How’s your Instagram strategy looking? Are you getting the kind of results you want? Doing okay but want to be doing better? We’re probably all in the same boat, to be honest, eagerly posting our best wares on the platform in the hope that they’ll FINALLY pick up those thousands of ‘likes’ and comments that other peoples’ content seems to get. If that’s the case, I’ve got some tricks I would like to share with you today: simple ways to squeeze more Instagram engagement out of every feed post.
And we really are going to squeeze tightly, too.
The Lifespan of an Instagram Feed Post
Let’s first take a look at how long your content actually lasts on Instagram.
The average Instagram feed post gets most of its engagement within the first few hours after posting, but the actual lifespan of an Instagram feed post is between 24 and 48 hours.
What this usually means is, you will get your initial bulk of activity in the immediate hours following posting, with a trail-off of likes, comments, and other forms of engagement from there.
Unless you’re using a really obscure hashtag that rarely gets any hits, or you/someone else shares an Instagram feed post down the line, it is rare that you will get engagement on them after a week or so. The content will slide down your page, slowly getting more and more forgotten, until eventually, no one even remembers it’s there at all …
What a sad state of affairs.
There are ways that you can slow down the slow-down of your content’s engagement, however; things that you can do to ensure every single little drop of engagement has been squeezed from each and every one of your Instagram feed posts.
How many of these are you doing already?
1 – Add it to your Instagram story.
You can add an Instagram feed post to your Instagram Story – as a clickable link – with the just the tap of a few buttons … though it took me a couple of attempts to get it right, I must admit.
[Click to enlarge]
For 24 hours – the length of time an Instagram Story (that isn’t added to highlights) lasts – your feed post will get its own little shoutout, reminding people that haven’t seen it that it exists. Your audience doesn’t need to go looking for it; you’ve added it as a clickable link, so you’re making it as easy as possible for them to head back, check out your feed post, and give it the love it so rightfully deserves.
If you add the Instagram Story to the highlights on your profile, the clickable link to your feed post will last for however long you leave it there for.
You haven’t got to share EVERY feed post to your Instagram Stories. In fact, I advise against it because people might actually get annoyed with the repetitiveness of it all.
You should *definitely* add the following posts to your Story for more Instagram engagement, though, and even perhaps your highlights:
- Your favourite feed posts
- Posts that have been shared by brands — for example, your New Look-based fashion posts shared by New Look’s Instagram account
- Posts that receive more engagement than usual
- Posts that receive less engagement than usual (to boost those numbers)
- Throwback posts
It might not seem important to increase engagement on older Instagram posts, but doing it will help to boost overall engagement of your account.
2 – Share it on Pinterest.
If you’re not sharing some, or all of your Instagram content on Pinterest, you’re missing a trick.
Instagram Stories can be Pinterest videos. Pinterest videos can also be Instagram Stories. I made the following mini video for Pinterest, but I could also use it as a Story on Instagram to promote my blog post.
[Click to enlarge]
For the record, if you’re interested in lots of content ideas for Christmas, you’ll find them right here: 111 Christmas Blog Post Ideas For Blogmas.
Instagram feed posts also can also be Pinterest Pins, linking back to your Instagram account and potentially bagging you not only extra engagement, but also extra followers.
Learning how to repurpose content is one of the smartest things you can do as a blogger, influencer, or marketer — using one piece of content designed for one platform, on a different platform, or in a new way, or both.
3 – Tell people on Facebook and Twitter about it.
- Have you seen my latest Instagram post?
- Are you following me on Instagram? In my recent post, I’m talking all about how to wear red lipstick in different ways …
- I’m very proud of my recent Instagram post because [insert reason here]. I’d love it if you could check it out and let me know what you think!
That’s just three ways of asking your followers on Facebook and Twitter to interact with your content on Instagram — and there are plenty more suggestions where those came from.
How will those Facebook or Twitter followers know to follow you on Instagram if you don’t tell them about your Instagram account?
How will they know that you want them to like and comment on your latest Instagram feed post if you don’t ask them to?
I’ve said it probably a thousand times on my blog already, but I’m going to say it again: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Ask your audience NICELY to give you more Instagram engagement and they might just give it to you.
4 – Turn it into a question or poll.
I’m taking you back to Instagram Stories for a moment, but this time, I’m asking you to look at the poll/question+answer features.
Use a question or poll asking your audience whether they agree with a point you’ve made in a feed post. [Poll.]
Or ask them a question about the content you’ve shared. [Questions.]
Or ask them if they have any questions for you to answer. [Questions.]
Or ask them if they have a preference between two things. [Poll.]
Or ask them to choose whether a statement is fact or fiction. [Quiz.]
Allow me to use one of my own Instagram feed posts as an example (because I’ve literally just had a Story idea and I need to write it down before I forget about it!) — my Christmas content ideas post.
