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Seven Ways to Increase Your Instagram Engagement in 2019

January 29, 2019

Engagement is the lifeblood of your social media accounts and in this episode I’m giving you my tips for increasing your Instagram engagement in 2019

So, let’s dive in!

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Here’s what we cover:

  • Checking your engagement rate
  • Using poll and voting in stories
  • Using questions
  • Proactively engaging with similar accounts, followers and hashtags
  • Replying to comments and DM’s
  • Optimising your captions
  • Showing YOU
  • And more…

Blog Post

Wondering how you can increase your Instagram engagement in 2019?

If you’re not, you should be.

In fact, if Instagram is a key marketing channel for you then increasing your Instagram engagement should be your TOP priority this year.


Well, because the days of obsessing over followers are over.

I know, I know.

Watching that little follower number that sits at the very top of your account is addictive.

It’s front and centre every time you log into your account, and it’s easy to obsess every time you see it fluctuate up and down (check out this article all about the Instagram follow/unfollow for ways to combat this), or worse, when it doesn’t move at ALL.

But, here’s the thing.

Followers are one thing, but if they aren’t actually seeing your posts what’s the point?

In 2019, increasing follower numbers is POINTLESS if you aren’t also increasing your Instagram engagement alongside it because these days, engagement is the LIFEBLOOD of your Instagram account.

It’s one of the TOP factors at play in the Instagram algorithm when deciding whether to serve your content to your followers or not, and is usually the difference between all of the hard work you put into crafting killer posts and stories being seen – or being completely invisible.

So, with all of that said, here are nine tips to help you lift your Insta game and increase your Instagram engagement in 2019.

Instagram engagement tip #1:: Check your engagement rate

In order to know when you Instagram engagement has increased, you first need to know where you currently stand – right?

The best way to do this is to measure your Instagram engagement rate.

Your Instagram engagement rate is the percentage of the total number of your followers actually engaging on your content. Liking, commenting, saving – it’s all counted as engagement.

Now, you COULD do this manually, but if you’re anything like me numbers aren’t your strong point.

So, the easiest way to do this WITHOUT needing a calculator or a penchant for maths is to use the Phlanx Engagement calculator

To find your Instagram engagement rate using the Phlanx Engagement Calculator all you need to do is to enter your Instagram handle. It will immediately return your rate – how cool is that?

Now, what constitutes a ‘good’ engagement rate depends on your number of followers.

It is generally smaller as your account increases in size (there are some benchmarks set out in my free Social Media Bootcamp training if you want more detail around this, which you can register for here).

All you need to know for now, though, is what your engagement rate is so that you have a benchmark from which to measure your success.

Then, you can start to implement strategies to help you increase your Instagram engagement in 2019.

Instagram engagement tip #2:: Use poll and voting in stories

Instagram Stories are so hot right now.

If you don’t have a strong Instagram Stories strategy, you are missing out on engagement and eyeballs.

It’s that simple.

Luckily, Instagram making increasing engagement within the stories feature of the platform super easy with a number of cool built in options.

The first of these are the polls and voting features.

These features allow you to poll your audience and increase your Instagram engagement at the same time – it’s a win win!

For example, you can ask people which of two products or colours your customers prefer with a voting sticker Or, you can use it to get people to weigh in on the things you are covering in your stories with a simple slider.

It’s a great way of getting valuable input from your audience, as well as to get them invested in the content you are producing on your stories.

Instagram engagement tip #3: Use questions

Another feature built into Instagram stories is the question sticker.

This feature allows you to ask your followers a question, and to have the answers sent to you.

You can then choose to share some or all of those answers BACK onto your Instagram Stories.

There are a few ways you can use the question sticker.

One – run an ‘ask me anything’. Invite your followers to ask you questions, and then share the questions along with your answer on stories.

Two – ask your followers questions! Invite your followers to answer questions, and again share the answers or use as market research.

Instagram engagement tip #4: Proactively engage with similar accounts, followers and hashtags

Is your Instagram engagement non-existent? *Crickets* every time you post?

If so, you can easily increase your Instagram engagement in 2019 by taking matters into your own hands.


Proactively get out there and start engaging with other accounts!

There are three categories of accounts to focus on here.

1. Followers of similar but no competing businesses

Strategically begin following public accounts of your target audience, plus similar but non competing businesses with the same target audience [for example, a social media person for small business would follow copywriters for small business].

Engage over a few weeks. Considering unfollowing those that don’t follow back [if you aren’t getting value from their account].

This is great way of getting noticed by new accounts, and to get them both following you and engaging with your content too.

2. Followers of targeted hashtags

Did you know that you can follow hashtags?

