Growing Your Instagram Organically: What Is Engagement (2019)

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Do you understand Instagram engagement?

Starting off in Instagram can be a little daunting. How this platform, and many social media platforms, prioritizes content can be a bit confusing. However, you need to understand a few small aspects of the platform:

  • Just because someone follows you doesn’t mean they will see your post.

  • People won’t just randomly find your profile without posts or strategy.

  • Just because you use a hashtag doesn’t mean that everyone that searches or follows that hashtag will see it.

Types of Engagement

In order for your content to be seen by more and more people, it needs to be engaged by more and more people, but what is this engagement. In Instagram there are a few key areas of engagement:

  • Likes

  • Comments

  • Shares/Forwards

  • Views

  • Saves

Engagement Weights

All of these are weighted differently and no one knows for sure how much each weighs in relation to the other. Instagram keeps this secret so you can’t game your way to success. However, when you use this platform more and more you will see how they interact with each other.

This is how I weight the importance:

Comments > Saves > Video Views > Likes and then shares/forwards are in their own category that makes them hard to relate to the other forms of engagement.

Comments are king, but likes are still important. Though I may rank it last, that does not mean I think they are unimportant. Actually the number of likes you receive will largely make or break your posts success. Video views are very valuable and this is due to Instagram’s push for their platform to be more video heavy. I will discuss video in a separate post.

When it comes to shares and forwards this is difficult because a share or a forward can mean a lot of different things. It could mean that one account sent the post along to another account or it could mean that an account has shared the post to its story. Having an account share your post to a story is the most ideal.

Not All Engagement is Equal

It is important to know that not all engagements are equal. What I mean to say is that a like from an established account with tens of thousands of followers is more valuable than a like from someone with 40 followers. Furthermore, Instagram is looking to see if these accounts seem real or not. So a bot account with 100k bot followers is not very valuable either. This will be an important consideration when you are developing your business’ strategy for engaging with its audience.

Why is Engagement Important?

The engagement you receive on your posts will largely determine whether or not your page grows. The more engagement a post receives the more other people following and not following you will see it. Instagram does this because they want to prioritize more liked content for its users, thus creating a better user experience.

This post is part of a series on growing your Instagram organically:

  1. Don't Just Ask for More Followers

  2. What is Engagement? (This Post)

  3. Hashtag and Location Tags

  4. Live, Stories, and Videos

  5. Your Profile

  6. The Community

  7. Conclusion

Meet the Author : John Knetemann

John Knetemann smiling in a suit

From Denver, Colorado. Educated in Rapid City, South Dakota. Living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The most epic and daring content writer you will find on the east side of the Amstel... And sometimes the west side too. I am from the land of mountains, but now live in the land of very small hills and canals. Truly a native of the internet, I work with companies to build adventurous content, engaging social media identities, and addictively informative email campaigns.

I have turned comments off on my website, but talk with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.