This is one of the most highly requested blog posts: How to increase Instagram engagement organically?
The Instagram algorithm seems to really, really like engagement. Even more than the number of followers you have. I’m going to show you how you can satisfy the Instagram algorithm to increase your Instagram engagement, and grow your account.
If you have good engagement, Instagram will try to show your posts to more people. They might show your posts on their Explore page and Top 9 posts of their Hashtag and Location pages. Even better, they might select your posts to be shown in people’s home feeds (thanks to the new Follow Hashtag feature).
Remember: Instagram doesn’t allow anyone to use automated tools like robots that automatically post, comment, like or follow on your behalf. So forget about that. It’s against their Policy and can get your account in trouble (sometimes without you even knowing it).
So let’s bring it down the basics. How can you increase your Instagram engagement organically?
I’m going to share with you 22 of my favorite strategies, tips and tricks that you can use to increase your Instagram engagement.
1. Post quality content
I don’t care how many Instagram tips you read. If you don’t have quality content, nothing will work.
You only have a couple of seconds to catch the attention of people when they scroll. Posting good quality content is your first step.
What is quality content? It’s any of the following:
- High quality photos (you don’t need a DSLR, your phone camera is perfect)
- Fun, creative photos to catch attention
- Fun, inspiring, motivational quotes
- Cool videos or gifs
- An Instagram theme that represents your style (people get intrigued by nicely edited photos)
Nobody will stop to scrolling to watch your photo or video if it doesn’t look good or catches their attention.
It’s the first step of what I call the “Engagement Loop”.
2. Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are amazing:
- That’s how people find your account
- That’s how you can become part of a community
- And finally, that’s how Instagram knows in what category you’re posting and what’s on your photo (so they can show your posts to people who might be interested)
A hashtag is the first step. It will bring people to your post. Then it’s your turn to make sure your post is engaging (I’ll give you some tricks below).
You should use the right hashtags and avoid using random ones. Use all 30 hashtags (that’s the limit Instagram gives). The more hashtags you use the more you increase your chances to be seen by more people.
Read this: 7 Tricks to Find Instagram Hashtags to Grow your Account
3. Post when your followers are on Instagram
Know your best time to post. Your best time to post is when your followers are the most active on Instagram. And that’s when you’ll get the most engagement.
You can use Preview app to see your personal best time to post. The app analyzes your Instagram account and tells you 4 things:
- Your best time to post
- Your best time to interact
- Your best day to post
- Your best day to interact
Use this information to grow your Instagram. For example, if you have a big announcement to make, post it at the best time, on the best day.
4. Know your Top Posts
Your Top Posts are the ones that get you the most engagement and growth.
You can see your Top Posts in Preview app.
Analyze your best performing posts (photos, videos, carousels).
What types of posts got you spikes of engagement? Analyze these posts:
- What’s on the photo?
- What colors are the photo?
- What did you write in the caption?
- What hashtags did you use?
5. Post more content like your Top Posts
Your Top Posts are what people love to see the most. So post more photos, videos or carousels like your Top Posts to keep growing your account.
6. Post in patterns
Ok let’s slow down for a second.
Not all your posts need to be about getting the best Instagram engagement of your life.
Relax. You can post in patterns.
Here is an example of a pattern: Post a photo that you know will get you a lot of engagement, then post a photo that might not get as much engagement (and that’s ok!), and so on.
You can make up your own posting pattern:
- A Top Post once a week
- Twice a week
- 3 times a week
You can plan your Instagram feed in Preview app. Look at this image to see what I mean:
7. Post consistently (it will save you)
If there is only ONE tip you need to remember, it’s this one: Post consistently.
There are 3 reasons why posting consistently is important:
- Instagram rewards people who use their app consistently (makes sense, right?)
- People will remember you if they see you all the time in their home feed and Insta Stories
- If you’re not consistent Instagram will not show your new posts that often in your followers’ home feed
How to post consistently? Plan your posts in advance. Again, you can use Preview app to schedule your posts. You can plan your posts a few days in advance, or a week in advance, or a whole month if you want to.
Consistency is key on Instagram.
8. Ask a question in your caption
Now that people are on your post, what can you do? One strategy is to ask a question in your caption.
You can ask questions about:
- What people feel about a certain topic: “What do you think about the new Instagram algorithm?
- Getting to know your followers better: “Where are you guys from?”
- Ask their opinion on a topic: “Have you ever tried ___? What do you think about it?”
You don’t have to ask questions ALL the time. Keep it natural.
9. Always reply to the comments
People go out of their way to comment on your posts. Always reply to the comments or try to reply to as many comments as possible.
10. Focus on making friends not followers
If you’re starting on Instagram, don’t rush (even if it’s very tempting). Take your time. Find a small group of people who have the same interests as you. Support each other whenever one person is posting (turn on your post notification to know when they post).
