Growth Hacking
Mar 18, 2022

Instagram Engagement Trends You Need to Know in 2022

by
Tori Stroup

Image courtesy of Pexels.

Are you using Instagram as part of your social media strategy?

If so, then increasing engagement is likely one of your primary goals this year. As companies start to shift their goals from increasing followers to driving higher engagement on each post, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the platform’s trends.

Doing this will allow you to adjust your strategy and make the most out of every post – increasing engagement and driving more successful interactions across the board.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few Instagram trends that will help you create content that is interesting and click-worthy to help drive higher engagement metrics.

Here’s a quick look at the trends we’ll cover:

  1. More followers isn't always better
  2. Improve captions to increase engagement
  3. Video content performs best
  4. But carousel content isn’t far behind
  5. Use the right hashtags for better engagement
  6. Post content at the right times

More Followers Isn’t Always Better

In previous years, we often looked at the success of our Instagram marketing by the number of followers we had. While that is still a great indicator that you’re reaching a broad customer base, it’s not the most important factor any more.

If you have a significant following on Instagram, but your audience isn’t engaging with your content, then you’re likely not making a big impact. That’s why engagement metrics are now more important than the number of followers you have.

Generally, the more followers you have, the lower your engagement rates are. This is why the number of followers you have isn’t always the most critical metric. Having a smaller, more engaged audience will have a more significant impact on your success than striving to have the most followers. Image courtesy of Hootsuite.

Brands that have smaller audiences that are highly engaged see a much better return on investment than those with hundreds of thousands of followers who simply scroll by their posts.

This is especially an important thing to consider when you’re looking to tap into Instagram influencers to help promote your products. It might be tempting to target those influencers or brands with upwards of a million followers – but take a step back and look at their engagement rates.

Micro and nano-influencers, who have a following of under 50K, often have a much more engaged network of fans. They also have a more authentic relationship built on trust that will lead to more interaction and better results for your content.

When it comes to finding the right influencers and brands to work with, consider some of the following tips:

  • Look for influencers that share common interests as your brand
  • Know what your budget is and what types of influencers you can afford
  • Make sure the influencer has a reasonable engagement rate across their postings
  • Look at their audience to make sure they reach your target market

By understanding who your audiences are, the influencers they’re engaging with, and the content that resonates best with them, you can start to increase your Instagram engagement and reach more reliable customers.

Improve Captions to Increase Engagement

Attracting users to engage with your content isn’t only about the images or videos you post. The caption can also play a big role. Captions allow you to add more context to your posts and connect with users on a deeper level through an additional level of storytelling.

Sometimes that’s because it helps people fully understand what the photo is all about, and other times, it’s because it adds an extra sense of humor to the post – whatever the reason, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

When it comes to writing a caption that will wow your audience, it depends on the message you need to get across.

Adding a caption to your Instagram posts allows you to drive higher engagement metrics and tell a better story. Whether you write shorter, more concise captions or tell a longer story with over 2,000 characters, it will add to the post and increase user engagement. Image courtesy of Website Planet.

Both short and long captions perform well when used correctly. If you can quickly get your point across in a few characters while making the content engaging, go for it. But if you find you need a few more words to get your point across, there are still plenty of users who are willing to take the time to read your caption.

Here are a few tips to help you write better Instagram captions to increase engagement across your posts:

  • Write multiple drafts and pick the one that stands out the most
  • Capture the attention of the user right away
  • Have a clear call to action that tells the user what to do next
  • Use emojis to help emphasize what you're trying to tell the user
  • Integrate relevant hashtags into the caption

The art of writing highly engaging captions takes time, but as you start to understand what your audiences gravitate towards, you’ll start seeing more engagement with your content.

Video Content Perform Best

It will come at no surprise that video content is one of the most engaging types on Instagram. Video has taken the industry by storm and people seem to really resonate with this content type – and for good reason.

They say a photo speaks a thousand words, but that can only take you so far when you’re trying to get a point across or tell people about your products. By creating a video, you have the opportunity to elevate the story and give customers more than context and insight into who you are.

More and more companies are starting to see the value in using video content on Instagram. So much so that they are looking to invest more into this platform than YouTube, Facebook, and many of the other social networks.

Instagram has quickly become a prime outlet for video content and usage. Companies are taking the channel seriously and planning to invest time and money into increasing their video activity in the coming years and even prioritize it over YouTube. Image courtesy of Marketing Charts.

