Has Instagram been giving you a hard time lately? Do you see your engagement drop? No matter how hard you try, your posts just don’t seem to be performing as well as they used to?
Fret no more because in this case, it (most likely) is a case of “it’s not you, it’s m…Instagram.” The app notoriously likes to switch up their algorithm and if you want to survive, nay, thrive, you’d better keep up.
These days, it’s all about engagement. Instagram wants to see your audience interact with you and vice versa. A high engagement rate indicates that your content is being well-received, which encourages the algorithm to keep pushing it. If you’re lucky, you could even make it to the ‘Explore’ page! But in any case, a high engagement rate will magnify your reach.
So how can you bend the algorithm to your will? We’ve compiled a handy list of tips that you can immediately put to work.
The Instagram algorithm responds well to consistency, meaning: be a little more strategic about your time of posting. If you go to your Instagram Insights (only available for those with a business profile), you can check out the best times for you to post, based on when your followers are most active. Post accordingly!
Instagram is all about sharing, so do just that: tell your story. And we don’t mean just the good parts.
People have had it with picture-perfect feeds. Nowadays, they want authenticity. Realness. We’re not saying you have to be an open book and show everything but allow your followers a peek behind the scenes. Let them in, even if it’s just a little bit. This will instantly make them feel more connected to you and thus more likely to engage with your content.
A simple way to enhance this feeling of community is by writing longer captions. Images are still hugely important, of course, but invest some time in writing honest and meaningful captions, and you’ll get to know the power of ‘caption first.’ It gives people more material to relate to and react to. And if you end with a question or a clear CTA, they probably will.
Another great way to let your audience get to know you is by hosting an Instagram Live. If you’re a bit intimidated, you can involve another influencer – which will give you more exposure! Talk about a win-win.
When you post a story, go all out. Instagram has incorporated so many options to involve your followers; it’s not just about static updates anymore. Make them dynamic, but more importantly, make them interactive if you can: do a Q&A, create a poll or quiz, insert stickers, create a buzz for something with the countdown function, repost user-generated content, etc.
Have fun with it, mix it up, find what works for you. These types of experiments will help encourage interaction with your followers, which again builds a stronger community.
P.S.: After you try so hard to involve your followers, don’t leave them hanging: like and respond! Don’t just watch the conversation; join it.
The addition of Reels allows you to maximize your use of the app, improve the interaction with your audience and centralize all content marketing efforts. You don’t have to divide your energy over different platforms anymore; now, you can focus it all in one place. And your followers just have to open Instagram to see it all.
And why not give it a try? They’re easy (and fun) to make, very popular, and unbelievably shareable.
Create shareable and ‘saveable’ content
We’re talking about tutorials, tips, infographics, or quotes. All types of informational, educational, and inspiring content that will get people to either save or share your post(s). Anything that you feel might be relatable to your followers.
As stated above, this works great in Reels format, but using carousels is also a great plan. Each picture in a carousel increases your chances of being shared, so incorporate carousels into your strategy.
‘Saves’ have turned out to be quite the engagement boosters as well. Not only do they retain the audience’s attention, but they also encourage followers to return to your post, leading to even more impressions. (link to metrics blogpost) Plus, if a lot of people save your post, they must genuinely find it valuable, which is an excellent indicator that what you’re doing works.
Boost your best-performing posts and stories
When you hit the engagement jackpot and notice that one of your posts is performing really well, don’t be scared to give it an extra boost.
Instagram encourages users to spend some money on boosting their posts, so you’ll surely be rewarded with more visibility if you use this option. And why not? More visibility on an already engaging post means more interaction, more engagement, more reach, and more followers.
Want to learn even more about the algorithm and how you can conquer it? Grab a notepad and watch our free webinar now!