8 Ways to Increase Your Instagram Engagement in 2022

Instagram Advanced Tips

Marvellous

Marvellous

Increase Your Instagram Engagement in 2022

Using social network is part of the everyday life now. Growing your Instagram page can be challenging sometimes, here are some tips.

Jul 29, 2022
Update on
July 29, 2022
05 MIN.
Table of Contents

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. With over 1.2 billion monthly active users, it's no surprise that there are over 200 million business profiles on Instagram. And as the number of brands moving to the platform increases, Instagram is getting increasingly competitive. 

As a brand on Instagram, you are competing with other businesses for the attention of your target audience. In fact, 80 percent of people on Instagram follow a business account. So to build a relationship with your audience and get them to engage with your content, you need a solid strategy.

That’s why in this article, we would look at actionable ways you can increase your Instagram engagement in 2022. 

Let’s get started.

Post when your audience is most active

Posting content when your audience is most active is an effective way to boost engagement. When you post at the right time, it increases the chances of your content getting seen by more people. And the more people that see your content, the more impressions you get. More impressions will translate into increased engagement. 

So how do you determine the best time to post on Instagram?

While there are a lot of studies online on best post times, there is no one-size-fits-all. Your audience will determine when you should be posting. 

There are two ways to go about this. You can either use Iconosquare’s ‘best time to post feature’ or get the information from your Instagram business account by clicking the Insights button on your profile page. 

With Iconosquare you can easily find the optimal time to share content on Instagram. You will find the data under the Engagement section of your Analytics dashboard. 

If you use the Insights data provided by Instagram, you can view data broken down into content, activity, and audience. Select the Audience tab to view your audience's most active times in hours and days. 

Here are some other ways you can find the best time to post:

  • Check your best-performing posts: Reviewing which of your posts have the most engagement will help you figure out what works best for your brand. Analyze the post with the most likes, comments, and shares to see the time of the day you posted them.
  • Monitor when your competitors post content: If you are just starting with Instagram, you will not have enough data to work with. You can monitor other brands in your industry or niche that are targeting the same audience as you to see when they post. This will help you form a foundation for your posting strategy. 

Host appealing giveaways

When it's done right, Instagram giveaways can help you reach a larger audience, generate engagement, and cultivate brand loyalty. 

But it's not all about running giveaways, you need to be strategic about it.

Target your ideal audience

Before you host a giveaway, you need to identify your target audience, their interests, and the right prizes to capture their attention. Note that everyone loves free stuff, so if you choose just any prize, you might get a lot of engagement but you won’t be attracting the right audience. You want your audience to keep engaging with your other content, not just giveaway posts. 

So along with using demographic traits like age, gender, location, and interests, one of the best ways to understand your Instagram audience is by using social media listening

Iconosquare’s social listening tool can help you monitor the conversations your audience is having. You can also monitor what your followers are saying about your brand on Instagram. The monitoring tool will also help you increase engagement with your audience by helping you respond to tags and comments in real-time. 

Select an appealing prize

Now that you know who your audience is, you can choose prizes that will attract them. For instance, a skincare brand can give away a fancy skin care product that their audience will appreciate instead of giving out an iPhone. While an iPhone giveaway might see more engagement, it will also lure random people that aren’t interested in your brand. The skin care product on the other hand will receive engagement from the right audience.

For instance, @benefitscosmetics partnered with @purevidabracelets to host a giveaway for their audience. Benefits decided to offer their audience Pure Vida goodies worth $500 and $500 worth of their own product. They choose prizes that they knew will be attractive to their audience. 

Write a good giveaway caption

Here are key things you should include in your caption to help boost participation for your giveaway posts:

  • An eye-catching headline
  • Details of your prize
  • Simple rules on how to enter
  • A call to action (CTA) telling viewers the next steps to take

Tip: Always use short sentences and leave white spaces to improve readability. You can also use emojis to add emphasis. Using hashtags will help increase the reach of the giveaways post. 

Collaborate with influencers

Instagram influencers have access to large audiences. By collaborating with them, you get access to their audience too. Working with influencers is especially good for smaller brands that are not well known. The influencer’s audience will get to know about your brand and engage with you.

You don’t have to work with big influencers only. You can work with micro-influencers with followers under 100,000. They are cheaper and usually have an actively engaged following. The key is to choose the right influencers for your brand. 

