Categories Uncategorized

10 Effective Tips to Increase Instagram Engagement Rate

Admit it.

You can’t peel your eyes off your screen after posting on Instagram. Likes and comments are like a reward you can’t help but wait for!

People are hooked on the instant gratification social media likes and comments provide.

However, for businesses and marketers, likes, shares, and other forms of engagement are more than just a way to feel the excitement of immediate gratification.

It’s a must-have for getting your business out there to attract new customers and generate sales.

Want to know how to increase your Instagram engagement rate?

We’ll cover all your burning questions about Instagram engagement rate — what it is, how to calculate it, what’s a good one, and why it’s essential to improve it.

And, of course, make sure you read till the end; we’ll share ten foolproof tips to boost your Instagram engagement rate through the roof!

What Do We Mean by Instagram Engagement Rate?

Instagram engagement rate is a quantitative measure of how Instagram users interact with the content you share on your page. In a way, it indicates how relevant and interesting your publications are to your audience.

Knowing your Instagram engagement rate lets you understand whether your posts resonate with your followers. It’s one of the most important metrics marketers need to track to analyze the success of their social media marketing activities.

How to Calculate Your Instagram Engagement Rate?

The key factors that contribute to your Instagram engagement rate are:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Saves
  • Followers
  • Tags
  • DMs
  • Clicks

You can calculate your average Instagram engagement rate using the following formula:

Engagement rate = (Likes + Comments) / (Impressions * 100%)

What Is a Good Engagement Rate on Instagram?

As a rule of thumb…

  • Less than 1% = low engagement rate
  • Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate
  • Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate
  • Above 6% = very high engagement rate

However, the benchmark average Instagram post engagement rate will differ from industry to industry and content type to content type.

For instance, travel accounts have a much higher average Instagram engagement rate than accounts from other industries:

instagram engagement rate

Smaller accounts have higher average engagement rates than larger ones:

instagram average post engagement

And Instagram carousels and Reels perform better than other formats. For instance, in July 2021, the Instagram engagement benchmark was as follows:

  • The average engagement rate for all post types — 0.82%
  • The average engagement rate for photo posts — 0.81%
  • The average engagement rate for video posts — 0.61%
  • The average engagement rate for carousel posts — 1.01%

Why Is It Important to Prioritize Increasing Your Instagram Engagement Rate?

Of course, improving your Instagram engagement rate is important to remain competitive and offer your audience the content they’re interested in.

However, there’s another, more down-to-earth reason for caring about your Instagram engagement rate.

Instagram algorithms favor well-liked content by the audience and promote it for others to see.

So, if the platform notices that your content is getting popular, it will land your publication on the Instagram Explore Page to get more eyes on it.

But remember!

Instagram engagement rate only matters when the engagement is genuine, coming from real people who care about your Instagram page and the content you share.

You shouldn’t think about faking it by buying likes, followers, and comments or joining so-called engagement pods.

Not only is it ineffective, but you can get penalized by Instagram for doing that!

The rapid increase in your engagement will trigger the Instagram algorithm and lead to an adverse treatment of whatever organic content you may want to upload afterward.

Or even worse, you could lose access to your account altogether, with your profile blocked due to suspicious activity.

10 Actionable Tips to Boost Your Instagram Engagement Rate

First and foremost, we should point out that your Instagram content should follow all the platform rules and be high-quality and unique.

Instagram can shadowban you (or even terminate your profile!) for publishing content that doesn’t abide by the community guidelines, isn’t original (yes, even if you’re the author and have just recycled it from a different social media platform), or is poorly made.

Creating high-quality content is only half the battle when trying to increase your Instagram engagement rate. To boost your business on Instagram, you must approach your Instagram marketing strategically and adopt the best practices.

Here are the 10 most effective tips to help your Instagram engagement rate skyrocket.

1. Commit to an Instagram Posting Schedule

Posting too much and too frequently can make your followers feel overwhelmed by the amount of content they see from you on their feeds. As a result, they’ll engage with it less or even unfollow you.

At the same time, posting once in a blue moon isn’t the right approach either.

