Instagram has unquestionably cemented itself as one of the most influential social media platforms of the 21st century. With roughly 1 billion users (that’s right––basically 1 in every 8 people!) Instagram is more than just a passing trend. Nearly every Instagram user, from A-list celebrities to the Average Joe, has embarked on the long and sometimes arduous journey of getting more people to engage with their profile.
In our increasingly digital world, it’s more important than ever to work smarter not harder on increasing your online engagement and, by default, your ever-important follower count. With these 6 easy tips, getting more followers and increasing your engagement will no longer be a back-breaking task.
Strategic Posting Times
The Instagram algorithm can be a really tricky thing to master, but posting your content at strategic times can help! Based on engagement stats, the best posting times for Instagram are Mondays at 11am, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am to 1am, and Thursdays and Fridays at 10am and 11am. Evenings and weekends are also almost always a safe bet to ensure maximum engagement too!
One of the most useful tools, especially for Gen Z, is Instagram’s carousel feature. You are able to multiply your photo-sharing capacity through selecting several photos to be posted at once––in a slideshow of sorts. With this one, you have two options based on your content style or intended audience:
Photo Dump/Casual Aesthetic
Colloquially dubbed “photo dumps,” many Gen Z users have begun experimenting with a more raw, natural online aesthetic over a highly-polished and edited one. Even though they may spend hours curating the perfect 10 photos to include in their dump (trust me, I’ve been there…), the final result comes across as much more authentic. In a society where we have the entire world at our fingertips, many younger users tend to gravitate towards those who meet them at face value, sharing cool and aestheticized glimpses into their everyday lives. Try this if you are using Instagram for fun and want to casually engage with your followers!
Polished and Refined
If the other approach doesn’t sound right for you or your followers, you can totally go in a more polished direction and find much success. Engagement on individual posts comes in what we’ll call a “high swipe-left rate.” In other words, if you can keep your audience swiping left, you can easily get the vibe that your content is interesting. Consider giving a teaser of an interesting or educational topic on the first slide that will keep readers swiping until the last slide of a carousel. Try this if you are an established business, artist, creator, publication, or otherwise educational account OR you often engage with older users!
This method is pretty tried and true, but it’s always important to share! Instagram stories have tons of built-in, really useful features that allow for consistent engagement with your followers. Try throwing a poll, question, quiz, song snippet, or prompt up on your next story and watch as your followers eat up these new ways to engage with your content. All you have to do is pick what photo you’re going to add to your story, click the smiley face near the top right corner, and select from the options that will populate on your screen. Instagram users like when they have a stake in the content they interact with, so involving them in an interactive way through Instagram Stories is a surefire way to increase engagement!
Comments & DMs
Instagram comments are an underappreciated way to easily increase engagement! When your audience comments on your posts or engages with your messages, they are also more likely to see your posts and stories (IG will push these to followers who engaged with you). This tip is easy to try, and can work in a variety of ways.
Let’s say you’re hosting a product giveaway on your account. Try making your followers tag a few friends in the comments as a requirement for entering the giveaway. Doing so automatically brings new users to your profile, thus increasing engagement! You can also place prompts in your posts for people to respond to in the comment section. For example, ask people to comment the word "calendar" if they want your free content calendar template. Then, you can reply to their comment (extra engagement), and direct message the user (killing two birds with one stone: more engagement and making your followers feel special), and often get a reply back from them with a "thank you" (even more engagement). Easy!
Video Content & Views
Since TikTok is a huge part of the social media landscape these days, short-form video creation via Instagram Reels is also a niche you might want to consider. In this case, make short videos with enticing-enough content to make people watch them on repeat! Long-form videos through IGTV are also a fantastic option to consider to increase engagement.
Just like on YouTube, high watch time signals to the algorithm that your content is worthy of more views, thus pushing your content to even more users! All in all, more views = more engagement.
Munch (INDUSTRY SECRET)
Staying consistent with creating your video content is easier said than done, though! Low on time but still want your videos to turn heads? Let Munch help! Munch is the perfect content repurposing platform, using AI to transform your long-form content (e.g. IGTV) into bite-sized, more engaging short-form content (e.g. Reels) with just the click of a button. Those in the industry know that this one is a major hack, so definitely check it out!
You don’t need a professional PR and social media team to increase your Instagram engagement…all you need is a little creativity, a little savviness, and these 6 tips! Try them, sit back, relax, and watch your engagement skyrocket!