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How to Get More Interaction on Instagram

How to Get More Interaction on Instagram

Are you struggling to get noticed on Instagram despite your best efforts?

You’re not alone.

Many small business owners and content creators watch in frustration as others seem to effortlessly attract likes, comments, and shares.

But what if the secret to boosting your Instagram engagement was just a few strategic adjustments away?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine how to get more interaction on Instagram, unveiling multiple proven strategies that can transform your Instagram account from just another page into a thriving community hub.

Whether you’re a budding influencer, a small business owner, or a member of a dynamic content marketing team, these insights will empower you to increase your visibility and connect more deeply with your audience.

Let’s explore the tactics that will help you unlock the full potential of your Instagram presence, beginning with a fundamental understanding of what Instagram engagement really means…

Understanding Instagram Engagement

Think of Instagram engagement as the heartbeat of your account.

It’s not just about how many followers you have; it’s about how actively those followers interact with your posts through likes, comments, shares, and saves.

Engagement also includes responses to your Instagram Stories—every interaction counts!

Why is your Instagram engagement so important?

Engagement is the clearest indicator of how well your content resonates with your audience.

It tells you much more than how many people you can reach; by measuring their interactions with your content, it shows how many are truly connected to what you share.

High engagement rates mean your audience is not only seeing your content but also interacting with it in different ways, including:

  • Reacting to it
  • Discussing it
  • Sharing it with others

This active involvement is key to expanding your influence and reach on the platform.

By understanding and measuring engagement, you gain invaluable insights into your audience’s preferences and behaviors.

Such data is like gold.

It guides you on:

  • What to post more of
  • What to do differently in future
  • Sometimes, what to stop doing completely!

So, what does a good engagement rate look like, and how can you know if you’re on the right track to attract more interaction on Instagram?

Let’s explore what numbers you should aim for and how these figures can help guide your content strategy on Instagram.

What’s a Good Engagement Rate on Instagram?

Determining a good engagement rate on Instagram can feel like navigating a maze—what’s excellent for some might be average for others.

In other words, it’s all relative.

But in general, recent data has shown that the average engagement rate across various types of accounts hovers around 1.89%.

Average engagement rates on Instagram 2024 Image Source: Oberlo

If you achieve or exceed this rate, it signifies you’re not just on the right track, but that:

  • Your content is engaging, influencing, and resonating deeply with your audience
  • Your followers aren’t just passive, but active participants within your community

Even better, the higher your engagement rate, the more likely your content will be prioritized by Instagram’s algorithms, increasing your visibility and attracting new followers.

**But how do you work out what your engagement rate actually is? **And how do you push it higher?

Understanding how to calculate your engagement rate is the first step in creating a strategy to boost your numbers and grow it.

Let’s take a look…

How to Calculate Your Instagram Engagement Rate

Understanding how to calculate your engagement rate on Instagram is crucial to be able to gauge the success of your current strategy on the platform and attract more interaction.

Here’s a simple 2-step process to get a clear picture of how engaging your content is:

Step 1: Gather Your Data

Start by compiling data on all the interactions your content has received. This includes metrics such as likes, comments, shares, saves, and responses to your Instagram Stories.

You then also need the total number of impressions for your posts and Stories.

If you’re unsure how to compile this information, here are some tools that track social media analytics and will enable you to gather the data you need.

Step 2: Apply the Formula

Once you have the total number of interactions, use them in the following formula to find your engagement rate:

Engagement Rate = (Total Interactions / Impressions) x 100

This gives you the percentage of your audience that has engaged with your posts, providing a clear metric to assess the effectiveness of your content.

It can also be useful to track this over different time periods.

For example, you might track the engagement rate per month or per quarter, and see how it changes over time, perhaps in response to you testing a change in strategy, or changes in the size of your audience.

9 Proven Strategies to Get More Interaction on Instagram

1. Be Authentic

Authenticity on Instagram (as well as on other social media networks) isn’t just a buzzword. It’s key to both building, and building relationships with, your audience.

The most successful Instagrammers aren’t those who curate a flawless façade, but those who present themselves as they really are—in other words, authentically.

Here’s how you can leverage authenticity to enhance engagement and get more interaction…

Show Your True Self

Let your followers see the real you, including the highs and the lows, the triumphs and the trials.

Your audience values transparency and can relate to your journey more when they see you as a genuine person (often that they have things in common with) rather than just a brand.

Connect Through Stories

Use your captions, stories and videos to tell your personal or brand story in a way that feels intimate and honest.

