5 Super Easy Tips for Instagram Engagement to Get the Party Started

Are you struggling to get more Instagram Engagement? Check out these quick tips for getting more engagement on your feed posts so that your followers not only like and comment on your posts but actually engage in conversation with you. It's time to get the party started with Instagram engagement.

5 Super Easy Tips for Instagram Engagement to Get the Party Started
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BY DONNA MORITZ | UPDATED 19 JUNE, 2020

Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase through a link. 

Strategies, tools and features change, which is why we've done a complete update of this post to add current Instagram engagement strategies for newsfeed posts. Enjoy!

If you're not getting the engagement you expected on Instagram, try some of these tips to jump-start the party on your newsfeed posts. Just by changing up the content, you are posting it can attract more engagement from your followers (who are, after all, your potential customers).

Instagram engagement is not just about likes – what you really want is conversations, and true engagement. You want to get comments too and even better, direct messages and conversations with your ideal customer.

First, let's take a look at how Instagram Engagement works.

A quick reminder about Instagram Engagement

Instagram actually tell us what they are looking for in this post on Twitter:

Tweet by Instagram about Instagram Engagement
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Straight from Instagram – it's all about engagement!

Put simply, what shows up in someone's Instagram feed is, in part determined by a number of factors, including the posts or Instagram accounts that they most engage with, the timeliness of posts and how often that person uses Instagram. It's also impacted by how many people they follow (ie the more they follow, the more those people are competing for space on their newsfeed for them to see that content).

We all know this – if we engage with somebody's account, comment on their Instagram post or story, chances are we then end up seeing more of their posts over the coming days. Every time someone engages with your content (a “Touchpoint”) they are more likely to see more of that content.

What is an Instagram Touchpoint and how does it relate to Instagram Engagement?

There are many types of touchpoints that can tell Instagram that somebody is interested in your content and wants to see more of it. These include:

  • comments,
  • likes,
  • saving a post,
  • swiping through to view a carousel post,
  • sending a DM,
  • swiping up on a Story,
  • pressing and holding the screen on a story to view it for longer,
  • watching an IGTV episode after seeing the preview on the newsfeed
  • engaging with a poll or question sticker on Instagram Stories… and more.
  • Anything that involves engagement and tells Instagram that “I want to hear more of your story”. That results in more Instagram Engagement.

So let's jump in and take a look at 5 super simple strategies (with examples) that you can use to boost Instagram engagement on your account. This post began with 5 simple tips so in our update, we've updated the examples to help you with your Instagram engagement.They're all super simple to apply to your own business, and should spark your creativity.

5 Tips for Instagram Engagement that You Can Use Now!

The following tips are helpful on Instagram feed posts where your goal is to not just stop the scroll but to get real Instagram engagement. How do you do this?

pssst… Focus on Comments

Comments are the beginning of a conversation and should be the main goal of your feed posts. Likes are no longer held in any level of importance by Instagram (hence why they took away the ability to see our public like counts). But a comment is best for showing Instagram that the person is interested in engaging with you.

Also, Instagram recently confirmed that it doesn't matter if your comment is less than 3-4 words. All comments count as engagement. Although there is no harm in commenting with a few words at least to encourage your audience to share more too.

One way to encourage comments is to follow up a great image with a great caption. Start conversations with your captions by doing the following:

  • If someone comments – always reply if you can.
  • Hook us in from the first sentence. Ask a question, start a story, share something personal or announce something super interesting. We're more likely to respond with a comment back when you do.
  • Share stories that relate to your post. Stories in your caption are everything and they are a great way to encourage comments.
  • Ask engaging questions or ask for opinions. Use short answer questions that just require a few words or a short phrase at most.

Here are a few examples of the types of posts that work well to encourage comments:

1. Post motivating, inspiring content – with captions!

There's no denying that quotes and motivating content – whether about life or business – do well on Instagram.  But the key is to find a way to post this type of content so that your audience responds and engages with you – better Instagram Engagement.

