Three Ways To Hack Your Instagram Engagement

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Ok. So! This is a very fun one to share! Before we get started go to your IG and calculate your engagement rate. For the sake of math in this exercise we're going to weigh likes and comments the same.

Take your last TEN still image posts (don't count views on videos or .gifs/boomerangs - just skip over them). Add up all of your likes and comments and divide by 10. That's your average engagement for this timeline of content. Now let's say that number is 200. And let's say your total followers on IG is 10,000:

Take your average engagement and divide it by your number of followers. Then take that number and multiply it by 100. See below:

Average Engagement (AE) / FOLLOWERS = Y x 100 = Engagement Rate (ER)

200 / 10,000 = 0.02 x 100 = 2%. 

To be honest, you really want to be between 2%-4% organically, but if you're number is below 2% (especially as a brand) no worries. This article will help get you over the hump. If your number is below 1% we have some challenges, but nothing we can't fix. If it's higher than 2% you're awesome and I'd love to know if you're employing any of the tactics in this article:

Let's get started! 

  1. Instagram Story: If you're a startup, you likely don't have the resources to create custom content for IG story along with all of your other platforms. QUICK TIP: Take the image you posted natively on IG from your photo albums and zoom in so it sizes to your screen. That's the IG story spec. Now post that on to your IG story with a call to action leading to your most recent post containing the same content. NOTE: use emojis or stickers to leave some element of the content unknown so there's a reason to click back to the page and engage. Or utilize some form of gamification, which we'll get into in a moment.
  2. Brand Partnership Giveaways: If you're on IG you're probably seeing tons of brands utilizing partnerships to hack engagement. Now, some brands will think it's "off brand" to utilize this tactic. Some will do it because others are doing it. But some brands will test giveaways for the following reason. The real WHY? is this: By creating a platform for your community to engage with, you are working the IG algorithm and your content will appear in IG feeds organically more often. Don't believe me? Follow two brands. Any brands. For one of them go and like their past 3-5 posts. For the other, don't engage with their content at all. Let me know what you notice on my IG at The last note: If you use the giveaway tactic, please make sure your original content programming is on point so that when you do appear organically across more feeds you get those double taps and comments!
  3. Gamified Call To Action (CTA):  I like to use three options when gamifying copy to hack engagement. The first is called "GAME TIME, the second is called "DAD JOKE CONTEST" and the third is called "HEY...UH...GOOGLE?"  For "GAME TIME," imagine a piece of content that's literally only a bowl of nuts. You know the bowl has 74 nuts in it because that's what you asked your content creator to shoot, but you also know that if you post a bowl of 74 nuts you won't break the 2% engagement goal. Gamify it like so: "GAME TIME! First person to LIKE THIS PHOTO and GUESS the correct number of nuts in this bowl wins a ______." Then watch the likes and comments flood in! DAD JOKE CONTEST is pretty similar in concept, but rather than leading with a question that has a time constraint (being the first to like and answer correctly), you are leading with a question that may have multiple people with the same answers. For example, "What's Santa's Favorite Sandwich?" LIKE THIS PHOTO and comment your answer below for a chance to ____. Then randomly select a winner from those that qualify. Lastly, "HEY...UH...GOOGLE?" is exactly like it sounds. The gamified CTA is asking your community to go to Google and type a question in. This helps when trying to educate your community on features and benefits or basically anything that you don't really want to post about on your IG. And then they respond with the answer. 

I like offering a coupon code to my ecommerce store when gamifying engagement for three reasons.

  1. Targeted trial.
  2. Better user experience. The winner gets to choose what they'd like to try rather than receiving an assorted prize pack that may not convert them into a customer. 
  3. Last but not least, they need to go to your website to use the gift card which allows remarketing opportunities down the line. ;-) 

If you loved have any questions shoot us an email at growth@ 





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