How to Better Your Instagram Engagement Rate & Organic Reach

Written by Sandra Argese
on 13 Aug 2020

Over one billion people use Instagram.

This represents a fairly incredible feat for a platform that, just over ten years ago, was nothing more than an idea; a figment of imagination, a sheer prospect that could’ve amounted to nothing, maybe.

Or maybe not, inevitably transforming into a universally-beloved platform that’d feature as a normal part of day-to-day lives everywhere.

Much like Instagram’s amicable rise in popularity over the past decade, its evolution from the realm of the relatively unknown to something much more has been dotted with change.

In 2016 we bid farewell to its beloved polaroid camera logo, and also waved goodbye to its reverse-chronological feed. No longer were newsfeeds displaying content in order of new to old. Instagram engagement wasn’t too difficult to master, meaning the likes, comments, and tags would come in a healthy flow. Organic reach, which represents the number of people who see your content without that content being boosted or paid for, wasn’t difficult. 

After Instagram abandoned the reverse-chronological feed, its organic reach began to depend more on its unique algorithms. 

(READ: How To Create Awesome Content that’ll Win Customers)


Much like Facebook, this algorithm dictates what content people see when they open up their feed.

People spend approximately 25-minutes per day on Instagram, so playing to ‘what the algorithm wants’ is key to snaring people’s attention during this time. Do this, and you’ll likely increase your organic reach on Instagram.

The unfortunate (and somewhat tricky) aspect of all of this is that this algorithm is constantly changing.

But hey, with challenges come opportunities. With the right smarts and some savvy social media smarts in place, you’ll be doing your chances of maximising your organic reach plenty of favours.

Want to increase your organic reach and Instagram engagement?

Here are 9 quick tips that we recommend implementing into your Instagram strategy:

1. Follow Instagram’s Creators page (Found here).

This is a GOLD MINE for all things Instagram; all the hints, tips, tricks, advice and gorgeous graphics, tied up and neatly packaged into one beautiful (and devastatingly appealing) Instagram page.

The official page for Instagram’s ‘Creators’ represents the BEST and the most OFFICIAL spot to get all the insights into Instagram’s algorithm, and how to ‘please’ it to have your content shown to more people.

Remember, while people might be ‘following’ your page, they mightn’t be seeing your content in their newsfeeds. We need to do what we can to please Instagram’s algorithm to change that.

2. Establish Strong relationships on Instagram.

Instagram will put a higher emphasis on posts people engage with (comments, likes, views on videos). Increasing your organic reach means going BEYOND simply posting content; it’s super important to engage in conversation and comment, like, tag, view other brands/users’ content.



Wondering ‘How do you verify your Facebook account?’ Instagram’s help centre has you covered:

(READ: Six Awesome Ways to Increase Facebook Engagement)

4. What times are you posting?

It’s key to post when most people are online (it’s more likely they’ll see your content).

You could search high and low through the internet to discover exactly when people will be online; different websites will tell you different things.

Across the board, the most popular times for accessing social media are evening, first thing in the morning, and during lunchtime/midday.

Try and schedule your posts around these times, in order to increase your reach.

(READ: Instagram takes on TikTok with ‘Reels’)

5. Have a consistent schedule that you follow.
Instagram will give your page traction if you consistently post to a schedule.

At Caffeinate, we use a scheduling platform that appears in a calendar-like format, to ensure we post on a regular, consistent basis.

Let’s say that on one particular occasion, you posted twice in a day, with two stories. Would you be able to keep it up? Consistency works for the algorithm; Irregular posting doesn’t.

Keep things consistent, and bam, your Instagram engagement rate might just increase.

(READ: How to fool the LinkedIn algorithm into favouring your content)

6. What is your current audience already engaging with?

Use the content that is already hitting the mark for your audience as a guide to how to proceed, moving forward.

Take a look at your Insights to see what’s working, what’s not, who is engaging with your content (you’ll see insights around gender, age range, and location), and so forth. It’s important to regularly check your Insights, to ensure you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of increasing your Instagram engagement rate.

Not sure how to view Instagram insights? In order to do this, you need to ensure your profile is a business account (otherwise, you won’t be able to view insights). To view your insights, visit your profile, and tap the three lines on the top right of your screen. From here, you’ll see an ‘Insights’ button. You’ll now have the ability to view specific insights on certain posts, stories or promotions.

instagram insights

7. Don’t spam your post with hashtags.

While hashtags can increase the organic reach of a post, we recommend doing some hashtag research and then posting approximately 2 – 5 hashtags per post.

(READ: What is a hashtag and how to use hashtags in 2020)


8. Increase engagement in your posts.

Asking your audience questions can entice more comments. You could also get creative and encourage your followers to tag others in the comments. Responding to comments straight away, liking peoples comments, and engaging with other brands (see point 2 above) can help increase your Instagram engagement rate.

9. Do a double-take on the content you’re posting.

Instagram is heavily fuelled by visually-pleasing, ‘easy on the eyes’ visual content that is simple, clear, satisfying to look at and of course, creative, engaging and fun.

Caffeinate Top Tip: Avoid posts with too many words in the image itself. Keep things simple. If you need to be word-heavy, use your captions for this. If you are going to include words within the image you post, keep it to less than three words.

Want to learn more about increasing your Instagram engagement rate? Get in touch with us today!

(READ: The Customer Value Journey: How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy)

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