created by the organization. They love what people like themselves have to say and would definitely trust such messages than those delivered using traditional marketing methods.

Customers crave authenticity, so they love creating UGC. Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary have proved that the belongingness is a fundamental human need.

Today, more than 80% of businesses make use of user-generated content strategy to boost engagement on Instagram. Today’s generation trust user-generated advertising more than messages delivered through conventional advertising. There is a financial advantage too. Such type of advertising can receive a significantly higher number of click-through rates than other types of online marketing processes, say experts.

If you want to encourage UGC, credit people whose photos you're using by tagging them. It allows them to satisfy their ego, and it boosts engagement as they are more likely to share this mention on their social media to drive extra traffic to your account.

Monitor Instagram in order not to miss UGC content:

  • Track your brand hashtag.
  • See if you have hidden direct messages.
  • Check photos you've been tagged in.

If you love handy marketing tools, you can use Mention to see everywhere you've been talked about.

NB: Even if you don't plan to post UGC you've found, put like and comment to encourage the person to create more in the future. People crave for attention.

3. Don't Be Greedy for Likes

It's not a secret: Instagrammers are obsessed with likes and comments on social media.

Once they share a new post, they start waiting for likes and comments. It's been scientifically proven that 'likes' on social media activate positive receptors in our brains which means building customers' loyalty.

If you want to drive traffic to your account, pay attention to your followers first!

  • Like photos
  • Comment on posts
  • Vote on polls
  • Watch stories
  • Tag people
  • Share their photos with a credit

If you post regularly, that's great. If you stay active and interact with followers, that's even better. People want to be heard, and your 'like' will attract their attention.

4. Use Instagram Stories Regularly

Short-lived content is popular among Instagrammers as it allows users to share unimportant photos/videos without clogging up your profile.

Instagram story is a successful feature. More and more people start posting and watching stories, and brands can boost engagement with the help of this feature.

Why is sharing stories important?

  • Creates a sense of urgency.
  • Gives better visibility on Instagram Story Feed.
  • Helps to drive traffic to your website (if your business profile counts 10k+ followers).
  • Makes your profile more personal.
  • Keeps your news feed relevant.

So, do you use Instagram stories as a part of your strategy? If not, you're falling behind your competitors, and nothing kills engagement like that does.

An effective way of boosting brand credibility is to buy real Instagram followers. It can help you get more real likes and also save you time as followers get added instantly to your account.

5. Know When Your Audience is Active on Instagram

Here's the deal: the more people see your post, the higher your engagement rate can be.

Let me guess: you don't want your post to get buried in the news feed, right?

Thus, you need to post when your audience is active.

It is crucial that you get the timing right. However, it’s a harder question than you probably think because the Instagram algorithm is getting increasingly complex and difficult to decipher for most marketers.

Provide your followers with a great experience and make sure that your content gets featured in user feeds by using these tips and tricks. It might make it easy for you to figure out the best times to post on Instagram. You might also benefit from some of these engagement-boosting tactics.

  • It is better to post on weekdays than weekends.
  • Research shows that the engagement rate on Thursdays is unusually high
  • Sundays are the worst to post content on Instagram

Although there are ideas on how to determine the best days for publishing, you need to think about YOUR audience. Luckily, Instagram has launched its in-house analytics, and you can get the data with a few clicks.

The most important thing to realize is that the right time for someone else need not be the right time for you. You need some amount of discretion application.

The more followers see your post, the more chances you have they will interact with it. Thus, every time you're about to hit the 'share' button, think whether it's the best time for posting.

6. Keep Up with Trends

To engage with followers, you need to know current trends as they give you new ways to get your audience's attention.

What is on the horizon for Instagram marketing in 2018?

  • Instagram stories: ephemeral content is flourishing as it provides the best engagement rate. People hurry to watch this short-lived content as they don't want to miss something important.
  • Video content: 80% of global internet traffic will be attributed to video content by 2020.
  • Polls: making a poll is a way to interact with followers and get their feedback, so keep it in mind when running Instagram business accounts.

Chasing social media trends is a great way to stay one step ahead of your competitors and get followers' trust.

7. Collaborate with Influencers

Word-of-mouth advertising is more influential than brand content as 77% of people trust friends'/family's reviews. Influencers have the power to affect the purchase decisions of their followers, so by collaborating with them, you're able to enter an already-established community and get your name out.

Marketers realize the power of the influencer marketing, so the niche is getting competitive. The number of brand sponsored influencer posts is growing, and it's estimated to reach 32.3 M by 2019. Thus, you need to grab opinion leaders' attention.

Do you want to know how to establish long-term connections with influencers? Think about them first!

  • Communicate with them: most opinion leaders include a Call To Action (CTA) question at the end of their posts to boost engagement. Like and comment to start a conversation.
  • Watch their stories: if you've posted a story at least one, you know that you can see people who have seen it. When you watch influencer's stories on a regular basis, you attract his or her attention.
  • Turn on post notifications: running a business account, it's more likely you follow a big number of people. In order not to miss your favorite Instagram users aka potential influencers to collaborate with, get notified when they share posts.

Wait until influencers have paid attention to your brand to offer them a collaboration.

Depending on an opinion leader, you can send a brand freebie or pay for the post. However, ask an influencer to tag you in the post and photo to make it comfortable for their followers to visit your page.

Influencer outreach is a powerful marketing tool for boosting engagement.

The Bottom Line

The engagement rate is decreasing on Instagram which means putting much more effort into running your business account.

2018 will be a big year for Instagrammers. Engaging stories will be the key to gaining more followers and staying top of mind. Posting stories on the explore page can boost Instagram engagement. This way, even those who are not following you on Instagram can still find you and watch your activities.

Let's be true: there's no one-size-fits-all method for boosting engagement on Instagram, but you should experiment to find out what works well for your audience.

So, what is the best way to boost engagement on your Instagram?


Instagram for Business - Everything You Need to Know

If you're not using Instagram to promote your business, you're missing out on the opportunity to connect with your target audience in a way that resonates with them.Before using Instagram for your business, here is what you should know.

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