It’s a fast-moving video filled with Christmas content suggestions for people to screenshot. Whatever they land on is the content they should create for their own blog/YouTube channel/favourite social media platform. It’s a few days old now, so engagement has trailed off … but I can give it a little last-minute boost by sharing it to my Instagram Stories and asking a question:
“Which prompt did you land on?”
My followers would [hopefully] head back to the original post I just directed them to, watch the video, screenshot it, get their own Christmas content prompt, and then engage with me, either on my Story or on my feed post, to tell me which one they landed on.
I could also do the same thing further down the line, closer to Christmas, sharing the exact same 24-hour Story, adding a clickable post as discussed in point number one and directing people towards engaging with my older content.
5 – Share it with an Instagram pod.
Are you a member of any Instagram pods? Don’t forget to share your Instagram feed posts with the other pod people.
I’m not personally a fan of pods, and neither is Instagram. Technically, they violate the guidelines, but they are still an approach taken by many in a bid to get more Instagram engagement and followers. It’s inorganic, fake engagement but still, it’s engagement nevertheless.
You can learn more about Instagram pods, including what they are and how to use them (as well as my quite controversial opinions) right here: What Are Instagram Pods? (And Everything Else You Need to Know About Them)
6 – Make sure you reply to every comment on your Instagram feed post.
When people comment, you should respond.
When you respond, they might respond back — especially if you ask a question in your response.
All of those responses – the back-and-forth volleying of comments – are forms of engagement. You are engaging with your audience, and they are engaging with you right back.
Engagement shows Instagram that you are a worthy account to follow; that you have something to offer an audience. In turn, Instagram will be more inclined to show your post to more people.
Although nobody really knows how the Instagram algorithm works, it’s believed to go a little something like this:
When you upload something to your Instagram feed, the platform shows approximately ten percent of your followers.
If that ten percent engages with the content [like, comment, save, share, etc.], the platform will show a few more of your followers.
If those followers then engage with it, Instagram will show more followers; and if they engage, Instagram will – once again, show more of your followers … and the pattern continues.
If you get enough of your followers to engage with your content, and Instagram shows your content to more and more people, you will eventually find yourself on the ‘Top’ page for whatever hashtag(s) you’ve used.
So, the more you can encourage people to comment, like, and otherwise engage with your content, the more impressions and engagement you are likely to get in return, because Instagram’s algorithm will show it to more people.
If you ignore engagement, you can expect dire results.
I ignored engagement throughout most of 2020, mostly because of a HUGE depressive slump, and I can confirm that engagement really does matter.
When I was engaging with the community, I was getting 150+ likes per post with only a couple of hundred followers. In 2020, when I barely posted, let alone engaged with people, I dropped right down to getting 5 — YES, FIVE — likes per post, even though I had double the number of followers.
7 – Go back and engage with the content of people who’ve engaged with yours.
Let’s just say that you share a post and Katy, a fellow blogger, gives it a like. It would take you just a minute to click on Katy’s profile, check out her content, give a few of her posts a like, maybe comment on a couple of them, and even send a follow her way, if she’s providing the kind of content you would enjoy.
Katy will then see all of those interactions — the likes, comments, saves, the follow. They’ll come up as notifications, like little doorbells, almost impossible to ignore. (Unless Katy has notifications turned off, of course.)
Ding dong, you exist.
Ding dong, you are the kind of person who engages with content. (Katy needs that just as much as you need that, remember?)
Ding dong, maybe Katy should take another little look at what kind of content you’re offering …
You’ll often find that you create a little “organic” Instagram pod of your own when you do this; that’s what I’ve found, anyway. My account for this blog doesn’t get a lot of engagement (see: depressive slump mentioned above), but there are still people who regularly engage with my content, which in turn makes me want to regularly engage with theirs right back.
So yeah, take a peek at the list of likes for your Instagram posts, engage with the people there. Not everyone will turn into a regular engager, but a few of them might.
8 – Create an end-of-week summary of content.
I flipping LOVE this idea, but I always forget to do it for my own content, so point number eight on this list of ways to get more Instagram engagement out of every feed post is as much for my benefit as it is for yours.
Share a summary of content at the end of the week. It’s such a simple idea, and so effective.
I’ll start by telling you the reasons why:
- People who missed your content the first time around (work, life, kids, whatever) will still get the chance to see it before it moves down your feed.
- People who didn’t get the time to sit down and properly absorb your content the first time around (read a blog post, scroll through a carousel, etc.) will be reminded that they need to go back to it.
- You can target a different time to the original post (original = morning, summary = evening), hitting a different audience group.
- It’s content you can share without having to do any extra work. It already exists; you’re simply repurposing it.
- It’ll take barely minutes to re-share the older content, so it’ll give you something to do while you’re waiting for a bus/stood in a queue/waiting for your food to be delivered. Multitasking like a pro!
You can create end-of-week summaries on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram — posting your feed posts to your Story on a Friday afternoon, for example.
You can even do the same thing for the end of the month, and even the end of the year. If you have too many posts to share in an end-of-year summary, create a shorter version that consists of your favourite posts/your most popular posts/your least popular posts.
