Best Practices for Instagram Engagement 2021

Instagram has so many different ways available to creators for growth. If you’re an entrepreneur wanting consistent organic growth, engagement is key! As social media experts at Backcourt Marketing, we’ve got 5 great tips for Instagram engagement. Take notes!

Know your audience

By now, you might already have a good idea of who your target audience is. If you don’t, create that persona. Some helpful questions might include:

  • Does my audience mainly include men or women? Is there a mix?
  • What does my audience value?
  • What types of pain points are there for my target audience. Better yet, how can I solve those pain points with my products or services?

From there, you can start looking for some Instagram communities. Look for accounts and hashtags that already include your target audience and potential partners.

Use Your Hashtags

Hashtags might not be exactly what they used to be when it comes to discoverability, but they haven’t lost their value. Hashtags are your search engine tool on Instagram. Find the best hashtags for your business using your industry jargon or trends, your location, or visiting competitors’ pages to see what they’re using.

Having trouble finding the right hashtags? The internet has a solution. Here are some great hashtag generator tools you can use right now.

  • List here

Once you’ve got the hashtags that map out where your target audience is, it’s time to engage!


Have your top 5 hashtags ready to plug into the search engine. These will be your key to engaging with your audience. Put your first hashtag into the search engine. 

Screenshot of top and recent.

You’ll notice after searching the hashtag that there are 2 sections. The “Top” section is the section that has all the most popular posts under that hashtag. These will be your industry leaders. These posts might be anywhere from a few hours old to a few days old.

If you’re using “Top,” and you want to interact with the industry leaders, click on the username from a post. After that, you can go to their most recent post and interact with them and their audience there. 

The other section is “Recents.” This includes posts from everyone who recently used the hashtag. Usually, if you’ve got the right hashtag plugged in, you’ll find that these people are your target audience. Like and comment on these posts. 

Use Your Competition

You might find yourself in an audience funk. That’s okay! It just means you have to dig a little deeper to find your audience. If you need to find more people to follow, check out an account with a similar target audience. Your competitor should have a great list of people you haven’t interacted with yet. 

If your competitor knows what they’re doing, they’ll also be using some hashtags. Use the ones you haven’t heard of before and test those out! When you know who your target audience is, you’ll find them eventually!

Stories as Engagement Tools

Instagram has given you some great tools for when you add to your stories. Stories have engagement stickers, from Polls to Quizzes, to free-response buttons. When people respond to your stories through these stickers, Instagram’s algorithm recognizes that and shows your story to more people. 

Here are a few ways you can use the engagement buttons:

  • “This” or “That”
  • True or False
  • AMA

Other stickers, such as countdowns, can be used to build suspense for a new product release, for example. Your target audience will ultimately tell Instagram whether your content is worth bringing in front of more people, so make sure all of your engagement provides some sort of value to your target audience.

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