Instagram can be a great place for your business to cultivate new leads and convert sales, with over 500 million daily active users and a reported 25 million business profiles. But creating a successful Instagram strategy isn’t as simple as just posting pretty pictures.
When done well, an Instagram marketing strategy can help you build brand awareness and increase sales. But if you don’t have your own social media manager (or even if you do), it can be difficult to keep up with the demands of a successful Instagram account. The platform changes frequently, and what worked for your engagement last year might not work this year.
If you are struggling to get more engagement on your Instagram posts, then you are not alone.
In spite of the platform having more than 600 million active users each month, it’s still hard for many marketers to get their posts noticed. And with the ever-increasing competition on this popular social media channel, it is only getting harder.
But fret not. In this article, I am going to show you 10 proven ways that will help you boost engagement on your Instagram posts in 2022.
1. Post at the best times
Posting at the right time on Instagram can make all the difference between gaining or losing followers.
With more than one billion monthly active users, Instagram is a great place to promote your ecommerce business. Whether you’re a retailer, an influencer or a service provider, Instagram can help you grow your online business and boost sales.
The best times to post on Instagram are weekdays from 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm EST. But the best time for you to post isn’t necessarily when your competitors are posting or when your friends are posting. The best time for you to post is when your followers are most active, so it’s important to start testing different times and days of the week until you find out what works best for your audience.
Research your audience’s time zone and daily activity patterns.
- Post consistently.
- Experiment with different times of day.
- Use an Instagram scheduling app like Later.
However, it’s not just enough to post on Instagram. You also need to know exactly when to post on Instagram so that you get as much engagement as possible.
2. Keep track of your post frequency
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether posting too much content is hurting your engagement rate or not. With this feature, you can easily see the ratio of likes and comments to the number of posts you’ve made over time. If you are a marketer or social media manager, one of the things that you need to keep track of is your post frequency on Instagram.
This is important because it helps you to maintain a consistent posting schedule on this popular social network.
How to track your post frequency:
- Step 1: Go to Instagram and tap the profile icon.
- Step 2: Tap the three dots in the top right corner of your screen.
- Step 3: Select Archive from the menu that pops up.
- Step 4: Tap Posts on the page that appears.
- Step 5: Scroll through the list of posts, or swipe left and right to see when you posted in a given month.
Similarly, if you are a blogger who also needs to keep track of your post frequency, then read on as I show you how to do so.
3. Create an Instagram content calendar
If you want to get the most out of your Instagram marketing efforts, you need to plan ahead. Identify your content pillars and start scheduling your posts with a free Instagram content calendar.
Why? Because it will help you stay consistent and organized. It can also help you ensure that you’re sharing the right mix of fun and promotional content.
You can probably already see how planning ahead can keep your Instagram feed on track, but here’s how specifically an Instagram content calendar can help:
- It helps you create more engaging captions (more on this below).
- It helps you stay consistent. If users know when they can expect new posts from you, they’ll be more likely to follow and engage with your brand on Instagram.
- It saves time by allowing you to batch tasks like creating graphics or writing copy. You can do it all at once instead of doing it piecemeal throughout the week or month.
For some, Instagram is just a place to share photos and videos with friends. For others, it’s a platform for sharing their story. But for brands and businesses, it’s a social media channel that can help them to connect with their target audience and customers.
4. Create an Instagram posting schedule
If you’re looking to boost your Instagram engagement, one of the most important things you can do is to create a posting schedule and stick to it.
- The first step to creating an Instagram posting schedule on Instagram for engagement is defining what you want to accomplish with your posts. Are you looking to promote a new product? Do you want to get more people to visit your website? Or do you want to increase the number of followers on your account?
- The next step is to figure out how many times a week you will post on each of your accounts. For example, if you are promoting a new product, it may be wise to post about it once a week. However, if your goal is to increase the number of followers, it may be better to post every day or even every other day.
- Once you have defined your goals, it is time to determine what type of content you will use in each post. For example, if you are promoting a new product, it may be best to use images and videos rather than text only posts. If your goal is to get people to visit your website or blog, then it may be better to use text only posts.
- Finally, create a posting schedule on Instagram for engagement by determining how often each account will be updated and which day of the week this will happen on. This will help keep all of your accounts current and make sure that no one account gets stale from.
Successful Instagram accounts post regularly, with a goal of an average of at least once per day. That posting frequency can be challenging, though, which is why we recommend creating an Instagram posting schedule.
5. Create a branded hashtag
We’re sure you’re already familiar with hashtags. Many people use them in their social media posts, but only a few are using them correctly.
Hashtags are not just for adding to your post as an afterthought. They can actually help your posts get noticed, which is especially helpful for small businesses who have limited reach.
Here are some tips for creating a Branded hashtag:
- 1. Find a hashtag that doesn’t yet exist: Don’t just combine two words or use something that is already being used by another brand.
