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7-figure business coach & course creator helping you build a profitable online biz & become OBSESSED with your life. I'm an Enneagram 3 & love ClickUp, color coded calendars & design. I travel around the world full time and spent most my days in Thailand, Vietnam or Bali.
It’s easy to blame elusive “algorithm changes” for a drop in your metrics, but the right Instagram engagement strategy will carry you through. In this post we’re breaking down how to work with the algorithm instead of against it, and how you can increase Instagram engagement organically.
There are two key methods to increase Instagram engagement:
Nurture your existing audience.
Expand your reach to new audiences.
This post will cover tips for both aspects of engagement, with an additional bonus tip guaranteed to boost your visibility!
Keep reading or watch the view below to learn how to increase Instagram engagement organically.
Strategies to Engage with Your Current Audience
Sometimes we get so caught up in boosting our reach and getting in front of new people that we neglect our current audience. Don’t fall into this trap! Your current audience are your best warm leads. They already know, like and trust you–now you need to tap into that potential!
Still working on building your audience? Download my free guide to gaining 100+ ideal client followers every week!
1. Reply to every comment.
These people have taken the time to write a response to your post–the least you can do is reply! They’re interested in what you have to say and that makes them some of your best leads. Active and engaged followers aren’t easy to come by, so make sure you reciprocate and make them feel heard.
2. Engage with people who watch your stories.
If someone is watching your stories (especially if they watch regularly), they are one of your hottest leads. Take that extra step and reciprocate by liking their photos, leaving a comment, or starting a conversation in the DMs.
3. Welcome new followers.
Every time you get a new follower notification, use one of the same engagement strategies (like, comment, engage on stories or DMs). Depending on your number of followers, this may not be feasible for everyone, but make sure you engage with new followers (or have a team member engage) whenever possible.
Tip: Don’t send out a mass generic message. Whenever possible, take the time to see who your new follower is, do a little research and send something personal. They’ll appreciate the effort!
4. Post polls and stickers on your story.
Make your stories as interactive as possible, with polls, stickers, and tags. If someone responds to a poll in your story, shoot them a DM!
The Instagram algorithm uses DMs as a quality indicator for your content and your relationships. If you engage with someone in the DMs, it will tell the algorithm you have a relationship with that person, and boost your content in their feed.
Psst… Get your free calendar with 30 days of Instagram story ideas here!
A huge part of the Instagram algorithm is based on relationships. Instagram wants to show you content and people that you like, because it makes it more likely you’ll stay on the platform. Engaging in the DMs sends a direct signal to the algorithm that “Hey, these two people know and like each other–I should show their content more often.”
Tip: Be intentional about your DMs. If you want an ideal client to see your content, take the initiative to start a DM conversation. The more you talk to each other, the more they’ll show up in your feed and vice versa.
Engagement Strategies to Boost Your Reach & Get in front of New Audiences
The second purpose of engagement is to boost your visibility and find new ideal client followers. If you’re looking to get in front of new audiences, try the strategies below!
1. Engage on niche hashtags within your industry.
For example, I’m a business coach, so I might browse the business coach hashtags. I’ll scroll through to find new ideal client accounts, then engage with those people through likes, comments, stories or DMs.
2. Engage with people who comment on your competitor’s posts.
This is one of my favourite engagement tips: Go to the profile of your competitors (or even bigger names in your industry), and engage with people who have commented on their posts.
These comments are people who are interested in your industry, and you also know that they’re warm and active followers because they commented. If they follow you, they will likely be just as active and engaged!
3. Tag people in your stories.
First of all: Don’t tag random people in your stories. You will be blocked or banned, and that’s no way to increase Instagram engagement!
Tag a friend or someone relevant to that particular story, and hopefully that person will reciprocate. If they do, your content will also be shown to their audience, reaching new people and boosting your visibility.
4. Use Instagram reels.
Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, reels are a huge opportunity for engagement. If you’re interested in learning more about how to use reels to increase Instagram engagement, make sure you check out the video below for the exact strategies I used to go viral!
5. Create shareable content.
Content is the heart and soul of any Instagram engagement strategy. If you don’t have quality content, it will be impossible to increase Instagram engagement, no matter how many tips and strategies you use. Make sure you do your market research and create content that resonates with your audience.
When people share your content, it tells the algorithm your content is high quality and puts it in front of new audiences, signals to boost your engagement.
If you need help coming up with content ideas, check out the video below!
This might not be something you do everyday, but hashtags are still a great strategy to increase Instagram engagement. The more targeted your hashtags are, and the higher you rank, the more visibility and engagement you’ll get.
Bonus Tip to Increase Instagram Engagement: Engage with others when your post goes live. Not only does this lead to reciprocity and more people viewing your profile, but having that extra activity on your account will boost your new post so it will be seen by more people.
5 Key Tips to Increase Instagram Engagement
No matter which tactics you use to increase Instagram engagement, there are five core principles to remember:
No matter what Instagram engagement strategy you use, you need to be consistent. If you pick and choose a few tactics and try them out once, you won’t see a noticeable difference. Use these strategies every day for best results!
People can tell when you’re being fake. Resist the urge to post the same comment across multiple posts, or DM every possible lead with the same sales message (if you leave spam comments, you’ll be blocked at best and deactivated at worst!). Make your engagement genuine and choose quality over quantity.
Keep your engagement to your specific niche or industry in order to maximize the effect. If you’re a business coach and start engaging on ecommerce hashtags, that might boost your engagement a little, but it’s not going to lead to sales. Sales over metrics, always!
Need help narrowing down your niche? Check out the video below!
4. Quality content
You can engage all you want, but if someone visits your profile and there’s no quality content, they’re not going to stick around! Make sure you prioritize creating quality content so your audience has something worth sharing.
Be intentional with who you’re engaging with and how you’re engaging. As business owners, we don’t just want to increase Instagram engagement–we want to increase engagement from our ideal clients. It’s about getting in front of the right people, rather than a lot of people.
Final Thoughts on How to Increase Instagram Engagement
I hope you found these strategies to increase Instagram engagement helpful. I use all of these tips on my own Instagram, and have seen the results firsthand. Shoot me a DM and let me know how they worked for you!
If you want to take your Instagram skills to the next level, check out Instagram Business Blueprint, the course designed specifically to help entrepreneurs master this platform. It includes modules, resources and templates on everything from IG stories, DMs, hashtags, engagement, tracking analytics, IGTV, personal brand, sales, setting up and optimizing your account, converting followers to clients and more! Check it out here.
Something tells me you belong here and desire something more.
hi, i'm Amanda
Three years ago, I chose to quit my corporate 9-to-5, sold all my belongings, and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand. I had no real plan—just a burning desire to see the world and a bone-deep certainty that there was more to life than my mind-numbing day job.
Since then I have started multiple business ventures including LLCo. which has scaled to over $1 million dollars in 2 years, and has helped hundreds of women from all over the world build profitable online businesses, defy expectations, and create a freedom lifestyle on their terms—no one else’s.
Every day you get to choose again as to how you will live your life - and every defining moment will come down to just that, a choice.
Here’s the thing - your past story, knowledge, and experiences may have shaped you to be where you are now, but they don’t have to define where you go next.
Hey there, I’m Amanda Kolbye. I’m on a mission to help female entrepreneurs acquire business tools & knowledge so they can create generational wealth and a life where you never think “is this it?” In our world, women become unstoppable. In our world, limitless is the only boundary we adhere to.
7-figure international business coach, online educator, and founder of Laptop Lifestyle Co.