How to Achieve the Best Instagram Engagement in 2021
According to Statista, Instagram is the 4th largest social media platform in the world as of 2021.
I can’t promise it’s going to be easy, and I certainly can’t promise you’ll be successful, but what I can do is outline all the steps involved.
What Does Instagram Engagement Mean?Your engagement means how well your Instagram account is doing in terms of followers and views, right? Well yes, but there is more than that involved. Engagement refers to the level of interaction between you and those who follow you. And note this means genuine interaction. Real humans who found your content and liked it. Not bots and not anyone who was paid or somehow incentivized to engage with your account. So what is classified as true engagement? To name a few, when you post on Instagram your followers do one or more of the following:
- Mention (tags)
- Direct message
What is a Good Instagram Engagement Rate?
Scrunch, an influencer marketing platform, says this:
“ . . . as an industry standard, an engagement rate on Instagram between 1% and 3% is generally good, it is the average we see on an influencer’s profile. If the engagement rate is higher than 3%, that is a good sign that their audience is very engaged with their content, and if it is below 1%, it means their audience as a whole is not very engaged with their content.”
In other words, if you manage a rate that’s over 3%, you’re doing very well. It may not sound like a lot, but in the world of marketing, it is.
How to Get Noticed by Instagram’s Algorithm
It all starts with great content. Content that the masses are looking for. Whether it’s cats, cute babies, baking, or whatever. Wow your audience. Compel them to become followers. To comment, like, and share.
This might mean better-quality photos or videos. In some spaces like cooking and baking accounts, the artistry of their content is almost as important as the content itself.
Some people struggle with captions, and it shows. But captions can provide context that might otherwise be missing. In fact, some experts claim that it’s the caption that creates a connection between us and the accounts we follow. That’s implying that to some extent at least, the caption is more important than the content. Go figure!
Another thing to do is post during peak times. Let’s dig into this one a bit more.
Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram
If you’re using Instagram as part of your marketing strategy, simply posting great content won’t be enough. Because there’s a good chance it will get buried under the cats and cute babies.
So it’s imperative to post at the right time. Is that sometime Monday to Friday? Maybe over the weekend? Is there a specific day of the week that’s best? If you have a unique audience, is there are unique best time that works perfectly for your market?
Influencers ask these questions and more all the time. For those hoping to develop their Instagram engagement, the good news is it is possible to pinpoint the best and the worst time to post.
Great content is crucial, yes. But the recipe for success on Instagram is one part great content and one part great timing.
Is Perfect Timing Possible?
Perfect timing is within reach, but there are some factors to keep in mind, especially if you hope to reach a global audience. Remember, there are 24 time zones to deal with.
Let’s look at the anatomy of a day. The weekday of the typical American. And for the sake of this, it will be a pre-COVID day. Way back when life was normal. We’re not talking about actual data yet, but the following should help you see why time of day matters when you’re trying to encourage Instagram engagement.
Early Morning. Not too early. Let’s say around 8 am. Many people are at work already, perhaps having a coffee at their desks before digging in. Many will have their phones in hand. And if they drove to work—after the flurry of getting showered and dressed, this might be the first chance they have to browse social media.
Late Morning. It’s around 11 am now. Lunch may still be a few hours away, but it’s break time. Or maybe you don’t work, but by 11 the chores are done or maybe it’s your workout you’ve just finished. It’s the perfect time for some Instagram engagement.
Late afternoon. I don’t know about you, but I remember back when I was a desk drone, I would look at my watch at 2:30/3 pm and be thankful the day was almost over. But it’s time for a break because if you don’t move you will fall asleep. So you get up, stretch, maybe grab your fourteenth coffee of the day, and pull out your phone to catch up with the world outside.
I could go on, but you probably get the picture.
Now let’s look at some actual data.
Sprout Social, is a company that monitors and analyzes social media platforms. And using that analysis, they provide data on the best time to post on Instagram—and every other platform as well.
So what do they have to say? The following is based on the tracking data of more than 20,000 of their customers over 2020.
The overall best day to post on Instagram is on Tuesday.
Getting a bit more granular, the best time on Tuesday to post on Instagram is between 11 am and 2 pm.
Moving away from Tuesday, the best times of the week, in general, are Monday to Friday at 11 am.
The worst time to post on Instagram is anytime on Sunday.
Does everyone agree with Sprout Social?
Here’s some more data collected by Later. They analyzed the data of more than 35 million feed posts, not including Reels and IGTV. This is what they found.
They considered things based on individual time zones. Not based on their location, based on the account holder’s location. So when determining the best time to post—assuming you care about increasing your Instagram engagement—consider that following.
The best times to post on Instagram based on your time zone:
- 12 am to 6 am: Western US and Canada
- 6 am to 8 am: Central US and Canada
- 4 am to 9 am: Eastern US and Canada
- 4 am: South America
- 4 am to 6 am: UK
- 6 pm to 8 pm: Western Europe
- 5 am to 7 am: Eastern Europe
- 6 am: Africa
- 3 am: South Asia and the Middle East
- 11 pm to 4 am: East Asia and Southeast Asia
- 11 pm to 2 am: Australasia
And of course, you don’t need to be up at 4 am to post. There are scheduling tools you can use. Once you’ve figured out the best local time to post, simply set up a posting schedule in advance.
Finally, if you would rather rely on your own data, you can check your Instagram Insights, assuming you have a business account. This is a feature that allows you to see your analytics. You’ll be able to see what content your audience liked the most, and where they engaged the most.
So is that it? Find the best time to engage with your followers and post then?
No, there are a few more basics, as mentioned above. And frankly, you should probably have these things figured out before you start trying to increase your Instagram engagement.
Become a pro at the following. Figure out the best time to post, start scheduling Instagram posts, and watch your engagement skyrocket.
- Determine who your audience is and what they like to see
- Be yourself, and your audience see the real you
- Share great photos and videos
- Take the time to come up with the best possible captions
- Use Instagram Live
- As much as you can, respond to your followers’ questions and comments
- Be consistent
Do all that and you’ll soon be an Instagram success story.
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