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How to boost brand engagement on Instagram

May 1, 2023


min read


Learn the top 11 expert tips to boost your brand's engagement on Instagram and take your online presence to the next level.

The top 11 expert tips to boost engagement and grow your presence online

Instagram has undoubtedly become a crucial platform for businesses to showcase their products, services, and overall brand identity. With over 1 billion active users, it has become a go-to destination for marketers looking to connect with their target audience and increase brand engagement. The platform's popularity has given rise to fierce competition, making it increasingly challenging for businesses to stand out and engage with their followers. This is where a high engagement rate becomes crucial. 

Engagement rates measure the level of interaction users have with a particular post, including likes, comments, shares, and saves. According to recent studies, Instagram has the highest engagement rate compared to any other social media platform, with an average rate of 1.22%. For every 100 followers, a brand can expect at least 1.22 likes, comments, or shares on their posts. Such engagement rates present a significant opportunity for businesses to connect with their followers and grow their online presence. 

Instagram average engagement rate vs other social media platforms

One of the key benefits of Instagram is its highly engaged and diverse user base, making it an effective platform for targeting various demographics. According to recent data, Instagram has:

  • Over 1.2 billion monthly active users
  • More urban users, with 42% of urban residents using the platform compared to 34% of suburban and 25% of rural residents.
  • 63% of users log in at least once per day – that’s over 750 million potential customers!
  • An average usage time per day of 30 minutes, with users spending an average of 53 minutes on the platform's family of apps encompassing: Instagram, IGTV, and Instagram Reels. 
  • A fairly even spread of engagement across the sexes. Females make up a slightly larger percentage of Instagram users, with 51% of the market, compared with 49% of males.
  • 60% of active users are aged between 18 and 34, making it a highly effective channel for targeting millennials and Generation Z. 

The average Instagram engagement rate is higher than on other social media platforms:

  • Instagram engagement rate 1.6% 
  • Facebook engagement rate 0.09%
  • Twitter engagement rate 0.048% 

With a higher average engagement rate, businesses that effectively leverage Instagram to market their products or services have a higher chance of reaching and connecting with their target audience.

High engagement rates are more than just a vanity metric 

Higher engagement can also drive website traffic, increase conversions, and, ultimately, revenue. It’s vital to your bottom line to understand how to leverage Instagram to maximise your brand's online presence and connect with your target audience. 

Businesses that effectively market their brands on Instagram will boost social media engagement rates, drive revenue and build brand awareness in a highly competitive digital landscape.

Understanding how to leverage Instagram's features to their fullest potential is essential to stay ahead of the competition and to achieve long-term success. So, if you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is a good engagement rate on Instagram for brands?” we’re here to help. In this article, we will delve into the top 11 expert tips to boost Instagram engagement rates and show you how to utilise the platform to its fullest potential. 

1. Use metrics to make data-driven decisions

Instagram's analytical tools can help brands boost engagement rates by providing valuable insights into how their content performs on the platform. These tools allow brands to track various metrics related to their account and posts, such as:

Reach and impressions: Brands can see how many unique users their content has reached and how many times it has been viewed, which can help them understand the overall reach of their content.

Engagement: Brands can track the number of likes, comments, and shares their posts receive, as well as the number of saves and profile visits, which can help them understand how engaging their content is to their audience.

Audience demographics: Brands can view the demographics of their followers, including age, gender, location, and interests, which can help them tailor their content to their specific audience.

Hashtag performance: Brands can see how many impressions and the level of engagement their posts receive from specific hashtags, which can help them optimise their use of hashtags in future posts.

By analysing engagement metrics and other data, brands can identify which types of content generate more engagement, refine their content strategy to better meet the needs of their followers, and make data-driven decisions to optimise their content for maximum effect. 

2. Analyse your way to Instagram stardom

Use Instagram Insights to track your performance.

Use Instagram Insights to track your performance, identify your top-performing posts and use this information to inform future content strategies. 

There are several ways to use Instagram’s social media analytics tools to boost engagement rates. Here are a few examples:

Analyse the content that performs well: Look at your most engaging posts in terms of likes, comments, shares, and saves, and try to identify patterns in the content that resonates with your audience. This could include the type of content (such as photos, videos, or Stories), the subject matter, the tone, or the format.

Optimise your hashtags: Use Instagram's analytical tools to identify which hashtags drive the most engagement for your posts. Once you've identified your top-performing hashtags, use them more frequently in your posts and Stories to increase your reach and engagement.

Post at optimal times: Use Instagram's Insights to determine when your followers are most active on the platform. This can help you identify the best times to post so that your content is more likely to be seen and engaged with by your followers.

Test and experiment: Use the insights and data from Instagram's metrics to test and experiment with different types of content, posting times, and engagement strategies. Monitor the results and adjust your approach based on what works best for your brand and audience.

