In the third quarter of 2020, Instagram was reported to have a whopping 1.16 billion users, with 500 million of them being active every single day.
That makes you wonder: if there are so many people on the platform, why does my account have a meager following of a few hundred? It has got less to do with a shortage of users and more to do with optimization.
The Instagram algorithm is designed to bring ‘human’ content to the surface – something the audience particularly enjoys. Therefore, if you want to stay relevant, you have to follow the algorithm.
In this guide, we discuss five proven hacks to get more Instagram engagement through likes, shares, comments, and more.
Before getting into the hacks, let’s discuss the importance of different engagement metrics according to the Instagram algorithm. The March 2021 update regarded saves as the most important form of engagement.
Second to them were shares, followed by comments and likes.
Here are five ways to stay on top of all these metrics, ensuring high engagement and growth for your business.
If you post content at 2 am, you’ll only reach a small fraction of your audience as everyone else would be asleep.
By the time they wake up in the morning, your content would have been pushed down on their feed by the new posts that were published more recently.
Therefore, you need to post when your audience is most active. Finding the right time might take some trial and error, but once you’ve found it, you’ll get considerable engagement on all your posts.
Start by taking a look at Instagram Analytics. Here, you should see how your previous posts have performed.
Look at the posts that had the most engagement. What time did you publish them? Is there a certain block of time when your followers seem to be more active?
Plus, you should consider your target audience too. If most of your following is too young to have a job, they might be active during the day.
However, if your audience is primarily adults with nine-to-five jobs, they’ll more likely be active in the evening.
Experimentation is the key when it comes to Instagram content. The platform is pushing out new features, and people have different feelings about them.
It’s your job to determine how your audience feels about a certain feature. Do your followers interact well with Reels, or do you get more engagement on longer iGTV videos?
Experiment with different content types to find out which ones are received well by your audience. Here are a few ideas to get started:
Depending on the vibe of your account, you may want to post mini-infographics, memes, selfies, or videos on the grid.
Try different options, including iGTV, Instagram stories, Reels, etc.
Change the style and layout of your Instagram stories. For instance, hold polls to see if the audience responds. Or, you can use a third-party app to beautify your Instagram stories.
While you’re making these changes, don’t forget to look at the Analytics. They will give you an idea of how well a certain content type is doing.
For example, if Instagram video posts are getting you higher engagement, you might want to create more of them as compared to picture posts.
As discussed earlier, Instagram’s latest algorithm update emphasizes the importance of saves and shares. In fact, they have a larger impact than likes and comments on your user engagement.
Thus, you should create content that your audience wants to save and revisit later.
For instance, if you’re a fashion brand or influencer, you can create a video with five looks for the holiday season.
You’re more likely to get saves on this than on a picture of you in a certain outfit. That’s because people would want to come back to the styling video near the holiday season.
Similarly, if you run a travel account, you can publish a post about your itinerary to a popular destination. People are more likely to save this since they won’t be able to remember the details and may want to revisit your post later.
Instagram allows you to go Live on your account and interact with your followers. When you are Live, your account’s icon will appear before the stories on a follower’s feed.
Therefore, going Live makes you more prominent on their profile.
Instagram Live is the most direct way to engage with your audience as you can reply to them verbally or fulfill their requests. Initially, you’ll have to give your audience a reason to join you on the Live.
For instance, you could tell your followers that you’ll be unboxing a fun package or introducing a new product on Live. If you have a younger audience, you can react to memes on Live or review the latest movies.
Whatever you do, make sure your Live videos are interesting so that people join in.
Regardless of how hot or interesting a topic is, people lose attention after a while. Therefore, you must keep up with the current trends and leverage them while they’re still in the limelight.
In most cases, trending topics have their hashtags. If you use them in your posts, your accounts become more discoverable.
However, you have to be very careful when using social issues or trending topics for promoting your page. If possible, steer clear of controversial topics since your post might backfire, stripping you of your existing audience too.
When posting such content, make sure your post is not offensive or derogatory to a certain group of people.
It’s much safer to get on board with humorous or light-hearted topics as you can always post memes to engage the audience.
Instagram is definitely much bigger than it was about five years ago, and that’s why there’s a tough competition. You’re not only up against other content creators but also the algorithm.
If you follow the tips given in this guide, and with the help of our Instagram Services, besides making good content, you’ll notice a spike in user engagement.