There was a point in time when all anyone cared about was getting more Instagram followers. The social clout that came along with having thousands of followers gave brands social proof and helped influencers score deals with advertisers.

Fast forward to 2018, and the name of the game is Instagram engagement.

Engagement is the new social currency, and brands and influencers are all trying to get more of it.

But why exactly is Instagram engagement so valuable? And more importantly, what can you do to drive more likes and comments on your posts?

Read on and we’ll tell you the why, what and how of Instagram engagement. And if you stick around until the end of the article, we’ll give you our top recommendation to get more tools for Instagram engagement.

Why Engagement is the Top Metric for Instagram

While there are tons of metrics you can measure on Instagram, engagement is king. Unlike followers, impressions, profile views and other metrics, engagement means someone enjoyed your content so much they felt compelled to take an action after viewing it.

Let’s break down why engagement is crucial for both influencers and businesses:

Why Engagement Matters For Influencers

If you’re an influencer, your instincts might be to get as many followers as you can because it shows potential advertisers you’re popular. But not too long ago, brands started to realize that followers alone weren’t an effective way to gauge the value of an influencer.

It’s easy to buy Instagram followers to boost your numbers. And while you can buy Instagram likes and comments, it’s extremely difficult (and expensive) to fake authentic engagement.

Plus, let’s say you buy a couple hundred fake comments on your posts. If you ever do get an advertising deal with a brand, they’re going to get suspicious when you’re unable to drive a single lead from your fake engaged audience.

Take a look at an influencer like Desi Perkins for example. You could easily buy your way to 3.7 million fake followers. But her posts average hundreds of comments each:

That’s something that can’t be bought.

Why Engagement Matters For Brands

We’re sure we don’t have to go into details about the Instagram algorithm here. But one of the key factors that Instagram looks at when determining where your posts show up in your followers’ feeds and even the Explore tab, is engagement.

Not only do they look at the number of engagements you get on each post, but they also look at the rate and timing.

For instance, if your posts get thousands of engagements within a couple of hours, it’s a signal to Instagram that your post is popular and highly relevant. As a result, the app will be more likely to show your content to more people.

On the flipside, if you post a photo and all you get is crickets, Instagram assumes people don’t want to see it and will show other posts first.

How to Calculate Instagram Engagement

Now that you know why you should measure Instagram engagement, the next question is how can you calculate it?. It’s actually pretty simple, and you have a couple of options:

Use This Formula

The formula to calculate your Instagram engagement rate is:

Total number of engagements (likes plus comments) / total number of followers * 100

For instance, take a look at this post from Real Good Foods:

It has 2,887 likes and 374 comments. That’s a total of 3261 engagements. And they have 174,000 followers at the moment. So to calculate their engagement rate, you’d do:

(3261/174,000) * 100 = 1.87% engagement rate

That gives you the engagement rate of a single post.

In order to rule out any outliers, we suggest taking the average engagement rate of your last 10 posts or so (assuming your total followers has stayed relatively consistent).

For reference, the average Instagram engagement rate is around 1-3% depending on your follower count and industry.

Use an Instagram Analytics Tool

The other option is to use an Instagram Analytics tool. There are a ton of tools out there like Later and Iconosquare that will not only tell you the engagement rate of each individual post, but the overall engagement rate of your page as well.

Influencer Marketing Hub has a free tool that’ll show you the engagement rate of any page, as well as some other data. This can be helpful for both influencers and brands.

5 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement

The last piece of this puzzle is figuring out how to boost your Instagram engagement. Whether you’re an influencer or business, getting more engagement will help you earn more awareness, build a larger audience and ultimately increase your revenue.

Here are five ways to increase Instagram engagement:

1. Include These Colors in Your Photos

Psychology plays a huge role in marketing. In fact, in the early days of advertising, businesses and agencies relied on psychologists to help them understand what makes people buy.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can use a little bit of psychology to get people to engage with your Instagram posts.

Specifically, we’re talking about color psychology.

Color psychology is the use of colors to invoke certain emotions or actions. It’s used in web design, logo creation and overall branding.

You might be surprised at how much you’re affected by color without even realizing it.

One study found that people make judgments within the first 90 seconds of seeing a person or product. And 62-90% of that judgment is based on color.

When someone is scrolling through their Instagram feed, your posts have a lot less than 90 seconds to make an impression. So color becomes even more crucial.

