Instagram Engagement Dropping? Here's What You Can Do

Instagram Engagement Dropping? Here’s What You Can Do

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Avatar of Reuben Dongalen Jr.

By: Reuben Dongalen Jr.

August 17, 2022

Have you noticed a dip in your Instagram engagement lately? Don’t be surprised. Instagram engagement rates have fallen by 30% over the past year, pushing social media professionals and content creators to ask why.

Why is my engagement dropping? Instagram is pivoting with the adoption and prioritization of short-form video content. This new strategy is a result of the success of short-form formats with audiences across video platforms – namely TikTok. While TikTok continues to be the center of the short-form video trend, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are capturing a ton of engagement and eyes. 

For many, Instagram is still considered their go-to for photo-sharing, so this change to the algorithm and overall platform strategy can be difficult to navigate. As a result, engagement for traditional Instagram users is slipping. That’s why we’ve tapped BBTV’s content experts for advice on how your content strategy can better align with the algorithm without losing the heart and soul behind your account.

Tip #1: Slowly Introduce Instagram Reels Into Your Feed

It’s safe to say Instagram isn’t parting ways with Reels anytime soon. We know change is hard, but with the platform prioritizing the discovery of accounts that use Reels, it’s time to fold it into your content strategy.

We suggest a gradual introduction of Reels into your feed. An easy way to do this is by repurposing popular content. Try reposting clips from top performing videos, compiling best moments, or syncing a mix of clips to trending music or audio. 

Reels are a great way to reach new audiences; your content can be posted on the Explore Page and on the endless scroll of Reels, helping rekindle the engagement you once had.

When your content can be seen on the Explore and Reels page, you reach people you would otherwise not have your brand in front of.”

What you don’t want to do when it comes to Reels is recycle watermarked TikTok or YouTube Shorts content. Doing so may impact your Reels content from being seen.

Tip #2: Searchable Content Is Key!

According to Instagram, suggested content to a user is determined by who they follow and what posts they’ve liked, saved or commented on.

What does that mean? The type of content users interact with through saves, follows and engagement directly impacts the type of content that Instagram will suggest to them.

Similar to YouTube, keywords should be used to optimize your profile and make it easy for users to discover your content based on popular terms. For example, users looking specifically for home decor, makeup products, or basketball shoes should be able to find you as long as those popular terms exist within your profile. 

Add keywords to these three areas to optimize your account for searchability:

  • Username
  • Bio
  • Captions

Keywords are a great way to boost your engagement organically and in return, increase your chances of being suggested across the home feed.

Tip #3: Create More Saveable Content

The other half contributing to discovery on Instagram is saved content. While suggestions generated by what users have liked is obvious enough, the power of saved content is often missed by creators.

There are five main factors that determine the rank of posts on the home feed: 

  • Time spent: Are you going to spend time on the post?
  • Likes: How likely are you to like the post?
  • Comments: How likely are you to comment on the post?
  • Saves: How likely are you to save the post?
  • Taps on Profile: How likely are you to tap on the profile after seeing the post?

Ask yourself, is this content someone would save and come back to? Creators should strongly consider an Instagram Reels strategy that offers both meaningful and evergreen content. 

This can be in the form of DIYs, How-To’s, Recipes, or Tips about an experience (for example: “5 Things to Know About Traveling To…”). 

Providing content that users can repeatedly refer to will increase the chances of your post being saved, and ultimately boosting your engagement and the chances of appearing as suggested content. 

Tip #4: Ask Your Fans!

One of the easiest ways to level up your engagement is to simply ask your followers what type of content they want to see from you.

Interacting with your fans makes them feel like their opinion is valued while creating a sense of community. Whether you conduct a mailbag, open up suggestions in your comments, run a poll via Instagram Stories, or go live on Instagram with your followers, this is a low-lift way for you to find out what your audience likes. 

While Instagram analytics can reveal a lot of audience behavior, fan interaction is a savvy way of organically compiling information while making your audience feel like they’re a part of the process. If you consistently create content fans love, they’ll look forward to future posts, and be more willing to positively engage with you.

Instagram is no stranger to the always-evolving landscape of digital content. Navigating the Instagram algorithm and trying to stand out from the crowd can be a challenge, however, these four tips are easy to apply without compromising your aesthetic or brand strategy.

BBTV content creators looking for more customized help with Instagram’s short-form strategy can sign up for the Creator Growth program. Get 1-on-1 consultations on your multi platform strategy, including YouTube, YouTube Shorts, Instagram and TikTok. We’ll make sure you leverage your reach and engagement across all platforms to create a strong brand.

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