Instagram Audience Engagement: How to Interact with Your Audience on Instagram


Instagram has become one of the most popular social media video and image platforms. So, if you’re already using it to share your amazing content, you’re certainly on the right track. But unless you learn how to interact with your audience on Instagram, your Instagram audience engagement will suffer, and your best efforts may be for nothing. 

People love social media because it’s fun to connect, share ideas, and comment on content that interests them. So, if you’re not providing the interactive experience your audience craves, you can’t expect them to engage with your content. And you shouldn’t be surprised if they look for a more satisfying experience elsewhere.

We’re talking about more than just the basics, such as likes and shares. Instagram audience engagement involves creating great content that compels your audience to react. It also requires answering questions, joining conversations, and getting into the mix.

The bottom line is that if you aren’t interacting with your followers regularly, you won’t get the traction your content deserves.

While you might have gotten away with it in the past, more options and tougher competition mean you have to earn audience engagement more than ever. The problem is if you haven’t put much thought into it, you’ll find it hard to know how to do it in a way that gets results.

If you are feeling frustrated, remember that getting Instagram audience engagement is achievable with persistence and the right approach.

Don’t be so hard on yourself—it takes time to build an active community online that engages consistently. It may seem like a small group in the beginning, but the few people who constantly engage with your content are the ones who are going to develop into raving and long-time fans of yours. Focus on them, and the rest will follow and grow with you.

So, read on to discover how to interact with your audience and enjoy the full benefits the Instagram platform offers!

Why You Should Include Instagram in Your Social Media Strategy

Instagram has attracted at least 1.44 billion users as of July 2022. Some sources even put the number of users at over 2 billion. It’s no secret that early on, Facebook (now Meta) saw Instagram’s promise and snapped it up for $1 billion in 2012—just 18 months after it was launched. 

Users and Meta aren’t alone in loving Instagram. Brands love it too. In fact, it is one of the best social media platforms for marketing.


Engagement rates are still far higher on Instagram than on any other social media platform.

Instagram’s audience engagement rate is 10 times that of Facebook. That means 10 times more likes, comments, and shares per post.

RivalIQ’s benchmark report in 2022 found that the Instagram engagement rate is now 0.67%, while the engagement rate for Instagram influencers per post is 1.42%. That compares to just 0.064% for Facebook and 0.037% for Twitter. 

All that opportunity for interaction is attractive to brands, and it makes sense!

What Is Instagram Audience Engagement, and Why Do You Need It?

Engagements are actions that indicate your audience is interacting with your content rather than just seeing it. The engagement rate is the percentage of people who react to your post after seeing it. 

Common indicators used to measure Instagram audience engagement include the following:

The truth is that engagement rates have been dropping across all social media platforms and post types over time. 

It may be because people are less inclined to engage with content. But more likely, the sheer volume of content makes it harder for individual posts to get noticed. Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has made it no secret that paid ads are getting more priority as they try to increase revenue. In addition, newer post formats like Reels tend to be promoted more at the expense of more traditional formats. 

This all means that interacting with your audience requires you to pay more attention to what works, what doesn’t, and how you present your posts. You should also experiment with new ideas to strengthen engagement. 

Keeping a close eye on the metrics in Meta Business Suite that measure Instagram audience engagement will help you do more of what works and change what doesn’t. 

social media tool kit

Why It’s Important to Interact with Your Audience

Interacting and engaging with an audience are two sides of the same coin. You can’t expect sustained Instagram audience engagement if you don’t create opportunities to interact with your audience.

No one likes to be ignored. You will appear distant and uncaring if you don’t respond after a customer comments on a post, especially if they’re unhappy with a product or feel your content wasn’t accurate or fair. 

Being unresponsive to complaints won’t encourage people to interact with your brand, build trust, or send a message that you care about your customers. 

On the flip side, if you take the time to encourage feedback and respond to people’s questions and comments, you’ll be seen as engaged and devoted to your audience. 

