Last Updated on June 8, 2020

Instagram is great for influencers, but it’s not the easiest place to get seen. On top of how crowded it is, Instagram also frequently changes its algorithm, causing new strategies to rise and old ones to fall. Over time, it’s become harder to compete for views, likes, and other forms of engagement. Don’t get discouraged, though, because this mostly applies to those who chase the hot new methods of online growth. Let’s go over some natural ways of increasing your engagement on Instagram, regardless of how the site changes in the future.

Use Instagram Stories

Stories are extremely popular as a feature that appears in multiple social media channels. Put simply, Instagram Stories are image or video posts that disappear after 24 hours. Just like with live streaming on video platforms, stories help you engage with your audience because they inspire fans to regularly check in to see what you’re up to. The sense of immediacy, of not missing what you’ve posted, is more exciting than standard posts.

Instagram Stories are extremely useful for time-sensitive content, such as something you want to say about a trending topic. The feature also keeps you from clogging up your standard Instagram page with content that isn’t relevant months or years later. Ideally, all your Instagram page content is entertaining or useful to followers, while anything that has temporary value or relevance is posted as stories.

Instagram Stories are massively popular, so it’s fair to assume they’re not going anywhere. They’re a reliable and simple way of producing extra content that keeps you fresh in your follower’s minds.

Add Mentions

Everyone online today knows that hashtags are a good way or getting more visibility, but mentions aren’t used as often. A mention is simply including an account’s username in your image caption or through a sticker on the image or video. Mentions are valuable because they’re trackable, and users get a notification when someone mentions them. You should use mentions:

  • When reposting someone else’s content.
  • When working with a business or other influencer.
  • When trying to get someone specific to notice your post.
  • When sharing content another user made for you or asked you to share.

Everyone on social media likes attention. If you’re known as someone who frequently mentions others, that will inspire more people to make content for you. It’s one thing to inspire lots of comments and likes, but inspiring user-generated content from your followers is the sign of a great influencer.

Write Long and High-Quality Captions

Many people assume Instagram is just for sharing images, but compared to sites such as Twitter, the potential to write out your thoughts and express ideas is far stronger. You have a beefy 2,200-character limit, a veritable essay available for each of your posts.

Now, it’s not a good idea to stuff image captions with just anything, especially sales talk. But finding ways to give value through captions will encourage people to respond in the comments and engage with your posts. For example, a traveler could write the wild stories behind every exotic image he or she posts. Or a fitness and lifestyle trainer could post intense motivational speeches and success stories.

Once you get used to doing this, your audience will appreciate the detail of your messages. You’ll also discover new photo opportunities based on the amazing captions you could write next to the images.

Feature Polls and Questions

Engagement is largely a way for people to share their thoughts and feelings. People are much more likely to share, comment, and like if they think their opinion matters to the poster, and using polls and questions is a great way to show your interest.

Poll, vote, and question stickers can be added to stories just like filters, floating over the image. You can ask a divisive question with two possible answers or have people type in their answers to a broad question. You could even include an emoji slider that lets people show not just their emotional reaction but also how intense or mild that reaction happens to be.

To get the best results, use these options creatively. For example, an influencer working on a new piece of content could poll for what the audience wants to see next, helping the influencer create the exact sort of content that inspires further engagement.

For an influencer to be effective, trusted, and valuable to brands, he or she must have a high engagement rate. Like any other social media platform, Instagram is made to elevate the influencers who get the most engagement among fans. Make the strategies above work for you, and you’ll encourage Instagram’s algorithm to share you to even more people. If you’d like another simple method for improving your influencer experience, try out the Intellifluence for Influencers platform. Intellifluence makes it easy for influencers to find and connect with brands that can offer free products or cash payment for working with you.