PSSST! I’m gonna let you in on a little (okay HUGE) secret about Instagram marketing…

Getting more followers isn’t the answer to all your problems!

You don’t juuuust want followers.

You want followers that engage.

Because really, if you can’t get someone to like your photo, how are you going to get them to BUY from you right?

You need the likes and comments that will make your account look professional, valuable, and genuine to help you get sales!

So if you feel like you’re posting on Instagram, but are talking to yourself on there, I’ve got the type of post you’ve been missing out on.

(And it’s gonna seem super obvious once you learn it… and that’s ‘cause it IS super simple and you can literally create one right now and post it today).

It’s the Engagement Post.

Yep, there are certain post qualities that direct your followers to engage. And if you aren’t including them, that explains why you aren’t getting the engagement you’re after.

The first rule of Engagement Posts = you have to post content that your audience wants to see and cares about.

That’s step one. Without that, engagement would be like climbing the Cliffs of Insanity without Fezzik. Yep, INCONCEIVABLE!


The next step, is adding the elements that naturally encourage engagement to your posts.

And that’s exactly what I will be teaching you how to do in this lesson.

So whether you need to start getting more likes and comments on your account, or if you’re just in a lull and need a boost, I’m going to teach you what the parts of a successful engagement post are, and how to include them in your posts.

Just apply what you learn in this blog post and you’ll be able to create an active and engaging account where your followers love your stuff enough to like, comment, and even tag their friends.

Little-Known (But Important!) Perks of Engagement On Your Instagram Account

But first, I gotta clear something up…

You don’t just want engagement so you won’t feel like you’re talking to yourself on your Instagram.

Yeah it feels great of course, but there are 3 other main reasons why engagement is super important for your account:





You want your followers to be an active part of your Instagram account. the more active they are, the easier it is to get them to take actions that are going to grow your business.

(Things like, “click the link in bio to shop now/join our newsletter!”)

You know the whole, “a body in motion stays in motion” thing…


So it’s going to be a lot harder to get your followers to take an action like “buy” if they don’t even like or comment.

You want to “train” them to engage, and it will make your life a heck of a lot easier when it comes time to ask them to buy!




The more poppin’ your account is, the more legit you look to potential followers.

(And you know, the more legit and credible you look, the better your chances are of turning them into followers.)

Think about it…

If you’re walking around downtown picking a place to eat at, you’re not gonna choose the empty restaurant with no customers… you’re gonna choose the one where you see lots of people who look like they are enjoying their meals!

It’s the same way when a potential follower comes across your account.

Those likes and comments you get on your posts are like little testimonials telling your potential followers that there is something worth following here.




It’s no secret:

The better you know your audience, the better you can sell to them!

And even when you think you know you audience well, you can always learn something new. Getting to know your audience is a forever-process, so never assume you know everything there is to know about them!  

When you get your followers to engage with your posts, you learn what they care about. If they take the time to like, comment, or tag a friend, you know there was something about that post that made it worth taking the time to do that.

paper.and.paste_engagement_post See, now @paper.and.paste knows which prints are more popular with their followers! BOOM, engagement + awesome feedback all in one!

Options for Engagement Posts

There are a few different types of engagement you can get from your followers, and it’s a good idea to mix up your engagement posts to encourage all of them.

  1. Like (or Double-Tap)

MF_engagement 2. Comment


3. Tag a Friend


Or a combo of those 3:


The Levels of Instagram Engagement

Now, not all of these types of engagement are created equal!

Let me explain…

What engagement “actions” you can get your followers to take depends on how much they love your post.




If your followers like one of your posts, they will probably literally just “like it”.

If they really like your post and you speak to them on a deeper level, you might get a comment out of them.

If they really REALLY like your post and your whole feed, they might tag a friend because “this is totally great and my friend would benefit from this too!”  

So if you want those deeper levels of engagement, you’re going to have to really REALLY know your followers and relate your posts to them.


The Key Behind Getting Your Followers to Engage: Make It About THEM!

I know you want to let yourself be seen behind your products so you don’t come across as any other sales-y business BUT sharing too much about yourself is not the way to connect to your followers/customers on a more personal and genuine level.

And this is where a LOT of sellers overthink things.

Engagement is simple.

Your Instagram is where you have convos with your followers, and engagement is just them responding to you!

So think of Instagram engagement as a 2 way convo where you focus on THEM.

And as with any convo, you have to know who you’re talking to if you want them to really hear you.

Speak to the Right Audience

And this usually doesn’t mean change WHO you’re talking to… it means you might have to change the way you talk in order to attract and relate to the right kind of people (that fit under your Buyer Personas and target audience).

If you haven’t created your own Buyer Personas yet, click here to learn how to get all the important info you need about your target audience.

If you want someone to listen to your point of view in a convo, you have to prove that you understand them and their point of view.

Same idea with your Instagram captions.

How to Write Your Own Captions!

Your post image is the first thing people see, making it suuuuper important (since Instagram is so visually-based). But your captions are just as important, because the words you use are powerful in directing action from your followers.

Let’s make sure your captions work together with your post images to get that engagement you need!

The best Instagram captions:

  • relate to your followers/customers
  • direct your followers to take action (tell them what, where, and how)
  • are engaging (followers WANT to keep reading)
  • use your brand’s voice

If a product post:

  • highlight the value your followers would get from your product

And remember, it’s a 2 way convo where you focus on THEM.

Engagement Post Caption Formula

To makes things easier on ya, I’ve come up with a formula here to help you write your own captions. As long as you make sure you have a good image and both pieces of the formula, your captions will be set up to get the engagement you’re after!

Engaging question or statement that relates to your followers + CTA




PS. “What’s a CTA?”

A Call-to-Action!

It’s literally the action you want your followers to take in word form.

EX: “Comment below with yes or no!”

DISCLAIMER: Your captions could be longer than this, and you’ll want to use your own voice and tone. This formula is just there to make sure you have the most important parts!  

Here’s an example with the caption formula in action:

How to Start Getting Engagement on Your Instagram Right Now:

Just Remember: Engagement = relating your post to your followers enough that they feel connected to it or care about it in a strong way, making them feel inclined to join the convo.

AND: Every post should have one goal.

What you can do right now is test an engagement post out on your audience.

Step 1: Ask yourself,


“What do I want to get out of this post?”

“How do I want my audience to respond?”

ex: Likes, comments, followers?


Step 2: Find an image that your audience would like

  • add the CTA in your image (optional, but recommended!)

Step 3: Write your caption

  • relate to your audience
  • include a CTA telling them exactly what action to take

Step 4: Post & Learn From It

  • If you don’t get the engagement you wanted, tweak your next engagement post to make it better. (Try relating to your audience better in your caption, post at a different time, try a different kind of engagement, etc)
  • If it didn’t work, try something different next time! (If you test one element at a time, you’ll be able to figure out what part of your post is stopping you from getting engagement. EX: test the same kind of engagement post at different times to see if TIME is the unsuccessful factor. You can test captions, types of images, etc!)

An there you have it. You can start learning from your audience and upgrading your Instagram posts today to get more engagement (and more sales) from your followers!

If you liked what you read here, I’ve got something else you need to really nail down your engagement success! In the MadeFreshly Instagram Hashtag Boot Camp I will walk you through the 2 different types of hashtags (most people don’t even know about the first!), how to find the right ones for your business specifically, and how to use them on Instagram to get you more of the right followers that will buy from you.

Click here for more information!


Rachel Daley
Rachel is the resident Content Fairy at MadeFreshly, the ecommerce platform that makes your passion pay off. Click here to get her actionable tips and inspiration for entrepreneurs every week!