5 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement 

Kelly Giese  |  December 18, 2023

With 95 million photos shared daily on Instagram in 2023, it’s no wonder why many brands and influencers struggle to get seen. 

One thing we know about Instagram is that its algorithm prioritizes accounts and posts that receive higher engagement. 

That engagement comes in the form of: 

  • Likes 
  • Comments 
  • Shares 
  • Saves 

And that’s just for feed posts. Stories give your audience a wide variety of other ways to engage with you (more on this later). 

In Instagram’s fiercely competitive landscape, how can you get your audience to start interacting? 

Here are 5 tips to start implementing now—no boosting ($) required. 

1) Post when your audience is most active 

This is a fairly easy change to implement. You likely already use a tool to preschedule your Instagram posts. Sprout, HubSpot, Meta Business Suite, and many other social media post scheduling platforms recommend the best times to post. They make data-backed predictions according to when your specific audience is most likely to engage. 

See the below example from Sprout: 

Since these tools do the data analysis for you, you’ll rest assured that you’re posting at a good time for your audience. 

2) Include CTAs (calls to action) in your posts 

Sometimes, we social media professionals are shy when it comes to asking our audience for something. 

After all, only ads should have CTAs, right? 

Wrong. 

Don’t be afraid to ask your audience members to complete an action. In your next Instagram post, try increasing your engagement by incorporating a CTA. Here are some examples below: 

  • Share this with a friend who can relate. 
  • Share your experience with issue this below ⬇️ 
  • Comment “I’m interested” and we’ll DM you a link to the eBook! 
  • Follow us to learn more about [topic]. (This one is especially good for reels, which are often seen by more non-followers than photos.) 

3) Host a giveaway 

Who doesn’t love a good giveaway? 

Giveaways are a tried-and-true way for brands to increase their Instagram engagement. When planning yours, start by determining what the prize will be. Make sure it’s relevant to your audience and enticing enough to motivate participation. 

Then, choose the entry requirements. You might require participants to: 

  • Follow your account 
  • Like the post 
  • Tag a friend (or multiple friends) in a comment
  • Share the post to their story 
  • Complete an action by clicking the link in your bio, such as signing up for your newsletter 

You can (and should) require more than one of the above actions for participation, especially if the prize is high in value. 

A successful giveaway will lead to excitement about your brand. And on the metrics side, your account will enjoy more interactions and visibility. 

4) Create a collaborative post 

Instagram’s collaborative posts allow for two accounts to share a Feed post or Reel. In other words, these posts will be shared with two audiences—your followers and your collaborator’s followers. This increased exposure can be a powerful way to boost engagement. 

 Here's how to use this great feature: 

  1. Identify potential collaborators: Look for accounts that are complementary to yours in terms of content, audience, or goals. If you have any partnered organizations, this is a great place to start. 
  1. Reach out and propose a collaborative post: Send a direct message or email to the potential collaborator with a clear and enticing proposal. Be specific about the post(s) you have in mind, and make sure to propose content that is relevant to their audience too. 
  1. Finalize the collaborative post(s): Once your collaborator in on board with moving forward, decide on the type of content you want to create together. This could be an image post, a reel, or both. 
  1. Publish: Finally, it’s time to push your collaborative post live. 
    • From the Instagram mobile app, click the + button to create a post. 
    • Select “Post” or “Reel” and select your content. 
    • Tap “Next,” and then “Next” again. 
    • Tap “Tag people,” then tap “Invite collaborators.” 
    • Choose your collaborator, then tap the checkmark in the top right. 
    • Tap “Share.” 

Your collaborator will instantly receive an Instagram direct message inviting them to approve the collaboration. Once they approve, your collaboration will be live! 

Note: You can only invite a collaborator in real time on the Instagram mobile app. You cannot pre-schedule a collaborative post or invite a collaborator via Meta Business Suite. 

5) Create more engaging Stories 

Stories are a great way to capture your followers’ attention with temporary, visually-rich snippets. They are also a great way to gather follower feedback and to get your audience engaging. 

You can find these stickers by tapping the sticker button (the happy face in the top right) after capturing or selecting the visual for your story. 

Try using interactive stickers in your Stories. For example: 

Questions: You can leave this sticker as-is (“Ask me a question”) so that members of your audience can submit their own questions. You can then answer these in a separate story. Alternatively, you can customize this sticker so that you are asking your audience members a question. 

Here are some examples of questions you could try asking: 

  • What product do you what to see from us next? 
  • What's your biggest professional goal right now?
  • What recent achievement are you most proud of? 

Be sure to ask a question that is relevant to your audience or niche. 

Polls: Like the name implies, this sticker enables you to poll your audience on their preferences. You can include up to 4 options. 

Try asking something like: 

  • Which of these events are you most excited for?
  • Which of these is your favorite? 
  • Where would you most like to travel? 

Emoji slider: These are an easy way for your audience to interact with your stories. Choose an emoji relevant to your story and your followers can then slide it to their chosen position. After they do so, they will see the average position chosen by your followers. 

You can post your emoji slider without any text, or you can include a prompt. For example: 

  • How excited are you about this? 

Quiz: Quizzes are a fun way to test your followers’ knowledge about a subject relevant to your niche. Try posting several of these stories in a row, each story asking a different question. 

Feeling inspired to pursue more Instagram engagement? If not, you can always consider outsourcing your social media marketing. We at Creative Noggin are a full-service marketing agency focused on helping our clients build and promote their brands. 

Get in touch and we’ll explore how we can take your social media marketing to the next level. 

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