Instagram 101: Getting Engagement

New month, new blog series! I mean, that’s how it goes right?! This February rings in my one year anniversary on Instagram (follow me *wink wink*), and to keep the story short, I’ve learned a whole lot in these (almost) 365 days. From the best way to market your posts to the best times to post, you name it; I’ve learned it. Obviously, I am still a smaller account and am far from being an Insta pro, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a few tips and tricks that I want to share with you guys. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do in this new series! Every Thursday in February, I’m going to do a post on one of these three sections: Getting Engagement, Getting Real, Getting Connected, and I may do an Insta Q&A!

Today’s topic is… GETTING ENGAGEMENT on Instagram. Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing on the app when I first started because the day I started my account was the day I first used Instagram! I want nothing more than to help you all who may be in a similar boat and/or are struggling when it comes to this social media. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about Instagram in the comments below, and I will answer!


One of the biggest game-changers for me when it came to engagement was changing the length and the way I write my Instagram captions. In the beginning, I would write 1-2 sentence captions that were only about a new blog post or were a short quote. There is nothing wrong with this, but I have found that by lengthening my captions and writing in a way that gave people something to respond to, my comment and like numbers grew rapidly. By including personal stories, questions, small anecdotes from your day, or just being relatable about how excited you are for the weekend, can easily increase engagement, and the amount of genuine comments you get. Also, don’t be afraid to write a REALLY long (maybe rant-y) caption every once in a while about something important that’s been on your mind! Stay true to you when writing captions, and people will love it.

THE 3, 2, 1 RULES

This past summer, when I had more time on my hands, I loved listening to podcasts on how to make your Instagram and blog more bangin’. One of my favs was Julie Solomon’s The Influencer Podcast, and it was through one of her livestreams that I learned about the 3, 2, 1 rule. The rule goes like this: When you find an account you love, leave 3 likes, 2 (genuine!) comments, and 1 follow. By doing this, the person doesn’t just see a follow in their notifications, but a real show of liking for them, and I can say from experience that I am 100% more likely to follow someone back if they leave a small spam on my page πŸ™‚ Although this may not work every time, it’ll give the person a sense of who you are and let them know that you aren’t just following for the follow back!


Hashtags are pretty much a given when it comes to being a blogger on Instagram, but I decided to throw it in here for those of you who may not realize the impact they can make. Hashtags are used so other people can search them up to find new accounts to follow, and now that you can follow hashtags on Instagram, they are even more important. On Instagram, you can have up to 30 hashtags on one post, and I recommend using ALL of them. You can put them in your caption or your comments sections to keep from looking too spam-y. Hashtags that are essential to include are ones related to your blog (ex: #fashionblogger), your location (#charlestonblogger, #seattleblogger), and/or your mission as a blogger that will be found by people with similar interest as you (#empowerthroughfashion, #feministblogger). Make sure to change out your hashtags from time to time so your posts will be seen by different audiences, and use ones with less than 500,000 uses to gain maximum exposure. Hashtags are hands-down essential, so START USING THEM if you haven’t already.


Another big way I up my engagement on photos is by going to my recent posts and commenting on the people’s post who have commented on mine. I do this right after I post to return the love and give them a way to quickly go to my profile and see my newest post, which they will hopefully like and comment on. Along with scrolling through your live feed and commenting on those posts, writing comments back can create immediate engagement on your new posts. Normally, I spend 30 minutes or so liking and commenting after I post a new Instagram to help with the “marketing” side of posting, and I recommend you to do the same!

Well, there you have it, friends; my Instagram 101 on Getting Engagement. Like I mentioned before, I am far from a pro at this, and these are just tips that have worked for me. Maybe every year I can come back and add something to this post that I’ve learned… I hope you all enjoyed and gained some new ideas on how to run your Instagram to get your comment and like game strong πŸ˜‰ Leave a comment below if there is something that has helped you with engagement that I didn’t mention. Thanks so much for reading, and for all the endless support!!

πŸ’œLove, Olivia


41 thoughts on “Instagram 101: Getting Engagement

  1. This is reallyinteresting and helpful thank ful, my instagram for my blog is still quite small and I thought writing small captions would be better, so will have to try adding a bit more in!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw yay! You should totally try out longer captions, but it really depends on your audience because sometimes those are received better. I just based this post on what works for me, but maybe it’ll work for you too!! Thanks for reading 🌬

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These tips are so useful! Especially the 3,2,1 rule! I’m definitely gonna have to start being a lot more active over on Instagram on other peoples accounts because unlike twitter, where I am often very active, I find it less rewarding. These tips will surely help though! So thanks xπŸ’“

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Olivia!! New blogger and new follower here! Thanks for sharing girl! I also notice when other people who do post anecdotes receiving complaints that they’re too long or wordy – any thoughts on a good balance? πŸ™‚ Also hoping to implement the 3,2,1 rule soon! thanks for sharing!! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw thank you!! I’ve noticed that too, and when personally my “longer” captions are at most 4-5 sentences and then some. I totally get that people don’t want to read an entire essay, so I keep my longer captions on the moderate side and so far it’s worked for me! I’m so glad this helped, and I’m headed to hour blog now πŸ˜„


  4. Yeah I agree that leaving a story+question under your post makes it much more relatable and people like/comment more often.
    But I’ve also noticed that now my engagement is at its lowest point, no matter what I do. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading! And girl, there have been so many times when I though my insta career was over lol, but that’s just how the app works. My engagement will be skyrocketing one month, and I’ll be losing 10+ followers a day the next month. It’s a tough thing to deal with, but keep posting quality and close to your heart content while engaging on other people’s pages, and eventually there will be an upside! πŸ™‚ Also, what’s your insta so I can follow you if I don’t already??

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These all sound so great Olivia! I haven’t heard of the 3,2,1 rule but I’m going to give it a go! I also like the idea of writing more in your caption. I don’t tend to say much, but making a more personalized caption could lead to some fun conversations. I tend to save my wordy thoughts for my blog, but why not do some on Insta as well. Can’t wait for the next installment of this series, Olivia ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post is honestly perfect timing for me!! I just recently decided that I want to put more effort and work into my instagram account, because it is a really useful tool to get to know other bloggers and to work with brands. But my little insta account is still very little, so I’ll definitely neeed your advice this month! Thanks for this post, I’ll use what I just learned πŸ˜‰
    love, elena

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is really helpful for small instagramers like me πŸ˜‹ thank you so much for sharing πŸ‘πŸ‘ I loved the way you explained it all…… I will definitely try all the tips….. 😁
    My Instagram username is @diy_empress if anyone wants to follow 😍😁
    Here’s the direct link……
    And yes I am eagerly waiting for more tips and tricks πŸ€—πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Instagram 101: Getting Real | Absolutely Olivia

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  12. Super helpful tips! I’ll definitely have to try these out, starting with using the 3 2 1 method on your account. πŸ˜‰ Also, I love your outfit and posing! You look so stylish.

    Miles of smiles,

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: How to Pose for Instagram Photos!! (part 1) | Absolutely Olivia

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