How do you do this? With stories. In particular with storytelling in the captions. Don't just post a random quote or motivational post. Instead, write a captivating comment that draws us in. Hook us with the opening sentence so that we keep reading and tell us a story. Relate it to the image.

Telling a story in the captions is something Sara Blakely does well (CEO of Spanx) resulting in high instagram engagement:

It doesn't matter if you are a CEO or a one-person show, sharing something about yourself is very engaging! Sara isn't afraid to laught at herself, but also shares a lot of useful, helpful advice for entrepreneurs.

2. Ask Questions and Involve your Fans

The key to Instagram engagement is asking fans to engage!  At the heart of it, we love to have our say, to contribute and to feel a part of something.

Stop and ask your fans to give their opinion, share their favourite thing, give their advice.

Give them an easy way to contribute – a short answer, quick response question. This post resulted in over 40 comments including responses… and not just between me and those that commented but between the commenters recommending podcasts to each other!

Jasmine asks the question straight up… what are you most proud of this year? Then she repeats at the end of her caption, just to be sure we reply:

Instagram Engagement is about the people behind the business, so be more than a logo on Instagram.

People like to connect with people.  Yes, post quotes. Yes post tips, but stop and let your followers in. We are human and love human connection and one of the best ways to get that connection is to share you and the people behind your business.

Chocolate Johnny from Perfection Chocolates is a great example of this – he will show behind the scenes of is chocolate factory and store, but often shares images and video of himself and his team.

…and some goofing off.. with chocolate:

Even if you're not a chocolatier, you can still show your fun side, like the team at TripleSeat. Oh, and look, they did include chocolate:

Show up and let us get to know who the people are behind your business!

3. Reveal a secret, an insider tip or a sneak peek!

Just like we feel like we want to know the people behind the business, we also like to feel like we have a backstage pass.

Think about how you can provide a sneak peek, a backstage pass or inside information.

I love how Martine Emdur (one of my favourite artists) shows her work in progress and isn't afraid to poke fun at herself.  Fans and buyers love to see the process behind her amazing paintings!

It could be as simple as showing something you are working on so your followers feel like they are there with you! Your followers like to feel like they are seeing something that nobody else gets to see. How can you give them a backstage pass? A backstage pass to Instagram Engagement.

4. Give a Shout Out

There's one thing fans love talking about as much as themselves – it's the people or pages or brands or profiles they love!

So… stop and give a shout out from time to time, or better still ask your fans to give a shout out about their fave people, pages, brands or profiles!

Sue B Zimmerman, the Instagram Expert does this well:

Asking us to give a shout out is a clever way of getting more Instagram Engagement – and we love giving shout outs for friends or people who have helped us, so it's hard to resist!

5. Find a common interest

I'm not talking about your products and services here. What I mean is that you should find a common interest between you and your followers that's maybe NOT about your business.

It could be that you have a dog that you feature all the time on your Instagram Stories, or perhaps you're a huge target fan (as well as being an Instagram expert), like Tyler is here.

Or maybe you're a book-lover (as well as a social media expert) like my friend Peg Fitzpatrick.

These topics might not be the core content that you share but by sharing a common interest with your audience, it gives you another way of connecting with them and having conversations.

That's a Wrap!

Phew, that's a lot of strategies and tips to help you boost your Instagram engagement.

Of course, there are dozens of ways you can increase engagement, but these will help you to get the party started!

What Instagram engagement strategies work best for you, and what new strategies will you try next?

5 Super Easy Tips for Instagram Engagement to Get the Party Started
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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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17 Comments

  1. Amy Woods

    What’s your view on all these automated tools people use? I’m always getting generic ‘great page’ etc comments clearly automated. Also, instant likes from the same accounts all the time. I don’t like it because it’s all so fake and impersonal. But is that the key to people having 10k+ followers? Should you just join them if you can’t beat them?!