3. Create valuable and visually stunning content

Your content should provide value to your audience, be visually appealing, and align with your brand's message. 

Source: Nike Instagram 

Understanding demographics is crucial for businesses looking to target their ideal audience and create content that resonates with their followers. “We’re focused on providing consistent Nike messaging across platforms – making sure that our conversations reflect the nature of the stories we’re trying to tell.” Wes Warfield, Nike Social Media Manager

With a focus on building brand identity and engaging with its community of customers and fans, Nike's Instagram strategy revolves around brand storytelling, user-generated content, and influencer collaborations. The company leverages the platform to showcase its products in action and share the stories of athletes and customers who embody its brand values.

4. Master your aesthetic to capture attention

Source: Paper Rifle Co

Develop a consistent visual theme that reflects your brand's personality and use it across all your posts and Stories. 

Maintaining a consistent visual theme on Instagram is crucial for building a strong brand identity. Businesses and individuals can effectively convey their brand's personality and values by using a consistent look and feel across all posts and Stories. 

For example, Paper Rifle Co. uses floral patterns, soft pastels, and muted lighting in all their posts, creating a recognisable and cohesive brand identity that sets them apart from competitors. A consistent visual theme helps create a recognisable brand identity and makes content more aesthetically pleasing and engaging, increasing followers' likelihood of engagement. 

By utilising a consistent visual theme, businesses and individuals can establish a strong brand identity and increase their engagement and following on Instagram.

5. Lights, camera… action! Embrace video content to create a deeper connection with your followers

Instagram videos receive 38% more engagement than image posts.

Source: GoPro Instagram

Instagram videos receive 38% more engagement than image posts and help create a deeper connection with your audience. 

Katie Marylander, Director of Global Social Marketing for GoPro, devised a highly effective Instagram marketing strategy centred around user-generated content (UGC). This approach is geared towards deeply engaging with GoPro's thrill-seeking target audience and showcasing the unique features of the company's product range.

According to Marylander, UGC is the main content source for GoPro, as it is a low-cost way of generating authentic content that users capture naturally without the company's involvement. She explained, "Our followers can just take our product and capture the content they want.”

By leveraging UGC, GoPro has been able to boost its engagement rates significantly while at the same time producing impactful and highly engaging content that resonates with its target audience.

6. Engage with Instagram users to strengthen your community

At Shopify, the team recognises the importance of engaging with their online community.

Source: Shopify Instagram

Respond to comments, reply to direct messages, and engage with your followers' content to build stronger relationships with your audience. 

With consistent and genuine community interactions, you’ll see a noticeable lift in engagement with your followers:

  • Brands that respond to more than 25% of the comments they receive on Instagram see a 16% increase in positive brand sentiment.
  • Brands that reply to comments within the first 24 hours see a 10% increase in customer loyalty.
  • When a brand's Instagram post receives a comment, and the brand responds to that comment, it leads to a 15% boost in customer advocacy.

At Shopify, the team recognises the importance of engaging with their online community on Instagram and beyond. They make an effort to actively participate in conversations with their users and followers, respond to comments and direct messages and offer helpful advice and support. This approach not only strengthens the connection between Shopify and its customers but also fosters a sense of community among its users. 

By encouraging users within their communities to support and engage with each other, Shopify creates a positive environment where entrepreneurs and business owners can collaborate, share insights, and grow their businesses together. This ultimately leads to more engaged and loyal customers who are more likely to advocate for the brand and recommend it to others.

7. Use hashtags and location tags to boost your visibility

Use relevant hashtags and location tags to help increase your post's visibility and reach new audiences. 

Source: Sydney Instagram

Use relevant hashtags and location tags to help increase your post's visibility and reach new audiences. 

Hashtags are a crucial element of Instagram's search and discovery feature, making it easier for users to find and engage with content that interests them. When used correctly, hashtags can significantly boost a post's visibility and engagement, as the data shows that posts with at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than those without.

One great example of a brand that uses hashtags effectively to boost engagement is @sydney, an Instagram account showcasing the beauty and diversity of Sydney, Australia. With over 1 million followers, the account uses relevant and trending hashtags, such as #sydney, #seeaustralia, and #travel, to reach a wider audience and attract more engagement.

To maximise the effectiveness of hashtags, it is essential to test their engagement and determine which ones resonate with the most engaged audiences. By researching and using hashtags that highlight a post's content and appeal to its target audience, businesses and individuals can increase their reach and engagement on Instagram, leading to greater brand awareness, loyalty, and success.

8. Create some behind-the-scenes magic with Instagram Stories and Reels 

Stories and Reels are great tools to showcase behind-the-scenes content and increase engagement with interactive features. 

Source: Netflix Instagram

Stories and Reels are great tools to showcase behind-the-scenes content and increase engagement with interactive features. 

Accounts that use Instagram Stories have a higher engagement rate, with one in four Millennials and Gen Z-ers looking for Stories about the products or services they want to buy. 