So which colors should you use to boost engagement?

First and foremost, stick to a single dominant color rather than multiple dominant colors. Curalate found that images with a single dominant color generate 17% more likes than those with multiple dominant colors.

On top of that, their research also showed predominantly blue photos get 24% more likes than red photos.

Some other colors to consider are yellow, which signifies happiness or green which is easy for your eyes to process and signifies freshness, health and prosperity!

2. Use Hashtags Wisely

We all know that hashtags can reel in the engagement. In fact, hashtags result in 12.6% more engagement.

But don’t think that simply slapping on 30 random hashtags into your caption will cause the likes and comments to start flooding in.

One study found that Instagram posts with 9-12 hashtags actually get the most engagement.

In order to really boost your engagement, make sure that the hashtags you use are:

  • Relevant to your post
  • Actively used

In order to find popular hashtags on Instagram for engagement, just do a search for a keyword relevant to your post.

Instagram will show you how many posts that hashtag has been used in, which will give you an idea of how popular it is.

3. Use Instagram Stories to Promote Your Posts

Instagram stories are prominently displayed at the top of a user’s Instagram feed. That’s amazing real estate on the app because you’re not forced to compete for attention in a feed with hundreds of other posts.

Plus, users love Stories. In fact, the Stories feature increased the average amount of time spent on Instagram to 28 minutes and has quickly grown to over 300 million daily active users.

Take advantage of the popularity of Instagram Stories to push people to your latest posts.

Here’s how.

Post your latest photo as an Instagram Story and ask your followers to leave a comment when they see the post.

This will allow you to get the attention of people who may not scroll through their feed or simply overlook your post.

Depending on how often you post, you might not want to do it every time you share a new photo or you could potentially start to annoy your followers.

4. Regram & Tag

Have you ever been tagged in a photo on Instagram? What did you do after receiving the notification? Most likely, you went to the photo, liked it and possibly even left a comment.

You can reverse engineer this strategy to get more engagement on your own posts.

First, find an Instagram post relevant to the type of content you typically post. Look for posts with a decent amount of engagement, but not posts from huge influencers with millions of followers.

Then, using a Regram app, share the post to your page and tag the source of the photo in the photo itself, and @mention them in the caption.

Once you’ve tagged them, they’ll receive a notification on Instagram and go to your page to check it out. And hopefully, they’ll leave a comment or at the very least like your post!

Don’t forget to throw in some popular hashtags as well to pull in even more engagement.

Brands like Buffer, WeWork, GoPro and others have used this tactic to build their audience and boost their Instagram engagement.

In fact, GoPro’s entire feed is made of reposts from customers using their products.

In case you need even more convincing, Socialbakers researched the engagement of original photos versus Regrams, and found that Regrams received 6.5% more interactions on average for brand pages.

Another benefit of Regramming is it helps you fill your Instagram feed without needing to create new content!

5. Ask a Question in Your Caption

Instagram engagement isn’t just about the videos or photos you post. Your captions also play a major role in getting people to interact with your content.

One of the easiest ways to get more engagement on Instagram is to include a question in your caption.

In fact, research has shown that asking questions increases your likeability.

But the key is to ask the right questions.

Ask questions that require an opinion or personal experience. These types of questions engage your audience because it makes them feel like their opinion is valued and appreciated.

For instance, let’s take a look at popular men’s fashion influencer Jose Zuniga of Teaching Men’s Fashion.

His posts generally get 200-500 comments each, which is amazing. But when he asks a question, that amount doubles or even triples in some cases.

This post simply asking about men’s favorite color to wear drove over 900 comments.

And this one asking for new video ideas gained nearly 1,500 comments!

Don’t limit your captions to “witty” one-liners or motivational quotes. Use it as an opportunity to engage with your audience by asking questions that spark discussion and you’ll see a nice boost in engagement.

An Easier Way to Increase Instagram Engagement

The five tactics above will definitely get you more engagement, but they also require a good amount of time and effort before you start seeing big results.

If you want to see rapid growth in engagement, combine these tactics with a service like ours here at SocialSteeze. We help businesses and influencers boost their Instagram engagement organically, as well as grow their audience.

Sign up now to see how we can turn your Instagram account into an engagement machine!

Kw: instagram engagement

Title: Instagram Engagement: Why & How to Increase It

Description: Instagram engagement is the new social currency for businesses and influencers. Find out why it’s so important, and 5 tactics to boost your engagement organically.

