Read Time: 9 minutes

How to Increase Instagram Engagement Immediately

 

The transformation of Instagram since its start in 2010 has been undeniably innovative and successful. A mobile platform that started as a way to share photos has become a place for individual and brand expression, social advertising, and so much more. Instagram has also become a major business driver for many brands and multi-location businesses. To grow your brand and convert leads, your brand’s Instagram content needs engagements. 

 

You might be wondering how to increase engagement on Instagram. Here are 14 ways for you to increase engagements on Instagram.

 

What Does Instagram Engagement Mean

 

Engagement on social media measures the number of interactions your audiences make with your content. On Instagram, engagement metrics can take the form of:

 

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Saves
  • Mentions 
  • Direct messages (DMs)
  • Follower growth
  • Branded hashtags used
  • Reach (views)
  • Click-through rate from your bio links 

 

These engagement metrics help you determine which content performs best and more engagements correlates with an increase in brand awareness and consideration. 

 

1. Regram and Curate User-Generated Content

 

Reposting an image or “regramming” one of your follower’s posts is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to engage your audience on Instagram. The user whose photo you have reshared will love that your company has recognized them and will continue being a strong brand ambassador. Reposting their photos also shows users that you are paying attention to them. This tactic will continue to help you build a positive reputation.

 

gopro-instagram-repost

 

Regramming also allows you to find quality images that already exist and use them, rather than paying photographers to take professional photos for you. Once you begin reposting, other customers will begin posting photos with your products in hopes of being regrammed — creating even more photos for you to choose from.

 

2. Include CTAs (Calls to Action)

 

How does a multi-location company persuade its customers to post photos in the first place? Create a call to action. In your captions, ask your audience to share their favorite flavor if you’re in the ice cream business, how they style a product for those in retail, and much more. You should also start a hashtag related to what you want them to share and use that to promote your campaign.

 

Google Instagram CTA

 

Calls to action have different purposes. You can use CTAs to increase your posts’ likes and comments. Tell viewers to like or “double tap” your photo if they agree with or favor a post. You can do this by putting the CTA directly on the photo or in the caption.

 

Spark discussion in your comments by creating enticing captions. For instance, you can ask your customers to choose between two product flavors, ask them to share how they discovered your brand, or challenge them to describe your services in three words. What you can ask them is endless. These CTAs will help drive engagement and the answers will help you understand how your audience sees your brand.

 

3. Host  Contests and Giveaways

 

A brand can also increase Instagram engagement with the help of contests. There are an array of different types of contests you can host on Instagram. Here are a few to help get you started:

 

  • Likes: Ask followers to like your photo to enter a contest. The winner will be one random liker.

 

  • Regram: Ask followers to repost one of your photos as an entry to the contest. Ask them to tag your page and use a hashtag so that all the entries are easy to find. This strategy will also increase the number of viewers that your brand gets exposed to as the photo will appear on many feeds.

 

  • Comment: Ask followers to comment on your post to enter the contest or giveaway. You can ask them to share why they love your product or service or ask them to tag a friend to increase brand awareness. A contest like this can showcase your brand more and direct traffic back to your profile.

 

  • Photo challenge: Ask followers to create original content using one of your products. Give them a specific hashtag to use so that you can easily find the entries. This tactic will help create more user-generated content that you can use in the future.

 

4. Use Influencers

 

If you are looking for ways to reach out to potential customers indirectly, reach out to social media influencers first. Social media influencers have the power to convince their followers and viewers to try something new. People love hearing everything from product reviews to new experiences from those they relate with and look up to. Working with influencers will increase your brand’s exposure and awareness, and will show that your brand is current and relevant.

 

influencer-hey-claire-instagram

 

While influencers are helpful, multi-location businesses should be cautious when choosing an influencer to work with. An influencer has a brand and following of their own. It is important to find one who represents the same beliefs and viewpoints as your brand. You also want to make sure that their audience is similar to those you wish to target.

 

Instead of trying to start a conversation with a large audience from scratch, work with an influencer so that they can introduce you to their pre-existing audience.

 

5. Go Live

 

Another way to reach your Instagram followers is through the Instagram Live feature. Instagram Live allows users to start a real-time broadcast with their followers. Users can do this through the Instagram Stories feature, which allows them to post photos or videos for 24 hours.

 

instagram-live-logo

 

Companies can use Instagram Live for demonstrations, new product announcements, or anything as simple as a Q&A. The feature allows followers to comment or send likes while the broadcast is going on. This means that whoever is running the video has the opportunity to give followers a shout-out or an answer to a pending question. Use this product feature to show satisfied customers that you’re grateful for that support, while also showing that you care about customers with questions or concerns.

 

Instagram Live also provides an opportunity to show that you are a thought leader in your industry. By showing live product demonstrations or tutorials, you are letting your followers know that there are no gimmicks or edits —your product is authentic and real.

 

6. Utilize Instagram Shop 

 

You can manage Instagram Shops through your Meta Business account. Instagram Shops act like product pages on your website. Users can browse your shop for products or items all within Instagram. It’s a strategic way to entice buyers, drive engagement, and make it easier for them to purchase your products.