While you won’t be annoying your followers with your posts (and they might even miss you in their feeds), Instagram doesn’t favor accounts that don’t take it posting on the platform seriously and can even hide your new posts after you’ve been inactive for a while.

It’s all about balance!

According to research, the optimal number of posts you should make will depend on your Instagram account size:

  • Accounts with under 1K followers enjoy the highest engagement rates per post when posting 14 times per week
  • For accounts with 1K-250K followers, posting once per week delivers the highest engagement rate per post
  • Accounts with 250K+ followers receive the highest engagement rate per post when posting only once per week, too

The time you post also matters!

According to research, the best time to share content on Instagram is on weekdays (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday), during lunchtime (11 AM – 1 PM), or after work (7 PM – 9 PM).

You can set alarms and rush to your phone to publish a post or a Story at the right time. But this is just straight-up exhausting. Besides, you’ll likely skip a slot or two — we all have lives outside social media, remember?

To ensure your timing is always perfect and all your social media accounts are managed from the comfort of a single platform, give SocialPilot a try. It’s perfect for publishing and scheduling:

You can plan your Instagram grid with SocialPilot’s Calendar view. Move posts around your calendar with a simple drag-and-drop option, or edit your content directly from the calendar.

SocialPilot create post

At the same time, however, the aforementioned are only general recommendations.

To find the best time to post on Instagram for your specific business, you need to…

2. Ensure You Know and Understand Your Audience Well

The trick to identifying your business’s best Instagram posting hours is learning who your audience is.

You need to figure out when they are most active on Instagram and try to adjust your publishing schedule accordingly.

The easiest way to learn this information is to check your Instagram Insights page.

Note: You need an Instagram Business account to access it.

In the Instagram Insights section, you’ll see the best days and hours to publish content.

publish content

The best time to post on Instagram according to the Instagram Insights page — Source

Another thing that Instagram Insights can help you with is identifying the types of content that perform best for your audience.

Go to the “Content You Shared” section of your Insights tab. There, you can sort your recent feed posts (up to two years) by the following metrics:

  • Comments
  • Follows
  • Impressions
  • Likes
  • Post interactions
  • Profile visits
  • Reach
  • Saves
  • Video views, etc.
short by newest

Regularly check the analytics for the posts you share to see what resonates with your audience and doesn’t.

Then, remove the low-performing content types from your editorial calendar and scale the ones that drive the most Instagram engagement!

On top of that, you can also check your Insights to see the breakdown of your audience, including their location, gender, and age, to make an educated guess about the types of content they’d be most susceptible to.

3. Make Use of CTAs

If you want something — ask for it!

If you want your audience to engage with your content, direct them to like, share, save, or comment on it with a solid CTA.

You can either include a CTA in the design or the caption.

At the same time, you should remember that Instagram is continuously trying to make the social media platform a better place and improve the quality of the content posted on it.

Hence, they keep changing their algorithms to fight the accounts that resort to publishing “engagement bait” — posts that try to trick the system and increase their Instagram engagement rate by provoking users to react with likes, comments, or shares.

Back in 2017, Facebook committed to combating accounts that overindulge in engagement baiting. Now that Instagram is a part of Meta, we can expect them to have the same attitude towards posts like this.

Here are the types of engagement baits Instagram recognizes and frowns upon:

  • Vote baiting: “Like for Option 1, Comment for Option 2.”
  • React baiting: “Like if you think killing people is bad.”
  • Share baiting: “Share this post to your Instagram Story if you agree that water boils at 100 °C.”
  • Tag baiting: “Tag the first person that pops up when you type in @”
  • Comment baiting: “Write the word ‘ENGAGEMENT’ letter by letter without other people interrupting you.”

You might be wondering why we are sharing all this information.

The answer is simple — we just wanted to justify our total ban on “Like or Share” CTAs.

Unless you want your posts to be demoted by Instagram, always keep your CTAs meaningful.

Regarding Instagram CTAs, you want to entice conversations and write something meatier than a one-word comment.


