Increase engagement on Instagram with these 5 easy tips

Mar 16, 2019 5 min

In the years of the past, having a high follower count on Instagram was what we all aimed for. Nowadays, high engagement from your followers is the new golden metric. Keep reading to learn how to increase engagement on Instagram while getting on the good side of the algorithm!

What is engagement?

Engagement on Instagram is whenever your followers interact with your content. In the early stages of Instagram, this mainly involved liking photos and following accounts. Since then, Instagram has evolved into a more community-focused social media platform which has unveiled features like Instagram Stories, Story Stickers and Instagram TV. All of these new features present fun and exciting ways for your followers to engage with your brand on Instagram!

A group of runners having a conversation while taking a break from their workout.

Why is Instagram engagement so important?

Gone are the days of chronological feeds and high follower counts equaling success on Instagram. Nowadays, it’s all about increasing engagement with your followers. With the amount of follow-bots and black-hat techniques on Instagram, it isn’t exactly difficult to grow a decent-sized following. But if your account consists of mostly “ghost-followers” who never engage with your content, then your high follower-count defeats the purpose of what the platform has become.

After all, Instagram is all about building communities focused on specific niches. These communities thrive on micro-interactions and conversations, which is crucial to your presence on Instagram. This shows you’re part of the community and conversation; not just a +1 to a follower count. Another huge benefit of high engagement is rewarded from the algorithm. The algorithm-based feed boosts and promotes content with high-engagement. As a result, this plays an enormous role in the visibility of posts.

Young woman engaging on Instagram by double tapping a photo

How can I increase engagement on Instagram?

Now that you’re familiar with what engagement is, and why it’s so important, let’s discuss some tips to increase engagement on Instagram. It’s important to realize this increase won’t happen overnight! You should approach these tips as best-practices for moving forward with your Instagram account. Similarly to your workout routines, persistence and consistency are key!

1. Post quality content

While posting quality content certainly increases your chances for a double-tap, you’re more likely to get followed by somebody who is genuinely interested in your posts. If you’re posting photos, make sure they’re on-par with today’s standards. Good lighting (yes, gym lighting counts as good lighting! 😀), rule of thirds and proper exposure all attribute to a quality photo. If you’re posting videos, stability is key! Tripods and smartphone gimbal stabilizers will help get the job done. Other traits to a quality video include clear audio, creative angles and a well-focused subject.

Luckily, most modern-day smartphones shoot stunning photos and videos. But if you’re able to get your hands on a DSLR camera, that may give your content a clear gain in quality. The higher quality content you post, the better your chance of increasing engagement on Instagram.

High resolution photo of man in a gym.

2. Get specific with your hashtags

Your hashtag strategy should be focused around balancing low competition hashtags with intense competition hashtags. Intense competition hashtags like #Yoga and #Fitness won’t keep your content in the Hashtag Results Pages (HRPs) long enough for engagement. By mixing in more niche & lower competition hashtags (#TimeForYoga, #YogiSoul, #FitnessDedication and #FitnessIsLove for example), you’re exposing your content to a specific audience who are more likely to engage. Your content also has a better chance of ranking in the Top Posts tab of Instagram for the lesser competitive hashtags, which is great for longer-term exposure!

Power Mode on Fitness Hashtags App is a premium feature that allows you to create an optimized hashtag bank tailored to your account. Gain insight as to how many low, medium, high and intense competition hashtags to use per post. In addition, you will save time sifting through thousands of potential hashtags without having to research the competition level for each!

3. Take time to respond and re-engage

Remember earlier when we said Instagram is all about micro-interactions and conversations? Well in order for this to happen, there must be a two-way level of dialogue. If your followers or potential followers take the time to leave a comment on your content, be sure to continue the conversation! The Instagram algorithm may even catch on and reward your content with a boost in your followers’ feeds.

4. Promote conversation with your captions

Captions are not just for hashtags. Make use of the space by diving into the details of your content, while opening the door for conversation! Posting a photo of your newest gym apparel? Ask your audience what brands are their favorite! Posting a video from back day at the gym? List the details of your workout, and ask your audience what their go-to back day routine is! Posting a photo of your Sunday meal prep? Ask your audience if and how they prepare their meals for the week! By giving your users a specific topic to discuss, you’re promoting conversation in a meaningful way. In turn, you will also attract positive attention from both the algorithm and other Instagrammers!

Young woman on her phone

5. Use ALL of Instagram’s features

Now is the time to branch out from just posting photos and videos. Make use of all of the great features Instagram has to offer! Cross-promote your content with Stories. Story Stickers such as Emoji Sliders and Polls are a fun way for your followers to engage with your content. Have a longer workout video to post? Utilize IGTV!

The Instagram algorithm is always seeking engagement beyond liking and commenting. By using all of the features that the platform offers, you’re creating fun and new ways for your followers (and potential followers) to engage and interact with your content. In effect, your future posts will reap the benefits!

Final takeaways

Overall, none of these steps to increase engagement on Instagram are all that difficult. It’s more-so refining your thought-process when posting content and using Instagram. Keep engagement opportunities on a high pedestal when posting throughout the year, and you may slowly but surely begin to see an increase in notifications! Just remember, It’s the job of the Instagram algorithm to deliver content to the consumer. The content delivered is what Instagram thinks the user will enjoy. Engagement level will continue to play a huge role in this!