You may have heard that engagement is the key to growing your audience on Instagram. But what exactly does that mean? And how do you get your followers to engage more with your posts?

Engagement refers to any kind of interaction followers have with your posts. For Feed posts, that includes not just likes, but also comments and saves. The more engagement your post gets, the higher Instagram’s algorithm will rank it. Higher-ranking posts appear first on your followers’ feeds, and that makes the post more likely to reach more people.

Here are 6 easy ways to encourage your followers to engage more with posts on your Instagram feed.

1. Ask a question

Asking a question in the caption of your post prompts your followers to comment with a response. This works especially well if you ask them to share something from their own experience, or to give an opinion, because people love to talk about themselves.

Don’t worry if no one answers your questions at first. Just keep it up, and experiment with different types of questions. You’ll get more responses as your audience grows.

Here’s some inspiration from @VideoBoostApp:

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ℍ𝕠𝕨 𝕥𝕠 𝕣𝕖𝕡𝕦𝕣𝕡𝕠𝕤𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕔𝕠𝕟𝕥𝕖𝕟𝕥 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕤𝕠𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝 𝕞𝕖𝕕𝕚𝕒 ♲⁠ ⁠ It’s OK to repeat yourself! ☎️ If you’re feeling the constant pressure to create new content for #socialmedia – look to the long-form content that you’ve *already* created. #RepurposingContent will save you time, streamline your #contentmarketing strategy & give your content greater reach 💪 ⁠ ⁠ Take your best-performing blog post, for example. Here are 3 ways to repurpose that content 🔻⁠ ⁠ 👉 𝙲𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚏𝚘𝚐𝚛𝚊𝚙𝚑𝚒𝚌 – Pull interesting stats from the blog & create an informative visual. #ProTip: #Infographics generally excel on IG or Pinterest.⁠ ⁠ 👉 𝙲𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚊 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚛𝚝-𝚕𝚎𝚗𝚐𝚝𝚑 𝚟𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚘 – #Listicle videos are a great format here (i.e. 'My Top 3 Tips on x.’) Think of this vid as a ‘teaser’ to compel your audience to go and check out your blog post. ⁠ ⁠ 👉 𝙲𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚊 𝚚𝚞𝚘𝚝𝚎 𝚐𝚛𝚊𝚙𝚑𝚒𝚌 – Capture a meaningful quote or insight from your blog and turn it into a meaningful graphic for your feed or Stories. You don’t need to limit this to just one quote…more quotes = more content!⁠ ⁠ How do you plan on repurposing your content? ↓⁠ ⁠ 📸: @jeffmindell⁠ •⁠ •⁠ •⁠ •⁠ #repurposecontent #socialmediatipsandtricks #brandstyling ⁠#contentmarketingtip #contentmarketingtips #contentmarketingtipsandtricks #contentcreation #contentcreator #socialmediastrategist #socialmediastrategytips #socialmediahacks ⁠#socialmediatips #marketingtips #socialmediagoals #smm #socialmediamarketer #freelancetofreedom #smallbizmarketing #marketingforsmallbusiness #blogginglife #bloggingcommunity #bloggingtips #blogtip #bloggerlife⁠

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2. Share a little of yourself

Succeeding on social media is all about connecting to your audience, and people want to connect with other people, not with products or services. Even if your account is devoted strictly to your business, share selfies and photos with personal stories you feel comfortable sharing. People love to get to know the person behind the business.

@EliseDarma lets her audience in on her journey here:

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As I welcome in a new wave of @InstaGrowthBoss students, I can't say this enough:⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ "WE ALL START FROM ZERO."⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ [ 📌Save this post for future reference!]⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ And I've realized that as much as I preach about Instagram becoming the next revenue stream in your business, you might be thinking:⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ "Yeah, easy for you to say, Elise – you already have 78,000 followers." 🙄⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I get it.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ That's why today, I'm sharing with you HOW I got here – so that you can see how truly doable it is. ⤵️⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 🗓 2013 – 2014:⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I'm working as a 9-5 employee and I get my first freelance client at the end of 2013.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 9 months later, I have a few clients and can quit my job. I focus on building an agency where I offer marketing services: social media growth, copywriting and newsletters for e-commerce brands.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 💰 Income / Revenue: $50,000⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 🗓 2014 – 2016:⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I'm living that digital nomad life. I'm working online and traveling to Australia, Bali, Hawaii, Europe, Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ My agency is humming along with 5 to 7 clients at any given time.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ And the idea occurs to me: to make more revenue, I need more clients. So I'll grow my personal Instagram account as proof of my expertise. ding ding ding! 💡⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 💰 Revenue: $65,000⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 🗓 2016 – 2017:⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ My Instagram account reaches 60,000 followers in under a year – but along the way, I'm not collecting emails or really selling anything at all. 🤦‍♀️⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I realize that my new followers aren't interested in my agency's services, but instead – they want to know how I was working online and traveling so much.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I decide to create my first offer for my Instagram followers: an online course.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I launch it to my 60K following and my email list of 1,800… and I welcome in 50 amazing students, earning $9,850.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Now I have two businesses – my agency and my personal brand – and my overall revenue reaches 6 figures for the first time.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 💰 Revenue: $100,000⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ [CONTINUED IN COMMENTS…]

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3. Post photos of people

A study published on ResearchGate found that photos of faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments on Instagram. That’s a good thing to keep in mind when planning your content. Post more photos of yourself, your team members, or your clients.

4. Post videos

There is a wealth of data that shows that videos generate more engagement than still images and text — and social media platforms have been adapting to accommodate more video content as a result. You can easily take advantage of this by posting videos to your Instagram feed.

Not sure how to go about making one? Creating an eye-catching video for Instagram is super easy with an app like VideoBoost. All you need to do is choose a template, insert some images, edit the text, add music and effects you like, and share.

5. Stay on top of your hashtag game

A good hashtag strategy increases the reach of your posts and ensures that the people most likely to be interested in your content will see it! Use a mix of popular and niche hashtags for the best results. See our post, 7 Quick Tips to Build an Instagram Hashtag Strategy, to learn more about using hashtags strategically.

6. Make sure your content matches your audience’s needs and interests

People are most likely to engage with content they find relevant and useful. For example, if your primary target audience is older teens and young college students, chances are they’re not going to engage much with parenting-related content. Do your research on the type of content your audience is looking for and make sure what you’re posting aligns with their needs.

Action Items:

1. Add questions to your captions to encourage your followers to respond.
2. Share photos of people, especially of yourself, and find personal anecdotes to share.
3. Create a video to post on your feed using VideoBoost.
4. Develop a solid hashtag strategy for your posts.
5. Review the content that hasn’t performed well and evaluate how well it aligns with your audience’s interests and needs. If it doesn’t align well, research and brainstorm some ideas for content that might work better for your audience.