Whether you use Instagram for business or for pleasure, the probability of wanting a following and getting higher Instagram engagement is high. As part of my blogging tips series, I’m sharing a few pointers to improve your aesthetic, purpose, and Instagram engagement rate.

flat lay photography


Listen up! This is important. Before you post remember to ALWAYS plan beforehand. That means you don’t need to do anything other than hit post.

  • 12-20 hashtags ready to post on comments. Change them up for every post.
  • Edited Picture + Caption drafted on IG
  • Engagement. Like & Comment on your favorite accounts, friends, and followers + hashtags (more info on this below)
  • Share your post for a higher reach. IG stories, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr…and do it immediately after you hit post.


Your answer should not be, “I just haven’t posted anything today”. Frankly, no one really cares what you’re doing every second of the day. They want to see something that provides value or entertainment. Every picture should reflect you, or your brand. How’s the quality? Is your editing consistent?

Best Photo Editing Apps

  • Lightroom (you’ll need the subscription & desktop to download presets)
  • VSCO (yearly subscription)
  • Tezza (haven’t tried but also has a subsprition)

P.S. Support your favorite photographers on Instagram and buy one of their Lightroom presets!

Do you post regularly and at your most optimal times? If the answer is no, consider doing so. Followers will come back and get used to regularly seeing your posts on their feed. You don’t need to post everyday, but don’t wait a week before you start planning your next post.

I use UNUM to schedule and have a consistent feed. From now on take a minute to plan your next three posts and make sure it doesn’t make your feed look messy.


Share your story and let your followers know what you’re all about. It can be a little intimidating to share something personal, but your followers will feel a connection with you and begin to engage.


  • Like and reply to all comments (the quicker the better)
  • Then, head to their profile and like/comment on their pictures
  • Go to your favorite/most used hashtags and like/comment on the top 9 pictures and most recent. Then, go to other users using those hashtags and like/engage on their content
  • Make a list of your favorite accounts and engage with their followers. Look at who’s commented and head to their feed, and you guessed it, ENGAGE!

Take 30-60 minutes a day. It’s time consuming, but eventually you’ll have those accounts engaging with your content and maybe even get a few new followers. I can guarantee this will bring your Instagram engagement rate way up once you make it into a habit!


Instagram has turned into creative/teaching outlet. Not just for brands, but EVERYONE. Which is why it’s so much harder to gain followers. Users are looking for a connection; some value; some damn inspiration. Unless you’re selena gomez, a selfie and no caption will have absolutely no engagement.

Do you ever ask yourself, “why the hell am I following this person?” and immediately unfollow them? The same goes for all your followers.


  • Tips & Lists people love lists. Are you proud of how awesome you’re doing at making em? Make a list of all your tips on making lists. Not the most interesting topic, but you get the point.
  • Tell people who you are (and how you can bring value)
  • Tell a story
  • Ask questions. Get to know your followers. In return, you might figure out why they follow you and how you can bring more value to them so they keep coming back.


Be descriptive. Ask questions. The first line of your caption is the most CRITICAL. So, make it count!

Using IG stories

  • Use stories to interact with your followers!
  • use polls
  • ask them to engage on your latest post
  • Q+A’s
  • Use Canva, unfold, or other apps to make your stories stand out from the rest


Don’t expect to get much engagement if the picture you just shared is pixellated. Lay off the excessive filters. Less is more. No matter how many layers of crappy filters you lay on em, it probably still sucks.

You don’t need a professional camera per se, you can use your phone, but remember these tips:

  • Shoot in natural daylight.
  • Location. Before a shoot, Scout your locations. Do you want a city vibe or a something more scenic? Note down all your favorite places to remember when you’re in a rut.
  • Turn on the grid feature. (if you’re shooting with your phone)
  • Rule of thirds. Divide your photo into thirds and line it up.
  • Centered Composition. (if you want to be centered, less is more!)
  • Adjust Exposure.
  • Bring some props with you!
  • More tips HERE

Finally check out the links below for tutorials on how to take better Instagram photos:

Care to share your tips on how to increase Instagram engagement rate? Leave them in the comments and don’t forget to share!

How to increase your instagram engagement rate


  1. February 14, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    This is so KEY!

    I feel like I need to be better about the hashtags, and also making sure it’s the BEST quality photos possible!

    Love this, lady!

  2. February 14, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    This is super helpful. I didn’t know some of this!

  3. February 15, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Loved this post! I always ask myself these things before posting. Sticking with a themed layout has been hard for me so far, but I’m getting so much better at it!

    xo Rachel | http://www.thesassroom.com

  4. February 15, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    It’s amazing how important the theme / feel of an insta-feed is! I use UNUM for it which is a lifesaver. I never really saw the benefit in the apps that layout your feed until I started using one. It made all the difference! x Shannon


  5. February 16, 2017 / 7:46 am

    this is so on pointe! i sometimes post just because i have not posted yet…so this is a great help! come check out my blog http://www.poshandspicy.com i would love to hear your input xx toby

  6. February 16, 2017 / 8:18 am

    Such great points! I often catch myself wanting to post something just because I haven’t yet that day! So important to remember quality over quantity

  7. February 17, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    I love you tips! I use Planoly and SnapSeed to edit and plan my posts. I find it helpful to have stock photos available to me so I can play around with planning my feed. To get more engagement I try to engage as much as I can with my followers. Great Post Love!

  8. February 17, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    I love these tips!! I just kinda started getting more personal on my Instagram captions instead of just talking about an outfit.. still so challenging building my Instagram but I’m working hard at it, so I love reading new suggestions! R

  9. ttd09
    February 17, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    Awesome tips! Instagram has changed so much since it first started. There are so many things to keep in mind now…crazy!

    Lydia | chicandmodish.com

  10. February 21, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    Io sono una pessima blogger…faccio brutte foto e non capisco un cavolo di web…però sono simpatica!!???

  11. Gabrielle Loomis
    February 23, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Love the tips! Those are really great things to keep in mind before posting a photo on Instagram!

    Gabrielle // http://www.colormesassy.com

  12. thefashionableaccountant
    September 23, 2019 / 10:16 am

    Great tips!! I definitely think engaging and planning ahead really helps!!

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