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The Secrets To Generating Engagement On Instagram

Instagram’s rise continues. The social network now has more than a billion active users per month. In India, there are no less than 17 million Indian people registered on the social network, according to figures announced by the vice president of Facebook. The dazzling success of the social network prompted Instagram to change the display order of its publications in June 2016, favoring an algorithm rather than a chronological order. 

A change that users and brands did not appreciate, the latter notably lamenting a drop in their engagement rate. From then on, the war for the best engagement rate is declared, this indicator being considered as a reference to measure the notoriety of a brand. For transparency, Instagram gave a masterclass in Paris on May 26, 2019, in collaboration with L’ADN, to give some advice on the most engaging practices on the social network. 

In parallel, a recent study published by Hubspot and Mention showed the underside of engagement on Instagram through the analysis of more than 48 million publications and more than 306,000 influential accounts. Thanks to the Instagram masterclass and the study on engagement, we will be able to give you some tips to improve your engagement rate on the social network.

Commitment Figures

As a reminder, engagement measures user interactions and a brand’s publications. This translates into likes and comments and new categories of interactions with the appearance of Stories, such as the number of views, shares and direct messages. The Mention and Hubspot study made quantifying this notion of commitment possible.

The Number Of Likes Per Post

The results show that a post receives an average of 5,963.1 likes. But beware, this is an average that could be more representative. Indeed, among the panel of accounts studied, many influencer accounts have high engagement rates. Hubspot and Mention have, therefore, also calculated the median, which makes it possible to divide all the mentions into two equal parts. We then obtain a median of 100. This means that 50% of Instagram users have less than 100 likes under each post.

The Number Of Comments Per Post

The study of comments per post raises the same problem as mentioning likes. A video post has an average of 150 comments, while the median tells us that 50% of users receive less than four comments per video. We also note that the comments are the most numerous under the video content. They are, in fact, on average, twice as numerous under videos than under static images. According to the study, a post on Instagram had an average of 100.34 comments. Video is, therefore, the most engaging type of content. Isn’t this a first good practice to put in place to bet on the video format?

The Six Best Practices For Generating Engagement On Instagram

Use Video To Get More Engagement

As we have seen above, video garners twice as many comments as other types of content. It is therefore advisable to focus on this format by using:

  1. the Story
  2. permanent video
  3. the IGTV
  4. the video in the news feed
  5. The Live.

Among these formats, there is one to favor because the source of a high commitment rate is the Story.

Engage With Stories

The Stories are a real success. According to Instagram, 500 million users used this format in 2019, compared to 225 million in 2016. Its ephemeral nature encourages users to come to watch them daily. In addition, there are many forms of interaction (Stickers) to insert into Stories to encourage them to interact with your Stories. The stickers are very engaging. They allow users to react or to start discussions with them, thanks to the “Questions”, “Quiz”, or even “Survey” stickers.

Stories: Choose Quantity Over Quality

When it comes to Stories, you have to think outside the box. Unlike posts in the News Feed, you have to publish content in large quantities, even if it means neglecting the quality a little. The criteria of the algorithm that ranks the Stories have yet to be officially known, but it can be assumed that the number of interactions a user has with the Stories author is considered. 

Therefore, the more users view the Stories of an account, the more they appear in the first positions. To do this, your Stories must be as numerous as possible to capture users at all times of the day and offer them new content with each viewing. Instagram recommends posting ideally 6 per day.

Use All Instagram Levers

Instagram offers multiple tools to improve brand visibility. It is, therefore, wise to use them all.

  1. The news feed: even if we advise you to use Stories, you should pay attention to the news feed. You have to choose a different strategy. Where Stories allow more lightness, humor and immediacy, the news feed allows you to follow a clear editorial line and convey your brand image. Likewise, in the news feed, feel free to use all the tools that Instagram offers. You can alternate between posting static images and videos, but also Boomerangs.
  2. Boomerang Videos: These looping mini-videos are fun and dynamic.
  3. IGTV videos: this vertical format, designed for mobile, allows you to broadcast longer videos than on Stories, for example, up to 1 hour compared to 15 seconds. According to Instagram, during its masterclass, IGTV videos are watched more during the weekend. Take it into account. Then it’s up to you to find the content you want to publish.
  4. Profile Bio: We often need to remember that the bio is one of the first things you see on an account’s profile. It is therefore strongly advised to fill in this “showcase”.
  5. Hashtags: Hashtags are still a way to give more visibility to publications, provided they are used judiciously. This is, therefore, the subject of new advice.

Use Hashtags… Appropriately

The Mention and Hubspot study also looked at hashtags. On Instagram, we often see posts with an expanding list of hashtags in the caption or even in the comments, the goal being to maximize the posts’ visibility and engagement. This is, however, a mistake. Indeed, the study showed the opposite since the more a post contains hashtags, the lower the engagement.

The analysis that is then made explains this trend because the most influential accounts do not need to use hashtags to obtain interactions, which can distort these results. On the contrary, only a few hashtags for a lousy post will make it gain engagement. Also, by dint of seeing long lists of hashtags, users have managed to ignore them. 

Another reason is that the hashtags are irrelevant to the post. Thus, it is better to prioritize the quality over the quantity of hashtags. It is advisable, indeed, to add keywords with parsimony and to choose them well. Instagram recommends using around four hashtags likely to be searched by your target users. 

As for Hubspot and Mention, their recommendation is similar since they advise using 4 or 5 maximum. The ones that work the most are the ones that aren’t too general. They must therefore be precise and relevant. For example, it is necessary to think of using geotags to communicate local information. For a brand, it may be relevant to create hashtags.

Personify Accounts Like An Influencer

In its article, DNA recalls that the social network audience is mainly young. So it would help if you adopted a content strategy to appeal to them and personify the account with someone young. It is then a question of animating a community by responding to its subscribers, for example, as an influencer would do. Behind the animation of the account, the person who embodies the account must entertain, inform and inspire the followers while adding a touch of personality.

What To Remember?

It’s often thought that driving engagement on Instagram requires trial and error. But there is still a significant part of the technique, which, when applied, bears fruit. Thus, the hashtags, the account profile and all the other tools offered by Instagram will be exploited to the maximum. However, care must be taken to use them wisely.

The engagement study also shows the tendencies you must adopt to generate interaction. The trend that stands out the most is video. This format is really to be adopted, mainly when associated with Stories. If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to generating engagement. But that’s not all, of course. The content should be interesting and relevant enough to grab the attention of your subscribers.

It’s up to you to study your target and its needs. The time of publication is also a criterion to be taken into account. The engagement study, for example, showed that engagement rates were highest between 9am and 11 a.m. Many other criteria may be considered, but as each brand is unique, we advise you to contact our team of experts. They will be able to guide you on the right Social Media strategy. 

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