How to Increase Your Engagement on Instagram

How to Increase Your Engagement on Instagram

Pretty much everyone wants to increase the engagement rate for their Instagram account. However, for many, discovering a way to sustainably increase their engagement may seem impossible. After all, there is no shortage of content on Instagram, and many may simply scroll through posts without noticing your amazing content. 

Don’t despair. One of the keys to increasing your engagement rate on Instagram is knowing what type of content in your industry is driving engagement while following a few best practices in creating your own content.

In this article, we’re going to share 8 tips that can help you increase your engagement rate on Instagram. Our tips don’t involve paid means, but rather we will focus on how to increase Instagram engagement organically.

What is Engagement on Instagram?

To begin, we should clarify what engagement actually is. Engagement on Instagram is a metric that adds together the total number of interactions a post or an Instagram account receives. These interactions include: 

  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Saves
  • Story views
  • Interactions with story stickers
  • Mentions
  • Link click-throughs
  • Direct Messages (DMs)
  • Profile visits
  • Clicks on the “Get directions” button
  • Use of branded hashtags
A woman on a phone's home screen with different follower metrics around her.

How to Measure your Instagram Engagement Rate?

Your engagement rate is a key indicator of success since it measures your audience’s interactions with your content. In calculating your engagement rate, you take the total number of your interactions and divides it by either your reach or total number of followers. The resulting number is then multiplied by 100 so that the engagement rate is displayed as the percentage of your audience who has interacted with your post.

Now that we have established how the engagement rate is measured, you are probably wondering how to check your engagement rate on Instagram. Unfortunately, Instagram only shows you how many story and post interactions your post(s) had in total. It also doesn’t provide any insights into your average engagement rate on Instagram.

So how to check your overall engagement rate on Instagram and compare it to others? You have two options. You can either do the work yourself and calculate your Instagram engagement rate manually, although this doesn’t help you with a comparison. Or you can use a social media analytics tool that does all the work for you.

If you are serious about your Instagram performance, you should consider getting a social media tool to give you advanced insights. Social media tools not only allow you to easily calculate your own engagement rate, but they also give you access to the engagement rates of other accounts so you can better benchmark your performance against your competitors.

Why does Instagram Engagement Matter?

Engagement is a metric that measures the success of an Instagram post or an Instagram profile. At its core, it lets you know how well people respond to your posts. At the end of the day, producing content that your target group loves is the best way to gain followers and build a successful brand on social media. Therefore, having a good engagement rate is essential for your overall Instagram performance.

Additionally, the Instagram algorithm also considers engagement when deciding what content to show users. So, if you want to increase your reach, you should aim for high engagement rates as well. This is not only essential if you are an influencer, since higher engagement rates will improve your chances of getting better brand deals, but also for brands themselves. The higher your brand’s engagement rate on Instagram, the higher your reach will be, and the more people will discover your products organically. For this reason, content creators should constantly be looking for ways to increase their Instagram engagement rate.

What is a Good Engagement Rate on Instagram?

Now that you know how to calculate your engagement rate on Instagram, you probably want to know what the average Instagram engagement rate is so you can see if you are keeping up with others. However, simply knowing the average engagement rate on Instagram is not an overly helpful piece of information. Why? That is because average engagement rates on Instagram can depend greatly on your industry or niche.

Similarly, what is considered a “good” engagement rate on Instagram can vary a lot between different industries. The better way to approach this is by trying to find what a good engagement rate on Instagram in your niche is, so you have a meaningful benchmark.

If you quickly search the web, you can find different numbers about what the average, or a good, engagement rate is for Instagram. However, sometimes the findings of these studies can vary widely. It seems like a good engagement rate benchmark, according to some studies, may be around 5%, but again, this can depend greatly on your industry and different studies say different things. 

In reality, the best way to find out what a good engagement rate in your niche is, involves calculating the average engagement rates of several Instagram profiles in your industry or niche. This is the best approach to compare your own engagement rate on Instagram to your competitors. We will talk more about this soon, but don’t get disappointed if you think your engagement rate is low. Once you start comparing yourself to competitors, you may find that your engagement rate is better than you think.

