When it began, Instagram was mainly used to show off simple day to day photos. In contrast to the busyness and often hostile environment created on other popular social media platforms, Instagram differentiated itself as a softer, more welcoming place to be. Over the years, Instagram has maintained that reputation, which has helped to cement it as one of the most popular forms of social media.

The fact that Instagram has retained and grown its base of users, as well as the simple and updated way the platform runs, has made it the perfect place for businesses, entrepreneurs, and influencers to connect with their audience. Instagram has helped to revolutionize marketing, giving people a simple way to increase their visibility, grow their leads, and gain conversions.

In fact, these days, anyone who is not on Instagram is at a disadvantage. The question is no longer if you should have an Instagram presence, the question is how you can have a top Instagram presence with strong engagement.

When you are on Instagram, you will want to ensure that your profile has great engagement in order to gain and retain followers, make you visible, and help you connect with your audience. Learn 4 secret techniques, shared by experts, on how to improve your Instagram engagement.

Instagram is changing what is considered as an “engagement.” Learn it.

The founder of Girl Crush Collective, Katie Mandar Saada, noticed that when she would scroll past one of her friends’ carousel posts without engaging with it, Instagram would show her the same post again later using the next image on the carousel. This made Saada realize that sharing a post with multiple images is a great idea to increase visibility and familiarity, as well as for increasing engagement.

“Posts with multiple images are looked past. Later, Instagram is going to show you that post again, except with a different photo,” explains Saanda. “If you post a carousel, you’re going to get exposed more than with any other post. (They get) fewer likes than regular posts, but Instagram values every swipe; not just likes. I try to use this when I don’t really have a CTA to lead people to.”

Saada also recommends creating posts that people are going to want to save, because saved posts are huge for Instagram analytics. She says, “The main idea behind saved posts is that Instagram is aware of followers, likes, and buying; now they’re looking for ways to reward engaged accounts through subtle ways and also boost them up the newsfeed.”

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Leverage Instagram’s Search Function To Boost Your IGTV View

An Instagram version of short form-long form video content, IGTV gives you the opportunity to remove the 60 second time limit that comes with Stories. Janelle Kao, marketing consultant at Freya Fox, notes that the advantage of using IGTV is that you get more overall engagement.

As many people aren’t aware of IGTV and how it works, it ends up being one of the most underutilized tools that Instagram has to offer. You can take your short form video, your Story, and remove the limitations, allowing you to offer long form content.

Kao explains, “The advantage of using this technique as opposed to just uploading videos to your story, is that it’s permanent and gets a lot more engagement overall. This is because Instagram is really pushing IGTV, and has introduced things like shopping. For people who sell products to the consumer directly, this is even more important than ever before, because you have the opportunity to sell products directly inside of IGTV, or on the Explore page, which favors IGTV.”

Kao suggests changing your display name, which is the name in your bio under your photo. This is because people can search by username, which will also show your display name.

“If you change your display name to something that’s a keyword that people will want to search for, then you have a good chance to show up on IGTV with tons and tons of organic reach,” says Kao.

When people are searching for the keywords in your name, they’ll see your account. This will push you to the top of the search recommendations.

Use Social Leveraging Techniques through Instagram Stories

Eddie Smith, co-founder of Black Label Leads, shares that when you create a community of similar accounts to your niche, you’re supporting each other and building a social network. A micro-version of social engineering that Smith calls social leveraging, the purpose is to build an organic community without creating an engagement group. Essentially, you’re effortlessly creating a system that grows itself.

Smith says, “Find 100 accounts within your niche/industry that shares your audience and is already having success. Find the accounts that are between 100K to 500K. This is going to give you an idea of what content articles to publish. This also tells the algorithm that your account should be categorized under these same categories. It’ll also make it easy for you to build this social leverage community.”

Smith encourages people to repost these accounts’ content and give them credit. Then, as soon as they plug your account on their stories, you’re put in front of however many people. If you’re following large accounts, you’re going to be exposed to them.

All they need to do is click the post and it will lead them straight to you. As these people find your feed and start scrolling through your posts, they will be compelled to follow you. All this from simply reposting and tagging a large account in your Stories.

Keep it conversational

Instagram growth strategist, Kiley Baker, observes that people tend to get caught up with the latest updates and new strategies, one after another. Yet, it doesn’t matter how great the strategy is, if the content is off, then it’s simply not going to work.

“The exercise that I have my clients do is to get them to look at their most recent posts and ask, ‘is this a good representation of our business,’” Baker says. “Pretend that you’re going to an in-person networking event. If you were only allowed to discuss the topics you’ve discussed in your last 5-6 posts, would you be comfortable about it all? Look at the content strategy from that perspective.”

Baker also advises that you should talk to your audience as if they were someone that had walked up to you at an in-person networking event. Ask questions, get to know them, and keep it conversational.

Once your Instagram account starts approaching the audience from that perspective, your account will continue to stay engaged and grow regardless of what happens to the algorithm.