1. Include a Call to Action (CTA)

People like talking about themselves. It’s as simple as that! Take some time with each Instagram post to ask a question or include a CTA for your audience that promotes action. This could be a question that you want your audience to answer, an action you want them to complete (like tagging people), or heading to the link in your bio.

PRO TIP: Questions get the most engagement

If you’re into long captions, put your question at the top of the post to encourage response without requiring your audience to read your entire caption. See an example below from a post I did recently!

2. Engage with your current followers on your posts and theirs

Just because you gained someone as a follower doesn’t mean they are there for life! If you aren’t engaging with your current followers, you’re missing a huge opportunity to establish authentic relationships. As we know, Instagram isn’t just about the numbers anymore. It’s about crafting and cultivating relationships with anyone you can. The best way to do this is to engage with them.

PRO TIP: Questions get the most engagement

Reply to all of your comments within ONE HOUR of them being posted. Of course, this has its limitations. Don’t spend your entire life on your phone, but when you can, reply to comments almost as soon as they are posted. This shows your audience that you care about their response and aren’t just looking for a boost in engagement. 

3. Only follow active users

When it comes to finding your tribe on Instagram, you need to do the work. People won’t just come to you. That old saying “build it and they will come” does NOT apply to Instagram. One way to find your tribe is to follow and engage with people in your industry and/or your target market that are active on Instagram just as much as you are. There’s no reason to try and spark a conversation with someone who hasn’t been on their account in 16 weeks.

PRO TIP: check to see if they have stories live on their account right now, and if they do, engage.

Stories go away after 24 hours, so if someone has one on their profile, that means that they have been on Instagram in the last 24 hours. How to tell if they have a current story: there will be a pink/orange and purple circle around their profile image (see below).

4. Only use moderately popular hashtags on your posts

This is one of the most common mistakes I see. I get people come to me who are using an abundance of hashtags but aren’t getting any engagement. The first thing I do is look at how popular their hashtags are.  If you are using hashtags that have millions of posts already associated with them, you are going to get lost in a sea of other posts almost immediately.

PRO TIP: check your current list of hashtags and get rid of any that have over 1m posts. Try to stick in the 20k-500k range.

5. use instagram story engagement stickers to encourage engagement on stories

Guess what? Engagement on stories is just as important (if not more) as engagement on posts. Instagram has supplied amazing Instagram features like the Poll, Questions, Slider, and Quiz stickers that you can use to engage with your followers.

PRO TIP: Use these features to ask your audience questions you actually want their input on. Questions like “what do you want to see more of on my account” can help you get an idea of what your audience wants from you.

There are so many things you can do to boost your engagement that ISN’T purchasing followers, joining engagement pods, or using any other fake engagement method. 

next time you’re planning and strategizing ways to level up your Instagram game, try to incorporate these tips and see how your audience responds!

Do you have any tips you think people need to know about? Leave them in the comments below!