7 Simple Tips to Increase Your Instagram Engagement Rate in 2021!

By: Tanmay Ratnaparkhe

Last Updated:

Generate Engagement For Instagram Posts

How to generate engagement or increase your Instagram engagement rate, is a question you’d often be asking yourself if you’re a social media manager or content creator! Here are a few ways to manage Instagram to amp up your account growth.

Generate Engagement For Instagram Posts

It’s 2021 and it does not get any trickier to manage social media! With algorithms, tips, and tricks changing every second we need to be on top of our game! So here we are making it easy for you to amp up your engagement rates 🙌🙌.

If you have an online business, you absolutely must have an Instagram Business account. With over a billion people using Instagram every month, it is a platform with serious potential for a great ROI. 

Well, that’s the easy part! But to reap the rewards, you don’t just need an audience, you require the audience to interact with your content leading to an increased engagement. You need:

  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Saves
  • DMs, all of this, and much more will prove your content to be working amidst your audience.

It is important to note that engagement only has value when it is genuine, coming from real people who REALLY care and not ‘bots’.

Keep It Real!

Hence, in this blog, you’re not going to find any tips regarding buying likes or getting into engagement groups. The fact is – all this just does not work. We have tried and tested the same. 

The reality is, there is no shortcut to success for getting quality engagement. You get out of social media what you put in. So go that extra mile and create that great post that initiates conversations and genuinely connects with your followers. The benefits are sure to follow.

So, what is the Instagram engagement rate?

Instagram engagement rate is a term (completely unofficial) that indicates how engaged and active your audience is, with the content you push out. The concept of calculating it is deceptively simple, which you will find out once you actually start the process.

As the term is official, there is no single formula that’s used by everyone. All business profiles choose to do this differently. The most commonly used formula is:

Engagement Rate = (Like + Comments)/Followers x 100

This essentially expresses the percentage of followers that have taken actions with your posts. Sound simple, right?

It gets complicated when you realise that your likes and comments are coming from non-followers as well. For this reason, a lot of social media managers like to replace ‘followers’ with ‘impressions’ in the formula.

What makes this more complicated is the fact that Instagram also has platforms like Stories which don’t really get liked or commented on.

To make things simple for yourself, choose one basic formula, and stick with this as a profile growth metric, for consistency. At the end of the day, you should be looking to increase the likes and comments on your posts.

See below for tips that will help you do just this!

Tip 1: Creating saveable/shareable content can increase your Instagram engagement rate

In 2021, SAVE is the new measure of engagement! Create quality content that will resonate with your audience, a reference material that they would like to save on Instagram in their Collections to go back to when required. 

Look at simplifying – Trending topics, highlighting news, or complex graphs to create simple ‘Saveable-Content’ for your audience to save and refer back to.

Lists also work great on Instagram, especially with the carousel format. For example, if you follow a mental health/wellness-related page and come across a carousel post with the main image that went something like, “5 things to do when you’re overwhelmed by anxiety,” wouldn’t you want to save that post for later?

Another example of this would be a post on a finance page, about low-risk investments that have been performing well, or about hidden crypto gems with strong potential. These are topics that appeal to most people (it’s a matter of growing your money, so why wouldn’t it) and a lot of them will be tempted to save the post for later.

Add a CTA for Saving the Post

Do not forget to add a call to action to your Instagram posts and stories stating – Save This Post. This is a great way to keep the engagement up and for managing social media.

To get daily insights on creating saveable content, follow us on our social media handles, and regularly visit our website!

Tip 2: Go Live on Instagram🎬🎤

Instagram Live may be one of the best ways to use [raw and real] video content to drive engagements on Instagram (and to increase your follower count!). All your followers want to see the real you! And Instagram Live is an entirely unedited video stream for your followers to tune in and engage in form of questions and comments in real-time. They also have the option to share your Instagram Live with their set of followers to join – so a lot more options to increase your engagement! Look for the best Instagram posting time and initiate your Live Session.

Be rest assured that you can explore endless opportunities on Instagram Live; long-form video may not be completely dead after all!

One effective way for new/relatively unknown handles to grow their reach and engagement is by collaborating with other influencers. You will initially find it difficult to rope in very popular influencers, so it’s a good idea to start small.

Collaborating with influencers will ensure your content is exposed to their followers as well, no matter how small or big their audience is. When you’re just getting started out with the growth of your profile, any engagement is good engagement, so this is something you should absolutely consider!

collaborating with influencers

Tip 3: Share user-generated content for a higher Instagram engagement rate

Before we begin on this point – we would like to tell you that you do not have to treat your Instagram account as a one-way street. Social media is a conversation and not a broadcast. Make sure you are listening to your audience and interacting with them when they reach out to you!

One of the ways to increase engagement on your social media content is to reposting on IG or share your audience content – deep dive into maintaining and growing user-generated content. Your followers can be your content creators too! For example, if someone tags your brand in a post, share that up in your story! The consumer is also going to have a feel-good factor. They will feel thrilled that you are listening, and other followers may be compelled to start tagging you in their own posts for fame, or a moment in the spotlight.

