Convincing your audience to save and share your posts isn’t easy.
You need to give your followers a reason.
Without one, you won’t see results from your social media strategy.
How do you drive more action on your Instagram posts?
1. A heavy dose of human psychology
2. Irresistible content hooks
3. Instagram post ideas that thrive off emotion and deliver results.
Here’s how to use all three of these concepts to increase Instagram engagement, attract new followers, and create more unique and creative Instagram posts.
The Psychology Behind Saving and Sharing Content
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You’re doom scrolling on Instagram. Skimming post after post until suddenly you stop.
A Reel grabs your attention. You watch it. On repeat.
You feel compelled to share it on your Instagram Story and send it to your best friend.
Why is that?
To understand the psychology behind social media sharing, let’s look at the six principles Jonah Berger discusses in his New York Times bestseller, “Contagious: Why Things Catch On.”
• Social Currency: Does it make us look good? Let’s share it!
• Triggers: A word, phrase or image associated with a positive message about your brand.
• Emotion: When we care about something, we share it.
• Public: Built to show, built to grow.
• Practical Value: Is the content helpful and useful?
• Stories: Create branded content ideas that tell a story
In a nutshell, you share something on social media when it connects to you as an individual.
Whether it’s funny, relatable, or political, you want to share how you perceive the world with others. Your sharing habits reflect your tastes and how you see yourself.
For example, if you don’t believe in astrology, you’ll never share a Taurus meme with your best friend and caption it, “This is us.”
Creating a Content Hook
Next, you need to create a hook for your Instagram post idea.
What is a content hook?
It’s a technique to grab the attention of your Instagram followers. Usually, it’s a catchy headline or sentence at the beginning of your post that piques curiosity in the topic of the content.
Your hook might be “Top 5 Secret Waterfalls in South Africa” in a Reel or feed post.
Using emotive language like “secret” plants a seed of curiosity and makes the post more engaging. It creates an open loop in the person’s mind, and it’s human behavior to want to close it.
5 Unique Instagram Post Ideas That’ll Increase Engagement
Now that we have looked at the foundations of creating more engaging Instagram posts.
1. Bust a Common Misconception in Your Industry
“You cannot grow your business on Instagram. Anyone that says you can is lying. Here’s why.”
What a spicy take, right?
It’s probably left you feeling intrigued, defensive, or annoyed.
You want to know more and give your hot take on the situation.
That’s the feeling you want to invoke when creating your Instagram content ideas.
How can you incorporate this into your strategy?
Think about the common beliefs in your industry, list everything you disagree with and create content busting those misconceptions.
Here are some examples:
• “Solo travel isn’t safe for women. You’re looking for trouble.”
• “You need to be a native English speaker to write English content.”
• “It’s a bad idea to travel to Pakistan.”
What makes this post idea work so well?
You’re creating informative, relatable, and controversial content. It’s going to spark a conversation and challenge people’s perspectives.
You’re playing into the psychology of people wanting to share beliefs that resonate with them as well as the internet’s favourite past-time: stirring the pot.
Users will comment and share the post whether they agree or disagree with you, helping to expand your organic reach and attract an audience who resonates with your beliefs.
2. Share Unique Statistics, Interesting Facts or Your Process
Did you run a survey with your audience and have some interesting statistics to share about the state of your industry?
Create multiple carousel posts discussing your findings with actionable takeaways.
No unique data? No problem.
Share interesting facts.
Let’s say you’re a travel blogger. You can create Instagram Stories and posts around unique and interesting facts about a destination.
For example, did you know Amsterdam has the highest concentration of museums per square metre of any city worldwide?
Sharing statistics, facts or how you achieved something helps you create educational and entertaining content. It fosters self-involvement and community involvement.
As the sharer, you gain attention by sharing insider information and spreading a valuable message that can help others.
That’s what makes it highly savable.
These snippets of information are something someone can refer back to time and time again. People will want to come back to it later.
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3. Use The Power of FOMO and Scarcity
FOMO (the fear of missing out) is an incredible marketing tool.
How good is it?
According to research, 60% of sales are driven by FOMO marketing. But what makes it such a powerful technique?
It exploits a classic psychological loophole. Our minds are wired so that we fear missing out on incredible opportunities.
If you have a launch coming up, adding FOMO to your posts is the secret sauce to creating a successful Instagram marketing strategy.
You have a new line of activewear launching next month. To drum up excitement, you start sharing sneak peeks of the upcoming collection.
Some of your product posts include:
• Different ways to style your new items.
• A before-and-after or behind-the-scenes content (e.g. your original sketch idea for the final product).
• Product info sheets.
These post ideas make your audience invested in the process.
But what adds extra spice to this strategy is that it directly opposes our culture of instant gratification.
Users cannot get their hands on your product until the launch date, and this increases saves and shares while bringing the anticipation to a fever pitch.
When you tie this to a timeliness factor like “limited edition drop” or “only 10 spots available”, you create scarcity as well, giving users even more reason to save the post and come back to your page for the launch.
4. Post Quick-Win Video Tutorials
Tutorials are full-proof content ideas that’ll boost engagement with your target audience.
Why? You’re teaching users how to do something.
As long as that’s valuable, easily achievable and gets results, it will always perform well.
But here’s the thing.
Tutorials are common Instagram post ideas.
So how do you make yours stand out?
Distil the information you want to share and create quick-win hacks.
• If you’re a make-up artist, show users with hooded eyes an easy 3-step tutorial for winged eyeliner.
• If you’re a copywriter coach, show your audience one hack that’ll transform their writing.
• If you’re a photographer, show users one tip to improve their edits on Lightroom.
By keeping your tutorial simple and quantifiable, you’re increasing its value and avoiding drop-off.
If you through too much at people, the tutorial becomes confusing, and people lose interest.
When you focus on creating hyper-specific tutorials that deliver quick wins, your post feels more achievable.
Think about it.
Doing “one thing” sounds more manageable than “follow my 27-step process.”
That’s not the best part.
The easier your tutorial is for someone to achieve, they’ll likely share their result, generating valuable user-generated content. Encourage followers to tag you, and you’ll increase your reach, brand recognition and influence at the same time.
5. Create Mini Slideshows
Everybody loves an educational Instagram post. But reading a long caption? Not so much.
What’s the solution?
Make the information more digestible by turning it into a carousel post. Put one idea on each slide and keep your sentences short and sweet.
@the.holistic.psychologist used this post idea to explode her Instagram growth.
In each post, you learn about a specific problem (e.g. anxious attachment style) and how to overcome it.
It makes her content relatable to the users who feel seen and savable because it’s valuable information you’ll want to read over and over again.
It wouldn’t have the same impact if she put all the information in a lengthy caption.
The slideshow effect is more visually appealing and helps our brains process and digest information faster.
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P.S. Canva (which you can use right within your Plann workspace!) has a tonne of free templates you can use for your carousel posts!
Plann Your Instagram Post Ideas
Ready to turn your Instagram engagement rate around?
Sign up for a 7-day free trial of Plann Pro and score the all-in-one social media suite you need for your Instagram strategy. Use a drag-and-drop visual planner, score done-for-you content prompts, leverage thousands of high-performing hashtags, and so much more.
P.s. Looking to create more social posts across more platforms? With Plann’s cross-post feature, you can maximize your social presence and work smarter, not harder.