Tips to Grow Your Instagram Engagement from an Influencer

Allysha Yung
24 December 2018

Advice from an Instagram Influencer
Instagram has changed vastly over the past years, and it’s become the fastest growing social platform in the world. With Instagram evolving so quickly, I thought I would share a few growth-hacks I’ve learnt through A/B testing and managing my own influencer account @allyshayung. Some of these tactics have aided me, as well as other influencers in our network at Node. [Note: If you’re an influencer and haven’t yet been verified to join Node, these tips may come in handy.]

Quality Content

Instagram is all about aesthetics, and the most important aspect to drive engagement is the quality of your content. How you present yourself is integral, as attention spans on Instagram typically last for only a few seconds. High quality content doesn’t mean that your photos must be shot on a DSLR or professionally edited. Newer mobile phones are also great for social media photography! Through my experiences I've found that iPhone X photos perform significantly better than DSLR's when it comes to engagement. Why do iPhone photos perform better than ones-shot on a DSLR camera? The answer is simple — candid photos are more relatable. We all have a stigma against ‘trying too hard to sell’, which is why it’s also important to appear authentic in your photos! Even if you're shooting with a mobile phone, the quality and appearance of your overall feed is key. You can use tools such as Photoshop or VSCO to edit your photos, and create a consistent tone across your content feed. As well, there are a variety of apps that will let you plan and preview your Instagram feed before posting. My favorite is Planoly.

How do I find good hashtags?

Instagram lets you share 30 hashtags in each post. For newer accounts, it's highly recommended that you use at least 15 in each post. You can create a list of 30-60 hashtags that are relevant to your content and brand. Then swap 10-20 them for each post in order to reach new audiences. New hashtags can be found by browsing other high-performing Instagram accounts and influencers to see the hashtags they're using. Anytime you search for a hashtag on Instagram you can view it's popularity by the total number of posts. There are also a variety of apps that can help you search for hashtags and their popularity. We regularly use Webstagram to search for new hashtags at Node. Using a mix of popular and niche hashtags ranging from 5000-2mil+ will allow you to drive more engagement. We recommend the niche hashtags as they allow you to rank higher in the public feed when people a searching for specific hashtags. Make sure they’re relevant to your brand— and that there is rhyme and reason to the hashtags you have chosen. You won't gain followers or engagement from people that aren't interested in your content.

Does it make a difference if my hashtags are in the caption or comments?

According to Eva Chen, head of Instagram’s fashion partnerships; placing yours hashtags in the caption or comments section does not effect engagement or visibility. However, Instagram's algorithm will simply ignore your tags if you wait too long before posting your hashtags. Keep in mind that your content will be shared to more people once you obtain more likes and comments. Instagram’s sharing algorithm considers both overall engagement and the length of time since the content was posted. When you receive high engagement from your hashtags, Instagram is more likely to feature your posts on the explore, hashtag and locations feed. In turn, allowing your posts to receive higher reach, and achieve exponential growth.

Engage and interact with others

In order to gain continuous engagement it’s essential to like, comment and follow other accounts in your niche. Always reply to comments on your photos. Even if it's a simply emoji or 'thank you', acknowledge other Instagrammers and build on the interaction. Also stay on the lookout for other accounts that would be interested in your content, and actively interact with them. Engagement is often reciprocated, and you’ll find that your overall followers, likes and comments will grow if you consistently allocate time to engage with others. One great way of engaging with more accounts is by following hashtags that are relevant to your interests. This way you can interact with new accounts that may be attracted to your content. Overtime this regular activity, combined with high-quality content will grow your engagement on instagram.

Instagram Stories

Posting on Instagram stories is an effective way to drive engagement and interest to your page. What’s even more effective is creating interactive content that prompts your followers to engage, while keeping them connected to your account..  You can do this through polls, and Q&As which can be created within any Instagram story.


Another great way to engage with your audience, while attracting new followers is by hosting giveaways! They can be either planned on your own Instagram page, or in collaboration with another influencer or brand. After you spend some time browsing and interacting with other Instagrammers you should be able to find other accounts that align with your values or style. Reach out to them and offer to collaborate on a giveaway that engages both of your followers, and requires entrants to follow your account in order to be eligible. This is a great way to generate an increased interest in your page and continue to keep your followers excited for your upcoming posts.

Use your Analytics

It is crucial that you go further than just following the advice of others.  You must really gain a grasp of the content that resonates most with your audience. You should be regularly looking at the numbers to see what time periods work best, which tags generate the most views, and type of content your followers are most receptive to! Making sure that you are following the insights page to become of aware of strengths, trends, and opportunities to improve your engagement. Your analytics will help you plan and produce more effective content. I would love to hear your opinions, so comment below with any of your thought or ideas for blog articles you want to read about in the future!

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