Talk about things like the following to help foster deeper connections:

  • The challenges your faced
  • The lessons you’ve learned
  • The milestones you’ve achieved

Genuine post for more interaction on Instagram

Encourage Interaction

Post questions about your followers’ experiences or opinions related to your posts.

This not only shows that you value their input, but this also stimulates more meaningful conversations.

Be Responsive

Engage with your followers’ comments and messages.

Acknowledge their support, answer their questions, and participate in discussions.

When your followers see that you’re actively involved, they’re more likely to feel valued, feel part of an active community, and keep coming back.

In other words, this drives higher engagement rates.

2. Keep Engaging Actively

Engagement breeds engagement—it’s crucial not just to post regularly and consistently, but also to interact regularly and consistently with others.

This active participation can significantly amplify your reach and strengthen your connections.

Here are some suggested ways to approach it…

Set Aside Time for Engagement

Allocate specific times each day solely for engaging with other users on the platform.

This can include liking, commenting, or sharing content from followers and other accounts in your niche.

Leave Meaningful Comments

Go beyond the generic ‘Nice post!’ type comments.

Leave something more meaningful, thoughtful and personalized, preferably something that sparks conversations.

This not only makes your engagement more noticeable, but also encourages others to visit your profile and engage with your content.

Follow and Interact with Peers

Regularly find and follow new accounts in your niche. Engaging with their content can lead to mutual interests and reciprocal interactions.

This works particularly well for building relationships with influencers and other key players in your field.

Respond Promptly to Comments on Your Posts

Show followers that you value their input by responding promptly and thoughtfully to comments on your own posts.

This fuels further engagement and helps build a loyal community around your content.

Use Engagement Tools Wisely

Tools like polls, question stickers, or quizzes in your Stories can be excellent ways to invite interaction, and make engagement fun and easy for your followers.

3. Leverage Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads aren’t just about increasing visibility—they’re a strategic tool for boosting engagement by targeting users who are most likely to be interested in your content.

Instagram ads can help boost interaction on Instagram

Here’s how to harness the full potential of Instagram advertising

Understand the Different Ad Formats

Instagram offers various ad formats including stories ads, photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and more.

Each format has its strengths and weaknesses, so choose the one that best fits your message or action you want to promote.

Utilize Advanced Targeting Options

Instagram’s advanced targeting capabilities allow you to reach a specific audience who are most likely to engage with your content.

Start by creating custom audiences from your existing contacts, like newsletter subscribers, website visitors, and customers.

Then, use Instagram’s retargeting options to show ads to users who have already interacted with you.

Explore Lookalike Audiences

Expand your reach by targeting lookalike audiences. This feature finds users similar to your existing followers or customers, increasing the likelihood of engagement since these users share similar interests and behaviors.

Optimize Your Campaigns for Engagement

When setting up your ads, choose Engagement as your campaign objective. This tells Instagram to optimize your ads for interactions such as likes, comments, and shares, helping to increase the overall engagement on your profile.

Test and Refine

Continuously test different elements of your ads, such as the imagery, copy, and targeting to see what works best with your audience.

Use the insights gained from these tests to refine your approach and improve the effectiveness of future campaigns.

In short, with the strategic use of Instagram Ads, you can significantly enhance your engagement rates, helping to grow a loyal following while also boosting your content’s performance.

As well as increasing engagement, you can of course use Instagram Ads in other ways to advertise your business—for a quick overview, watch the following short video, or click here for the full guide.

4. Analyze Your Top Performing Posts

To continuously improve your Instagram strategy, it’s crucial to understand what’s working, and why.

By analyzing your top-performing posts, you can uncover patterns and trends, and understand what resonates with your audience.

Regularly Review Instagram Insights

Use Instagram’s built-in analytics tool, Instagram Insights, to track the performance of your posts.

Look for posts that have garnered the most likes, comments, shares, and saves.

Identify Common Features

Examine these top-performing posts to identify common elements that might contribute to their success.

This could include:

  • Specific types of content, such as user-generated content
  • Certain styles of visuals
  • The tone of captions
  • Particular hashtags

Understand Audience Preferences

Pay attention to the visuals and topics that engage your audience the most.

Do brighter, more colorful posts get more engagement?

Do video posts tend to perform better than images? Or vice versa?

Experiment with Content

Based on your findings, start experimenting.

Test incorporating these successful elements into new posts.

For example, if music-filled Reels or posts with vibrant visuals perform well, try to create more content with these features.

Iterate and Optimize

Continuously use the insights from your analytics to refine your content strategy.

And keep testing and analyzing! What works today, might not work tomorrow, so be prepared to continuously adapt to the needs of your audience, and to keep your content fresh and engaging.

Engage Your Audience for Feedback

Sometimes, direct feedback from your audience can be incredibly helpful.

