Instagram engagement secrets + how to engage & retain your followers 🤝

In this post, I will be approaching Instagram engagement enhancing strategies and, in an indirect way, Instagram growth in followers and how to keep your followers loyal to your page.

Let’s Get Right Into It:

  • The number one thing to understand is that Instagram engagement is directly related to growth.

In other words, by reaching out to more people, your posts will leverage higher engagement levels. As your posts reach higher engagement levels, the more likely it is that they will, consequently, keep reaching out to more people.

The more people that see and interact with your posts, the more people will visit your page and, eventually become new followers.

The algorithmic process that’s behind this phenomenon is quite simple, actually:

  • Instagram’s algorithm perceives content that is highly engaged with, as valuable content. That’s because it is Instagram’s goal for people to spend as much time in the platform as possible.

Therefore, as your content is highly engaged with - in a fast succession - the Instagram algorithm will allow it to reach out to more people via what I like to call “external sources of reach”, such as hashtags and the explore page, as you will rank higher on those.

That’s why one of the assets that I use is (still) so effective:

1- Engagement groups :recycle:

Engagement groups are groups that exist within Instagram, that can be related to any niche.

I have personally created and built dozens of powerful engagement groups for various niches, which feature some of the top performing pages and influencers of those given niches.

The way Instagram engagement groups work is the following:

  • You share your last post in the group(s) you take part in;

  • These pages / influencers that take part in them will engage (like and comment) with your post;

  • You shall do the same back in return (the purpose of engagement groups is of mutual engagement, leading into mutual growth).

  • Each engagement groups features 20 to 35 big pages of the same niche, therefore multiplying the effectiveness of this strategy.

As you leverage more engagement from these groups, your posts will more easily rank higher on hashtags (if your strategy is on point) and, eventually, in the explore page.

Another awesome asset of engagement groups is that you have the change of interacting and building networking relationships with some of the most known pages of your niche that take part in them as well, with opens lots of opportunities for you, especially if you run a smaller page, which traditionally makes it more difficult to join these groups, as they’re usually designed / restricted for bigger pages.

2- CTA’S (Calls To Action) :speaking_head::busts_in_silhouette:

By placing CTA’s in your posts’ caption, you are inciting your audience to interact with your posts.

The most common examples of CTA’s include tagging a friend, a loved one, sending the post to someone who “must see this”, sending it to someone “and dont’t say anything”, etc. etc.

Note: Don’t just go for a random CTA and hope for it to produce magical results. Don’t be lazy, put in at least some creativity or irreverence to it and place it after a description of your post that contextualizes it.

As people tag someone in your post or send it to someone else, via their dm’s or stories, your reach from “other” will improve, as more people are having access to it through this source, mostly thanks to your CTA.

This is also a way of making your audience feel engaged in your posts.

3- Instagram Stories :open_book:

These are yet one of the most underrated and effective assets to retain your audience and keep it engaged, as well as to enhance your engagement levels and to improve your page’s overall performance.

Here’s what most people do: they post stories and insert a description. Tadow! - That’s all.

And they expect their audience to be happy that they’re putting out content…

… But hey, you’re not taking them on the ride with you.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Add polls to your stories. Instead of just describing your story, ask them questions about it. Be it “Yes or No” polls, or quizzes, or leave space for more personalized interaction, such as with “Ask me something” polls.

Take it a step further and ask your audience what kind of content they prefer seeing the most from you, and insert an open answer poll so that you can track their answers and adapt your content to their preference (if that’s doable for you, of course).

Actually interact with their responses. Make them feel valued and relevant. That’s why you should have a presence on Instagram in the first place, and that’s how your page is going to grow a loyal, solid following base.

I apply these strategies all the time and that’s how you can leverage such a low following drop and such a high following gain and retention, as I show in one of the pictures below.


Always answer comments on your posts, at least to a bare minimum. Sometimes people will follow your page just because they’ve noticed that there’s a human behind it, and that there isn’t a robotic presence leading its ways.

Also, add a CTA in your bio and in your posts, such as “Follow @username to be a part of our ________ tribe!”, for instance.

Hope this helps! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions :blush:


Great info here! Do you know where we can find a list of engagement groups?


What happens if you stop using engagement groups?

1 Like

What do you do when you have a large audience who picks and chooses which images to engage with and which images they dont want to engage with on the regular?

What do you do when your audience wont talk to you as much as they talk to everyone else in your niche?

I’ve seen multiple pages in my niche that have audiences who engage with every single post that they make, no matter the quality, that engagement is always there.

Me on the other hand…

2 out of every 10 photos I post get great engagement.

I leave call to actions in my captions and I also leave longer captions to give my followers a little view into my mind with whatever image I am posting and they are hardly ever respond to those either.

I have extremely low instastory views. And they gradually get worse as time goes on. I barely reach 150 views. When I put out polls I get maybe 20 out of the 150 people to vote. And out of those 20, it’s usually 6 or 7 that are votes from people still using those instastory bots.

Also, the last time I tried to put out an “Ask Me a Question” story, only 4 people actually participated and asked me a question. Smh

I am in an engagement group but its more of a support group more than anything and the people in the group dont have as many followers as I do.

Oh yeah and i left out a special tidbit…

I have 28.k followers. And I grow about 3 to 4 new followers on a slow week. 10 to 15 on a busy week.

And a lot of them are real. I get rid of the fake followers or the accounts that seem fake.

