Top 3 (Unconventional) Ways to Boost Engagement

If you have a public Instagram account that you wish to promote, getting onto Instagram’s Explore page is one of the many ways to increase your engagement and your follower count. While Instagram’s full algorithm is certainly more complex, your posts’ levels of engagement play a part in whether you are featured.

What is Engagement?

Engagement refers to the number of likes, views (only applicable to videos) and comments received on each post. In influencer marketing, engagement is an important metric in deciding how popular an account is and therefore correlates strongly with how much an influencer is paid. While follower count is also important, since it means that the influencer’s post is likely to reach a larger audience, a higher engagement suggests that the posts made by a particular influencer are more relevant to their audience. Marketing attempts are hence more likely to have a positive impact on their target audience.

Top 3 Unconventional Ways to Boost Engagement

This generation’s digital natives have definitely mastered the various methods of increasing engagement on their public instagram accounts. Here are the 5 of the methods they frequently employ.

I. Making Interaction a Challenge

Typically, users “like” a post if they enjoy the content and comment if there is something interesting about the photograph or video. However, this would not leave individuals with many likes or comments, and certainly not enough for them to appear on Instagram’s Explore page. In order to increase the number of likes, views and comments on a post, some users have taken to making interaction a challenge.

Transform “Liking” into a Game
One of these methods involves getting Instagrammers to double-tap on a post with a part of their body that is not their fingers. On the one hand, users get the pleasure of attempting a challenge, since double-tapping on a small screen with any part of one’s body other than one’s fingers is actually quite a difficult task. On the other hand, once the action is complete, users have “liked” the post, and therefore increased engagement levels on said post.

BET You Can’t Double Tap with your Tongue! #instagram #Game

A post shared by DjProstyle Prostyle Power1051 (@prostyle) on

Billed as a #game, user @prostyle encourages users to double-tap on the photograph with their tongue.

Double Tap in 0.6 Seconds! ❤️ – Follow @humorshub for more❗️

A post shared by Memes ? (@humorshub) on

@humorshub asking Instagrammers to double-tap in 0.6 seconds.

Liking a post, which is meant to signify interest in the content of the post, has now been made into a game. The game itself is meaningless insofar as the rules of the game are not and cannot be policed–there is no way for anyone to know if the user has actually succeeded in liking the post with their tongue, or whether they managed to double-tap in 0.6 seconds–but users participate anyway, in part because of the challenge the game presents.

Comment (insert word) letter by letter without being interrupted

Hold your breathe? Follow @pseudomemez Comment DONE letter by letter if you passed!

A post shared by Try to follow with your nose?? (@memefinest) on

In this post, user @memefinest asks Instagrammers to comment with the word “done” letter by letter. Unlike the double-tapping challenges mentioned above, this challenge can actually be policed–there is the chance that an Instagrammer attempting this could be interrupted at any point of time by another Instagrammer, thus causing the individual to fail in their attempt. Naturally, the longer the word, the more difficult the challenge is. Other variations also include asking users to comment with their top 5 most frequently used emojis without being interrupted.

In this case, the Instagrammer who owns the account gets a four-fold increase in the number of comments. The longer the word, the more the number of comments in the post. While this may seem like an obvious ploy to gain comments quickly, a quick look at the comments section of this post suggests that at least some of the users who have seen the post do indeed try to do as suggested.

In addition, @memefinest adds a caption that transforms the post into a challenge in more than one way, by inspiring those who see the post to complete another task (to follow another meme account, @pseudomemez) in addition to the one above before posting the letters D-O-N-E in succession.

II. Offering (Unredeemable) Rewards or Punishments

Similar to the concept of chain mails of the 1990s and early 2000s, some Instagram users gain “likes” by offering intangibles such as “luck”, “love” and “wealth” to those who double-tap their posts. This plays on users’ desires to obtain favors, particularly individuals who have something they deem important going on in their lives and hope to gain that extra boost.

?? #doubletap #dt @verzuhdoesgfx

A post shared by #stayActive (@localrobbie) on

On the flip side, others claim that users will be visited by demons or other supernatural entities if they do not like, comment or follow the poster within a certain amount of time. While this is unlikely to work for adults aside from those who are particularly superstitious, it is likely to have an effect on teenagers, who would rather play it safe than sorry.

Last image in a slideshow series on @hoodcumedy’s Instagram account

In the same way that forwarding (or not forwarding) a chain mail is unlikely to have any real effects on one’s life, following (or not following) the instructions on these posts is unlikely to affect users in any tangible manner. Yet, what such posts do is to play on users’ fears and desires in order to get them to interact with a post, and these strategies are successful in the same way that chain mails of the past were.

III. Separate Instructions Using Slideshow Format

Instagram introduced its slideshow format in February 2017 and what better way to use them than to provide different instructions for users on each of the slideshow images. This is otherwise known as the catch-all method where all of the methods mentioned above can be combined under one slideshow, so that a user who is not motivated to double-tap on an image with their elbow can double-tap it within 3 seconds for their crush to notice them or follow the user for good luck.

In the example above, while the first two images are memes, the penultimate image asks users to comment with an emoji nine times in a row without being interrupted and the final image leads users to post a comment.

None of these methods are exhaustive and teenagers are always coming up with new ways to boost their follower, like and comment counts. While we do not recommend using any of these methods, it is always helpful to take note of what solutions are available if you have a small public account that you wish to publicize.

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