Probably everyone knows the saying that the picture is worth a thousand words. In this case when you post picture on Instagram, you are waiting to get tons of engagement, true? However sometimes you notice a decline in Instagram engagement. This happens because Instagram is an app or in other words platform where are a lot of photos and it isn’t so easy to be always noticeable.
If you’re not getting so many likes, comments and new followers as you get used to, so don’t worry about it. This happens not only for you. Accounts of various sizes are getting less engagement on their posts than they did in the past.
Fortunately, we are here to help you stop downturn in engagement and show how you can become a mastermind of Instagram engagement. In this case, in this article we will discuss 11 strategies that work trying to increase Instagram engagement.
1. Forget About Instagram Bots
As Instagram is becoming more and more competitive social media place, some users began to use Instagram bots in order to artificially inflate engagement on the posts. People think that if they can’t get 1000 likes per hour organically, why don’t just buy these likes using a bot service?
Probably Instagram bots may seem like an useful tool in order to improve engagement, for instance, it can be a help for a busy, young entrepreneur who has no time to communicate and build Instagram followers’ community.
However Instagram bots can be a real risk to your account. Instagram algorithm can separate who is the real user and who is the automated bot. If you use bot, your Instagram account will be caught and shadow-banned. If you are shadow-banned, your posts will appear on followers feed less often and you will disappear on discovery pages.
What is worse that you will never fully know when you are shadow-banned or not. All in all, using bots isn’t a good idea, because they will do more harm in a long period of time than help you with increase of engagement. So, forget about bots!
2. Be Strategic With Instagram Hashtags
Hashtags are a really useful thing in order to get more engagement, don’t you think so? They allow users to see your Instagram profile by searching for hashtags. How it works: if a user is interested in fashion, he/she will type #fashion into search window and will find all the posts that are related to fashion.
What is more, in order to be sure that a hashtag is not banned, make a simply research on Instagram. If only a top posts section appears, it is probably that this hashtag was banned.
And let’s come back to the positive news about hashtags. If you are on Top Posts of a searching hashtag, it will drive your engagement. Before putting picture on Top Posts, Instagram takes into consideration: the popularity of hashtag, how much and how quickly post gets engagement (it is likes and comments). Try to optimize this things and hopefully your posts will appear among other Top Posts.
Remember, you have to find 15-30 hashtags that will help you to increase engagement. But not more than 30 hashtags per post because Instagram can also shadow-ban if hashtags look too spammy.
3. Schedule Instagram Posts
One of the excellent ways to generate a lot of engagement is to upload Instagram posts when the followers is the most active on Instagram. This is important because Instagram provides priority to post which has the higher engagement, in other words, the post which has the bigger number of likes and comments.
If you upload the post at the time when your followers are most active, it is likely that your post will drive more engagement. And from this you can notice a cyclical process on Instagram. The higher level of engagement causes the higher post’s visibility, which leads to much higher engagement and it continues.
The best time for uploading posts on Instagram is early in the morning, before work/school and etc. (from 8 till 9 a.m), during the lunch time (from noon till 1 p.m.) and in the evening, when people are after work (from 6 till 8 p.m.).
Furthermore, try to upload not more than one post per day. If you post multiple times, actually it can reduce your Instagram engagement. This happens because Instagram algorithm pop-up posts for a longer period of time, which means that it takes a longer period of time for more users to see your content.
So, instead of uploading a second post, use the Stories that will also help to boost the engagement.
4. Use Correct Size of Images and Edit Them
Image you made an amazing photograph and when you were uploading it into Instagram, this picture gets cutoff. Fortunately, nowadays Instagram increased image size from 612 x 612 pixels to 1080 x 1080 pixels.
Don’t forget to edit your picture using various photo editing tools, such as VSCO Cam, Snapseed, Hipstamatic, etc., in order to make your photo appealing to followers. Before uploading picture into Instagram profile, be sure that this photo has an idea, expresses some emotions or tells a story.
5. Include CTA (Call to Action) in Instagram Posts
Usually the problem of Instagram users is how to get other people comment on their photos. That why it is significant to use Call to Action technique in Instagram pictures’ captions. Call to Action is a good way to encourage followers to engage with your Instagram account in comments under the photos and spend more time looking through your profile that is also important in order to appear among Top Posts of a hashtag.
To make Call to Action, you have to ask followers a question in a picture’s caption, for example, where they would like to spend their ideal weekend or did they try these new make-up products and tell them to answer in the photo’s comments.
