Influencer or small business, it’s no secret that a key to growing your brand online lies in your Instagram engagement rate. In today’s information age, brands promoting their online content need to dig deeper into their profile analytics and strategies. This includes beating the algorithm, using actionable hashtags, directly interacting with your audience, and more. In this article, we’ll show you how to level up your strategy to achieve a better Instagram engagement rate.
How to Increase Engagement Rate on Instagram
The quickest way to increase the engagement rate on your Instagram page is finding out the best time to post. Posting at the wrong time – or not enough – could be the reason you’re not getting the engagement you need. Instagram’s algorithm can be tricky, but understanding how to hack it is where you will find your key to success.
By monitoring and tracking your profile’s analytics, you can begin to learn when that best time to post is for your audience. Overall engagement remains highest from Tuesday through Friday between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. On weekends, there is higher engagement in the mornings that generally begin to decrease after 2:00 pm.
Also consider your target demographic. Who are your followers and when are they online? Adults who work a 9-5 are more likely to be online early in the mornings and late at night. On the other hand, college students pulling all-nighters are more likely to engage late at night. This is where using your own discretion comes in.
It is important to keep in mind that these are general time-slots, and you will not be able to know what works best for your brand until you start experimenting and keeping track of your Instagram engagement rate yourself.
How to Get More Engagement on Instagram
In addition to finding the best time to post, there are other things you can do to increase your engagement rate on Instagram.
Post Meaningful Content
We are living in an information age – sometimes it can feel like we are consuming too much content. Brands are constantly vying for their followers’ attention and you want to make sure you stand out without burning out. By posting meaningful content, you can avoid follower fatigue and receive more engagement on Instagram.
You do not necessarily need breathtaking images and quirky captions to capture your audience’s attention. It’s the format that really matters. If you are promoting a skincare line, for instance, you may want to post before and after photos showcasing your product’s effectiveness.
Avoid Follower Fatigue
Yes, there is such a thing as posting too much. On conversational platforms such as Twitter, it may be beneficial to tweet throughout the day. Instagram however, is not that kind of platform. Ideally, you should be limiting your posts to one or two a day.
Once you begin to over post, you run the risk of actually damaging your engagement rate on Instagram. This is what we call follower fatigue. If your audience begins to look at you as a spam account, you can expect a drop in engagement rates.
Write Captivating Instagram Captions
You may be surprised to learn that another key to a high Instagram engagement rate lies within your captions. This is directly related to the algorithm boosting posts that users spend the most time looking at. An easy way to keep peoples’ eyes on your posts is by making them read your caption. Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters in length and can use up to 30 hashtags, so it’s important to use that space! Creative captions will help showcase both your brand’s vision and personality.
It is recommended that you spend more time creatively crafting captions for posts that are the most beneficial to your business. Although you have over 2,000 characters available, a good length should be 65-70 words. Multiple lines of text can help boost your post to the top of the user’s feed and you can make it even better by adding an emoji (or two)! Remember, posts with longer captions will always receive more engagement by default. Still, you do not want to make them too long so that people do not want to read them at all.
Get to Know Your Audience
Every social media guru knows that a fool-proof way to increase engagement with their followers is by actually engaging with them. Consider Instagram Story stickers. This tool is a playful and interactive way to ‘meet’ your followers. You can use the Instagram Question Sticker to begin a conversation with your followers. This will not only make your customers feel more connected with your brand but will allow you to promote your content even further without feeling like a sell.
The Quiz Sticker is another great tool for brands trying to create engaging content. Without making it a formal ordeal, you can receive feedback from customers and adjust your services accordingly. Again, this is a playful way to interact with your audience. The more they enjoy engaging with your page, the more likely they are to come back. Plus, the more they engage with your content, the more Instagram’s algorithm will show them your content.
It is also important to get to know your audience in order to understand your target demographic. It would be difficult to make content if you don’t know who you are making it for. By looking at the demographics of your Instagram followers, you can define which type of content to post, your voice, and of course, the timing of your posts.
Share Audience Content
A big mistake many brands make is treating their accounts like a one-way street. A part of getting to know your audience is sharing their content. A good rule of thumb is that engagement feeds engagement. Interacting with accounts in your niche and audience will drive more traffic towards your page.
For example, if you run an Instagram account for a luxury fashion brand, share posts from other accounts operating in your market. It is also a good idea to share inspirational content that aligns with your brand – by keeping a variety of content on your page, you avoid the risk of follower fatigue.
How is Engagement Rate on Instagram Calculated?
Before crafting your next post, consider what metrics are used to calculate Instagram engagement rate. After that, you can take a look at your analytics and see what you need to improve on. Instagram looks at:
- Direct Messages
- Branded Hashtags
These actions are confirmation that people are both seeing your content and are interested in it. It means that you are having an impact on your audience. This ties back into the algorithm. The better the engagement, the more likely you are to be bumped to the top.
This is another way to creatively get to know your followers. Going live makes your brand personable and welcomes your audience in an engaging way. In a time of limited attention span and instant gratification, the live feature is a fantastic way to get your message across quickly. It is also important to note that context can be lost through a screen, so engaging with your followers ‘face-to-face’ allows for clear communication.
Use Instagram Stories
About 300 million people check their Instagram stories daily, so take advantage of this! A great way to keep your audience engaged is by giving them a “behind-the-scenes” look at your brand. If you’re working on a promotional Reel, for example, share some bloopers on your story.
Stories make your brand impressionable and personable. In the sea of content that is the Instagram feed, you want to make sure you maintain a “personal” connection with your audience.
Instagram stories are also a great way to promote what you’re trying to sell to your audience. Creating short, eye-catching Reels or graphics advertising your products is a great way to stop users in their tracks when they’re flipping through stories.
Use Strategic Hashtags
Not only should you always use a hashtag, but you should consider the long-tail hashtag. Long-tail hashtags are specific and detailed, meaning that they carry fewer associated posts with them. These types of hashtags will represent your content more accurately and better help users find your account.
Long-tail hashtags have way fewer associated posts, which means you’re less likely to be drowned out by other content within your selected hashtag. Popular hashtags can have content added to them by the minute, so by choosing a long-tail keyword, you are more likely to be engaged with as there is less competition.
Respond to Questions and Comments
Now, once you have established a relationship with your audience and put your brand on the map, it’s time to get some feedback. Again, brands will often forget that using social media is a two-way street. By engaging with your audience using Instagram stickers or the Quiz tool, you can begin to gauge what your audience thinks of what you’re trying to sell them.
Your Instagram account should be fun, simple, and approachable. By asking your audience questions, you become more approachable and thus, more engaging. Do not be afraid to reach out to stand out.
What is a Good Instagram Engagement Rate?
Now that you know how to increase your engagement rate, how do you know what is a good rate? While Instagram itself doesn’t say what a good number is, social media experts agree that somewhere between 1% and 5% is good. If you are within these numbers, you can feel confident that you are creating engaging content that your followers enjoy.
- What should I post on my Instagram story?
- What is follower fatigue?
- How can I format my Instagram content?
- What is the difference between a long-tail hashtag and a normal hashtag?
- What goes into calculating Instagram engagement rates?