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How to Increase Your Instagram Engagement Rate: 8 Valuable Tips

Let’s be honest, you are reading this article not to hear about how to define engagement rate, but because you want to learn know how to increase your Instagram engagement rate. In detailing how you can increase your Instagram engagement, we want to emphasize that we are presenting actionable tips that are accessible for both professionals and casual Instagram users alike. 

Below are 8 tips that will help you increase your Instagram engagement rate.

1. Know Your Audience

The first way to entice more Instagram users to engage with your posts is to identify the type of content your target audience likes to watch on Instagram. If you don’t know what intrigues and motivates your core audience and what they want to see when they are scrolling through their feed, then how can you strategically and consistently create content that will speak to them?

Here is how you can identify the content that has the highest potential of achieving good engagement rates on Instagram in your niche:

  1. Define your audience personas. It may sound self-explanatory, but you should clearly identify who your ideal viewer is. Once you do this, you should ask yourself the following questions: What content do they want to see? What are their interests? What type of content formats do they like?
  2. Look at your Instagram audience insights. Here you will find demographic information about your audience. Under the “Insights” section, click “Audience.” You’ll find details about people interacting with your posts, including their location, age, and gender.
  3. Study your competitors’ profiles. You should always consider doing some competitor research in order to learn from others in your industry or niche. Ask yourself: Who likes and comments on their posts? What content are they sharing? How do they interact with their followers? It is important to note that social media analytics tools can help give you these types of insights.

2. Study Content with the Highest Engagement Rates on Instagram

The core message here is to learn from what works. Find accounts in your industry or ones that have high engagement rates and learn from the type of content they post. Is there a particular content format they generally post in? What is the main messaging from their posts with high engagement rates?

This is a crucial step in determining how to increase engagement on Instagram for businesses, since you can analyze the data coming from your competitors. These types of comparisons are made much easier with a social media benchmarking tool that allows you to study the data associated with various accounts of your competitors or others in your industry or niche. Instead of simply relying on the metrics associated with your own posts, you can use a social media tool to analyze what others in your industry and niche are doing and determine what types of posts are driving engagement for them. This is a great way to avoid a long period of trial and error with your own posts and more quickly find out what works and what doesn’t. 

A woman in front of a phone that displays an Instagram Reel.

3. Actively Interact with Others on Instagram and Build Relationships

A good way to increase your Instagram engagement rates is to interact with other Instagram accounts and build relationships. In this sense, you should consider researching other accounts in your niche (i.e. posts from creators that produce content around similar topics as you do). In taking this a step further, you can also make yourself known in your niche by actually engaging yourself with other Instagram users’ posts. While this may not be a scalable approach in the long term, it is one with the potential to create long-lasting relationships with your audience.

Actively seeking other users’ posts and engaging with them has two added benefits. First, they may, in return, like or comment on a post of yours in return for you liking or commenting  on their post. The second advantage of this method is that people will get notified once you like or comment on their posts. This can be helpful since, if they see that you publish content around topics that they enjoy as well, they are likely to follow you and like your posts. 

If you want to increase the number of comments you get on your video, try including your viewers in your post by asking them questions or for their opinions. Let them share their own perspective. You should always reply to their comments or DMs in a timely manner. In reality, relationship building is one of the best ways to increase engagement on Instagram.

One challenge that building an active Instagram community brings with it is, once your Instagram account starts growing, it can become time-consuming to keep up with all the messages and comments you get. If you are trying to increase your Instagram engagement rate, don’t stop replying. Not replying is a fatal mistake if you want to increase Instagram engagement rates on your posts. Not answering comments and DMs makes your followers feel like you don’t care about them.  There are some community management tools for Instagram and social media in general that can help you answer comments and DMs efficiently. They allow you to automate workflows when it comes to answering comments and DMs on social media. You can also see this guide for more information on how to manage your community effectively.

