16 Jun '22

Feed

4 realistic ways to increase IG engagement

Are you also experiencing a drop-off in Instagram engagement? Or just not happy with the level you’re currently seeing?

There’s countless articles explaining the “sure-fire” ways you can increase the likes, comments, shares, saves, views, link clicks, DMs and story interactions you’re getting. But do they actually work? And who has time to actually put in place the top 20 🙄 ways of improving your post interactions.

So we’ve boiled it down to 4 / FOUR / IV realistic things you can start doing today that will see your engagement rates moving on up. And even encourage the other thing we all want : that all important instagram follower growth 🥳

One thing to note…

What is considered “good” engagement may actually be more achievable than you think.

A deep-dive into our database showed that on Instagram the median engagement rate was;

  • 3.5% for images
  • 3.1% for videos

Meaning if you had 1,000 Instagram followers you would expect the following engagement;

  • 35 likes, comments and saves on images
  • 31 likes and 237 views on a video

So the numbers you are clocking up may actually be pretty good versus the engagement benchmarks for Instagram.

This may surprise you, but hopefully it’s useful to have realistic expectations of what engagement actually looks like for profiles like yours.

Feed’s organic insights are a great way to see how your engagement rate measures up.

Seeing reduced engagement?

If you have been noticing a reduction in engagement, then you’re not the only one.

After analysing < 81million Instagram carousels, videos and image posts, Later found that Y-O-Y engagement rates have been falling. And quite significantly.

There’s a few reasons for this so briefly;

Reason #1 - Popularity of Reels Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard all about Reels. Short-form videos are an increasingly popular form of content (kudos to TikTok), and some research has indicated that posting reels may even encourage a boost in Instagram followers.

Reason #2 - More suggested content in your Insta feed You may have noticed that you increasingly see suggested content in your Insta feed thanks to changes in the Insta algorithm. As a result other content is potentially less likely to gain exposure. Meaning less eyeballs on your posts and less likes, comments etc.

Reason #3 - Other apps becoming increasingly popular Again TikTok can take a large share of the responsibility for this. According to Statista, in 2022 TikTok is the most used social media platform in the US - with people spending on average 45.8 minutes / day on the app. In comparison to 30.1 minutes/ day on Instagram. So people are spending less time scrolling through Instagram and more time on other apps.

But all is not lost

Instagram continues to be one of the most used apps in the world. With 1.21 billion users in 2021, even with ~less engagement~ the potential reach it has is huge. So it’s still one of the most valuable assets when growing your business, awareness of your music, or whatever it is you run your business account for.

How to increase your engagement

You can read a million different suggestions of things you could do to start improving your engagement. Some easy, some with high reward, and to be honest some just plain bizarre.

So here are our suggestions of 4 things you actually can and should do to improve your engagement today.

Try different content types 📹📸🤳

Your organic Instagram activity is a great testing ground for what works for your audience. So it’s a great idea to test different trends, post types and stories.

Content which encourages interactions

Posting an aesthetic image is all well and good but why would people get involved? Sometimes they need a bit of encouragement.

  • Running competitions where people have to like and share posts can be a good way to see a huge increase in engagements on your posts. Just look at the 10,267 likes vs 329 likes difference on these two Sweaty Betty posts.

It’s worth paying attention to the fact that this is really just a short-term win. And won’t track with every post moving forward.

(that said, once people engage you can retarget them with paid promotion for a whole year. So there is value in getting those engagements even in the longer term)

  • Trial copy which encourages people to comment and give their opinion. Here’s a good example from Pip and Nut.
  • Try short-form lo-fi videos, or longer high production value content. It’s amazing how your audience can often respond better to your “throwaway” content compared to the stuff you spend days creating. Take a look at Jimmy Fairly for example.

Give everything a go once and you’ll learn a lot in the process.

Shareable content

Creating content that your audience will share amongst their peers can be a really easy way of getting your name out there and increasing engagement. This can be particularly effective when sharing educational content e.g. if you’re a sustainable brand - 5 tips to shop more sustainably. This can take a bit longer to create, but if it’s something people will come back to time and time again sounds worthwhile to me.

Mostly just have a bit of fun with it and trial different things to see what works for your audience.

Learn from the content you post 🎓

Adding on to the previous point - take on board how your content performs.

It may seem obvious but it’s amazing how many people don’t learn from their mistakes and wins 🎉

A few ways to keep tabs of what works:

Check in Facebook

Head into the insights section on Instagram or in Meta Business Suite for a breakdown on your posts.

You can see stats such as reach, comments, post interactions, saves and much more. It’s quite a manual process but by delving into how each post performs you can get an idea of what works for your audience. A.k.a. don’t go gung-ho on posting videos if your audience don’t typically respond well to that.

Let Feed figure it out for you

Feed’s organic insights compiles all this for you. So you can see how your posts stack up against each other. In an extra-useful feature we have also visualised this for you.

Each post is also given an organic score out of 10, based on how they engaged your followers. So you can sort your posts by organic score on the posts page, and it’s another way of determining which of your posts actually do the best.

Essentially meaning you don’t have to spend time trying to put all your metrics in an insane hard-to-manage spreadsheet. You can thank us later!

Engage to engage 💬

If you want people to interact with your posts, you should also think about engaging with them.

This can be a few different ways;

Posting user-generated-content (UGC)

Encourage your followers to share their own images wearing your products, making your recipes, listening to your music etc. Then reshare it on your own page. It spurs people to interact with your page and post about you on their own channels. Also helps build some community spirit and serves as real life testimonials for your products.

*Hack: this is also an easy way of creating content, without having to spend hours in tools concepting and designing posts. *

Interact with your followers

If you comment, like, and interact with your followers they are more likely to repay the compliment.

Not that you should stalk your followers or who you’re following 🕵️‍♂️, but if you send the odd comment or like it can bring in some good karma. This will also appear to their followers so it’s a good way of getting your name out amongst similar people.

This can quite easily veer into creepy, so here are some examples of pages that do it well and to take some inspo from:

Find new audiences 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

As we said there’s 1 billion + people on Instagram, so if your current 2,000 followers aren’t giving you much engagement there’s value in finding others who may.

Running ads using lookalike or interest targeting is a way that you can find more people. Targeting people who are like your current engagers; or people who may be interested in what you are posting based on what they otherwise like in Meta. We really recommend taking this approach over just boosting posts. Often that can feel more like throwing money into the void and hoping something works!

We have a whole other post about what targeting is and how to set it up, so head there for the full run-down.

Alternatively, if you don’t fancy hiring someone else to do this for you, or don’t want to learn to do it yourself, Feed would be happy to help.

The algorithm targets warm and lookalike audiences while A/B testing your content as ads. Essentially giving you a digital marketing expert who’s willing to do the best practice approach to ads and finding new engaged audiences.

You can make it even easier for yourself by trying Feed’s managed tier, where you can have a Feed expert manage and strategise for your profile for only £350/month (or currency equivalent).

Email us on team@tryfeed.co

So what next?

Head to tryfeed.co to start running engagement campaigns with ease. To learn more about our managed tier contact us on team@tryfeed.co.

Have a look at our other articles for more tips on increasing your Instagram engagement:

Join our newsletter