You could also increase content generated by users by hosting contests and giveaways (two great ways to increase engagement). Ask your followers to create a piece of content related to you that is low-effort and doable by everyone. Motivate them to do this by giving rewards and featuring the best pieces of content on your own handle!

A US-based lifestyle brand called TJ Maxx used this brilliantly on their own profile. They asked their followers to arrange for a cool Spring look for themselves only from TJ Maxx’s own products, using $50. Instagram Stories of people taking this #Maxx50Challenge were featured on the brand’s own Instagram handle. As is very evident in their highlights section, this little campaign was very successful!

User generated content make for great Instagram story ideas

This sole campaign, which costed nothing to implement, served the following purposes:

  • Increased spending at TJ Maxx
  • Increased the account’s engagement and interactions
  • Pushed the point, and the brand’s USP, that their products are very inexpensive.

Tip 4: Dwell in creating content that drives your audience to engage 

Creating quality content on Instagram needs to ultimately result in increased engagement, irrespective of whether it’s in a post, Story, or the new Instagram Reels format.

Try doing content once a week where you are urging your audience to interact such as tag your best friend to win this hamper or do regular stories utilizing the inbuilt features such as Polls, Quiz, Ask Me Questions – this urges your audience to interact and engage. It is also hard to overstate how important it is to get the timing of your post right. To know what the best time is, to post on Instagram for your handle, read this piece!

Interact and Engage!

This will ultimately result in increased engagement – give it a shot, today!  

And once your audience has interacted – acknowledge the same and take an active part in conversations, make your audience feel seen and heard, and also a lot more excited to chat with you again in the near future.

Swiggy India is a brand that often makes posts that requires user interactions to complete, and these do phenomenally well on Instagram. Here’s one of their most successful posts of the kind.

instagram interaction posts

What makes this post so great is how relatable it is; we’d all win Olympic Golds for things like procrastinating and taking naps to solve our problems. The brand is also in touch with current events, as this was posted just as India won their Gold medal at the 2021 Olympics.

The fact that this post has almost 3X the comments of their other usual posts highlights the runaway success that it was.

Because the brand pushes posts like these often, other brands are also sometimes compelled to take part in the trends.

instagram post comments

Netflix and Swiggy are often seen having playful banters in the comments sections of their posts.

If there was an Olympic Gold for the best efforts in inciting engagement, Swiggy would be a strong contender! We’re sure their Instagram engagement rate is through the roof.

Tip 5: Use appropriate hashtags to increase reach

While more reach may not positively affect your engagement rates, they definitely affect the raw engagement figures for your handle. Optimal use of hashtags is essential if you want to increase your posts’ organic reach. When you use a hashtag, your post shows up in the Recents section of that hashtag on the explore page. This exponentially increases the visibility of your posts, and you may reach a higher percentage of your target audiences.

Discovering the best-performing hashtags is a matter of clicks only now. This is possible with our free Instagram hashtag generator. Don’t forget to check it out!

Only use hashtags related to your posts, and don’t stick with the same hashtags for every post if you want to avoid getting shadowbanned!

Tip 6: Create Reels to bring people to your account

Ever used Instagram Reels? How many Reels that you scrolled past were created by profiles that you actually followed on Instagram?

Even 20% is too big an answer for this question. And this is what makes Reels such a promising platform for creators. This platform wants to show your content to people that are unaware of you.

If you’ve been living under a rock and are unaware of what Instagram Reels is, it’s essentially a content format that lets you create short-form videos. It’s a lot like TikTok (edit: it’s a blatant but awesome TikTok ripoff). The videos are shot in portrait mode, and they don’t disappear after 24 hours.

For marketers, the best thing about Reels is that your videos will be visible even to users not following you. Just use the right hashtags, ensure your videos are engaging and unique, and you can reach a much bigger portion of your target audience than with conventional posts. How active a profile is on the Reels format also ties in with how the algorithm works, so your reach is sure to increase in this regard as well.

It won’t be an understatement to say that a profile with a mere 100 or so followers, can easily reach over 1000 people through Reels. Read that again. And start posting Reels!

While this won’t exactly affect your Instagram engagement rate (directly), it will definitely expose your profile to a whole lot more users.

Tip 7: Don’t forget to geo-tag

This is especially true if you’re in a particularly exotic location (who else misses travelling? 😭). Some locations get searched a lot on Instagram, so having your post up there could mean exposure to a lot of new users.

Apart from this, one shocking study also revealed that posts that were geotagged garnered up 79% higher engagement than similar posts that weren’t. That’s a lot more than an incremental change.

If you aren’t geo-tagging yet, here’s a sign from the universe to start today!

Keep the conversations going for your Instagram engagement rate to be up!🎁🎉👑

These are the main ways you can increase your Instagram engagement rates in 2021. If you’ve already begun implementing these, great job!

The next step is patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’ll take time to achieve the organic reach and follower count that you’re dreaming about. Keep at it without giving up, and you’ll go places.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other tips and tricks for generating engagement for Instagram posts! Follow us on the socials for more content on social media marketing!

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