Url: /instagram-engagement/

There was a point in time when all anyone cared about was getting more Instagram followers. The social clout that came along with having thousands of followers gave brands social proof and helped influencers score deals with advertisers.

Fast forward to 2018, and the name of the game is Instagram engagement.

Engagement is the new social currency, and brands and influencers are all trying to get more of it.

But why exactly is Instagram engagement so valuable? And more importantly, what can you do to drive more likes and comments on your posts?

Read on and we’ll tell you the why, what and how of Instagram engagement. And if you stick around until the end of the article, we’ll give you our top recommendation to get more Instagram engagement.

Why Engagement is the Top Metric for Instagram

While there are tons of metrics you can measure on Instagram, engagement is king. Unlike followers, impressions, profile views and other metrics, engagement means someone enjoyed your content so much they felt compelled to take an action after viewing it.

Let’s break down why engagement is crucial for both influencers and businesses:

Why Engagement Matters For Influencers

If you’re an influencer, your instincts might be to get as many followers as you can because it shows potential advertisers you’re popular. But not too long ago, brands started to realize that followers alone weren’t an effective way to gauge the value of an influencer.

It’s easy to buy Instagram followers to boost your numbers. And while you can buy Instagram likes and comments, it’s extremely difficult (and expensive) to fake authentic engagement.

Plus, let’s say you buy a couple hundred fake comments on your posts. If you ever do get an advertising deal with a brand, they’re going to get suspicious when you’re unable to drive a single lead from your fake engaged audience.

Take a look at an influencer like Desi Perkins for example. You could easily buy your way to 3.7 million fake followers. But her posts average hundreds of comments each:

That’s something that can’t be bought.

Why Engagement Matters For Brands

We’re sure we don’t have to go into details about the Instagram algorithm here. But one of the key factors that Instagram looks at when determining where your posts show up in your followers’ feeds and even the Explore tab, is engagement.

Not only do they look at the number of engagements you get on each post, but they also look at the rate and timing.

For instance, if your posts get thousands of engagements within a couple of hours, it’s a signal to Instagram that your post is popular and highly relevant. As a result, the app will be more likely to show your content to more people.

On the flipside, if you post a photo and all you get is crickets, Instagram assumes people don’t want to see it and will show other posts first.

How to Calculate Instagram Engagement

Now that you know why you should measure Instagram engagement, the next question is how can you calculate it?. It’s actually pretty simple, and you have a couple of options:

Use This Formula

The formula to calculate your Instagram engagement rate is:

Total number of engagements (likes plus comments) / total number of followers * 100

For instance, take a look at this post from Real Good Foods:

It has 2,887 likes and 374 comments. That’s a total of 3261 engagements. And they have 174,000 followers at the moment. So to calculate their engagement rate, you’d do:

(3261/174,000) * 100 = 1.87% engagement rate

That gives you the engagement rate of a single post.

In order to rule out any outliers, we suggest taking the average engagement rate of your last 10 posts or so (assuming your total followers has stayed relatively consistent).

For reference, the average Instagram engagement rate is around 1-3% depending on your follower count and industry.

Use an Instagram Analytics Tool

The other option is to use an Instagram Analytics tool. There are a ton of tools out there like Later and Iconosquare that will not only tell you the engagement rate of each individual post, but the overall engagement rate of your page as well.

Influencer Marketing Hub has a free tool that’ll show you the engagement rate of any page, as well as some other data. This can be helpful for both influencers and brands.

5 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement

The last piece of this puzzle is figuring out how to boost your Instagram engagement. Whether you’re an influencer or business, getting more engagement will help you earn more awareness, build a larger audience and ultimately increase your revenue.

Here are five ways to increase Instagram engagement:

1. Include These Colors in Your Photos

Psychology plays a huge role in marketing. In fact, in the early days of advertising, businesses and agencies relied on psychologists to help them understand what makes people buy.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can use a little bit of psychology to get people to engage with your Instagram posts.

Specifically, we’re talking about color psychology.

Color psychology is the use of colors to invoke certain emotions or actions. It’s used in web design, logo creation and overall branding.

You might be surprised at how much you’re affected by color without even realizing it.

One study found that people make judgments within the first 90 seconds of seeing a person or product. And 62-90% of that judgment is based on color.

