How To Increase Instagram Engagement In 5 Steps

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How To Increase Instagram Engagement In 5 Steps

26.02.2020

Do you want your Instagram account to bring results such as skyrocket engagement, new leads, and overall high brand performance? You betcha!

You create branded content and find Instagram influencers to promote your account among thousands of daily active users. No wonder—when 90% of Instagram accounts follow at least one business, and 83% use this platform to discover new products, you can’t miss its marketing potential.

The problem is that the competition is crazy on Instagram now. Engagement becomes the core metric in 2020, and we need to go the extra mile to discover how to increase Instagram engagement and come up with Instagram content that will hook users.

In this article, let’s reveal some actionable tricks for writing and optimizing Instagram content that influences engagement by far.

#1. Start With a Hook. Always.

A hook is the first sentence of your Instagram caption, intriguing users and inviting them to keep on reading.

As you know, Instagram shortens captions after 3-4 lines on mobile devices. That is why a hook is your only instrument—besides the visual content, to be sure—to create engaging Instagram posts and get your users to click.

Most marketers practice a traditional type of hook—a question. It’s the most popular method to increase Instagram engagement because of its inviting nature: Followers read a question and click “More” to find an answer. The trick here is to choose subjects that concern your followers’ needs or pain points.

IG caption-hook-lego

Types of hooks for Instagram captions are many. Some of them come from journalism, blogging, and essay writing, but they work on Instagram too:

  • Start with a quote from influencers in your niche or representatives of your target audience. But make it clear whom you’re citing so followers could decide if they want to learn more: Use a photo of the quoted celeb or start a sentence with their names.
  • Write a joke if your brand voice allows it. Humor sparks interest, but only if your followers understand it. Situational humor works best here because we all get it and it poses the least risk.
  • Surprise with a controversial statement. Annoying facts and statistics won’t engage followers, but you’ll hit the target if you share something that wows. Think of concepts that are relevant to your niche but that might cause a “What the heck?” response.
  • Use interesting words. Create yours or think about reshaping existing ones, whatever. The point is to throw users off their stride of scrolling the feed: Foundered on wrong spelling or unknown concepts, they’ll stop to understand what’s going on here.Instagram-hooks

#2. Post Interactive Content

Why do you think interactive content rules on social media today? Users come to Instagram, Facebook, and other channels for conflicts and emotions, not your product or service. To get more engagement on Instagram, please give them emotions and motivations: Share content that appeals to human’s three basic instincts.

  1. Self-preservation. It’s about physical wellbeing: food, health, safety environment. Food and fitness blogs are all about it, engaging thousands of users with corresponding content.IG-interactive-content
  1. Sexual. It’s about attraction, people, adrenaline, chemistry, and transformation. Travel and fashion niches are among those satisfying this instinct on Instagram.Instagram-interactive-content
  1. Social. It’s about connection, social role, creativity, and action. That’s why interactive content rules: videos, quizzes, tests, contests, giveaways, etc.—they all create the illusion of presence and satisfy the need for action, encouraging the audience to respond.Interactive-content-quizz

But with all this instinct mantra, remember your brand nature and tone of voice. Do your best to share Instagram content that would appeal to your followers’ nature but reflect your brand at the same time. Authenticity is key.

But even if your Instagram profile is not about food, travel, or fashion, you still can appeal to the above instincts with your content. Just use corresponding words in captions:

  • Active verbs and motions words like “quick,” “simple,” “easy,” and others to create the illusion of action;
  • Tasty words like “yummy,” “rotten,” “juicy,” “sweet,” and so on;
  • Lust power words like “naughty,” “passionate,” “sensual,” “tease,” “kiss,” “lick,” etc.

#3. Post Text Images and Twitter Quotes

Both are among the top Instagram trends this year. They increase engagement on Instagram far better than traditional images and bring more Instagram likes and comments.

Why text images?

It’s a chance to communicate your marketing message on users’ Explore pages. While others post photos and videos that users need to click if they want to learn more, a text image communicates everything right away. Content that works best here is sticky notes, quotes on a wall, concise infographics, and so on:

Text-image

Many Instagram influencers use this trend today. It looks authentic, bright, and engaging to click and respond.