    Reply
    • Kriket Broadhurst

      Hi Amy, those spam accounts are really annoying aren’t they? It isn’t really about being popular though, no point having 10 000 fans if it is purely for show and there is no engagement and they are not valuable fans. Building organically is tough and takes time but is genuine. You could also consider hiring a VA to help you in this process of seeking out ideal accounts to attract.

      Reply
      • Amy Woods

        Yes, you’re completely right. I am considering a VA – much rather spend my money on a VA than spammy automation and fake or not genuine followers. Like you said, rather have quality followers than chase a vanity metric of thousands of low quality followers!

        Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hi Amy – my view is DON”T ever use that tactic – it’s so obvious they are false engagement posts (and often appear very out of context and just odd) and I would also not respond to them. I respond to comments that are obvious, genuine comment.s Unfortunately the automated posts are a fact of life and they do happen – they can depend on the types of hashtags you use – take note if you have any spikes in the number of auto comments then re-assess your hashtags. For example popular hashtags like #smallbusiness tend to attract more of them. Also you can choose to unfollow or block people that obviously are doing lots of them – I don’t tend to bother though and the likes you can’t do much about either. But yes, hashtags do help the automated systems to find you so don’t just rely on popular hashtags – use some niche hashtags around small communities or more particular interest areas.

      Reply
      • Donna Moritz

        PS another thing to note is that those tools have been known to get a lot of accounts shut down as the follow/unfollow and auto-posting is against the terms of Instagram. I wish they would shut down more of them to be honest!

        Reply
        • Amy Woods

          Thanks Donna! Really appreciate your advice. Yes I wish they would shut more of them down too. Same for people selling and buying fake followers (on Twitter and Facebook too). I just consider that to be like selling your soul to the devil to be honest 🙂 What surprises me is that some fairly big, well known people on Instagram clearly use these spammy automation tools. Same for all this ‘you follow me and I’ll follow you’ game – and it really is just a game.

          I want to follow people that I am genuinely interested in (I do that on my personal account of course, here I’m talking my online business), it does seem like to get followers you do need to follow lots of people in your niche – that is more honest because at least it’s not all automated but you might be drawn to follow someone just to shout out ‘hey, look at me, you might want to become a customer of mine one day’ as opposed to genuine interest. I really love social media, and it’s invaluable in business, but the thing I don’t like is the tactics, game playing and fake-ness!

          Reply
          • Donna Moritz

            Me neither… but the best we can all do is not take those tactics on and let people know we don’t approve of it. I think I feel a blog post coming on! haha and yes – keep following people you are genuinely interested in, comment on and like their photos and those that are a good fit will follow back for the right reasons. Organic is best…

  2. Simcha Lazarus@WiseStamp

    Great tips Donna! I’m just getting started with Instagram and this gave me some good ideas for engaging fans.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Glad you liked it – Instagram is a fun platform and picks up speed with followers and engagement – I find it much more engaging than Facebook.

      Reply
  3. M. K. Clinton

    These are terrific tips! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Glad you found them useful! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. Beverly Lizotte

    Hi! What an amazing tips to take note! My time was not wasted in reading this article. Thank you very much! It is indeed very helpful.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      So glad to hear that – I totally want to make your time very well spent! thanks Beverly!

      Reply
  5. Charlie Wilson

    Nice post, thank you! And I want to ask you about special services and apps. I have a little business and want to promote it on instagram. I read a lot of tips and steps how to get more followers but I see it’s too slow and there’s no guarantees. I was recommended to use zen-promo (.com?) I checked it out and it looks good. It finds real followers and I can set a location to search. Handy tool. And it’s in terms of instagram rules. I think about it. And it’s better to blend app approach and “classical” approach. What do you think? Thanks

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      thanks but I don’t recommend any tool that “auto comments” on other profiles. In fact it drives me crazy. I wish Instagram would take down all auto-commenting tools – apart from the comments often being easy to pick as “bot” comments, they distract from real engagement comments, take up time and space on your feed, often look inappropriate on the post they are made on and they are against Instagram’s terms. So I’d recommend you run a mile from that.

      Reply

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