An example of a well-written CTA in an Instagram post caption

Here are a couple of examples of good CTAs that will encourage your Instagram audience to interact with your posts, all without looking like you’re begging for likes, saves, shares, and comments:

  • Have you ever tried X? Share your experience!
  • What are you most excited about X? Tell us in the comments!
  • Tag the friend you’d share X with and explain why!
  • What is your favorite X? Let us know in the comments!
  • Save this publication for when you need it for X.
  • Have we missed anything? Complete the list in the comments!
  • How would you rate X — we’re dying to know!

4. Communicate With Your Followers

As you might have noticed, the most effective CTA examples from the previous section focused on prompting people to engage in a conversation.

There’s a good reason for this — the easiest way to drastically increase the number of comments under your Instagram posts is to give your followers something to talk about!

Here are a couple of ideas that might speak to your audience and get them to leave a comment:

  • Ask your followers questions about their preferences — “What is your favorite product from the summer drop?”
  • Get your followers to share their experiences with your brand — “How did you find the Saturday pop-up store experience?”
  • Ask for advice — “Where should we open our next store?”
  • Get your followers to share their opinions on something you post — “Do you think it’s a stunt, or is it for real?”
  • Get your followers to guess something about your brand — “Guess what the name of our next collection will be”

Alternatively, you can include industry news in your content calendar and hop on the topics that are already trending.

They are almost always guaranteed to generate extra engagement on Instagram, especially if it’s a topic surrounded by heated discussion.

Look at how Diet Prada, a digital fashion critic account, does it:


Another way of getting people to comment on your Instagram posts is by hosting Q&A sessions. Turn it into a regular rubric and enjoy regular questions from your audience.

And when you get questions (or comments, in general), make sure to respond to every single one.

Not only will it double the number of comments on your posts, but it will also entice people to comment on your posts in the future — they’ll be sure they won’t get hit by an awkward silence.

Here’s an example of how it’s done by a cosmetics brand, Paula’s Choice:


5. Keep Tabs on New Instagram Features and Formats

Instagram constantly adds new features and formats that social media marketers can use to increase their engagement rate and boost their organic reach.

Ensure you keep up with all the platform updates and try new features as they roll out.

There are three reasons for this:

  • Instagram favors cutting-edge profiles that aren’t afraid of experimenting with new formats.
  • While a feature is new and not too many accounts use it to maximize their social media marketing results, you have a better chance of standing out from the crowd and getting more eyes on your content.
  • Many blogs that cover social media-related topics need examples to illustrate how brands can use new Instagram features. If your page is among the pioneers using it, the likelihood of you getting extra exposure rises exponentially.

Speaking of the relatively new formats, if you want to boost your Instagram engagement rate, you should…

6. Focus On Creating Reels

This is currently the hottest content format on Instagram!

The social media platform is trying to replicate TikTok’s success. Hence, it is prioritizing video content over all the other formats.

According to recent statistics, Instagram Reels is the content type that performs best and gets 22% more engagement than traditional videos and static posts.

Creating Reels

So, if you want your Instagram profile to get more engagement, make sure to create Reels.

7. Leverage Interactive Instagram Stories

Reels aren’t the only format that can boost your Instagram engagement. Another great format for this is Instagram Story.

It offers plenty of tools and features to interact with the audience and make them genuinely interested in your account.

For example, you can use the Instagram Quiz Sticker to host trivia contests, conduct market research, or educate your audience about a topic relevant to your business.

trivia contests

Another great Instagram Story Sticker that can improve your Instagram engagement is Poll. A simple “This or That” game is as effective as ever.

chickent flights

The Questions Sticker can be great for communicating with your audience, hosting Q&As, or asking your followers’ opinions.

Questions Sticker

Creative use of the Slider sticker can make your Story impossible to ignore.

Here’s a fun example from Carnival Cruise Line:

Carnival Cruise

Some other tricks that will help you increase the time your audience spends engaging with your Instagram Story include:

  • Add more text to your Story so that the viewer has to “pause to read it all”
  • Create fast-paced Instagram Stories, so viewers have to tap and hold them to spot details or go back to rewatch them
  • Post “Before and After” Stories so that viewers go back and forth between them

8. Gamify Your Instagram Content

Since we’ve already touched on the subject of gamified content, let’s note that it’s not only Instagram Stories that can be interactive. You can gamify your posts and Reels, too!