Some criteria you should consider when picking influencers

  • Audience: To reach the appropriate audience, partner with influencers who have a relevant audience for your brand. For instance, a real estate brand partnering with a fitness influencer will be out of place.
  • Engagement: Work with influencers that see good engagement. Some influencers have a high following but see low engagement. In addition to engagement, work with influencers who take the time to respond to their followers' comments as they will have a better relationship with their followers.
  • Authenticity: Authentic influencers build their following by becoming experts in their niche. They know a lot about their industry and can easily demonstrate the benefits of your brand to their audience. 
  • Values: You should always partner with influencers that have the same values as your brand. For example, a vegan brand shouldn’t partner with a food influencer that endorses meat products. You can find out more about an influencer's values by going through their content, bio, and captions.
  • Frequency: Check out how often the influencer shares sponsored content. If you notice that an influencer has published more sponsored content than regular content, their audience might start to selectively ignore any sponsored posts. Not only that, their credibility might be at risk. Look at the comments on their sponsored posts to see what their audience is saying. If they are mostly negative, don't partner with the influencer.
  • Audience quality: Some influencers buy fake followers and engagement. So keep an eye for this when picking who you will work with. For instance, avoid influencers that have little content or poor content, but have a high following and engagement. Or if most of their followers have no profile photos, strange usernames, stock photos, anonymous profiles, or little to no content. Also, look at the comments on their posts. If the majority of it is spammy or generic, avoid working with that influencers. 

You can find influencers by searching through hashtags on Instagram, by joining influencer marketing platforms, or by using Google search. 

Ways to collaborate with influencers

After finding the influencers you want to work with, here are some effective ways to collaborate with them.

#1. Influencer gifting 

Influencer gifting is the process of giving your products to influencers in exchange for a review or at times with no strings attached. If the influencer loves your product and finds it relevant to their audience, they will post about it for free.

For instance, ColorPop Cosmetics gifted beauty influencer @xnataliexbeautyx some of their products. She was very excited about the gift and shared an unboxing video with her audience. 

#2. Sponsored posts

A sponsored post is when you pay an influencer to post about your brand in exchange for a fee. It is the most popular type of influencer collaboration. The sponsored posts on Instagram have increased from 1.26 million in 2016 to 6.12 million in 2020

You can enter one-off or long-term collaborations with the influencer. Whatever you choose, it is important to have a solid contract before entering the partnership. Include things like compensation and how many revisions you can get. If you are giving creative freedom to the influencer, ensure to give them content guidelines and a brief. 

An example of a sponsored post is when @ridealto partnered with style and travel influencer @lovelyinla to promote their ridesharing app. 

#3. Account takeovers

Account takeovers are when an influencer takes over a brand’s account and posts directly from it.  The benefit of this collaboration format is that the influencer will announce in advance to their followers that they will be taking over your account. This will cause their audience to check out your brand. The more eyes on your account, the more impressions and engagement you get. 

For example, indoor cycling brand @fullpsycle partnered with influencer Peach for an Instagram stories takeover. Peach shared videos and photos of herself using Psycle all day. 

#4. Product collaboration

This collaboration is best for brands with large marketing budgets. Brands can collaborate with big-name influencers to create or launch a new product. The influencer gets a stake in the product and you get more engagement because the audience trusts the influencer and their name is on your product.

For example, Arielle Charnas partnered with Nordstrom to launch a stylish capsule collection. The partnership became so popular that a standalone brand @somethingnavy was launched. 

Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags are mostly used to increase reach. But the reality is that the more reach your posts get, the higher your impressions and engagements.

If you haven’t started to use hashtags in your content strategy, you should start now. Simply Measured found that using hashtags in your post can grow engagement by 12.6 percent. Even Instagram advises creators to use hashtags in their posts. In the post, they lay out hashtag dos and don'ts users should follow.

Hashtag dos

  • Use hashtags that are relevant to your brand and content.
  • Use hashtags that your followers and fans already use.
  • Mix niche and popular hashtags to increase discoverability.
  • You can create your own branded hashtags so your followers can easily find your content.
  • Keep the number of hashtags between 3 or 5

Hashtag don'ts

  • Don’t use hashtags that have nothing to do with your brand or content
  • Don’t use generic hashtags. It will make it harder for your followers to find you
  • Don’t use too many hashtags. Using up to 10 hashtags will not increase your reach.

Share user-generated content (UGC)

UGC is any content created by customers about a brand and published to social media and other channels. It can come in the form of images, videos, reviews, or testimonials. 

