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There are a lot of cheap tricks and shortcuts people will tell you to take, but here are some of the best ways to grow according to the Instagram team.

Instagram is currently one of the top 5 social media platforms in the world. However, with more than 100 million photos and videos being shared on the platform every single day, it’s very difficult to cut through the noise.

Content creators who want to increase their following and audience engagement need to deep dive into their insights and devise a metric-driven Instagram strategy. Here are some tips to get you started.

Create more video content

The introduction of Instagram Reels has re-emphasised the importance of video content. Instagram’s algorithm favours videos – therefore, posting entertaining reels and quality videos to your grid guarantees higher engagement. If you’re on TikTok, repurpose your TikToks as Reels to secure higher Instagram engagement. 

Find your best time to post

You might be limiting your engagement rate simply by posting at the wrong time. Fortunately, you can easily solve this by checking your insights and noting at what time your audience is most active. Posting at the right time ensures that your post generates a lot of engagement in a short period of time. This is picked up by Instagram’s algorithm, which pushes your post to similar audiences via Explore. 

Improve your Story Game

More than 500 million Instagram accounts use Instagram Stories daily. Instagram Stories is a great platform for posting casual, behind-the-scenes content that your audience can connect to. 

Stickers – in particular, the question, quiz and countdown stickers – are an excellent way of interacting and engaging your audience. Trends like Ask Me Anything and Post a picture of… are popular for a reason: they encourage your followers to interact with you, increasing the overall engagement rate. 

Create “Saveable” and “Shareable” Content 

One of the best ways of increasing audience engagement in 2021 is through saveable (content that your audience will want to revisit at a later time) and shareable content (content that your audience finds so useful that they want to share it with their own followers). 

Saveable and shareable content provides value to your audience. The carousel post format is a great way of providing lots of useful info to your audience without overwhelming them. Carousel posts are best used to share helpful tips, statistics and detailed info. 

Create quality content

This may seem obvious to a lot of you – however, in an attempt to go viral, some content creators may be tempted to focus on quantity rather than quantity. In the long term, this just doesn’t work. 

Your followers will probably unfollow you due to hyper-frequent posts. Moreover, if you start posting several times per day and then slow down due to exhaustion/burnout, your engagement rate will be affected. 

Focus on a couple of quality posts and stories per week. See what works and what doesn’t. If you want to go that extra mile, boost your most popular posts and add a call-to-action that converts individuals from your target followers into followers. 

Socialise with other content creators

In 2021, we need to bring back the “social” into “social media”. Interacting with other content creators is key to increasing both your following and engagement. Set up live chats with fellow creators. Like and comment on their posts. Collaborate on entertaining reels. Amplify the voices of other content creators. Share their posts as stories. Host and participate in “Instagram Takeovers”. The opportunities to collaborate are indeed endless!

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

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