How to Engage Followers on Instagram Without Being an Insta Stalker

Scared you might be turning into an #Insta Stalker?

Now that engagement is the most important thing you can earn on Instagram; it’s easy to find yourself obsessing over your followers. Maybe you’re sat refreshing your post, waiting for that coveted like. Perhaps you regularly jump from one profile to another, following people in the hope that they’ll return the favor.

Whatever has you feeling like Penn Badgley from “You,” don’t panic.

There’s a better way to engage your followers without stalking them.

As your resident experts on all-things Instagram, we have some tips on how to connect with your audience and quell your Insta stalker urges.

Let’s get started.

Scene of Penn Badgley in You

1.     Make Your Stories Stickier with Stickers

One of the easiest ways to develop deeper relationships with your followers is to have conversations with them. Unfortunately, Instagram can sometimes feel a little one-sided. You post images, your followers respond, and then the conversation stops.

However, Instagram Stories gives you an alternative mode of interaction – one that’s much more instantaneous. In 2018 and 2019, Stories changed the way that Instagram users think about engagement, by introducing a whole new slew of features. For instance, in the Stickers section of Instagram, you’ll find everything from countdowns to polls.

Here’s how updating your stickers can help you build relationships, without being an Insta Stalker:

  • Countdowns create mutual excitement: The countdown sticker gets your customers counting down with you to a new product release or vlog. Use branded #hashtags to keep the conversation going as your people wait for the big moment.
  • Question stickers show customers you value their thoughts: Ask for your audience’s opinion on anything, and watch your engagement grow. For example, you should ask what your next video should be about, or which product your fans like most.
  • Gif and Emoji stickers: It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who has no personality. Show your human side with playful gifs and emojis. Just remember that they should fit with the nature of your brand.

Examples of Instagram Stories stickers

2.     Get Regramming with User Generated Content

Regramming is a great way to develop deeper relationships with your audience – if you do it correctly. Simply posting someone else’s content on your page without their permission is against the rules. Plus, it’s more likely to make your status as an Insta Stalker grow, instead of developing your relationships with your followers.

Instead, make sure that you’re careful about the way that you embrace user-generated content. For instance, it’s a good idea to invite people to offer their content up for your page. Using a branded hashtag, you can encourage all of your followers to get involved in a competition or respond with a photo or video post to a question.

If someone uses your branded hashtag, you’ll know that they’re comfortable with you regramming them. However, it’s worth making certain that you have their permission first. Remember to give them a shout-out when you post the image too!

3.     Write Longer Captions

People will quickly forget about your Insta Stalker ways if your captions are engaging and poetic.

Most people don’t realize that an Instagram caption can be up to 2,200 characters long. That means you’ve got plenty of space to engage with your audience if you want to use it. The trouble is that most brands ignore their captions completely. They either throw a handful of hashtags in there and call it a day or use a couple of emojis and maybe a sentence of text.

While it’s true that Instagram is more of a visual platform than a text-based one, don’t underestimate your captions.

A great caption can keep your followers on your brand page for longer. What’s more, if you share something valuable, it may improve your chances of making deeper connections with your community. Just remember to maintain the same consistent voice throughout each of your captions. This way, your customers will start to feel familiar with who you are, and what you stand for.

Check out the amazing captions that come with every post on the Airbnb Instagram for example. They help you fall in love with each available property through descriptive words and unique stories:

4.     Schedule Your Instagram Posts

You won’t have to spend as much time acting like an Insta Stalker if you know precisely when to publish your posts for the most engagement. In your Instagram Insights page, check when the majority of your followers come online, and when they’re most likely to like and comment. Once you know the “sweet spots” in your posting schedule, use a tool to automate your posts.

This way, you don’t have to worry about constantly refreshing your posts so you can quickly respond to any comments. You’ll know when your people are most likely to be online, and you can organize your day accordingly.

Remember, anyone with a business account on Instagram has access to Insights, so there’s no excuse for not using it. Once you’ve started to post your content according to a strict schedule, make sure that you track your results. This way, you’ll be the first to know if your engagement starts to dip.

Scheduling your posts will also help you to maintain a more consistent presence on Instagram, which is great for building stronger connections with your target audience. They’ll know when they can rely on you to post something new each day!

5.     Respond to your Followers (Everywhere)

The worst thing you can do when you start automating your Instagram posts is start ignoring your followers. Though automation is helpful, you’ll still need to be active on your comment threads and DMs if you want to build your Instagram brand.

Unfortunately, this means that you do have to be a little bit of an Insta stalker at times. Monitor what your followers are saying about the photos that you post and thank them for their kind comments or tagging friends. If someone says something negative, make sure that you still respond quickly, and try to find a solution to their problem.

As well as tracking the comments on your posts, make sure that you:

  • Pay attention to @Mentions: if someone mentions you in your Instagram story, thank them and @Mention them back.
  • Respond to Direct Messages: Respond to your DMs as often as you can to show that you have a real team behind your profile.
  • Track branded hashtags: Track branded hashtags and company name mentions. This will help you to see when someone’s talking about your company so that you can respond promptly.

While some of these activities may make you feel a little stalkerish at first, it pays to show your people that you’re listening to them. Instagram users like to know that their opinions matter to their favorite influencers and brands.

6.     Open Up About Yourself and Your Brand

Finally, your Instagram followers are less likely to feel like they’re being stalked if they know as much about you as you do about them.

Whether you’re an influencer, an individual, or a company, your followers will expect more from you than just great photos. Your community wants to get to know you. They want to understand your mission, what you stand for, and what you do each day.

Creating a great profile means knowing how to be vulnerable and transparent at times. Don’t just take a picture of your favorite pair of shoes. Tell people the story of where those shoes came from. Let them know how they started to fall apart when you were caught in a rainstorm, and how sad you were.

The more you can share with your community; the more connected your Instagram followers will become. After all, we all build relationships with each other through emotional experiences. Instagram is a great place to tap into emotions because images make us feel things. However, you can’t rely on your photos alone.

Share videos, captions, and even live stories posts where you give people an inside peek into what your brand or profile means. You’ll see more #Authentic Instagram profiles appearing in the year ahead. Now’s the time to get ahead of the bandwagon and show your audience what makes you special.

Let Us Be the Insta Stalker for You

If the battle for Instagram engagement has you feeling like an Insta Stalker, there is a better way. For companies, influencers, and individuals who are tired of the #IG challenge, Upleap offers an easy route. We’ll handle the process of building leads and engagement for you so that you can concentrate on the fun parts!

Reach out to Upleap today and find out how you can start your free trial.

We don’t mind doing the Insta Stalking on your behalf.


By Rebekah Carter

Hi! I'm Rebekah, a full-time writer specializing in the spaces of digital content, business, social media and tech.

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