Another reason to encourage your audience to interact with your content is to increase your reach. Instagram’s algorithms reward you when your posts get a lot of responses from readers. Engagement is a sign that people are interested in your content, so it deserves to be moved higher up in users’ feeds.

By interacting with your audience on Instagram, you can also…

If you are posting great content on Instagram but not getting repeat visitors or greater reach, then it might be that you are not interacting enough.

Interaction and engagement are important on Instagram because they foster and create an online community. The world has gone digital, and so has the way we interact with each other and now even brands. You feel more connected.

How to Interact with Your Audience to Increase Instagram Audience Engagement

The first step in learning how to interact with your audience on Instagram is understanding that great content is essential.


Content is the cornerstone of Instagram audience engagement. Whatever format you use must stand out from the crowd and make your audience want to like, comment, share, etc. 

So, ensure all your content is informative, entertaining, and authentic. Once you have your audience’s attention, you must pivot to get them to engage with you and reward them for doing so. 

Let’s dive into some essential elements for Instagram audience engagement…

1) Know Your Audience

One of the biggest struggles at the beginning is finding out where your audience is and how they like to connect with you and be connected with. Once you know that, which is done through trials and testing, you’ll be able to better connect with your audience because you are meeting them where they are.

Like all things in marketing, knowing your audience is critical. If you want your audience to interact with your posts, you’ll need to create content that makes them want to come back for more.

Analyzing the demographics of your target audience is a starting point to help you decide what content and voice you should use. Remember that Instagram tends to skew toward younger users. That means it’s a great choice for reaching millennials and Gen Zs and, to a lesser extent, Gen Xs. In fact, 70.8% of users are 34 or younger, and 23% are between 35 and 54. Just 6.2% are over 55.

Phones showing two media formats that drive Instagram audience engagement using a portrait Reels video and a landscape image and caption.

2) Keep Your Posts Authentic

Authenticity is important to everyone, especially younger audiences who are likely to pass over content that feels self-serving or dishonest. So, be honest and transparent. 

Also, highlight real people who have bought from you by sharing or reposting user content. Allowing your audience to share their experiences using your products or services through a video or image post will go a long way. When real people recommend your brand, people will listen more than if you gush about your brand yourself. 

3) Write Strong Captions

While nothing beats excellent images and videos for grabbing your reader’s attention, you shouldn’t underestimate written text. In fact, vibrant, well-written captions are critical to getting people to engage further. People use captions to learn more about your content or understand it better. So, write captions that add value by putting the images in context and providing the background story. 

The end of captions provides the perfect location to invite your audience to engage with you. You can ask your audience a question, share a similar experience, or give an opinion. 

Be careful how you phrase your call to action (CTA). Instagram can detect when you are just trying to use your post as clickbait and may even punish you if it suspects you of making a habit of it. 

4) Invite Your Audience to Interact

Your followers might love your posts, but unless you invite them to share their opinion, they won’t know you want them to contribute their ideas!

Encourage people to engage with you by asking questions, sharing polls, and applying stickers to Stories. 

A word of caution: Instagram now scans posts for signs of clickbait and may penalize your post if it appears overly promotional. Therefore, use these options wisely and avoid direct CTAs that just say things like “share this post” or “like this post.” 

In any case, it is true that inviting your audience to “like” a post does encourage Instagram audience engagement. But it won’t get a longer conversation going. Just keep your CTA requests genuine and relevant to your post. 

Here are some additional ways to encourage your readers to interact with your posts:

5) Respond to Questions and Comments

Once you have invited your audience to interact with you, it’s only fair to respond to them. So, show that you are listening and interested in what your audience has to say. Joining in conversations will enrich your followers’ experience and help them feel heard.

Plus, it allows you to…

One common mistake I see people make is not taking the time to answer your online community (and in a timely manner). I constantly see brands and even higher-profile influencers ignore their comment section, and that’s where your community is being developed! A simple reply can go a long way for people to develop trust and feel a sense of connection.