That’s because using video also allows you to expand the content you’re sharing on Instagram. Sure, it could be a product photo or promotional brand message but it can also be a video or tips and ideas to help people make their everyday life easier.

Many Instagram users come to the site to watch trending videos, which opens another door for you to reach new audiences. By tapping into these trends, you can get your content in front of new audiences and build your following.

Videos allow you to build stronger relationships with your customers, reach new ones, and really promote your products and the ease they can benefit your customers.

Here are a few tips to help you make your Instagram videos more engaging:

  • Tap into trending topics
  • Share authentic content
  • Know Instagram’s video specifications
  • Have a title, description, and hashtags
  • Use subtitles

When done right, video can be one of your most effective content types and drive your engagement rates up. If you’re first starting out, it might take some time to find the right video topics and lengths but keep at it and you’ll find it will be well worth your while.

But Carousel Content Isn’t Far Behind

While video does come in as the most engaged content type on Instagram, carousels aren’t far behind and even surpass video in certain regions and markets. This race may become even closer in the coming year because carousels now allow for a mix of images and videos, giving it a competitive edge against video posts.

Carousel content performs well because it gives the users more to engage with. They can spend time scrolling through the images and videos and gain more insight into the message you’re trying to get across.

Engagement on carousel images and videos is most effective on the first few slides, but does begin to increase again towards the end. This means that you’ll want to put the most important content front and center but can still get a decent amount of interaction with the other content in the carousel. Image courtesy of Search Engine Journal.

This type of content is very effective when introducing new products to consumers, sharing different variations, and sharing relevant products or content to help customers explore even more.

These are a few examples of ways to use Instagram carousels to increase engagement:

  • Tutorials
  • Educational content
  • Spotlights
  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Storytelling
  • User-generated content

Creating Instagram posts that have a mix of different content types will allow you to leverage these different tools and make the most out of your engagement metrics. It will keep your feed fresh and attract the

Use the Right Hashtags for Better Engagement

Hashtags are a big element of the success of your Instagram posts and that isn’t changing anytime soon.

In fact, the more hashtags you can incorporate into your content the better. They will help you to reach new and existing audiences while participating in trending topics and making a connection to your brand.  

On Instagram, the more hashtags you use the better. Having upwards of 10 hashtags can improve engagement and help you reach a wider audience for each of your posts – just make sure the hashtags you’re tapping into are relevant for your brand. Image courtesy of Smart Insights.

Knowing what hashtags to use with your posts is an important part of this trend. While you could tag on a few trending tags to try and create more visibility for your message, the message may not resonate with users or could be completely irrelevant.

That’s why when using hashtags you want to be strategic about the content you chose. Make sure it is aligned with the content you’re posting and has a connection to your brand. Simply adding hashtags for the heck of it won’t bring you the engagement rates you want to see.

These are a few tips to help you determine what hashtags will work best on your Instagram posts:

  • Use data and insights to help you determine which hashtags work best
  • Include hashtags on all your posts including videos, carousels, and stories
  • Avoid spam hashtags
  • Make sure the hashtags you use mean what you think they mean

Taking time to find the right hashtags for your content will increase engagement and allow you to reach a wider audience. So before you post any new content, do your research and tack on a few relevant hashtags to set your posts up for success.

Post Content at the Right Times

Last but not least, it’s important to understand the trends around when to post content for the highest engagement. If you create the most amazing post that has all the elements to drive high engagement but post it at the wrong time, you could see poor results simply because of when it was posted.

Posting content at the right time can make all the difference on Instagram. Understanding when people are most active will allow you to get your message out to a larger audience and increase engagement rates across the board. Image courtesy of Sprout Social.

These are the best days and times to connect with your audiences on Instagram:

  • Best times: Tuesday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Monday through Friday 11 am
  • Best day: Tuesday
  • Worst day: Sunday

Knowing that these are the best and worst times, you can easily set yourself up for success. Make the most out of each of these high trafficked times and post the content you want your followers to see.

It’s also important to consider when your followers are most engaged. While these days and times are trending, your customers may be active on other times and days as well. By tracking and analyzing your previous post data you can determine whether there is another timeframe that could also encourage user engagement.

Make the Most Out of Your Instagram Strategy

Knowing the changing trends that come with Instagram will allow you to make the most out of your strategy and increase engagement across all of your posts. Whether it’s by knowing when to post your messages, what types of content your audiences resonate with, or by writing the right captions and hashtags – it can all make a difference.

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