Using Call to Action technique you show that you are open to your followers and in this way you will draw their attention.
6. Don’t Miss a Chance to Join Instagram Pod
If you have a question what is the Instagram pods, we will help you to find out. So, Instagram pods are the private groups, approximately consist of 10-15 users who have similar Instagram audience (followers) and work together trying to increase their Instagram engagement.
These users communicate with each other using Instagram direct messages. When the new Instagram post is uploaded, they share it in their private group letting know other Instagram pod’s members that they can click on the post, like it, comment and it will stimulate others to engage with the post.
If you want to become a member of an Instagram pod, you should use word of mouth and meet someone who is member of such group chats or search through various Instagram themed Facebook groups. Usually, every Instagram pod has its own rules for members and if these rules are failed there will be penalties.
Moreover, Instagram pods are not prohibited by Instagram, in this case you shouldn’t have to worry about getting shadow-banned.
7. Try to Be More Active on Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are not only a funny thing, but also it helps to increase accounts’ engagement. Instagram puts Stories at the top of the page in a circles. If you click on these circles, you will view someone’s story. So, we can affirm that Instagram stories are like sharing photos or videos, but without overstuffing followers news feed.
Also in your stories you can use popular hashtags, tag other users which could help to boost engagement level. Probably you have noticed that there are Stories in Search section, in other words Instagram Explore page, which Instagram picks out according to posts you like and accounts you follow. Moreover, in this section can be Stories of accounts that were liked by a huge number of users or in other words, famous accounts.
In order to appear on Instagram Explore page, you have to make an ultra-engagement. Don’t forget about adding relevant hashtags, tagging people or even using Call to Action technique in your Stories which could give a chance to create high engagement.
8. Organize Instagram Contests
Organization of contests is another brilliant way to incite Instagram users to engage with the posts. If you are thinking about a content idea, we will suggest to partner with another business or in other words influencer. In this way both of you not only promote the contest to your Instagram audience, but also share followers with each other. So, building a partnership allows both parts to win.
When you find a business partner and discuss all the details, you can start organizing 3-7 days giveaway. After giveaway announcement Instagram users should like the giveaway photo, tag their friends in the comment and follow both accounts (who organize the contest and business partner). Business partner can be a shop which provide you with stuff for a giveaway or a hotel. The giveaway may include some trendy cosmetics, fashionable clothes or even 2 night stay at the hotel by the sea. A winner is chosen at the last day from all who have correctly completed rules of a giveaway.
By letting users to tag their friends, you will earn the huge increase in followers and boost your account’s engagement, as well.
9. Create Banner Posts
Using banners’ tactic may look a little bit annoying however it also helps to boost Instagram account’s engagement level. So, what is the Instagram banner? It is an image of multiple posts uploaded in order to form one big picture on the Instagram profile.
Add banners in your Instagram page only if you have an amazing promotion of some new products. What is more, for instance, you can upload only several posts of a banner and make your followers guess what it will be. In this way you excite the curiosity of your Instagram audience and encourage them to engage with your posts.
If you don’t know which App to use to create a banner, we will tell you. There a lot of mobile Apps that you may try in order to create an eye-catching banner, such as Grinds, PicSlit or Giant Square. These Apps allow you to divide up picture into several segments and upload them as separate posts to Instagram profile.
10. Geotag Your Posts
Why people don’t use all opportunities that are given to them which will help to increase Instagram engagement?
One of these opportunities is geotagging. When you upload the photo into your Instagram gallery, you can not only tag a person, but also select a location where this picture was taken.
This step of tagging photo’s location is very important because when Instagram users want to look through other people photos, they search typing certain location, it can be city, building or other famous monument.
So, try to notforget to tag location which may attract Instagram audience’s attention and boot engagement.
11. Try Instagram Live Video
Live video is likely more scaring thing than Story, because it is without any filters, raw and there is always fear that it has no viewers. Actually, it is another best way which can help you to attract new Instagram followers and increase your account’s engagement.
When you go live, your Story circle appear in front of all other Stories. So in this case, your Live video will be the first thing which your Instagram followers will see when they open Instagram App. Are you still considering about making Live video or not? Don’t hesitate, just try it and you will see its powerfullness in increasing the Instagram engagement (likes and comments).
All things considered, if your engagement is decreasing, there is an opportunity to grow your Instagram account.
Don’t wait for miracles, just try to understand your week spots, rethink your Instagram strategy by keeping in mind the tactics that were discussed earlier and do your best in order to get enormous engagement (huge number of likes and comments of Instagram users).