I swear it feels like everyone who follows my account are all on the same page and its weird. It’s like once a few see my images and dont like them, then no else who follows me likes the image either. And it’s not fair because I spend so much time on them.

You would think that someone with that many followers would be content with things right now. But I feel unbelievably sickened with the way that I have been treated on this platform.

I would recommend to dm similar/bigger pages in your niche and ask if they have groups

I would stop using them when i see that my page is having a big reach/ER without using engagement groups.

Sounds like you need to re-evaluate.

  • look at insights
  • look at your data

What are the numbers telling you?

Are your posts getting impressions?
How are your core followers / fans reacting? Are they still around? Ask for critical feedback

Has your content been monotone? Boring? Similar style for a while? Might need a change. When was the last time you tried something completely out of the blue / different?

^^ that might be a good trigger to start changing things up

Carousels, video, boomerang, shout days, different angles, DM’ing your true fans…

Always. Be. Testing.


I havent checked insights in a while because I’ve been working under a personal account for a while. I had my account on business but I switched it to personal once i found out that IG has been limiting posts in order for you to purchase their ads.

But when I did have insights, I did notice a certain type of image that would always reach high engagement (the 1 image out of 10 that I mentioned previously.) It was basically me drawing IG models. I no longer do that because i feel as if that trend has passed. And I am no longer interested in doing those types of images.

The funny thing is, I see artists branch out and different images all the time.

The difference is, when those artists branch out and create different things they are almost always applauded with likes and comments galore.

But when I do the same thing, regardless of the quality, I never get that same love.

It’s like my followers (or Instagram) have literally placed me in a box and if I branch outside of that box then I wont get any engagement at all.

It’s really annoying

Do you engage with others (other big pages in your niche but also your followers, even if they’re not mutuals) on their posts or in their stories? That can be a bit time consuming, but my ER went really up when I started doing this.

1 Like

Yup, but that doesn’t mean that they respond back or return the favor.

There are alot of the folks with larger pages who follow me but won’t do anything except for giving me a few likes on my own page.

But comments? Lol I hardly ever get those from bigger pages.

Yes, of course not. But when others see you as an active member of your niche (and not just someone who wants the crowd to cheer for them), they’re usually more willing to interact with you on your own content.
Have you tried joining in on conversations under other peoples’ posts’ comments? Replying to comments (in a non-intrusive way), asking questions so they’re more likely to reply, etc?

I understand that you’re in the art niche, are there any “draw this in your style” contests going on you might be interested in? That could be a great opportunity to get someone else’s fans to engage with your content.

Sorry btw if this is leading too far off topic. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yes I comment and engage when I can. But they hardly ever return the favor.

And it’s funny because when random users tag these specific artists in comments, a lot of these same users tag my name along with them so it’s not like they don’t know I exist.

They know I exist but they choose not to comment on my work regardless if I comment on their work or not.

I often ask myself, why are these accounts following me if they refuse to engage in conversation with me? Why wont they unfollow if they dont like my content or me as a person?

And it’s super weird how all of them are doing it

Are you sure that these are real people and not slave accounts?

1 Like

The more I read into it, it seems your approach might be the problem. You are engaging in hopes they will interact back / give you something.

What if you comment without any expectations? I think this will be a better outcome for you and you are essentially being part of the community instead of an account who is sucking all the attention for themselves. Know what I mean?

Try a different perspective

“Engaging with the Hope’s of getting engagement back”

Isn’t that the point of social media? To engage with the hopes of getting engagement back? Especially in these trying times where CEOs can hide likes and evidence of social proof is through the comments and interactions with other people…

Also I’m not looking at my followers as just numbers on a data chart or anything like that…I’m just legit wondering why people keep following my account and not engaging with it despite my efforts that I listed above.

Not sure why that’s such a bad thing to be worried about. :thinking:

Ok, one last thing crossed my mind because I just saw this on one big account (with a really shitty ER) in my niche: if someone actually comments on one of your posts, do you reply to them or thank them for their comment, even if they just posted a bunch of emojis or one of these obviously automated comments?

It’s probably a no-brainer not to ignore people who actually engage with your stuff if you want to encourage engagement, but I wanted to ask anyway.
There are people who just like my comment or reply with an emoji, even though I always try to write something supportive or valuable, and those are usually the people with very low engagement rates, and I won’t comment on their stuff again, a like has to be enough after being ignored.

Maybe it could help to have a friend comment something on your post, so you can reply to them? This could encourage others to interact.

I do. My Instagram username is the same as the username here just with a 21 at the end. You will see what in talking about

I have to say, I expected worse! Your likes and comments really don’t match your follower count, but at least there’s something… You seem to have a handful people who are engaged enough to comment on some of your posts (or have their bot set up to comment fire emojis), that’s a start, I guess.

I watched your story, I think it’s a good idea to share other peoples’ art, but maybe adding these sliders so people can “vote” on how awesome they think these pictures are could be an addition to these shares? It’s really low threshold engagement.

might seem like basic info but you’d be surprised by how much people aren’t doing this, nice post!

1 Like

But why, in anyway, is the engagement that I’m getting seen as “acceptable” when there are pages with way more engagement then my account with half of the followers?

“At least theres something” is not good enough and you know it.

I just wish there was something that I could do to bring my engagement back up for good. It’s literally like people follow my account, like a few pictures and I never see or hear from them again.

That cant be normal.