Consider asking your followers what they like most about your content or what they want to see more of.

This not only gives you more targeted insights but also boost engagement by making your audience feel involved in the content creation process.

5. Master the Art of Hashtagging

Hashtags are more than just a social media trend or gimmick.

They’re a powerful tool for increasing your content’s visibility and discoverability on Instagram.

Example of how Gary Vaynerchuk uses hashtags on his account on how to get more interaction on Instagram

Here’s how to use hashtags strategically to maximize your engagement and attract a relevant audience…

Use a Mix of Hashtag Types

Incorporate a balanced mix of hashtags to reach different groups of users:

  • Trending hashtags—these can increase your visibility while the hashtags are popular
  • Niche-specific hashtags—connect with a targeted audience interested in specific topics
  • Branded hashtags—create and use unique hashtags for your brand to foster community and track engagement

Research and Refresh Hashtags Regularly

Trends change, and so does the effectiveness of certain hashtags.

Regularly research current hashtags in your niche by looking at competitors, industry leaders, and hashtag suggestions on Instagram.

Don’t Overload Your Posts

It might be tempting to add as many hashtags as possible… but don’t.

Doing so can appear spammy and can actually detract from engagement.

You can add up to 30 hashtags per post, but using 5-10 relevant hashtags is often more effective.

Place Hashtags Strategically

You can include hashtags directly in your captions for better engagement or in the first comment to keep your captions clean and focused.

Analyze Hashtag performance

Use Instagram Insights or third-party tools to see which hashtags are driving the most engagement and discoverability for your posts.

This insight can help you refine your hashtag strategy over time.

Engage on Hashtag Pages

Besides using hashtags in your posts, actively engage with posts on the same hashtag pages.

This can increase visibility among users who follow or check those hashtags, fostering additional engagement.

6. Optimize Your Post Times for Maximum Impact

Timing your posts correctly is crucial for maximizing engagement on Instagram.

Posting when your audience is most active ensures your content is seen by the largest number of potential engagers right when they are online.

Here’s how to fine-tune your posting schedule for the best results:

Leverage Instagram Insights

Utilize Instagram Insights to determine when your followers are most active.

This tool provides data on the days and times your audience typically engages with your content the most.

(What’s the best way to track social media analytics? That depends on your budget and requirements—here are 10 top tools to consider.)

Experiment with Different Times

While Insights provides a good starting point, experimentation can help refine your strategy by:

  • Posting at different times
  • Monitoring how these changes affect your engagement rates

Consider Time Zones

Is your audience spread across different geographical areas?

Then you need to consider the time zones they are in and, depending on how your followers are spread, can experiment with scheduling posts at various times to catch waves of activity from different regions.

Be Consistent with Posting

Consistent and regular posting is key to keeping your audience engaged.

Develop a consistent posting schedule that aligns with the times you’ve identified as most effective.

Consistency helps your audience know when to expect new content from you, and that builds anticipation, engagement and trust.

Check out our related post: What’s the Ideal Social Media Posting Schedule? (7 Key Principles)

Use Scheduling Tools

Take advantage of social media management tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Later to schedule your posts in advance.

This can help you maintain consistency and ensure your content goes live at the optimal times without having to be online 24/7.

Monitor and Adapt

Social media is dynamic, so it’s important to continually monitor the effectiveness of your posting times and adapt based on what the data tells you.

Seasons, holidays, and even changes in social behavior can influence the best times to post.

7. Prioritize High-Quality Content

The quality of your content on Instagram can set you apart from the competition.

High-quality, engaging content not only attracts more views but also encourages deeper interaction from your audience.

Here’s how to ensure your content is consistently compelling…

Invest in Visual Appeal

Instagram is of course visually-driven, so make sure your images and videos are of high quality.

Use a good camera, pay attention to lighting, and ensure your visuals are sharp and clear.

Take advantage of appropriate editing tools to enhance colors and textures to make your posts stand out.

Craft Compelling Captions

A great image might catch the eye, but a compelling caption can engage the mind.

Use your captions to:

  • Tell a story
  • Share a thought
  • Communicate a message that resonates with your audience

Be clear, concise, and engaging, and always include a call to action or a question to encourage comments and interactions.

Be Consistent with Your Brand Voice

Each post should be a reflection of your brand’s identity and values.

Maintain a consistent tone and style that helps followers recognize your content instantly.

This consistency builds trust and strengthens your brand’s presence on the platform.

Utilize Varied Content Types

Don’t just stick to one type of content.

Experiment with different formats such as:

  • Carousels
  • Reels
  • Live videos
  • Stories

Each format caters to different audience preferences, thereby reaching and engaging more people, and can be used to convey your message in dynamic ways.

