Are you posting on Instagram, but everything’s coming up crickets?

how to increase engagement on instagram

I mean, you’ve got your posts, you’ve got your Stories, but no one’s really interacting?

If you’ve been seeing your numbers on Instagram go down lately, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

In this post I’m going to share tactics and strategies that will help you get more likes, more views, and more shares that are actually going to make a difference in your business…

I’m talking dollars in your bank account. 

Just like my friend Lillian of @strategy_gal, who went from 20,000 followers all the way to over 110,000 followers: 

how to increase engagement on instagram

But more than an increase in Instagram followers, she’s gotten brand deals. 

She’s gotten clients

She got a feature in Glamour magazine

She got podcast interviews… 

…all from Instagram. 

Ready for the same results in your business?

Let’s go over how to increase engagement on Instagram. 

Prefer video? Watch in full here 👆🏽

5 Ways to Increase Engagement on Instagram

1. Tell People What You Want Them To Do

The first tip for how to increase engagement on Instagram is to include a Call to Action (CTA) in your content. 

Believe me when I say, people want to be told what to do. 

Call to Action in Your Bio 

Be very specific in telling your followers what’s in it for them when they click on the link in your bio.

A lot of times people just drop a link in their bio without a compelling reason as to why a new follower should care about clicking that link.

Make sure that whatever you are asking your follower to do is something they would consider high value – or else they won’t do it.

Is there a 10% off code?

Is there a brand new training with a specific title?

Is there a case study that would be really good for them to know? 

Make it juicy! Like this: 

how to increase engagement on instagram
Make your Call to Action a no-brainer for your audience.

Call to Action in Your Captions

Make sure you’re including a CTA at the bottom or middle of all of your Instagram captions. 

When you’re writing a caption, make it very clear what specific action you want your reader to take.

Make sure you’re only asking your audience to do one thing.

Too many calls to action, and you’ll lose people. 

Don’t be vague and don’t give too many options, otherwise, people won’t take any action at all. 

One call to action you can use that I like is this: 

“Share this post if you feel your followers would benefit from it.”

Now, if you’re in a sales closing season – maybe your program is open, your cart’s open, you’re launching – you want to be really, really clear. 

Use phrases like:

  • “Shop this post”
  • “Send me a DM”
  • “Visit the link in our bio”
  • “Comment below for the link”

For the “comment below” Call to Action, here’s a hint: I love to give people a code to use in their comment. 

Something like “Link me, Elise”.

I literally tell my audience to use a particular code and that way I’ll see the code as a comment. I know they’ve read the caption and it’s permission for me to follow up and send them the link in the DM. 

Like this:

how to increase engagement on instagram
This makes it super easy for your audience to reach out and engage with you!

Call to Action in Your Stories

One tactic I love to increase engagement in Instagram Stories is to make my Stories less about me and use them as a time to ask my followers questions about their lives. 

Whether it’s a poll or the question sticker, asking questions of your followers about themselves not only helps them feel more connected to you, but you also get to learn more about your target followers.

So it’s really a win-win.

Steal 16 Instagram Story ideas here 👆🏽

It could be a request for people to reply to your Story, which will DM you. 

You could ask people to respond to a poll sticker, or answer the question sticker; it doesn’t really matter what you choose, just as long as you’re not forgetting to get your followers to engage. 

Speaking of Instagram Stories, you need to use all the features within Stories

There are so many ways Instagram has made it easy for us to get our followers to engage. 

how to increase engagement on instagram
Instagram has conveniently grouped the Engagement stickers together in Stories.

I promise you, the algorithm is actually going to bless you with more engagement because you’re using the engagement features that Instagram provides for you in Stories. 

And one last note about Instagram Stories…

It really pays to be consistent.

You can’t just pop up in your Stories once a week and expect the sales and the leads to roll into your DMs. 

Find a posting cadence that works for you. 

I recommend to my students to post three times a day: morning, afternoon, and night. 

That way you’re staying at the top of your followers’ feeds, no matter what time of the day they’re checking into their Instagram to view people’s Stories. 

2. Optimize Your Instagram Bio

My next tip is to optimize your bio to be found in search. 