Monitor comments regularly and be prepared to address questions and concerns. Thank readers for positive comments, and let them know what you liked about what they said. 

Don’t forget that critical comments have value too. If it’s valid, respond with suggestions on how to improve the situation. If appropriate, you could point out where to file a formal complaint or request a refund, for example. Helping a customer resolve a problem might just earn you a new fan!

If you feel further discussion would be productive, you can always suggest they contact you through private messaging for an offline chat.

However, when posts go beyond reasonable criticism, it’s time to disengage.

6) Choose the Best Format to Share Your Content

Instagram offers an amazing array of formats that provide great flexibility in how you present your content. And they keep adding more. 

These include: 

On average, carousels and Reels on Instagram earn the highest Instagram audience engagement rates, followed by other video posts, then photo posts. 

But that doesn’t mean carousels or Reels will always be the best choice.

Engagement rates for different formats vary by industry. Also, each format has strengths that lend themselves to different types of posts. Not only that but how you format your post can impact your engagement rates.

When it comes to formatting, Instagram allows users to post square, portrait, landscape, and vertical. Currently, vertical (1080×1920) videos, also known as Reels, drive the most engagement, with a portrait (4:5 ratio) being second. This is due to the amount of screen that the visuals take up.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Viral Solutions | Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency (

Landscape Formatted Post

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Viral Solutions | Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency (

Square Formatted Post

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Viral Solutions | Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency (

Portrait Formatted Post

You need to consider which format will deliver your message effectively and encourage your audience to consume and interact with your content.

Is your goal to make facts digestible with a strong graphic element, tell a narrative story, or pack the wow factor to entertain your audience? 

How you answer will help you choose which format below will work best to drive Instagram audience engagement. Experiment with the most appropriate format to see which works best. You may end up using a mixture of tools that suit your needs.

Other Good Posting Practices to Drive Instagram Audience Engagement

An influencer points to Instagram Insights showing more than 30,000 accounts have been reached.

1) Post Consistently and at Strategic Times

If you want to build a loyal following, post regularly and consistently so that people know when to look out for your posts. Choose when your audience is most active. (You can find out by looking at the Instagram insights in Meta Business Suite.)

2) Use Hashtags Wisely

Use relevant hashtags wisely and sparingly to boost engagement.

Try to keep it to just a handful. Hashtags can help improve reach and drive more traffic, but when overused, they can appear spammy. 

Applying more niche hashtags specific to your content will allow your content to appear in the feeds of people with related interests. 

3) Run Ads

There is no way around it—the reach and engagement of organic content can’t compete with ads, thanks to Instagram algorithms that reward paid content. Therefore, you can try running ads to promote your content if you aren’t getting traction. When people notice your content and know where to find it, you will be able to build a following.


Instagram continues to lead as one of the most engaging social media platforms. But engagement is falling across all platforms and most formats. It’s no longer an option to just post great content and wait for the shares and likes to get posts to the top of the feed.

It’s critical to focus on how to interact with your audience on Instagram to improve engagement. The good news is there is a lot you can do. This includes choosing formats that are most likely to be seen and actively encouraging your audience to watch and engage. Be proactive with your audience to encourage them to interact and be responsive when you do.

Falling engagement rates don’t mean you are wasting your time. It just means you have to work a little harder and much smarter to get the kind of Instagram audience engagement you could enjoy a few years ago.

Need help with the social media side of your marketing? Request a free consultation with Viral Solutions today!


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Filed Under: Social Media

About Lauren Zylyk

During her time working for Walt Disney World, Lauren quickly grew a social media presence on platforms, mainly through Instagram. With a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing paired with her passion for marketing, Lauren grew her audience even more by creating a blog and through use of other social media platforms. She loves the impact that social media has and how quickly it can get information around worldwide.
When she is not busy keeping up with the latest trends online, she can be found baking cookies in the kitchen, watching hockey, or at the gym. She loves hot yoga and trying out any new dessert recipe. She can’t cook, but she can sure bake!