4. Stay in the Spotlight

People generally engage more often with brands and people they like or can relate to. One of the best ways to make people like you on Instagram is to post about things that interest your target audience. In order to stay in the spotlight, you should share stories and build a strong connection with your audience. If you do this regularly and consistently, this will spur your audience to come back daily to get updates from you.

Along these lines, Instagram stories are a fantastic way to build a relationship with your audience. If people see your stories daily, they feel more connected with you.

5. Share the Stage with Other People

If you share a co-authored post or tag someone else in your post, this can help increase the chances that that person’s followers will see your post as well. Doing this creates opportunities to get more likes, comments, and shares from a new audience. In addition to your own followers, this larger reach may help you in increasing your own Instagram engagement rate.

A customer service person and another individual asking a question in an Instagram comment.

6. Use Hashtags to Attract New Instagram Users in your Target Group

Hashtags are one of the best ways for how you can increase your Instagram engagement organically and to attract new users to your Instagram profile. If you post engaging content, it goes without saying that you also want to make your post known among the Instagram users who are most likely to find your post entertaining, inspiring, or helpful. You can do this by using hashtags that are relevant to your post. 

People actively searching for your hashtags actually want to see content like yours. Therefore, there is a higher probability of engaging with your post than other users who are just mindlessly scrolling through their feed. To find the perfect hashtags for your post that will increase your engagement rate on Instagram, you can use a free hashtag generator to identify hashtags that are not only relevant, but also help to increase your post’s reach.

7. Understand Instagram SEO and Use Relevant Keywords

In the last few years, social media platforms have placed more emphasis on utilizing not only hashtags, but all the text that accompanies a post. Users who are interested in a particular topic and who see your posts on their Explore page or as a post suggestion in their feed are more likely to engage with your content than users who are not. 

For Meta, utilizing keywords that are mentioned in posts and showing them to new users is beneficial, since people who see personalized content that is interesting to them will spend more time on the platform. On Instagram, this includes:

  • how to rank a post in search 
  • whom to show a post to organically as a recommended post in their feed
  • whom to show a post to on their explore page
  • whom to show a post to in their Reels feed

So, if you are wondering how to increase Instagram engagement organically, one way is by inserting special keywords that interest your target audience. For example, you can mention keywords in your caption, create text boxes when uploading your videos, and mention the keywords in those text boxes. You can also enable captions and make sure to speak out loud relevant keywords. 

These factors represent signals that the Instagram algorithm uses when deciding which users to show your content to organically. By adding these so-called SEO keywords to your posts, you can increase the likelihood of your post showing up in the feeds and search results of people who haven’t heard of you yet but are interested in your topics.

A man in a phone with a megaphone with three social media posts in front of him.

8. Engage your Audience Through Creative Interactive Stickers

If you are wondering how to increase engagement on Instagram stories, you should utilize interactive stickers. Instagram has plenty of interactive stickers that you can use in your stories and Reels to increase engagement. You can consider doing the following:

  • Use the music sticker to add sounds, music, or lyrics to your stories or Reels. You can be creative and match the song with the mood.
  • Use the poll sticker to ask for your audience’s opinions. Consider including your audience in your posts, since this can help increase engagement on Instagram organically and build a supportive community.
  • Use the quiz sticker to ask your followers fun questions, including multiple-choice questions.
  • Ask for your followers’ thoughts about something with the questions sticker. You can also prompt them to ask you about something. If you’re willing to open the floor, host an “Ask me anything.”

Story stickers can make your audience feel recognized and that their opinion matters. Every question asked or poll taken can help increase your Instagram story’s engagement.


Learning how to increase follower engagement on Instagram is not impossible. In fact, if you follow the 8 tips we covered above, you could be well on your way to increasing your Instagram engagement rate. 

If you are serious about increasing your engagement rate on Instagram, then you can get valuable insights with Fanpage Karma, an all-in-one social media analytics tool. You can start your free trial of Fanpage Karma today. 

You can also take part in a free weekly webinar that details how to use social media tools to improve your overall performance.

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