Wondering how you can beat the Instagram algorithm? We’ve got the answer for you: good, old-fashioned Instagram engagement.
While your follower count is definitely important, it’s not everything.
In fact, if your goal is to cultivate your brand and establish genuine connections with potential clients, your primary focus needs to be your Instagram engagement.
And, we’re not talking about #like4like. Nope! We’re talking about authentic engagement that will transform not just your Instagram account but also your brand and business.
In this comprehensive guide, we’re spilling all the tea on how to double your Instagram engagement organically. That’s right: bots need not apply.
If you’re serious about putting the “social” back in social media and taking your ‘gram to the next level, then this guide is for you.
Ready to learn how to double your Instagram engagement organically?
Let’s do this thing!
What Is Instagram Engagement?
Did we get a little ahead of ourselves? Our bad!
If you’re wondering what the heck Instagram engagement even is, allow us to break it down for you.
In short, Instagram engagement is whenever people interact with your account on the platform. Those interactions can come in the form of:
- Saved posts
- Direct messages
- Poll and sticker answers
Really, anytime other users are interacting with you and your content constitutes as Instagram engagement.
In a world, where you buy pretty much anything online (followers, likes, comments, ANYTHING), Instagram engagement is more important than ever.
Why Does Instagram Engagement Matter?
We’re not going to lie: Instagram engagement requires strategy and effort. But, if it didn’t seriously matter, we wouldn’t be telling you to invest your valuable time and energy.
Like we said at the start, Instagram engagement is the key to beating the Instagram algorithm.
To make the connection between the algorithm and engagement, let’s take a look at why the heck the Instagram algorithm even exists.
It’s important to remember Instagram’s number one goal is to earn money.
Mark Zuckerberg isn’t running a charity. He designed the Instagram algorithm in order to facilitate a better user experience that will ultimately keep everyone on the app longer.
The longer users stay on Instagram the more opportunities the company has to make money. Unlike Facebook, Instagram has only recently begun taking steps toward monetization with features like promoted posts.
They want to make sure we’re good and hooked before really cranking up the advertising. Thus, the Instagram algorithm was born.
So, you see, Instagram doesn’t care about your own account growth on their platform. They’re goal is to provide the best user experience possible.
To do that, the Instagram algorithm MAJORLY takes into account Instagram engagement. It decides what posts to show users based on the content they’ve interacted with in the past.
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The Ultimate Goal With Instagram Engagement
Instagram engagement matters because it’s the secret to beating the Instagram algorithm.
The ultimate goal with Instagram engagement is to prove to the algorithm your followers value your content.
Instagram is on mission to show users relevant posts, so accounts that receive engagement rank higher in the algorithm and are more likely to be seen.
Consider your best friend’s Instagram account. Whenever you see their post in your feed, you always stop to double tap. Maybe you even leave a comment about how totally jeal you are of their gorgeous vacay pics or that you’re so proud of them after their latest promotion.
You may think the Instagram algorithm is a soulless machine, but, in its own science-y way, it knows that account belongs to someone you care about based on how often you interact with it.
The ultimate goal with Instagram engagement is make the algorithm believe you’re the best friend of all your followers.
If Instagram believes they want and need to see to your content, the algorithm will show it to them.
How To Calculate Your Instagram Engagement Rate
Are you completely on board with just how vital Instagram engagement is to your success? Good.
Before we jump into some seriously juicy tips for how to double your Instagram engagement organically, let’s take a second to calculate your current Instagram engagement rate.
If you’re serious about growing on Instagram, we highly HIGHLY suggest tracking your growth. If you aren’t already, it’s time to get your spreadsheet on.
We recommend checking and recording key Instagram statistics like followers, engagement rate, impressions, reach and interactions once a week. In doing so, you’ll be better able to see what’s working for you on Instagram and adjust your social media strategy accordingly.
So, how about that Instagram engagement rate?
There are multiple ways to calculate your Instagram engagement rate and no clear consensus as to which is the best. The method you choose depends on your social media goals.
Don’t worry: we’ve got all the deets for you.
Instagram Engagement Rate: (Likes + Comments) / Followers x 100
Perhaps the most common way of calculating Instagram engagement, you can’t really go wrong dividing your total number of likes and comments by your number of followers.
Multiply the quotient by 100 for an easy number to track.
Instagram Engagement Rate: (Likes + Comments) / Impressions x 100
Is growth your primary goal on Instagram? Then, you should consider calculating your Instagram engagement rate based on impressions.
Impressions are the total number of times users saw your post or story, including accounts that don’t follow you.
Calculating your Instagram engagement rate using this method is especially helpful for honing your content strategy to encourage new follows.
Instagram Engagement Rate: (Likes + Comments + Saved Posts) / Impressions x 100
Some Instagram gurus consider saved posts to be vital in determining “true engagement.”
But, for most accounts, the number of saved posts won’t generally affect the Instagram engagement rate all that much. Just do you!
7 Tips To Double Your Instagram Engagement Organically
Okay, you’re probably dying to get into the “good stuff.”