Instagram has proven to be an invaluable marketing tool for Netflix, as it allows the streaming giant to promote its content while engaging with its audience on a more personal level. By leveraging the platform's social listening capabilities, Netflix can stay up-to-date with the latest trends and insights, which helps inform its content strategy and marketing campaigns. 

Netflix also utilises Instagram to share behind-the-scenes content, such as sneak peeks and interviews with the stars of its shows and movies. This extra content not only helps to generate buzz and excitement for upcoming releases but also helps to humanise the brand and connect with viewers on a more intimate level. 

9. Produce consistent and compelling content to keep your audience engaged

Post regularly with high-quality content that aligns with your brand's values, message, and aesthetic. 

Source: Tiffany&Co Instagram

Post regularly with high-quality content that aligns with your brand's values, message, and aesthetic. 

Maintaining a regular posting schedule with high-quality content that aligns with your brand's values, message, and aesthetic is key to building a strong brand identity and increasing engagement with your audience on Instagram. By consistently sharing content that aligns with your brand's personality and values, you can establish a stronger connection with your followers and effectively convey your brand's identity.

One brand that does this exceptionally well is Tiffany & Co., a luxury jewellery brand that consistently posts high-quality content on Instagram. The brand's limited palette and high-impact imagery are consistent across their feed, helping to reinforce the brand’s elegance, sophistication, and iconic branding elements such as the famous ‘little blue box’. By consistently posting visually stunning and engaging content that aligns with their brand's values and message, Tiffany & Co. has been able to increase engagement and reach, ultimately leading to increased sales and success.

Consistent, high-quality content helps reinforce a brand's identity and encourages followers to engage with the content more frequently. By sharing visually stunning and engaging content that aligns with your brand's values and message, businesses can increase engagement and reach and drive more sales.

10. Partner with Influencers to expand your reach

Collaborating with influencers can help increase your brand's visibility and reach new audiences. 

When enlisting influencers, being creative and thinking outside the box is important. For example, Emily Weiss, Director at Glossier, embraces a unique philosophy: ' Every woman is an influencer.' This approach has helped to shape the company's Instagram marketing strategy, which is centred around creating a community around its brand using user-generated content and influencer marketing. By embracing this approach, Glossier has built a brand that is authentic and relatable to its target audience.

One of the ways that Glossier creates a community around its brand is by encouraging customers to share their photos and experiences with its products. These user-generated photos are then featured on the brand's Instagram page, helping to showcase the product's versatility and appeal to a wider audience. This strategy helps build a loyal following and provides customers with a sense of connection and community with the brand.

Glossier's Instagram strategy also prioritises authenticity and inclusivity. This approach has helped the brand to resonate with its target audience and build a loyal following.

11. Utilise Instagram Ads to stand out from the crowd and amplify your message

Use Instagram ads to reach new audiences, promote your products and services, and increase engagement. 

Source: Adidas Instagram

Use Instagram ads to reach new audiences, promote your products and services, and increase engagement. 

As a major player in the footwear industry, Adidas has harnessed the power of Instagram to boost its engagement rates and drive sales. The company was one of the first to test Instagram's checkout feature when it was introduced in 2019. It has continued to leverage the platform's expansive network to increase brand awareness and drive conversions.

To achieve these goals, Adidas has deployed a series of paid advertising campaigns on Instagram that are linked to the platform's checkout functionality. This allows users to complete their purchases seamlessly without having to leave the app, providing a smoother and more convenient experience.

By implementing this strategy, Adidas has created a more efficient and streamlined customer journey, which has resulted in higher engagement rates and increased sales. The company's Instagram ads are tailored to its target audience, showcasing the latest products and styles to entice customers and generate excitement around the brand.

Adidas' successful use of Instagram as a marketing tool demonstrates the importance of staying ahead of the curve and testing new features and functionalities. By leveraging the latest technology and tools available on the platform, brands can increase their visibility, reach new customers, and drive business growth.

Take action and build your Instagram community 

By implementing these eleven proven strategies, you can increase engagement and build strong relationships with your audience on Instagram. However, keep in mind that success on Instagram comes down to consistency, creativity, and a deep understanding of your audience's needs and desires. By constantly analysing your performance, experimenting with new content formats and tactics, and engaging with your followers, you can create a robust and engaged community that advocates for your brand.

Looking to take your Instagram engagement to the next level? At EngineRoom, we have the expertise to help you create and execute social media strategies that drive results. Our team of experienced digital marketers specialises in social media management, content creation, and paid advertising, and we're here to help you succeed on Instagram and other platforms.


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  • Get a better understanding of how social media marketing can impact your ROI
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  • Develop high-performing social media campaigns that get results


Whether you're a small business just starting out or an established brand looking to expand your reach, we can help you achieve your social media marketing goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can work together to maximise your Instagram engagement and grow your business.

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