 

Two iphones showing a white jacket in Instagram shops ad with a blow up of a white woman sporting the white jacket

 

7. Generate Interactive Stories

 

You can also add interactive content such as polls, quizzes, questions, or links on your Instagram Stories. As mentioned previously, Instagram Stories are images or videos that last 24 hours on your profile. They can also be saved by businesses as story highlights, which users can see anytime. 

 

This interactive content is an easy way to encourage your audience to engage with your Instagram account directly. These polls or quizzes can be about your brand or products, while links can act as a CTA.

 

Because Instagram Stories last 24 hours, they help to create a sense of urgency, especially if there’s a CTA link to deals or promos.

 

four screenshots of an Instagram story showing a beach and house

Courtesy Brandwatch 

 

8. Address Comments and Concerns

 

Many Instagram users will ask questions or raise concerns to businesses or brands on social media. Therefore, you want to actively monitor your business’s Instagram activity and respond to consumers ASAP.

 

Responding to social media inquiries can fall under your marketing or customer service teams or a mixture of the two. Regardless of which, it’s an everyday process. These responses will improve your customer experience marketing and build trust with customers.

For more tips on how to improve your customer experience and online reputation, download The Multi-Location Marketer’s Guide to Online Reputation Management.

 

CTA for the Online Reputation Management Guide for Multi-Location Marketers

9. Create Partnerships

 

Partnering with other local businesses or nonprofits is a fantastic way to increase your brand awareness and follower growth. Partnering with a nonprofit also improves brand sentiment, especially if your brand gives back to a local community.

 

When partnering with another local business or brand, you can increase your follower count by pairing this partnership with a contest or giveaway. For example, have your business partner create an Instagram post about a giveaway that requires that the user follows your account and likes one of your recent posts to be entered into the raffle. This will help boost your follower count while also increasing engagement.

 

10. Use Carousel Posts

 

Instagram Carousels allow you to create a post with up to 10 photos or videos. Users can swipe left to view slides on mobile devices, while desktop users must click. Video carousels last between three and 60 seconds.

 

Four images of a hotel one on an iphone showing different photos of an apartment, a unit, a swimming pool, and an outside street view

Courtesy Conversion Logix

 

Carousels are a fantastic way to build engagement. You can tell brand stories, share products, or educate your audience. One reason they’re so engaging is because of Instagram’s algorithm. If a follower scrolls past your Carousel post and doesn’t interact with it, Instagram will often show them the same post with the second photo or video from the carousel.  

 

11. Place Your Instagram Handle on Other Sources

 

Another way to quickly improve follower growth and awareness is to post your Instagram handle on other sources so online consumers can quickly find you. You can post your handle on:

 

  • Newsletters
  • Email campaigns
  • Your website
  • Local landing pages
  • Your other social media accounts
  • At the end of long-form guides, studies, surveys, or reports

 

Not only will this tactic help increase your follower count, but these new followers will also see your brand more often on their Instagram feeds, which increases brand presence. 

 

12. Post at Engaging Times

 

To get the most out of your Instagram content, you want to post when your target audience and followers are most likely to see your posts. You should post at high-engaging times when they’re more likely to be on the platform.

 

Instagram’s algorithm posts in chronological order. If you post at the wrong time, it might be buried under other content. According to our findings, the best time for brands to post on Instagram is on Mondays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. or between 8 and 9 a.m.  Typically, Sundays receive the lowest level of engagement, so take that day off.

 

13. Utilize Custom Filters and Stickers

 

Custom stickers and filters are a fun way to increase brand awareness. There are advertising stickers or filters that online users can place on their Instagram stories. Advertising stickers are often branded stickers that companies create for Instagram.

Instagram Stickers iPhone Overlay

Courtsey giflytics

 

Some of the most popular branded filters are AR (augmented reality) filters. Some of these allow users to try your products via their stories. These are popular with cosmetic and beauty stores, eyeglass companies, or for a specific campaign. 

 

14. Make Use of Reels

 

Instagram revealed Reels in the summer of 2020 to compete with TikTok. Reels are vertical multi-clip videos you can create to educate your audience or amplify your brand. They can last from 15 to 60 seconds in length. 

 

Instagram Reels are discoverable by people who don’t follow you, so they can help expand your brand. Additionally, your multi-location business can add product tags to your Reels, making it easier to view and purchase products.

 

Three iPhones showing different reels on Instagram

Courtesy Instagram

 

If your multi-location business hasn’t tested Instagram Reels, what are you waiting for? This tactic, along with the others mentioned in this blog can help ensure your business doesn’t miss a single like, comment, or follower. Your audience is waiting to hear from you through Instagram, so get the conversation started today. 

 

If you need help scheduling and posting content on Instagram and other social media platforms, consider using SOCi Social. SOCi Social makes it easy to schedule and manage localized content across 100s or 1,000s of locations. It also gives you the power to analyze performance and ensure your Instagram content is getting the most engagement for your brand. 

SOCi social product on a laptop with a blown-up image of social media posts of a pizza restaurant

Request a demo today to learn how SOCi Social can improve your local social media marketing strategy and engagement rate!

 

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Chi Whitley

Chi Whitley is a content marketer who specializes in local SEO. He’s passionate about helping multi-location businesses grow their brands and online presence in the ever-changing world of localized marketing.

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