So, according to Sprout Social, mentioning an Instagram handle in the caption of your posts increases audience engagement by up to 56 percent. If true, that's pretty impressive.
(Like anything with Instagram, what works today might not work tomorrow, so you have to stay vigilant.)
I've been trying this hack out at the F45 gym I do the Instagram for and it seems to be working right now. We got a lot of traffic and a few new followers in a short amount of time on one lazy Saturday afternoon when the engagement was down and I tried the trick out.
The theory behind the @mention hack is something like ... Imagine your post winding up on a stranger's feed. Would that stranger know who you are? As Instagram still doesn't let you post a clickable link in your caption, what do you do instead?
Well, you got to post the IG handle of whatever it is that you sell even if that @mention is exactly the same handle you are posting from. This will allow newcomers to tap on a direct link as if they were clicking on a URL. Your Instagram handle is like the modern day website, so I advise you to use it like one.
This is not the only way to increase engagement, though. The @mention doesn't always have to be your own. If you are just your everyday party girl posting pictures of your nights out, then find somewhere in your post's caption to mention the IG handles of the bar you are at or the friends you are with.
This doesn't mean that you still shouldn't tag other users in your posts. You definitely still should, but I also recommend finding a creative way to neatly add in those physical IG handles to your posts.
Adding in those @mentions within your caption will add yet another solid layer to your posts that allow you to stand out from the rest. After all, you never know when that one photo of your spicy tequila margarita will hit the mark, aka the IG Explore page.