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How to Increase Instagram Engagement Organically in 2021

Aug 14, 2021

If you are searching for ways to increase your engagement on Instagram organically - that's without paying a cent - I have 5 ideas for you. They include using video, carousel posts and Instagram's own engagement tools along with asking questions and creating shareable content.

Let's break down each of these 5 tactics:

Use Video

Instagram has come out and told us that video is the future of the platform! Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said that the company is looking to lean into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. So let's take that on board! 

For Instagram, video content means video posts (square or portrait size), Stories, Reels and IGTV (video over 1 minute long).

But creating video content doesn't have to mean fancy studios, bright lights and expensive cameras. Video content can simply be animating a static post in Canva. In fact, I have a training to show you step-by-step, how to create a full Instagram Reel using just a free Canva account - no dancing, lip-syncing or finger-pointing required! Click here to find out more.

 

Also, if you have a lot of YouTube content, or video shot horizontally, you can repurpose these for IGTV. Check out this blog post which shows you how to post your YouTube videos to Instagram as IGTV videos.

Use Carousel Posts

Carousel posts are a great way to increase engagement for two reasons:

  1. Viewers must swipe through to see each panel in the carousel. If the first panel is enticing enough then curiosity has them swiping through to see the rest of your panels or images. This swiping action is engagement.
  2. Instagram gives you two chances to capture someone's attention. If they don't engage with your carousel post the first time it pops up in their feed then Instagram often gives you another chance by then showing your second panel in their feed. Because of this, the first two panels in the carousel need to be eye-catching and relevant to your target audience!

Creating a carousel post is easy, just create a multi-photo post! You can upload up to 10 photos in one post which will create a swipeable, carousel. Or - if you want to look really professional - check out this blog post on how to create a seamless Instagram carousel post using Canva.

Ask Questions

The easiest way to get people to engage with your content by commenting is to ask questions! Sounds simple right? There is a trick to it.

Your questions need to be short and easy to read, easy to understand and easy to answer. Think 'this or that' or questions that the reader could answer in just a few words. If people have to really use their brains to answer, or even understand the question, chances are they will scroll on by.

Another great approach is to ask questions that people are likely to have a strong opinion on - you know, the type of question you can't scroll past without adding your 2 cents! Maybe slightly controversial or topical - be ready to moderate comments though in case the trolls show up!

Side note: do not worry about asking a question and having no one answer it. The nature of social media is that we usually see a post for just seconds before we move on. In my experience, if I see a post that is asking a question, if I'm not compelled to answer it, I don't even notice the comments or lack of. If someone is looking at your post and thinking anything remotely negative about your lack of comments, that says way more about them than you!

Create Shareable Posts

Quotes, memes, truly educational posts are all super shareable. When your audience shares your content they are effectively introducing you to their own audience. The more shares, the eyeballs we have on our content! This is a great strategy for growing your audience.

Side note: if you find yourself sharing lots of photos of you or your life with great, shareable captions remember that sometimes our audience is not quite so keen on sharing those personal photos, despite your kick-ass caption. Instead, try creating a quote post using Canva and then add your personal photo or photos in the following images, creating a carousel post. That way your audience can share the quote and their audience can tap on it to come back to your post and swipe through the images themselves. 

Use Interactive Story Stickers

Instagram has built-in tools to encourage engagement - let's use them!

The poll sticker, the emoji slider, the quiz sticker and the question sticker are all great ways to encourage your Story viewers to take action! There are so many different ways to use them - get creative and try and use one every day. Yip, I said it - every single day (ok, I'll give you the weekends off.)

Now the mention sticker deserves a special... ah... mention. This one can act like the shareable content I mentioned earlier. By mentioning, or tagging, another account in your Story, encourages them to share your Story with their own audience, introducing you to even more eyeballs. Again, a great strategy to grow your audience!

 

So there you have it - 5 tactics to increase your organic engagement on Instagram.

Let me know in the comments below if you're using any of these tactics or if you have any more questions.