6 Ways to Increase Engagement on Instagram and Build Community

I’ve been thinking about how to increase engagement on Instagram for months now. “Engagement” is a huuuuuge buzzword in social media land. I hear it all day at work (for those of you new here, I’m the social media manager for Rebecca Minkoff) and all day on blogging Facebook groups and forums. It’s no secret that having a ton of followers isn’t the strongest form of industry cred – times are a-changin.’ Think about it, you could have an audience of millions, but if barely anyone interacts with you and your posts, your follower count quickly becomes meaningless.

how to increase engagement on instagramhow to increase engagement on instagram


If you’ve been struggling to figure out how to increase engagement on Instagram, you’re not alone. Building a brand is hard enough, trust me, I know. Building an ENGAGED brand is even harder, but the extra effort is well worth it. There is no one clear-cut answer, but there are quite a few things you can do to help increase engagement on Instagram.


how to increase engagement on instagram

1. Leave comments all day, every day, everywhere

Let’s not forget that @diaryofafitmommyofficial became a sensation because she left a whole lot of comments. I’m not saying you have to comment on every single post in your feed, but leaving thoughtful, genuine, NICE comments on people’s stuff will definitely get you noticed. This is especially true on your mutuals’ accounts (mutuals are people who you follow who also follow you). If you’re following someone and they’re following you, but you don’t really interact with one another, YOU have the power to change that. Leave a few comments on their posts and try to foster a relationship. People want to support those who support them in return.

2. Respond to Stories

If leaving comments feels too public, you can also respond to someone’s Stories. People tend to show more of their real life on Stories than on the feed, so there’s a huge opportunity to connect with someone on a deeper level. If you’re watching a Story and you relate to it in some capacity, let the person know! If you like the person’s outfit/makeup, let them know! Have you been to the place that the person is traveling to? LET THEM KNOW! Starting a real conversation with someone is an incredible way to connect and build your audience. Don’t hold back.

3. Slide into DMs. Make some friends!

Some of the best friends I’ve made out of college have been bloggers that I connected with via DM. This goes in tandem with responding to Stories. If you enjoyed reading someone’s blog post/Instagram post, you can DM them. Fan of their editing style, their vibe, their whatever, then DM them! If you follow other bloggers in your area, even better. I’ve taken my online friendships offline with a few bloggers who also live in NYC. You can cultivate friendships online and irl at the tip of your fingers. Networking with other bloggers is incredibly important for engagement!

4. Participate in Follow Fridays

Follow Fridays are an amazing form of blogger camaraderie. I highly suggest participating in both planned and spontaneous Follow Fridays – give shout-outs to the blogger babes who inspire you the most. Build yourself up by building others up, too.

5. Ask questions

It’s important to ask your followers questions as well as the people you follow. Did someone post the question sticker to their Stories? Ask them a question. Start discussions on other people’s feeds as well as your own.  On your feed, end your captions with a question to shift the conversation your followers. By asking a question, you’re giving people a direct reason to comment. If you get responses, be sure to interact with each response.

6. Be collaborative

Did another blogger take your latest picture? Tag them! Were you inspired by another influencer when creating your look? Tag them! Did you attend an event with other bloggers? Post and tag that ish! Your accounts won’t grow as fast or as much as you like if it’s all about you and only you. It’s about collabs, not competition, y’all.

Figuring out how to increase engagement on Instagram takes time, and everyone’s feed and following is different. However, these tips point to the golden rule: treat others how you would want to be treated. Be a cheerleader, an advocate, a super-engaged follower to those you’re following, and you will be rewarded. After all, your vibe attracts your tribe.

Do you have more tips on how to increase engagement on Instagram? Share them with me in the comments below.

how to increase engagement on instagram

how to increase engagement on instagram


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  1. October 3, 2018 / 10:39 am

    So happy that you shared this! I do all of these and I’m still stagnant, I heard the best is to produce great content!!!

    Ash ~ theashtreejournal.com

  2. October 3, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    I love these tips! Honestly, I need to comment more. I don’t do it that much and it looks like a game changer.

  3. October 3, 2018 / 1:44 pm

    These are all fabulous trips for growing a more engaged instagram following. I really try to DM bloggers when I love their stories/blog posts/etc. Likewise I love getting DM from others, it makes instagram so much more personal. P.S. Love your sweatshirt!!

  4. October 3, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    Such great advice here — I love commenting to other bloggers whose work I love and letting them know!

  5. October 3, 2018 / 10:51 pm

    These are all great tips! Instagram has been so hard to grow lately.

  6. October 4, 2018 / 7:02 am

    these are great tips! commenting on everything really is super effective!

  7. October 4, 2018 / 8:54 am

    these are great tips! i absolutely love instagram because of the connectivity and *meeting* new people. i’ve created such great relationships via instagram purely from DMing someone.

  8. October 4, 2018 / 11:40 am

    YES to responding to stories, I cannot tell you how annoyed I get when like 100 people view my story, but only like 2 engage…

  9. October 4, 2018 / 11:47 am

    these are great tips, I love a good slide into the dms! it works really well!

  10. October 4, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    These are such great tips! Engagement on Instagram has been so hard to figure out lately.

  11. October 4, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    I am getting into Follow Fridays this week after I was tagged and it really inspired me 🙂 it’s also just so heartwarming when someone suggests you to others!

  12. October 4, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    Fantastic tips! I’ve done a lot of social media in my business and as a consultant for brands like Microsoft and it’s allll about engagement. Leaving comments and responding to stories are huge 🙂

  13. adriana
    October 5, 2018 / 9:39 am

    These are such great tips, especially when Instagram has been so hard to navigate!

  14. October 8, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    I’m loving these tips! I’ve found engaging with others is the best way to build it!

  15. October 10, 2018 / 9:48 am

    A post full of value! I think you have the coolest job, for real. Instagram has been so hard for me lately to keep up with but I love responding to stories and using stories to get to know people I follow!

  16. October 10, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Love all these awesome tips! I definitely feel like I have made such a good community of friends from Instagram and it makes my heart so happy! The commenting thing definitely is my go-to!

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