How to increase engagement on Instagram is a top 5 question in marketing. Honestly, you can google thousands of web pages about the topic and whilst you may come across some great tips (like the ones I’ll share below) each page will have one thing in common.

You must put in the work.

SPOILER ALERT. There is no secret sauce. You will reap what you sew. The more you engage and follow the tips below, the more you will increase your organic exposure.

I say organic because of course, if you have the budget, you can pay for Instagram advertising. But below are simple tips to increase engagement on Instagram that you can start doing today.

Increase Instagram Engagement Tip No.1 – Comment and respond

This can be the most time consuming but it’s one of the most effective ways to gain exposure. Since Instagram took away likes, the best way to grow your presence is commenting. Comment on friend’s posts, other companies and even hashtag reels.

However, DO NOT spam people. Comment when you feel you authentically want to give feedback or praise to another person or brand.

Instagram Engagement Tip No. 2 – Encourage people to tag you

Encourage your customers to tag you in a photo, whether it be a post or story. Thank them by sharing the photo to your account! A photo of a client using your product or service is the best endorsement there is.

It’s great to get photo endorsements because you are just that good, but a little incentive doesn’t hurt. Why not hold a competition to encourage the photos? Or enclose a touch point with your product with instructions to share an unboxing video?

Instagram Engagement Tip No. 3 – Don’t ignore your Instagram Insights

Do you look at your Instagram Insights to tell you what time of day is best to post? You should! Making sure you are posting at times when you will potentially get the highest level of engagement will mean more eyeballs on your image.

Instagram Tip No.4 – Use Hashtags on every post

Always use hashtags. They are a great way to reach people who don’t yet follow your account. Not sure what to tag? Try using the app “Hashtag Inspector.” You can also add hashtags to stories and then review how well they did in your Instagram insightsand see how many people discovered your page from a given story.

Instagram Tip No.5 – Use stories to promote posts

If you don’t have enough time to create unique Instagram stories, which we highly recommend, make sure you share your posts to your stories feed. You can do this by clicking the paper aeroplane on your post and selecting “add post to your story.”

Instagram Tip No.6 – Tag your location

Wherever possible, tag your location in your posts. According to Instagram stats, posts that have a location tagged can receive up to 79% more engagement.

Instagram Tip No.7 – Always respond to your DM’s

There’s nothing worse than a customer reaching out and getting no response. If you find yourself typing in the same thing over and over again, why not create an Instagram Quick Reply? Just go into your settings and type into search “Quick Replies.” This will enable you to set a key and associate it with a message. That way you only have to type one letter, that produces an entire response.

Instagram Tip No. 8 – Add your Instagram feed to your website

Add your Instagram feed to your website and without stating the obvious make sure it’s linked properly. Website visitors should be able to see that you have Instagram (your icon should be in the top header of your website) and when they click on the Instagram icon it opens to a new web page. As with any external link on your website, you always want it to open to a new webpage so as not to take the customer away from your website.

Instagram Tip No. 9 – Link your Instagram account to photos on Pinterest

Make the most of other photo sharing accounts such as Pinterest by linking your photos back to your Instagram account

Instagram Tip No. 10 – Host competitions with other brands

What better way to gain instant exposure than to share your following and vice versa with other brands. Why not host a competition with other brands that align with yours? To enter the competition make it a stipulation that entries must be following both accounts.