Educate and Inspire

Use your content to provide value.

Whether it’s through educational posts, inspirational quotes, or practical tips, ensure that your audience takes away something valuable every time they see one of your posts.

This not only enhances engagement but also builds loyalty.

Quality Check Before Posting

Before you hit publish, take a moment to review your content. Better still, have someone else on your team review it—a different pair of eyes can spot things you’ll never notice on your own.

Some things to check include:

  • Checking for any typos that can impact your credibility and the trustworthiness of your message
  • Ensuring the visuals align with the message
  • Double-checking if the overall presentation meets your brand’s standards

A quick quality check can prevent common mistakes and maintain the professionalism of your feed.

8. Cross-Promote on Multiple Platforms

Maximizing your visibility across other social media platforms can significantly boost your engagement back on Instagram, while also getting more ROI from your content.

Cross-promotion is not just about sharing content elsewhere.

It’s about strategically connecting with different segments of your audience wherever they are.

Here’s how to effectively cross-promote your Instagram content…

Identify Key Platforms

Understand where your target audience spends their time besides Instagram.

Whether it’s Facebook, X, LinkedIn, or Pinterest, each platform has unique characteristics and audiences that can be tapped into.

Tailor Your Content for Each Platform

While it’s efficient to share the same content across different platforms, tailor your message to fit the norms and expectations of each platform.

For instance, what works on Instagram might not resonate as well on LinkedIn.

Adjust your captions, hashtags, and content format accordingly.

And check out our content repurposing guide on how to create multi-channel content.

Leverage Platform Strengths

Use the strengths of each platform to enhance your content’s appeal.

For example:

  • If you’re repurposing a video from Instagram to publish on X, consider trimming it to highlight the most compelling part
  • If you’re repurposing content to Facebook, add a longer narrative that might appeal to that audience.

Create Platform-Specific Calls to Action

Encourage your followers on other platforms to engage with your Instagram profile by using specific calls to action.

For example, invite your Facebook followers to join Instagram contests or view behind-the-scenes stories exclusive to Instagram.

Track Cross-Promotion Performance

Use analytics tools to track how your cross-promotion strategies are impacting your engagement and follower growth on Instagram.

This data will help you refine your strategy and understand which platforms drive the most valuable traffic.

Encourage Seamless Interaction

Make it easy for users to move between your social media profiles by including direct links to your Instagram profile in your bios and even posts on other platforms.

9. Maximize Engagement with Instagram’s Rich Features

Instagram has multiple features that are designed to grow engagement and that provide you with countless opportunities to connect with your audience in dynamic and engaging ways.

From Stories and Reels to interactive stickers and live videos, these tools are designed to enhance your presence and deepen your interaction with followers.

Here’s how to put such features into action.

Utilize Stories for Real-Time Engagement

Instagram Stories are perfect for sharing more spontaneous and less polished content.

They’re ideal for posting content such as:

  • Daily updates
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses
  • Limited-time offers—create a sense of urgency and exclusivity that drives up engagement.

Leverage Reels for Greater Reach

Reels, Instagram's version of the short-form video trend, allow you to create engaging 15 to 90-second videos set to music.

These are not only fun and creative but also highly favored by Instagram's algorithms, potentially increasing your visibility and engagement across the platform.

Incorporate Interactive Stickers

Use interactive stickers such as polls, questions, and the Add Yours sticker to make your Stories engaging.

These features invite your audience to participate directly by answering questions or contributing their own stories, enhancing the interactive experience and building community.

Host Live Sessions

Engage with your followers in real-time by hosting live video sessions.

These can be used for Q&As, product launches, or casual chats with your audience, fostering a sense of authenticity and connection that can significantly deepen your relationship with your followers.

Utilize Carousel Posts

Carousel posts let you share multiple photos or videos in a single post.

Ideal for storytelling or sharing step-by-step guides, they encourage users to engage longer with your content as they swipe through, offering more depth to your posts.

Add your sticker for boosting Instagram interaction

Image Source:

To Conclude

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve laid out exactly how to get more interaction on Instagram, with 9 key strategies you can start to put into action.

But in brief, growing your interactions on the platform requires a clear focus on consistency, creativity, and connection.

It doesn’t happen overnight. But with patience, perseverance and a personal touch, you’ll start seeing your numbers climb.

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Steve Shaw is the founder of EverywhereMarketer, and has ran online businesses for over 20 years, serving over 13,000 customers in 137 countries. EverywhereMarketer helps you grow online visibility, attract more customers and grow your business across multiple channels.

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