Take a trip down memory lane and remember which games you used to play when you were a kid.

They are all perfect for Instagram:

  • Word search
  • Maze
  • Bingo
  • Spot the difference
  • Find the object

Take a look at Buzzfeed’s Instagram Story game:

Instagram Story game

Something as mundane as a pop quiz with an appealing prize can work wonders for your Instagram engagement, too. Take a look at how @baileyjst garners hundreds of comments with a single a-b-c pop quiz:

Paired with a strong CTA to share findings in the comments section, your Instagram game can boost engagement rates!

But it’s not all fun and games.

There should be plenty of room in your Instagram content plan for helpful, serious content, too!

9. Create Saveable and Shareable Content

While garnering likes and comments is important for increasing your Instagram engagement rate, you shouldn’t forget the other two factors that affect it — saves and shares.

So, our next tip is to focus on creating saveable and shareable content.

But what does saveable content mean?

In simple terms, saveable content is valuable content your audience finds helpful and might want to refer to in the future.

The most common types of content that get saved are:

  • Tips and tricks
  • Content roundups
  • Infographics
  • Instructions and recipes
  • Lists
  • Checklists
  • Cheatsheets
saveable content

You might need more than just one frame to create Instagram posts packed with value. Don’t worry, though; there’s a content format for that — an Instagram carousel.

Besides, carousel posts have the highest average engagement rate among all feed post types, excluding Reels:

  • Carousels enjoy a 3.11% average engagement rate
  • Single-image posts get a 2.75% engagement rate
  • In-feed videos get a 2.60% engagement rate

And if you don’t have enough time to produce a saveable piece of content, focus on creating a shareable one!

Traditionally, the types of content that enjoy the most shares are:

  • Memes
  • Situational posts
  • News
  • Horoscopes (and other content that categorizes people)
  • Tag yourself posts

10. Include User-Generated-Content

Finally, if you want to entice people to engage with your Instagram content, show them that you value this behavior!

Turn sharing User-Generated Content into a habit and publish:

  • Photos of your product or service
  • Best comments
  • Your customers’ reviews

For instance, a famous car brand, BMW, uses the hashtag #BMWRepost to share Instagram posts of proud BMW owners and their rides:


Excited to get their photos and videos reposted to the leading automobile company’s Instagram page, BMW owners keep sharing their cars online.

As of now, the #BMWRepost hashtag is home to over 2,567,478 posts.

Crushing Your Instagram Engagement Rate Game

10 actionable tips later, you should now have a solid idea of how to improve your Instagram engagement rate.

Mix and match the different best practices we shared in this article and find the combination that works best for you and your target audience.

And don’t forget — it’s all about regularly tapping into Instagram analytics and taking notes of what content resonates with your followers to scale it in the future.

Otherwise, you’re doomed to stay in the loop of wasting lots of resources on producing content that doesn’t perform well and, therefore, don’t promote your brand on Instagram.

Don’t waste another second — get down to creating Instagram content using your newly acquired knowledge!

Frequently Asked Questions

🌟 What is Instagram engagement?

Instagram engagement measures how Instagram users interact with the content you share on your page. It indicates how relevant and interesting your publications are to your audience.

🌟 How do you calculate the Instagram engagement rate?

You can calculate your average Instagram engagement rate using the following formula:

Engagement rate = (Likes + Comments) / (Impressions * 100%)

🌟 What is a good Instagram engagement rate?

You should aim for an average Instagram engagement rate of 1% - 3.5% and over. Anything under 1% is considered to be a low engagement rate.

🌟 Can I buy likes and comments to increase Instagram engagement?

No. If you suddenly have an influx of likes, comments, and followers, Instagram will notice suspicious activity and can potentially shadowban your account.

🌟 What content gets the most Instagram engagement?

The best content types to increase your average Instagram engagement are carousel posts and Instagram Reels.

Author: Valerie Kakovkina

Valerie Kakovkina is a content marketing manager at VistaCreate, an online tool for creating professional-looking designs for your social media. She’s in charge of the company’s blog, where she covers all aspects of marketing (with a strong focus on social media marketing), design, and productivity.