How To Increase Engagement On Instagram With 5 Simple Strategies

Reading Time: 8 min

Instagram is such a powerful tool for businesses. You can cultivate an audience and build brand awareness and loyalty…but only if you’re creating engaging content. If you’re wondering how to increase engagement on Instagram, you’re not alone! 

There are so many people using Instagram each day, so there’s a serious opportunity for high ROI when you post consistent, high-quality content. But in order to generate that ROI, you need one of Instagram’s key metrics to be thriving: engagement. 

Creating quality engagement consistently on Instagram is essential for success. But knowing how to increase engagement on Instagram is a little more challenging. 

What Actually Is Instagram Engagement?

Engagement on Instagram is all about how your audience interacts with the content you share. Every time someone takes action on one of your posts, stories, videos, or your profile, that’s engagement. 

There are a few metrics that Instagram counts as engagement, like: 

  • Likes
  • Saves
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • DMs
  • Hashtag use
  • Mentions
  • Link clicks or swipe-ups
  • Interactions in stories (polls, question boxes, etc)

When strategizing your posts, videos, and stories, you have to think about how to increase engagement on Instagram. After all, engagement really does impact your ability to thrive on the app.

Why Does Instagram Engagement Matter? 

Speaking of the impact of engagement…why does engagement matter on Instagram? There are a few reasons why engagement is so important. 

First, it gives you an inside look at how people actually react to your content. 

If you’re not creating content that your audience relates to, you’re wasting your valuable time. Engagement basically lets you evaluate the effectiveness of your social media strategy. 

But there’s another huge factor at play here. Engagement also drives the way your content ranks within Instagram’s algorithm. The days of a chronological Instagram feed are long past, and instead, the algorithm prioritizes posts that you’re most likely to engage with. 

That’s why accounts you regularly like, comment, or otherwise engage with often appear at the top of your feed and first in stories. What this means is that the higher your engagement rate, the more likely your followers will see your content and continue to engage. 

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How To Increase Engagement On Instagram

Now that you know what it is and why it matters, let’s explore how to increase engagement on Instagram. There are five main steps you can take starting right now to begin growing your engagement rate. 

Tailor Everything To Your Target Customer

The core of engagement is, well, creating content that’s actually engaging. And the key to doing that is creating content for the right audience. You need to know exactly who you’re marketing to in order to do it effectively. 

Your target audience should shape what types of content you post, the brand voice you use, and when you actually post your content. 

If you want to increase your engagement, you have to create content that’s highly tailored to your target audience. 

Create Video Content

Instagram used to be focused primarily on photos. But now, video content is more prevalent than ever—and it’s here to stay. 

This is a good thing, though! While it might take you a little bit to get the hang of video content, it’s going to drive your engagement rates through the roof. And remember, your videos don’t have to be perfect. 

Video content typically receives way more engagement than images—up to 40% more on average, actually!—and you don’t need a videography degree to do well with video. There are lots of free apps you can download to put together engaging videos, like VideoShop or Splice

Mix Up The Types Of Content You Post

There are lots of different types of content you can create and share on Instagram. Mixing up the types of content you post helps you test and see what’s most engaging for your audience. 

You can try sharing: 

  • Single-image feed posts
  • Multi-image feed posts (called carousels)
  • IGTV videos
  • Instagram Reels
  • IG Stories

Instagram’s algorithm tends to reward those who take advantage of all the features, especially new ones. As IG rolls out new features, it’s a good idea to test them out and see how engaging they are for your audience! 

There’s no one set formula for mixing up the types of content you post. It’s really unique to your business, offers, niche, and target audience. 

Focus On Writing Incredible Captions

The visual imagery and content you share on Instagram is the foundation of engagement, but you also need to write engaging captions! 

If you’re thinking about how to increase engagement on Instagram, you have to make the most of your captions. You’ll need to write captions that appeal to your target audience, use your brand voice, and make use of CTAs (calls-to-action). The best captions contextualize your post, provide more details, and highlight the personality of your brand. 

Even more importantly, your captions should encourage conversation. Social media, especially Instagram, should be a two-way street. You aren’t just posting content that people see, but content that people engage with. 

Ask questions, make jokes, and break the ice. Get your audience to converse with you—this helps boost your engagement rate while building those key relationships. 

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Analyze Your Engagement Rate Metrics

To boost your engagement rate, you need to rely on your metrics. It’s so important to analyze your content and see what’s actually working for your audience. Then, you can be so much more strategic in creating engaging posts. 

If you’re ready to analyze your metrics for engagement, it starts with calculating your engagement rate. You’ll need to consider all sorts of engagement actions, like comments, saves, likes, shares, visits, follows, website clicks, and Instagram Story engagement. 

There are two main ways you can calculate your engagement rate on Instagram. 

Related: ​​Which Social Media Metrics Are Most Important To Track?

Calculate Your Engagement Rate Based On Your Followers

The first way to calculate engagement is based on the number of followers. You’ll need to pull up an individual post. Then, add up all of the actions taken on that post, divide by the number of followers you have, and multiply that number by 100. 

Here’s an example! If one of your posts gets 50 likes, 7 comments, and 9 shares, that’s 66 actions. Let’s say you have 500 followers. You’ll divide 66 by 500, then multiply by 100 to get a 13% engagement rate. 

This formula lets you know how your followers feel about your content. But it doesn’t factor in how many of your followers actually saw that post. 

Calculate Your Engagement Rate Based On Impressions

If you want to calculate engagement based on how many of your followers actually saw your post and engaged (versus your total followers), you’ll calculate engagement based on impressions. 

Inside the insights for a post, you’ll be able to see the impressions it had. You’ll follow the same process as we just did above, but use the number of impressions instead of your follower count. 

Let’s use the same numbers from the example above and pretend that one of your recent posts had 200 impressions and 66 total engagements. That gives you a 33% engagement rate, which is much higher than the one based on total followers. 

There’s no right or wrong formula to use. It just depends on what type of data you want to track! 

How Do You Know If Your Engagement Rate Is “Good?”

When you’re wondering how to increase engagement on Instagram, you’re probably curious to know whether your engagement rate is good. This is a relative term, and there’s no one set number to aim for. 

Remember that engagement is important, but if that’s where it ends, you’re not getting ROI anyway. You should be aiming to drive up engagement in order to boost sales, gain email subscribers, or sign new clients. How does the engagement you generate translate into tangible results for your business? 

If you want to track that more essential data, UTM links will help you! UTM links allow you to measure traffic and conversions from specific campaigns, posts, and actions on social media. 

So instead of worrying about whether your engagement rate is good, think about making progress and consistently tracking your metrics to adjust your strategy over time. 


Learning how to increase engagement on Instagram is so worth it. They may take a little bit of time to implement, but these strategies will help you boost your engagement and grow your business on Instagram! 

Want to know more about how your social media is driving traffic to your website? Check out our Traffic Insights Dashboard!

Want to learn more about measuring what matters? Check out these posts:

How to Increase Your ROI With Digital Marketing Analytics

How Google Analytics Can Make You A Better Copywriter

How Traffic Data Can (and Should) Drive Your Marketing Strategy

The 5 most Important Metrics to Measure Your Website’s Success

How To Increase Engagement On Instagram With 5 Simple Strategies | The Nimble Co.