Actively search out targeted hashtags and follow them – targeted means things like brand hashtags, event hashtags and longer tail hashtags. These are more likely to have authentic accounts using them, and they are a great opportunity to find your ideal clients.

Just like the tactic above, this is another great way to get noticed and get new followers and engagement on your Instagram account.

3. Your followers

This is one that is easy to forget, but when it comes to engagement it is probably the MOST important!

Make sure you are engaging with your followers and the accounts you are already following. This is the low hanging fruit; if they are following you they are interested in you and may have dropped off because they stopped engaging. By going back and engaging with them, it’s a great way to get them back onto your radar.

For the accounts that YOU are following, make sure that you are strategic about following accounts that are your ideal client or that are followed by your ideal client.

Then, spend time engaging.

Instagram engagement tip #5:: Reply to comments and DM’s

This seems obvious, right? Just simple etiquette?

Well, you’d be surprised.

There are an astounding number of accounts that DON’T reply to the comments and DM’s that their followers take the time to leave.

They use the excuse that there are too many – what a great problem to have – or that they don’t have time.

But, here’s the thing.

If you don’t have time, don’t bother with Instagram.

Instagram in particular is very much a platform for building community.

When you reply to your followers, it give them the incentive to continue to leave comments.

It builds your trust, authority and likeability.

And it encourages others to reply too.

Instagram engagement tip #6:: Optimise your captions

Sure, Instagram is a visual medium.

But in 2019, if you want to increase your Instagram engagement you need to be giving some serious time and attention to your captions.

Here’s a few ways to do that:

1. Ensure you have a hook

The first few words of your Insta captions need to be ENTICING. It’s all people see, and it’s the difference between them clicking to see more.. and scrolling on past.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It’s the equivalent to a blog headline. If it’s not good, no-one will even GET to reading the blog because they don’t click on the article.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

So, give some thought to your Insta ‘hook’. Make sure it draws people in. THAT’S how you get people clicking, engaging and ultimately getting your posts seen and read.

2. Storytell

Use your captions to really add colour to your Instagram. Tell stories, giving people insight into the behind the scenes of what you do, give really valuable tips in areas you know your dream client is hanging for information.

Vanilla captions are the reason that so many Instagram accounts struggle with poor engagement.

Don’t be one of them.

If you’re stuck with where to start with crafting engaging captions – or you just want someone to do it for you – I’d recommend checking out the Caption Cure in the Social Media shop. It includes a framework for your content and 48 done for you captions for Facebook and Instagram along with calls to action specifically designed to invite engagement.

Instagram engagement tip #7::  Show YOU

We are smack bang in the middle of the era of HUMAN TO HUMAN MARKETING.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

People connect with people, especially when it comes to social media – a platform where people are ultimately hanging out to see updates from family and friends.⠀⠀

It’s a personal medium, and so businesses that hide behind their business and that don’t show their face, the faces of their team and that don’t inject a ‘human’ side into their socials don’t perform.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Huge generalisation, but in my experience it’s 100% true – and trust me, I have see the analytics and back end of HUNDREDS of business social accounts.⠀⠀⠀

In every case (and I mean EVERY case), the best performing posts are personal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

They show the owners. The tell BTS stories. They inject colour and personality into the business and they prove that there are REAL people behind them.⠀⠀

So guys? When it comes to success on social media, it’s important.⠀⠀⠀

Even if you hate having photos taken of yourself.

Even if you’re reluctant to put yourself out there.

Even if… [insert other random thing here].

Stop with the excuses and give it a go.

You (and your Instagram engagement) will thank me later.

BONUS engagement tip:: Share your post on your stories

And now, a bonus tip!

Not getting enough eyeballs on your Instagram feed posts?

Did you know that you can share your post to your Instagram stories to encourage people to click through to read it?

Well, you can and it’s a GREAT way to quickly and easily increase your Instagram engagement in 2019.

To do it, simply, click on the ‘paper plane’ icon underneath your post and then ‘add post to your stories’.

I generally then like to add a ‘tap post’ GIF or something similar and a teaser telling your followers what the post is all about because i post it.

So, there you go!

Nine tips for increasing your Instagram engagement in 2019. .

If you want to get your hands on a resources that will help you with not only MORE tips for increasing your engagement on Instagram, but also Facebook and a complete comprehensive checklist for optimising both platform, head to the Social Shop and download my featured shop product:  Facebook and Instagram account optimisation checklists. They include sections on setting your accounts up properly, optimising for engagement and increasing your follower numbers too. 

And remember, my podcast is in the running for an awards at the Australian Podcast Awards. If you have EVER gotten value from this podcast, I would so grateful if you would head to to be taken to the link to vote.

Keep Listening!

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

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How to Increase Your Instagram Engagement in 2019

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