Instagram-quotes

Some brands go further and actively post Twitter quotes in their Instagram accounts. Reason: Such content brings more traffic (actually, it can double your traffic) than other types of Instagram content.

What you need to do is take a screenshot with a relevant quote from Twitter and publish it on Instagram with corresponding comments.

Twitter-quote

#4. Use Visual Tricks in Captions

Little gimmicks such as funny emojis, tags, hidden hashtags, or spaces in captions for better readability can get more engagement on Instagram. Easy to implement, they help to hold users’ attention and lead them to your call to action.

Why emojis?

They give tone to a message, help to break up long captions for better readability, and direct users to take action. When you post a corresponding emoji at the end of your caption, it invites users to go to comments, or check your link in bio, or visit your website, etc.

Visual-trick-emojis

The trick here is to choose emojis that look natural to your brand voice and be consistent when using them. Also, make sure to set a limit: Too many emojis in one caption can confuse or even frustrate your followers.

Besides emojis, you can use dots to separate paragraphs in Instagram captions. This trick also works for hiding all hashtags below the text, which makes captions look more appealing and easy to read. (Texts full of hashtags look messy, don’t you agree?)

IG-captions-tricks

Or, you can add all hashtags in the first comment after the caption.

IG-captions-hashtags

To get the most out of hashtags on Instagram, choose the most popular yet relevant to your niche, consider short hashtags (those with less than 50k posts), and create branded hashtags that encourage the audience to use them and feel like a part of your community.

And remember to tag other Instagram followers, influencers, and your fellow brands! Such tagging can really increase Instagram engagement, allowing your audience to discover new accounts and join the community of Instagrammers with the same interests and vision.

Instagram-engagement-trick

#5. Remember CTAs

And last but not least, master the art of CTA writing in your captions on Instagram.

First, make sure to add a call to action to your every Instagram post. Even if it’s not promotional, it needs to motivate users or inspire them to do something or think of something.

And second, structure your calls to action so people have no doubts whether they want to yield to your advice. For that:

  • Start with an active verb but avoid the words that cause friction (“buy,” “download,” “give,” “submit,” etc.)
  • Use beneficial words that show users there’s something in there for them (“get,” “try,” learn,” “discover,” “build,” “shop,” etc.)
  • Make sure your CTA is easy to notice and determine. Start with a CAPS word, highlight it with emojis, add symbols like numbers, arrows, question marks, etc.
  • Make it short and place it next to the image to increase engagement on Instagram.
  • Tease the audience and personalize your CTA for them to see you are doing that for them, not yourself.IG-captions-CTA

The most engaging Instagram posts and CTAs are those navigating users to profile bios for links and more information, encouraging them to share your content in their Insta stories, and asking them to tag friends or share their thoughts on the discussed topic in the comments.

Instagram-caption-CTA

Takeaway

A compelling Instagram caption is your best instrument to increase Instagram engagement. It hooks scrollers, and the more time they spend reading it, the better your post will rank with Instagram’s algorithms.

To influence user engagement on Instagram, consider optimizing your captions with actionable and persuasive content. With power words, catchy visual tricks, and elements of authenticity, you’ll win the battle for loyal followers and brand advocates.

In short:

  • Always start your Instagram post with a writing hook.
  • Share the content providing users with positive emotions and motivations.
  • Post interactive content such as videos, carousel posts, quizzes, contests, or giveaways to encourage the audience to act.
  • Check and follow the latest content trends on Instagram. In 2020, on top of everything else, it’s text images and Twitter quotes.
  • Structure your Instagram posts for better readability: emojis, spaces, hidden hashtags, paragraphs—they all influence the time a user spends reading your content.
  • Tag influencers and other brands to engage a wider audience and build a community of your followers on Instagram.

And remember to analyze the results to increase Instagram engagement based on data. Analytics will help to understand what content and writing tricks your audience welcomes and responds to, and which ones would be better to ignore, no matter how trendy they are.

Lesley Vos

Lesley Vos

I'm a pro web writer and guest contributor from Chicago, specializing in data research, content marketing, and content promotion. In love with texts, books, coffee, and jazz. Follow me on Twitter @LesleyVos.

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