- 2. Keep it short: Users might be deterred if the hashtag is too long.
- 3. Make it easy to remember: You want your customers to use the hashtag and share it with their friends, so make sure it’s something they can easily remember and spell.
- 4. Make sure it’s relevant to your business: If you try to create a branded hashtag that doesn’t have anything to do with your business, it won’t help you generate engagement and grow your business.
But before you can create a branded hashtag on Instagram, you should have a clear understanding of what makes up a successful one.
6. Use other relevant hashtags
The Instagram algorithm is always changing. The more it changes, the more people want to know about it.
The most important thing to remember about the algorithm is that engagement is king. When using hashtags on your posts, keep these tips in mind:
- Use hashtags on every post. Not only does the algorithm favor posts with hashtags, but it also favors posts that have been consistently performing well over time. If you use hashtags on one post and not another and the first post does well, but the second one doesn’t, Instagram will start to show your first post to more people and hide your second one from as many people. That’s why it’s important to stick to a consistent strategy.
- Don’t just use the same hashtags on every post – it’ll be boring to your followers and the algorithm will notice your posts getting less engagement so won’t show them to as many people.
- Try out different combinations of hashtags in each group (see next point) and see which ones get you the most engagement. You can do this by looking at your insights or by comparing how many likes you get on each picture (but don’t forget that likes aren’t everything!). Once you find some good combinations of hashtags, use those again and again.
It’s easy to get caught in a rut, so try making a list of 30-50 different hashtags that are relevant to your business or niche and use them at random.
7. Don’t overuse hashtags
Too many hashtags can look awkward and spammy. Some people think that using a lot of hashtags on a post can help them get more engagement and increase their followers on Instagram. There is some truth to that, but it doesn’t mean you should use every single hashtag you can find and think of.
- Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post. But that doesn’t mean that you should use all 30, every time you post.
- In fact, if you use more than 11 hashtags on any given post, you may actually be hurting your engagement.
- The sweet spot is 6-10 hashtags, per post. This is the most we’ve seen many top brands use (although there are exceptions).
We recommend experimenting with different hashtag numbers on different posts (without going overboard) and seeing which types of posts get more engagement.
8. Tag brands and influencers
You know how important it is to use hashtags. But did you know that there’s another way to tag people in your posts? It’s called tagging, and it allows you to add a link to a specific profile in your caption or even in the photo itself.
Tagging other accounts in your photos can bring you more exposure, but only if you do it right. So let’s explore how you can use this marketing tool to boost engagement and expand your reach.
The more you tag, the better your chances of being discovered. With that in mind, here are a few tag-worthy items to consider:
- Other Instagram accounts: If you’re working with influencers or other brands, tag them in your posts to help spread the word about your collaboration.
- Locations: Share where you’re taking those awesome photos. Whether it’s at the beach or a local coffee shop, tagging your location can help you gain local followers.
- Products: Tagging products is vital if you’re using Instagram for business. When a user taps on a product tag, they’re taken directly to the product page on your website.
And if your comment is genuinely useful and helpful, you will also get a lot of engagement from other people in the community who find your comment useful.
9. Post engaging photos and videos
Instagram has a few different ways to post photos and videos. Before you start sharing, it’s important to understand what these options are and how they can enhance your content.
- Square format: Instagram is built around photos. When you first start using Instagram, you’ll be prompted to compose a profile picture, which will be cropped into a circle and set at 110px x 110px. Once this is complete, all photos that you publish will default to the square format (1:1).
- Landscape and portrait format: You can also share content in landscape (16:9) or portrait (4:5) formats. This can be done by simply tapping on the photo icon when creating a post and selecting the photo from your library. If you shoot your photos with Instagram’s camera, however, all of your photos will default to square unless you tap the icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen before taking the photo.
- Video format: There are two ways to post video on Instagram: You can either record a video (up to 60 seconds long) through Instagram’s camera feature or upload an existing video from your phone’s library. Either way, videos will default to landscape mode (16:9).
The more your audience can get to know your company through your content, the more likely it is that you’ll make an impression on them.
10. Post thoughtful captions
Think of your captions as the backbone of your Instagram posts. They’re what make your followers stop, engage and interact. Use a caption to tell a story. This is your opportunity to give context and meaning to your post.
Be creative with your captions and think of them as an extension of your brand voice.
Here are some tips:
- Encourage conversation through asking questions or prompting fans to share their thoughts.
- Inspire people by sharing quotes, proverbs or other inspiring pieces of text.
- Make it personal and share something about yourself or brand in a relatable way.
To help increase engagement, ask an open-ended question at the end of your caption that relates back to your business. For example, if you run an exercise studio you could ask readers what their favorite workout is or what they’ll be doing this weekend to stay active.
Try the methods above to make the most of your next post and help you reach more users than ever before. The Instagram-sphere is always evolving, so consider this your guide to creating a strategy that continually works.