Then continue to increase your circle of friends on Instagram (use hashtags to meet new people).
11. Look who is following you
I’m sure you’re checking out your Instagram Activity page to see who likes and follows you 🙂
Have a look at the accounts who are following you. It is not humanly possible to always check who is following you. But from time to time, have a look at who follows you during the day. They follow you because they like you’re sharing – you might like what they’re sharing too.
If you really like what they’re doing, leave a little comment or send a DM. Tell them you’re happy you found their account (for example). Start the conversation. You just made a new friend (isn’t Instagram amazing?!).
12. Share fun photos, quotes or quizzes (they get attention)
Who doesn’t want to have fun?
Fun photos, quotes or quizzes get people’s attention and reaction.
13. Fill-in the blank
That’s another fun post idea to increase your engagement.
Write in your caption something like this:
- “If I could go anywhere in the world right now, I would go to ______”
- Ask people to leave a comment to fill in the blank
It’s a very fun way to get people together. And in the process you also get to know them a bit more.
14. Start a genuine conversation
Be yourself. What’s on your mind? What do you love to do or talk about?
Some people are amazing at captivating our attention with their words. You too can start genuine conversations with people. Great examples are Tyler McCall and Michelle Blanchard. They both are real and passionate. Their followers are always happy to have a good chat with them.
15. Ask people to tag their friends
Ask people to tag their:
- Favorite accounts
- Someone who inspires them
- [anyone as long as it relates to your post]
This will create a snowball effect. New people might comment on your post. And they might also discover your account for the first time.
16. Ask people to reply to the comment of the last person who commented on your post (super fun!!)
This is probably one of my favorite ways to get everyone to have fun, for 2 reasons: (1) It gets everyone involved, and (2) everyone gets to meet new people.
Write something like this in your caption:
- “Introduce yourself to the person who last commented”
- “Give a compliment to the person who commented above you”
I might do that soon on our account (@preview.app) if you want to join the fun!
17. Be yourself and don’t ask for anything
Post what you love. Be passionate about what you post. Do it for yourself. People naturally react to passion and will want to follow your journey. Don’t stress and be yourself.
18. Do a giveaway
This is one of the most popular ways to increase engagement. It might spike your engagement temporarily, but you might meet new people in the process.
You can do a giveaway by yourself or in collaboration with other Instagrammers.
- Write the rules of your giveaway in the comments
- Tell people to write something in the comments to enter the giveaway (example: tagging a friend or guessing the right answer)
For example, @thebuckletlistfamily loves to play Trivia Games. They will ask a question to their followers. The first one who guesses the right answers gets a gift.
19. Wheel of Fortune post
That is such a fun idea! Sue Zimmerman did it for one of her posts and people loved it!
Ask people to take a screenshot of a video (wh-wh-what!?!). I call these types of posts “Wheel of Fortune” posts.
- Share a video with words that appear on the screen fast
- Tell people to take a screenshot (they will randomly land on a word)
- They will see their screenshot and have to share what word they landed on
I hope that makes sense. Check out her post to see what I mean.
20. Be social!
I can’t believe I have to write this, but I have to because engagement = being social.
Instagram is a SOCIAL network. You gotta be social. Just like in real life, if you never talk to people, nobody will talk to you.
So stay calm and have fun, don’t overthink it too much. Keep in touch with your followers and those you’re following.
That’s how the Instagram algorithm works. You will show up more in people’s home feeds if you interact with them.
Interaction = good sign = increase exposure = increase your chances to get more engagement.
21. Tell people in your Insta Story as soon as you share a new post
A lot of people do this and there’s a good reason for it. Here’s the reason: it’s good to increase your engagement as soon as you post on Instagram (within the first hour you posted your photo) because it signals to Instagram that your content is good. And if it is good, Instagram will try to show it to even more people.
Your followers are watching your Insta Stories. So let them know when you have a new post. Give them a sneak peek.
You can also ask a question (in your Insta Story) about your new post in order to drive engagement:
- “What do you think about ______?”
- “Which one do you prefer?”
- “My trip in Europe in 5 photos”
- “Leave a rainbow emoji in the comments if you came from my Insta Story”
- “Something I have to tell you” (oooh, mysterious!)
22. Do a #fridayointroductions once in a while
For those who don’t know, #fridayintroductions is a hashtag community where every Friday, people introduce each other. They usually share a post about what they do, what they’re passionate about, and even some fun facts about themselves. Then, they invite people to introduce themselves too in the comments.
It’s like a big Instagram party at the end of the week.
That’s it! If you’ve read until the end you’re a champion (????). I really hope you found some of these tips useful for your account. Now it’s your turn to add your own creative twist to these ideas. Have fun! If you have any questions please leave me a comment below.