Now that you know what Instagram engagement is, why its crazy important and how to calculate your Instagram engagement rate, let’s dive into some practical tips to double your Instagram engagement organically.
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Instagram Engagement Tip #1: Respond To Every Single Comment And Direct Message
Be honest: are you engaging on Instagram?
If not, moving forward, you need to start responding to every single comment and direct message you receive. Every. Single. One.
As your account grows, this will, of course, become more difficult. But, we promise it’s worth the time and energy.
Your followers are your people, and if you want them to consider you a trusted friend (the ultimate goal with Instagram engagement), you need to be responding as often and as quickly as is humanly possible.
Instagram Engagement Tip #2: Have Your Ideal Follower In Mind When Your Craft Your Post
Wait, you don’t have an ideal follower?! *grabs a paper bag to keep from hyperventilating*
It’s never too late or too early to profile your ideal follower. We promise it’s going to make creating content for Instagram so SO much easier.
With your ideal follower in mind, you can craft each post to encourage them to engage.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Would this post earn a double tap from my ideal follower?
- How likely is my ideal follower to respond to my call to action?
Instagram Engagement Tip #3: Choose A Photo That Encourages People To Slow Their Scroll
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s A LOT of content on Instagram. Never forget you’re competing for your followers’ attention.
But, don’t let the competition overwhelm you. We don’t want you to have post paralysis.
Let go of the idea that your photo needs to be ~*perfect*~. Instead, adopt the mindset that it only needs to slow down the zombie-like scroll of your followers.
Once you get them to pause, your seriously engaging caption can take over.
Instagram Engagement Tip #4: Use Your Caption To Tell A Story
Think of your caption like your secret Instagram engagement weapon.
Your photo is what got your followers in the door, but your caption is what will get them to stay. Even on a visual platform like Instagram, captions are often what make or break an account.
Remember that people use Instagram to 1) be inspired, 2) be entertained and 3) find a like-minded community.
With those reasons (as well as your ideal follower) in mind, write captions that tell a story. Write the same way you talk.
Each caption is an opportunity to show off your personality and connect with your followers.
Pro Tip: Don’t post in real time. Instead of posting on the go, set time aside to create a thoughtful caption. When you think you have it just right, ask yourself if the caption would compel you to engage.
Instagram Engagement Tip #5: Tell People How You Want Them To Engage With You
If the story portion of your caption is important, your call to action is even more so.
Don’t leave your followers hanging. Many Instagram users want to engage but just aren’t sure how.
CTAs are vital because they tell people exactly how you want them to engage with you. A few ideas for CTAs are:
- Making a statement and asking them to double tap if they agree
- Telling your followers to tag their friends in the comments
- Asking open-ended questions
- Encouraging your followers to check out the link in your bio
Instagram Engagement Tip #6: Don’t Post And Ghost!
After taking a photo, making edits, researching hashtags and writing an engaging caption, you’re probably ready for a break when your finally share your post.
But, the work isn’t over quite yet!
We suggest you only post when you have time to engage. Instead of posting and closing out of the app, we recommend you set aside at least 30 minutes to respond to comments as they’re coming in.
This is your opportunity to foster meaningful conversation and connections in your comments. Show your followers you appreciate them taking the time to comment on your post with a prompt, thoughtful response.
Instagram Engagement Tip #7: Spread The Love And Engage With People Who Engage With You
In addition to responding to every comment you receive, it’s also nice to return the favor and comment on your followers’ posts.
This strategy shows your followers you care and helps to cultivate deeper connections.
As a bonus, checking out your followers’ content allows you to better understand what they’re all about. The more knowledge you have about your followers the better you can tailor content to them that will encourage further Instagram engagement.
It’s one big cycle!
Are Instagram Engagement Groups Worth It?
Social media experts disagree on the effectiveness of Instagram engagement groups.
Also known as Instagram pods, Instagram engagement groups are an organized number of users that agree to engage with one another’s posts.
It’s sometimes considered a way to beat the Instagram algorithm.
Members of an Instagram engagement group are usually in the same niche and/or create similar content. In some cases, they’re even competitors.
While Instagram engagement groups can be a good way to get consistent likes and comments, we want to steer you away from thinking they’re a good substitute for genuine engagement.
Especially if you’re using Instagram to find potential clients for your business, engagement via Instagram pods isn’t likely to translate into sales.
The purpose of Instagram engagement is to find your people and foster a community, so before you decide to invest time and energy into an Instagram engagement group, you should think about the kind of people you’re trying to connect with on Instagram.
Keep Growing Your Instagram Engagement
So, how are you feeling? Are you excited and ready to double your Instagram engagement?
If you implement the tips in this guide now, you’re sure to see a significant increase in your Instagram engagement. Don’t forget to track your progress by regularly calculating your Instagram engagement rate.
Without a doubt, Instagram engagement plays a major role in assuring your content makes it through the rigorous Instagram algorithm, but it’s not the only thing you need to do to be successful on the platform.
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