Did you know that Instagram doesn’t have a lot of ways for you to be found in search, except for your username and your name field?

Your username is typically your brand name or your personal name.

Your name field is where you can get really creative with the target search terms that your target follower is looking for.

Like this:

how to increase engagement on instagram
Use your target keywords in your name field so you come up in search.

Make sure you’re putting yourself in the shoes of your target follower and choosing the best keywords to be found for in your name field. 

Don’t underestimate the power of a great Instagram bio in getting people to take action!

Check out this message a student of mine received after optimizing her bio:

how to increase engagement on instagram

3. Optimize Your Hashtags for Instagram

My next tip to increase engagement on Instagram is to use hashtags, and I don’t mean just plopping them in your caption and forgetting about them. 

You’re going to want to actually follow the key hashtags related to your niche, your target client, and your industry. 

Then you will see posts in your feed that have used that hashtag.

how to increase engagement on instagram

This is your time.

This is when you need to like and comment on posts associated with that hashtag, as well as watch and reply to the Stories associated with that hashtag.

This way, you are engaging with a targeted account and opening up a pathway to start a conversation in the direct messages. 

Discover how to use Instagram hashtags for business ⬆️

4. Engage Proactively on Instagram

Speaking of direct messages, that is my next tip for how to increase engagement on Instagram.

You gotta be proactive here.

You can’t wait for people to blow up your DMs with questions about working with you or wanting to get on your email list…

You need to go out there and find them

I’ve done a whole video on how to get those DMs and and how to make the sale, so be sure to check it out. ⬇️

Learn my tips for making more sales on Instagram 👆🏽

My number one takeaway when it comes to DMs is, it’s all fine and dandy when you boost your engagement on your posts or on your Stories, but do something with that engagement.

You have more eyeballs interacting with your content than ever before, so don’t just let it sit there.

Make sure you send a message to everyone who liked your post and thank them for liking.

Start that conversation in the DMs, because truthfully, that’s where the sales happen

5. Use IGTV and Reels to Increase Engagement

My last tip for boosting your engagement on Instagram is to make full use of any new features that Instagram is pushing.

In 2019, that meant previewing IGTV videos in your feed.

In 2020, it means making Instagram Reels.

The Instagram algorithm really pushes views toward their new features and rewards you for using them.

how to increase engagement on instagram

The bottom line is, you need to reward people for interacting with you.

Being conversational equals engagement.

How to increase engagement on Instagram - Elise Darma

So with that, don’t be boring.

Don’t share the same old, same old.

Don’t be afraid to show up and be vulnerable, be truthful, be honest, be raw.

You will be surprised at how your audience will love, react and engage with honest content because truthfully, we’re all craving it.

You can show people the behind the scenes of your life.

With Instagram, we have a tendency to show the highlight reel, but people want to engage with a real person.

They want to know you, so don’t be afraid to take them on random adventures of your day.

Lastly, I recommend that you schedule 20 minutes per day into your calendar to engage on Instagram.

This could mean replying to comments, viewing Stories and replying, DM-ing people, following up with people you chatted with a few weeks ago.

Taking these 20 minutes to grow your relationships on Instagram means you will see not just a boost in your engagement, but a boost in your business too. 


Ready to Grow Your Biz Using Instagram Stories?

Know you need to be showing up in your Instagram Stories, but not sure what to post that will actually make a difference in your business?

Story Vault is my answer to your question, What should I post today?

It’s time to stop wondering how others are locking in clients, leads and sales from social media. 💰

Imagine dramatically reducing the time you’re spending on social media, but seeing a 2x or even 5x return on your effort…

Story Vault is a curated collection of 800 strategic Instagram Story prompts covering the four seasons of business growth:

  • Get visible in your market… so you go from being invisible and unknown to “OMG I love watching your Stories!”
  • ​Boost your engagement… so you never get a “crickets only” response to your Stories again
  • ​Get qualified, ready-to-buy leads so you can build up your email list or book out your call calendar
  • ​Lock in chart-topping sales to your programs, products and offers (so you can STOP aimlessly posting on social media and actually see a return from it!)

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