Various changes to Instagram in the recent year may have caused the decline of engagement on the platform. It isn’t certain, but many believe it is either changes to Instagram’s recent algorithm, or the “Instagram shadowban” as it is called. This is based on the purchases of ads on the platform by businesses. Those using Instagram for marketing are likely finding this decline problematic – however, there are a few ways to get more likes and follows to your Instagram account.
The Best Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement
Apart from the daily basics of sharing great content, engaging with your followers, and growing a thriving community, here are 6 tips to help you take your Instagram account to the next level.
1. Curate Your Instagram Hashtags
Many have been discussing how Instagram has been penalizing accounts to deter spammy behavior. However, in the process, non-spammy behaviors have been included, such as the use of the same hashtags repeatedly, or using banned hashtags. Referred to as the “Instagram shadowban”, users have found that using even one banned hashtag will deem their post not visible in hashtag searches for any hashtags used.
This has been described by users as a way for Instagram to minimize influencer marketing, while encouraging business accounts to invest in paid advertising. To avoid dealing with this issue, it would be wise to review your hashtags to ensure that they haven’t been banned by Instagram. The best way to find out is to search for the hashtag, and if only Top Posts show, then it likely has been banned. If this is the case, refrain from using these hashtags.
Having your post landing in the Top Posts is a great opportunity for high exposure. There is an algorithm behind how this works – it considers engagement the post received, hashtag popularity, and how quickly the post receives likes and comments. Focusing on these factors can get your post into Top Posts.
Suggested Tool: Hashtagify
With Hashtagify, you can easily monitor your target hashtags as well as any influencers who are frequently using those hashtags.
You can take it a step further and even analyze the hashtags being used by this influencer to dive deeper into your niche market.
Finding the hashtags on Instagram that connect you with your target audience and you will surely increase your Instagram engagement almost immediately.
2. Schedule Your Instagram Posts When People Are Most Active
Finding out when your audience is most active is a major key to increased engagement. With this boost, posts will be more likely attracted to the Instagram algorithm to appear higher on users’ feeds. Instagram scheduling can ensure this happens right on time.
Be warned: some users have found that too many posts per day can decrease engagement. If this happens, attempt posting less to see if things change.
If you’re not sure about the best time to post to Instagram, check out the Instagram Insights feature that is available to Instagram business accounts. This will tell you exactly when your audience is most active, which can help you with your Instagram scheduling.
Suggested Tool: Later
3. Dip Into Automation to Boost Engagement
In an age where every day people use automation to simplify their lives, automating your engagement helps make your account look active as often as you’d like. Choosing the right automation tool starts with making sure your engagement is targeted to the right audience – which is where choosing the right hashtags matters. It’s also meant to supplement to your existing marketing efforts, not replace; this is a common error with people who misuse automation. Use an Instagram automation tool to connect you with new users so you can start the dialog. Engagement doesn’t end with a follow!
Suggested Tool: Growr
4. Add a Call-to-Action to Your Instagram Posts
Utilizing a call-to-action in your captions can make a world of a difference in terms of Instagram engagement. Encouraging users to engage with posts will not only make them view posts for a longer period of time, but Instagram may consider it as a Top Posts for hashtags. In order to do this, some power users ask followers to respond to the post in the comments, like it, or even directly message you.
5. Join the Team: Instagram Pods
Instagram’s switch from chronological posts to an algorithmic feed, has resulted in users joining together to create private groups called Instagram pods. Bloggers or businesses that share similar audiences can join together to increase their Instagram engagement. Pod users sharing posts are able to share them with the group. This way pod members can engage and leave a comment, leading other users to engage with the post as well.
To join a pod, you need to be accepted (or request an add) to a closed Instagram group. Typically done through word-of-mouth, search for similar themes to yours amongst the various Instagram-themed Facebook Groups, including Instagram Marketing Mastermind or The Gram Gang. Each group has its own rules and restrictions – play nice in the sandbox, and you’ll be rewarded with great engagement.
While Instagram pods may seem unorthodox, they aren’t prohibited to use by Instagram. Just be hesitant about promoting content doesn’t align with your audience. Each pod operates differently – if the shareable content appears useful to your users, then you’re good as gold.
6. User-Generated Content
User-generated content is perhaps the fastest way to get Instagram users excited about your Instagram feed, besides using popular hashtags.
People like to be included in your Instagram marketing strategy, after all.
This allows you to connect with your audience on a more personal level, which will foster natural Instagram growth. It also takes a bit of the pressure of to constantly produce quality Instagram images, which can often be a major cause of stress for business owners.
User-generated content also provides a great opportunity to brighten up your Instagram captions so that they are more fun, engaging, and thought-provoking.
Boosting your Instagram engagement rate can be tough in a world totally dominated by social media. But if you want to get Instagram followers that will last, then you need to focus on increasing engagement.
Because real Instagram users want to engage!
The key to increasing your Instagram engagement rate always begins with beautiful Instagram photos and an optimized Instagram profile. But to get more followers on Instagram that will most likely convert to paying customers, you need to add a little bit more to your strategy.
Like with targeted hashtags on Instagram, Instagram analytics tools, working with Instagram influencers, or running Instagram contests.
Which are some of your favorite ways to promote your Instagram to increase engagement?