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How to Increase Engagement on Instagram?

Engagement is one the most important metrics used in social media to rate the success of an advertisement campaign, to determine how efficient particular types of posts are, or simply find out how good your social media account is overall. On Instagram, engagement rates are much higher than on Facebook or Twitter and, as a result of this, lots of businesses have decided to move to this simple photo-sharing app. However, using traditional ways of marketing on social media would not accumulate the same results on Instagram, therefore, new approaches need to be taken into consideration. In our new article, we will list some tips which will help you increase engagement rates and give you more insight on how professional marketers are getting the most out of every publication on Instagram. We are not going to go into detail on basic tips which increase engagement on Instagram such as: hashtags (13% higher engagement), location (79% higher engagement) and of course use high quality images.

  1. Love is heart_emoji

Emojis are a big part of pretty much every social media network but on a visual platform, like Instagram, which is only used by mobile users, 50% of all texts contain at least one emoji. For most of the users it is much easier to reply with emoji to describe certain feelings or situations they experience in life. Professor of Bangor University even named emoji-language the fastest growing in the world: “Emoji is the fastest growing form of languages in history based on its incredible adoption rate and speed of evolution”. The word “emoji” came to our language from Japanese and could be directly translated as “picture” (e) + “character” (moji). We called them “smilies” before, but with addition of other pictures we started to call them emojis, which were actively used on Twitter where you are only allowed 140 characters to share something with your followers. Have you seen how Andy Murray described his wedding in a single Tweet?

Everyone including celebrities and some of the biggest brands have started actively using emojis and, statistically, engagement rates are much higher in the posts where emojis are used. The w,ell known fast food company, Domino’s Pizza, have even setup a processing system to receive orders online from Twitter users who tweet pizza slice emoji (). That’s insane! And there are a lot of other techniques where emojis could be used to interact with your audience more effectively. According to some researches messages containing emojis activate a special part of the brain which changes our mood in the same way as we would look at a picture of a smiling person. But the benefits of emojis don’t stop there; images are processed 60,000 times faster than words, so by using emojis, which according to 80% of Instagram users are far more accurate in expressing emotions than words, you are able to deliver your message much quicker.

Don’t forget to bookmark and interact with your audience with special characters every year on the 17th of July, which is officially recognised as the “World Emoji Day”.

  1. Video content

At the moment, most of the brands on Instagram note that the engagement rates for video publications are almost the same as for images, but social media marketing leaders highlight that there is an upgoing trend in increasing the numbers of video content. The reason behind it is very simple, more than 75% of Instagram marketers who are responsible for marketing strategies and management of small and medium business accounts found that video publications had a direct impact on sales. According to Animoto, 4 times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video review about the product or service rather than read about it.

A video posted by Frank + Oak (@frankandoak) on

There are some very important tips which you have to follow whilst making video content for Instagram. First of all, make sure that your video is short, maximum 30 seconds, bearing in mind that the publication should be informative and eye-catching from the first seconds to hook your audience. Secondly, be very careful with the sound you use in the video, because 90% of Instagram users scroll through the app whilst they are in the office or on a bus full of people, so turning attention to them in public for being the one with the noisy phone is a no-no. Either mute your video completely or lower the sound in your video. Thirdly, add some text or even subtitles if you are sharing some news content. Again this is due to the fact most videos are viewed in silent mode. @BBCNews is a great example on how to make your video content on Instagram on point!

Remember that Boomerangs are also type of video content, even though they look more like GIF’s, and fall under the video category with higher engagement rates than Images. People tend to be intrigued by what they can see in the video content and tend to watch for at least a couple of seconds to decide if the publication is of any interest for them or not. Video content statistically attracts more commentators, so make sure you also engage with your followers under the post.

  1. Ask your followers for action

Probably the easiest way to increase interaction is to actually ask your followers for action such as: “tag a friend”, “comment what’s your favourite” “comment if you agree”, “double-tap if you agree”, etc. Such call-to-action messages depend on the type of your publication as well as your target audience.  Making your posts intriguing will lead to discussion among your followers in the comments under your photo or a video. Another way of increasing engagement on Instagram through comments is to create a pool by typing out possible answers directly on the image and your followers would just reply with their preferred answer in the comments.

A great example above by Clashr shows how they managed to turn a simple image into a rivalry competition in the comments of the question, ‘which operating system is better, Apple or Android?’ It accumulated more than 100 comments in one day. Just try to be unique and post something that will make your brand stand out. Be creative, don’t be scared to add some humour into your publications, simply have fun with Instagram and your audience will bond with you even more through likes and comments.

  1. Create a Trendy #Hashtag

Most of the brands are trying to broaden its audience by introducing their own hashtags. For example, Purina has launched an interested hashtag #PetsAtWork, which connected people from all over the world to post pictures of their pets in the offices on Instagram. Another great example is Nike “Just do It” motto, which helps this big sports brand to interact with people who wear Nike sportswear or simply share the idea behind this slogan. Creating your own hashtag could be very tricky, but start locally and it might eventually grow into something recognisable all over the world. Keep it simple and short, for example, we managed to create a hashtag #LeedsLife for our client @Leeds.Life, which is now the biggest in Leeds right after #Leeds. More than 50,000 posts were posted under this hashtag on Instagram in one year, making it much easier to interact with the target audience. Make sure to state your special hashtag in the account bio and highlight, for example, what people could get in return. Some offer 10% discount to everyone who uses brand hashtags, others repost the best pictures with this hashtag. There are different ways of gratitude. How will this increase engagement? This will definitely increase brand awareness; however, with regards to engagement with your page directly, it could be fruitless, but by introducing branded hashtags you are creating a bigger community on Instagram, which could be found on a separate hashtag search page.

We hope that our article with tips on how to increase engagement on Instagram was helpful for you. Please share it with your colleague marketers and don’t forget that we are always happy to consult you on any questions about Instagram, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
As a social media aficionado with over 15 years of experience in the digital marketing industry, my focus is on empowering small and medium-sized business owners to take their social media game to the next level. With my expertise in Instagram marketing, I help businesses optimize their social media presence, increase engagement, and drive conversions.

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