When someone is scrolling through their Instagram feed, your posts have a lot less than 90 seconds to make an impression. So color becomes even more crucial.

So which colors should you use to boost engagement?

First and foremost, stick to a single dominant color rather than multiple dominant colors. Curalate found that images with a single dominant color generate 17% more likes than those with multiple dominant colors.

On top of that, their research also showed predominantly blue photos get 24% more likes than red photos.

Some other colors to consider are yellow, which signifies happiness or green which is easy for your eyes to process and signifies freshness, health and prosperity!

2. Use Hashtags Wisely

We all know that hashtags can reel in the engagement. In fact, hashtags result in 12.6% more engagement.

But don’t think that simply slapping on 30 random hashtags into your caption will cause the likes and comments to start flooding in.

One study found that Instagram posts with 9-12 hashtags actually get the most engagement.

In order to really boost your engagement, make sure that the hashtags you use are:

  • Relevant to your post
  • Actively used

In order to find popular hashtags on Instagram for engagement, just do a search for a keyword relevant to your post.

Instagram will show you how many posts that hashtag has been used in, which will give you an idea of how popular it is.

3. Use Instagram Stories to Promote Your Posts

Instagram stories are prominently displayed at the top of a user’s Instagram feed. That’s amazing real estate on the app because you’re not forced to compete for attention in a feed with hundreds of other posts.

Plus, users love Stories. In fact, the Stories feature increased the average amount of time spent on Instagram to 28 minutes and has quickly grown to over 300 million daily active users.

Take advantage of the popularity of Instagram Stories to push people to your latest posts.

Here’s how.

Post your latest photo as an Instagram Story and ask your followers to leave a comment when they see the post.

This will allow you to get the attention of people who may not scroll through their feed or simply overlook your post.

Depending on how often you post, you might not want to do it every time you share a new photo or you could potentially start to annoy your followers.

4. Regram & Tag

Have you ever been tagged in a photo on Instagram? What did you do after receiving the notification? Most likely, you went to the photo, liked it and possibly even left a comment.

You can reverse engineer this strategy to get more engagement on your own posts.

First, find an Instagram post relevant to the type of content you typically post. Look for posts with a decent amount of engagement, but not posts from huge influencers with millions of followers.

Then, using a Regram app, share the post to your page and tag the source of the photo in the photo itself, and @mention them in the caption.

Once you’ve tagged them, they’ll receive a notification on Instagram and go to your page to check it out. And hopefully, they’ll leave a comment or at the very least like your post!

Don’t forget to throw in some popular hashtags as well to pull in even more engagement.

Brands like Buffer, WeWork, GoPro and others have used this tactic to build their audience and boost their Instagram engagement.

In fact, GoPro’s entire feed is made of reposts from customers using their products.

In case you need even more convincing, Socialbakers researched the engagement of original photos versus Regrams, and found that Regrams received 6.5% more interactions on average for brand pages.

Another benefit of Regramming is it helps you fill your Instagram feed without needing to create new content!

5. Ask a Question in Your Caption

Instagram engagement isn’t just about the videos or photos you post. Your captions also play a major role in getting people to interact with your content.

One of the easiest ways to get more engagement on Instagram is to include a question in your caption.

In fact, research has shown that asking questions increases your likeability.

But the key is to ask the right questions.

Ask questions that require an opinion or personal experience. These types of questions engage your audience because it makes them feel like their opinion is valued and appreciated.

For instance, let’s take a look at popular men’s fashion influencer Jose Zuniga of Teaching Men’s Fashion.

His posts generally get 200-500 comments each, which is amazing. But when he asks a question, that amount doubles or even triples in some cases.

This post simply asking about men’s favorite color to wear drove over 900 comments.

And this one asking for new video ideas gained nearly 1,500 comments!

Don’t limit your captions to “witty” one-liners or motivational quotes. Use it as an opportunity to engage with your audience by asking questions that spark discussion and you’ll see a nice boost in engagement.

An Easier Way to Increase Instagram Engagement

The five tactics above will definitely get you more engagement, but they also require a good amount of time and effort before you start seeing big results.

If you want to see rapid growth in engagement, combine these tactics with a service like ours here at SocialSteeze. We help businesses and influencers boost their Instagram engagement organically, as well as grow their audience.

Sign up now to see how we can turn your Instagram account into an engagement machine!