I’ve discussed the idea of summaries and rundowns on social media in a lot more detail in this blog post right here: How to Create Awesome End-of-Week Summaries to Promote Your Blog on Social Media.
(All links can also be found at the bottom of this post, just in case you want to finish reading this one first.)
9 – Refer back to it in a later Instagram post.
I’m trying to make my Instagram feed an educational one, sharing all of the tips and tricks I know about blogging, social media marketing, and search engine optimisation. Because of that, I often link together different posts on my Insta-feed.
Take my Christmas/Blogmas content suggestions, for example (mentioned above). A couple of hours after I uploaded it, a brand new blogger asked me for more information on Blogmas — what it meant, how to do it, etc. I decided it was a good enough question to answer it in a post all of its own, so I created one, including a shout-out to my Christmas content suggestions at the end.
10 – Embed the post into an appropriate post on your blog.
I’m going to pretend you’re a fashion blogger for a moment, if you don’t mind? (This trick will work for other niches, don’t worry!)
Let’s pretend that you’ve created a post on your blog about your favourite winter fashions. It contains three or four photos of the outfit, all of which you later upload to Instagram to promote the blog post.
Here’s an idea: why not replace one of the three or four photos on your blog with an embedded Instagram post of the photos?
You’ll be killing two proverbial birds with one stone: adding the photo that you were going to add anyway AND telling your audience that you have a fabulously awesome Instagram account that they should probably follow.
And if you don’t want to replace a photo with an embedded Instagram image, why not embed a video into your blog post instead.
Haven’t you made some cute Reels/Stories/feed videos/IGTV videos?
And what about TikTok videos?
Why would you waste the opportunity to add those to your blog post, giving your reader a REAL insight into what the clothes look when you’re moving, walking, dancing, whatever?
Adding videos to your blog post could increase your chances of getting an affiliate sale … just saying.
11 — Embed your Instagram profile into popular blog posts.
Here’s a question for you: How many places can a reader find your Instagram details or a link on your blog?
I’ve got another question for you: How much attention do you pay to the area right at the bottom of your blog posts?
I bet you’re wondering why I’m asking.
It’s simple: if someone reads an entire blog post, all the way down to the bottom, they like your content.
They’re not going to waste their time reading/scrolling through the whole thing if they’re not interested, are they? They’d simply click away, part of the way through, and look for something that better suits their needs.
But, if they are interested, and they have made it to the bottom of your blog post, they probably enjoy your content … and would probably enjoy your content on Instagram, too.
How about adding your Instagram profile to the bottom of your blog post?
There are plenty of WordPress plugins you can use to make this happen, and some themes have it included, though I quite like Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed plugin.
If you make it all the way down to the bottom of this blog post, you’ll see an example of how I use it — my last three posts are shown along with a direct link to my Instagram account, all by adding a simple shortcode.
My call-to action (which every blog post should have) is essentially asking them to follow me on Instagram, which I will also quite literally do in the final paragraph of text.
If you have an embedded Instagram profile at the bottom of all of your popular, most-read blog posts, everyone who makes it to the bottom of those popular posts will see your latest Insta-content … and potentially look a little closer.
If you’re lucky, they’ll like, comment, share, save, and follow. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that you they do!
12 – Send it to your mailing list.
Do you have a mailing list? You should. Email marketing is great for many, many things in the blogging and marketing world, but we’ll get into that in more detail at another time.
If you haven’t yet sent your latest Instagram content to your mailing list, it’s time you did.
Your mailing list already follows you, remember?
They opted in to receive newsletters from you, so they are definitely interested in the content you’re creating. They probably don’t need an update every time you share something new on Instagram, but you could include your latest, best, or lagging-in-engagement Instagram content to end-of-week/summary newsletters that you send out. (Which I highly recommend, by the way.)
Try it — play around a bit, use different formats and styles and designs, ask your audience how frequently they’d like to receive updates from you.
Take a peek at other email newsletters. Are other people including Insta-content in theirs? How are they doing it? How often are they doing it? What do you like/not like about how they’re doing it?
More Instagram Engagement: A Summary
~ Add it to your Instagram story.
~ Share it on Pinterest.
~ Tell people on Facebook and Twitter about it.
~ Turn it into a question or poll.
~ Share it with an Instagram pod.
~ Reply to every comment on your Instagram feed post.
~ Engage with the content of people who’ve engaged with yours.
~ Create an end-of-week summary of content.
~ Refer back to it in a later Instagram post.
~ Embed the post into an appropriate post on your blog.
~ Send it to your mailing list.
And there you have them — 12 ways to squeeze more Instagram engagement out of every feed post.
How many of them are you already doing? Are there any that you plan on doing now that you’ve read this? I’d love to know what you think, especially if you think I’ve missed something out. Get in touch on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (links below), or you can Contact Me.
Thanks so much for reading, folks! I hope you have a fabulous day!