Sharing UGC from your fans and customers is an effective way to increase your Instagram engagement. 

Most people do not trust content created by brands. A Stackla survey revealed that consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view content created by other consumers as authentic. And your audience will most likely engage with content they like and find authentic. 

Note that UGC doesn't always have to be content that includes your brand and product. It can also be content that overlaps with your brand and audience. For example, Nike regularly shares videos of individuals who have preserved in the face of difficulty. These types of videos match their brand's motto “Just do it”. 

What not to do with user-generated content

Do not attempt to create a fake user-generated campaign. Your audience will find out and this will ruin your brand’s reputation. The best thing is to collect UGC from your customers. You can even directly ask users to create content while using your product. Your audience also wants you to tell them what to share. 50% of consumers wish that brands will tell them the kind of content they should create. To encourage action, you can run a contest where the best content wins a prize. 

Also, make sure that you do not use UGC without asking. Brands should not share online without receiving permission from the creator. You should also give proper credit.  Make it a habit to reach out and receive the owner’s consent before posting. 

An example of a brand that uses UGC is BMW. They reshare content created by fans using the hashtag #BMWRepost. 

Cross-promote to other social channels

By increasing your reach, you boost your engagement. And one way to increase content reach is to cross-promote it to other social media channels. For instance, you can promote an Instagram post by sharing a link to your Twitter account.

Instagram also makes it easy for you to share to other channels. You can instantly share an Instagram post to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and many other social networks. 

Although cross-promotion is effective, you should be careful not to overuse it. It's best practice not to share all of your Instagram content to other social channels. If your followers can find all of your Instagram posts on Twitter, then they might not see the need to follow and engage with you directly on Instagram.  

Use closed captions and video subtitles

Captions are intended for viewers who can’t hear audio while subtitles are for viewers who can’t understand the language being spoken.

The more accessible and digestible your content is, the more engagement it would get. Technology has progressed to a stage where people with disabilities can use social media. For instance, adding captions to your videos will make it easy for deaf users to enjoy your content. 

Reports from Instagram also show that 40% of Instagram Stories are viewed with sound off. A significant number of users prefer to watch videos without sound. So not using subtitles might alienate this section of your audience. This is why subtitles and captions are essential.

Further research from Facebook shows that adding captions to videos increases the average video view by 12%. Also, a study from AdWeek shows that about 80% of people say they are more likely to finish a video when it has captions. Your engagement rate is bound to increase if your audience is enjoying and finishing watching your videos. 

Experiment with different video formats

Video is one of the best-performing content formats on Instagram. According to a study from HubSpot and Mention, video content has 2x more engagement on Instagram. So to boost engagement, invest in quality video content

The best part is that Instagram offers different video options. From 15-second Stories, Reels, to Live videos, there are many formats you can use to engage your audience. 

While making videos for Instagram, you need to follow pro tips to make them more engaging. Here are some tips:

  • Choose trending topics for videos: This is a surefire way to see more likes and comments on videos. You can look at Google trends and hashtags to see the topics that are trending on the platform and create videos around that topic. 
  • Follow Instagram video specifications: This will ensure that the viewer has the best experience while watching your videos. Here are the video requirements for Instagram
  • Create an enticing video thumbnail: Your thumbnail is the first thing the viewer will see before playing the video. Take your time to design an appealing thumbnail. You can use Instagram Creator Studio to add the cover photo you would use as your thumbnail. 
  • Add hashtags: Using relevant hashtags will increase your reach and make it easy for non-followers to find your videos.

Wrapping up

Your Instagram profile can be a solid marketing asset for your brand. By following the tips in this article, you will be able to increase your Instagram engagement. No matter how competitive the platform gets, with a solid content strategy, you will still keep raking in likes, comments, and shares.

The final tip is to continue to track and learn from your best-performing content and strategy. If sharing user-generated content gets you a ton of engagement, do more of that. If your audience loves when you do Live videos, host more Lives. The key is to find what works best for you and your audience. 

And by using tools such as social listening, you will be able to learn more about what your audience likes. Consider using a social media management tool like Iconosquare. With Iconosquare, not only can you perform social listening, but you can also carry in-depth analytics to help you make data-driven decisions. Start a 14-day free trial

Marvellous

Marvellous

Copywriter @Iconosquare

Hi! I'm Marvellous, huge fan of Iconosquare as a product, and determined to help experienced social media marketers thrive in the various aspects of their career.

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