Instagram, Shared Media
Published By:
7 Proven Ways to Boost Engagement on Instagram


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.


Source: Unsplash

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

  • It creates a sense of urgency.
  • It gives better visibility on Instagram Story Feed.
  • It helps to drive traffic to your website (if your business profile counts 10k+ followers).
  • It makes your profile more personal.
  • It 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.

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.

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 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. As this is short-lived content, people hurry up to watch it as they don’t want to miss something important.
  • Video content: 80% of global internet traffic will be attributed to video 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.

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?



Sponsored Resources

Want more resources

View all Resources



Our publication contributors combine decades of experience with unique insights into the content promotion and distribution industry.
Chad Pollitt Co-founder Relevance
Jay Baer Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Author
Gini Dietrich CEO Arment Dietrich
Jason Falls Social Media & Public Relations Thought Leader
Joe Beccalori CEO Interact Marketing
Douglas Karr Founder & CEO & DK New Media
Brianne Carlon Rush Content Director Kuno Creative
Janine Popick Co-founder & CMO Dasheroo
Arnie Kuenn CEO Vertical Measures
Pam Didner Global Content Marketing Strategist & Author
Chirag Ahuja Head of Marketing WorkflowMax
Jayson DeMers Founder & CEO AudienceBloom
Erik Deckers Professional Writer Pro Blog Service
Bernie Borges CEO Find and Convert
Jessica Stephenson VP Marketing ExactHire
Michael Ferrari Marketing Consultant Pen Cap Online Marketing
Larry Alton Freelance Writer and Editor
David Tile Founder & Director Nimble Media
Kelsey Libert Marketing VP & Partner
Dan Steiner Co-Founder & CEO Elite Legal Marketing
Joydeep Bhattacharya Relevance Contributor
Jonah Bliss Founder CMO ContentIntent
Andrea Lehr Promotions Supervisor Fractl
Fernando Labastida Co-Founder Content Propulsion
Dan Moyle Creative Dir. Marketing AmeriFirst
Dennis Yu Chief Technology Officer BlitzMetrics
Arnaud Roy VP Marketing Augure
John Rugh Copywriter/Content Marketing Specialist
Justin Spicer Content Researcher, Producer & Editor
Michael Becker Marketing Support Spec. Teradata
Anna Johansson Freelance Writer
Amanda DiSilvestro Content Editor and Writer HigherVisibility
Sujay Maheshwari Founder & CEO
Kelly Coulter Online Marketing Strategist
Taylor Radey Senior Consultant PR 20/20
Rodger Johnson Public Relations Leader & Consultant
Simon Penson Founder & Managing Dir. Zazzle Media
Danielle Wolter Nolan Co-Owner
Fernando Cuscuela Founder & CEO Everypost
Kelly Smith Content Manager CourseFinder
John McTigue EVP Kuno Creative
Yogita Arora Content Strategist Zoomph
Jordan Teicher Associate Editor Contently
Jonathan Crowl Digital Marketing Writer & Editor
Brian Honigman Marketing Consultant, Writer & Professional Speaker Skyword
Katherine Halek Content Strategist
Amanda Drinker Dooley Community Product Marketing Manager Netline
Anton Rius Digital Marketing Consultant More Than Metrics
Matthew Zajechowski Outreach Manager Digital Third Coast
Kevin Bailey Co-founder DigitalRelevance
Peter Chen Digital Marketing Consultant DigitalRelevance
Luana Spinetti Multi-Specialized Freelancer
Kyle Harper Writer Skyword
Elad Natanson Founder appnext
Maël Roth Content & Inbound Marketer Park7
Quin Woodward Pu Marketing Director Audienti
Greg Shuey Co-Founder Stryde
Jean Bansemer CEO My Web Writers
Owen Andrew Journalist
Luke Kintigh Global Content & Media Strategist Intel

In case you missed

Read more of the latest news and insights from thought leaders in content promotion and distribution.


Get the latest content promotion news and insights everyday.

Champion Sponsor

Relevance is proud to present our Champion Sponsor that helps make our site possible.

Cision Logo

© 2017 Relevance | Content Promotion News & Insights

Connect with RELEVANCE

Thank you for subscribing Your subscription has been confirmed.