11 Instagram Tips To Boost Engagement In 2021

Are you an Instagram multi-tasker but struggling with engagement? Have a look at these Instagram tips to fill in the gaps!

Just after a great posting, you are done with uploading Instagram stories too.

You got decent views, but the notification buzz you expected never happened.

Even after a hundred checks, only a handful of your followers engage. 

Disappointing? Well, being a newbie influencer or experienced marketer, Instagram engagement might give us this crippling feeling. 

Months of content planning with selecting the perfect graphics and whatnot goes into play. And yet results are not up to the mark. 

We surely deserve better, isn’t it?

Surprisingly, this isn’t much rocket science. Some useful Instagram tips here and there can make a stark difference. 

So today, I am going to spill the beans, revealing the secrets to boosting Instagram engagement. 

But first, we shall walk through what is Instagram engagement and how to measure your current rate. 

What is Instagram engagement? 

Instagram engagement is the coined term for your brand’s interaction with fellow Instagrammers. 

Despite Instagram having a billion users, there is always a rat race for attention. The one that dominates their followers’ timelines, creating the best content at the right time, takes away the spotlight. 

The ultimate goal is to get pouring likes and genuine comments (a big no to spam and promotional couplets!). It, in return, opens up avenues for groundbreaking lead generation and branding. 

Before you post, make sure to go through this checklist:

  1. Are your followers getting your post in their feed or not?
  2. Will they find it interesting enough to tap a heart?
  3. Will the post intrigue them to leave their trailing thoughts behind?
  4. Is the post relatable enough to be shared?
  5. Is there a possibility of this post being saved? 

These will make it crystal clear to predict the kind of engagement your content should instigate. 

Unless you are Sir David Attenborough setting a Guinness world record to hit a million followers in just 4 hours, 44 minutes. The nature awareness post by the 94-year-old enthusiast spread like wildfire in September 2020 with 18m+ views.

Now that’s for sure; traction like this is rare. But we can fan the fire of our existing Instagram engagement. 

How to measure Instagram Engagement?

Now the question is how to measure Instagram engagement. 

It is quite an ordeal at times because algorithms keep on changing. And as we already know, Instagram loves experimentation, bombarding us with updates. 

It had removed the like counts from public view worldwide in November 2019. The experimentation is still in progress with limited test accounts. 

But thank god, there are several other ways to know if your audience is on the same page as yours. You can head over to your Instagram business account and check out the in-depth insights. The Instagram insights are segregated under three tabs:

  • Content: It has all the metrics about specific posts or stories like interaction, reach, impression, follows, discovery, next story, exit, etc.
  • Activity: The activity tab lists all actionable ventures your profile witnessed in a week’s duration like profile visits, interaction, reach, impression, etc.
  • Audience: As the name suggests, it summarizes your audience’s demographics giving in-depth insights into their age, location, gender, hourly/daily followers, etc.

Don’t be confused between Reach and impressions, though. 

The number of Instagrammers that viewed your content is Reach. While the impression is the number of times your audience encountered your content, which might supersede the Reach. 

After you get access to all these insights, follow the below steps to get the engagement rate:

  1. Get the total engagement adding up the likes, shares, and comments
  2. Divide it by the followers’ count
  3. Multiply the number to 100

If the engagement rate is above 4%, it is high. And below 1% is low. The in-between range is moderate. 

If it is too much math for you, use tools like SocialPilot for all the breakdown. 

11 tips on how to increase Instagram engagement

Striking a perfect balance between quality and quantity isn’t always enough for engagement. You need to run that extra mile to get the dream result. 

So here are 11 Instagram tips that are sure to boost engagement. 

Ready to pull up your socks, then? Let’s begin. 

Tagging the relevant 

Tagging, in a way, guarantees attention. The influencers and relevant accounts you tag are bound to interact with your posts. 

You can also use the power of user-generated content, tagging the followers who have tagged or mentioned you. It does a compound effect on your engagement rates. Thereby the boost is natural. 

You can add the account with @ and type out the account you want to tag in the captions or stories. Select from the drop-down and done.  

Here is a fantastic Burger King post. It showcases a perfect partnership example. The post was tagged with Call of Duty, an epic video game series, and GrubHub, a food delivery app. All the three giants have an immense following of 11m+ combined. 

GeoTagging trick

Geotagging is one of the most effective Instagram tips. Believe it or not, geotagged posts have 79% more engagement, as per Sprout Social report. 

Giving the exact physical location of your posts will promote your business locally. So you hit both eyes of the bull. You get engagement and conversions. 

You can additionally partner with any local influencer who shares similar geotags as yours. 

Not just be limited to posts, geotag your stories as well. It will instantly improve your visibility. 

Here is a post by Airbnb which has geotagged Bakersville in North Carolina, garnering 2m+ views. Airbnb, an accommodation rental company, uses geotags in every post to showcase the available properties.  

People can even save these if they plan a vacation to that particular spot and ditch the stay-worry with Airbnb bookings. 

Thoughtful captions

Captions make your thought process reach out to your audience. The post instantly makes more sense with a highlighted purpose. 

Try experimenting with both crisp and detailed captions. You can also add emojis and not make it sound too authoritative. 

Use whitespaces wherever necessary to enhance readability. Try out different font types, but it should look coherent and not out of place. 

Here’s a NatGeo post with a beautiful caption giving us a glimpse of the backstory. NatGeo is famous for its thoughtful captions stirring a sense of deep connection and emotions with the audience. 

This post alone has got 284k likes with 890 comments. All because the caption brought out the essence of the perfect shot. And as a result, the audience could connect and engage better.

But if you think long captions are not your forte, have a look at this. Lego always uses short captions with emojis. This post garnered them 157k+ likes. The short read is catchy and clicks instantly with the audience. 

Hashtag wonders

Before you roll your eyes on this Instagram tip, let me assure you one thing. 

Yes, hashtag hack works on Instagram too. It works the same way as Geotags, increasing your visibility radius. 

Hashtags help reach out to more audiences increasing the Instagram engagement by 12.6%, as mentioned by Fohr Insights

The hashtag limits are 30 and 10 for posts and stories, respectively but avoid using too many. They unnecessarily clutter the space. So pick out only the most relevant ones. 

Most of the hashtags used are generic, branded, community-based, or campaign-based. You need to pick the right ones and even create new hashtags unique to your brands.

Starbucks, one of the best Instagram engaging brands, use custom hashtags for its new products and campaigns.

This post introduces their latest #PumpkinSpiceLatte garnering 687k views. The hashtag has around 640,686 similar posts creating brand waves. 

Look out for trends

It is not surprising that trends will continue to come and go. As a brand, you need to care about it because that’s where all the attention is held captive. 

Trends already set the stage, and you just need to add the fiery brand-specific element with a dynamic Instagram marketing strategy. 

The recent monolith incident has taken the netizens by storm. The mysterious appearances and disappearances are still a matter of speculation. Several brands, including McDonald’s, jumped in to relish the trend.  

Here is McDonald’s way of anticipating the monolith trend, advertising the drive-through service. The post got 110k likes and is still counting. 

Bio makeovers

Just like captions are to posts, bios are to your profiles. They provide the initial introduction to your account. 

Make sure to impress the visitors with a stunning bio setting their expectations right. Avoid the clumsy style and ditch the lengthy descriptions. 

Look at this Madewell bio. They have even mentioned the twin account for men’s fashion wear. The crisp bio starts with a cheeky quote followed by the steps one needs to take if interested. 

They have mentioned the link to their official website for the interested prospects. 

Aim to be saved

Save is a new “like” because it brings back your audience.

Save is considered as one of the vital Instagram engagement metrics today. So it goes without saying that a part of the Instagram strategy should have this as the primary objective. 

The most popular content ideas are how-to guides and DIY posts. So think and come up with posts that make your followers tap on the bookmark icon.  

Crafty Panda creates DIY themed content and has a whopping 1.4m followers. They share intuitive and compelling content having great useful tactics, tips, and hacks of all kinds. 

Followers hit on save for later use and thereby come back to it when in need. 

Conversation trails 

Your work doesn’t end with posting. You need to respond to your audience’s response as well. 

It will make them come back to you the next time. Leave a conversion trail in your captions, asking them to comment on their thoughts. 

And if they do respond positively, respond back to them. That keeps the engagement thriving. 

Sephora is winning over Instagram with their prompt replies. They answer all of their audience’s queries almost instantly.

Look at this post where they have mentioned their eyeliners, and one of the followers asks a query. Sephora immediately replied to the question, setting an exemplary brand care example. 

Countdown magic

FOMO is the scariest feeling these days. Nobody wants to give up on a good deal and are continually watching out for more. 

Grab their attention with some countdown magic, triggering a ripple of actions in your followers base. Use countdown stickers or timers for limited deals.

Build up curiosity before the final giveaway, and see your Instagram engagement take off. 

Have a look at this Cadbury post where they talk about their limited edition Orange Twirl. The presale announcement about the second release played a psychological trick, making followers regret their missing out on the deal the first time. 

Keen planning

Foolproof advanced planning is not a mere Instagram tip but a lifesaving hack. 

Plan ahead as to how to use the features and what is working well. Keep a keen watch on your competitors and check what is working out for them. 

Make sure to include all aspects of your business to showcase a 360 view. Stick to a pattern and find out if it is getting you the needed traction. 

It will save you from last-minute panic attacks and content starvation. 

Unlock experimentation 

There’s no place for the outdated souls in marketing. The same goes for the Instagram marketing strategy

Level up and unlock experimentation. Try a mix of content, and don’t get comfortable using just one Instagram strategy. 

Alter your plans, but there should be some consistency in terms of quality and brand approach. 

Have a look at Dolce&Gabana’s profile. They have used all the features that Instagram had to offer. Be it reels, guides, IGTV, or even highlights without dropping the brand eliteness. 

Their followers get to see all the types of content. They have something in store for everybody – be it short-form content or long-form, video or image-based. It tempts 25m users and more to become their ardent followers. 

Bonus Tip: Guides

Still treated like a fresher, Guides is among the underrated features. 

Many fail to realize this, but this is a vital tool for the Instagram marketing strategy

You can add recommendations to your favorite products or places. Guides can act as catalogs for your business. 

You can also curate your best posts in one place, creating a step-wise guide. Add your commentary with headlines. 

Create guides using the following steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile page and select the + icon.
  2. Select Guide from the Create popup.
  3. Select Product for product-based guides, place for hangout recommendations, and posts to curated post guides.

These guides appear on your profile page and also on the Explore page. You can share them as direct messages and stories as well. 

Here’s how Instagram uses its Guides feature to curate the best of positive and empowering content from various sources. You can click on the individual sections and go to the original postings too. 

Conclusion

The Instagram marketing strategy consists of a juggling game with multiple tasks at hand. 

But the whole game fails if there is no engagement. So work out on that first. 

You can strike the right balance, attracting followers like bees keeping these 11 Instagram tips in mind. 

Map out a customized Instagram strategy with consistency in the place. Let your followers get a worldview of your business from a refined perspective. 

Keep the engagement wheel spinning faster and get going. 

All the best!