Tips to Master The Instagram Algorithm
Everyone has heard of Instagram’s algorithm and some have experienced the pain it has caused.
After all, it’s old news as the logic by which the posts on our feeds where sorted was updated way back in 2016.
Unfortunately, there are still millions of people who have no idea how to deal with the problem the algorithm changes created.
“Facebook, Instagram, even Twitter – all of them constantly develop their websites and mobile apps in hopes to bring only the best features to their users.
But the problem is that it doesn’t always happen that way and we are left with confusing algorithms supposedly hiding our posts from the feeds of our followers,” says Marie Fincher, head of content at Studicus and Trust My Paper.
Dakota Shane published in Inc.com
In my opinion, the market is what ultimately decides what to do with your product. While you certainly can engineer an app to influence user behavior, at the end of the day, once it’s out in the world it takes on a life of its own.
Dakota Shane Co-founder, Copy Buffs
We suspect that these Algorithm changes are motivated to force users to spend money on ads.
Some believe the algorithm changes are designed to reward great content and encourage the “ideal” user to continue curating great content.
Luckily for brands and businesses, there are some ways you can get through and reach the top spots on the feeds of your followers.
Here are nine tips to master the Instagram algorithm.
Improve Photo Quality
One of the key metrics that decide whether or not your post should appear higher in someone’s feed is the quality of your content.
Instagram has stated that the algorithm favors posts of those users with whose content you engage with the most.
What this means for you is that your followers must interact with your posts for them to appear again and again in their feeds.
In order for your followers to interact with your content, you must deliver the best visual experience, which means improving the quality of your photographs.
The average person or small business cannot afford to hire a professional photographer or even buy a better camera , not to mention the cost of editing the pictures with the help of software like Adobe Photoshop.
The most effective method for the average person to capture Social Media content is to user your Smartphone.
- You always have it with you,
- Most phones have a high quality camera,
- Most phones have editing apps included in the bundle that comes with most phones.
- It’s the easiest method to create and publish content in a few easy steps.
Publish Consistent Stories
Instagram stories are supposedly not influenced by the algorithm, so you might be wondering if it’s even worth bothering posting them at all.
Well, the funny thing is that Stories have their own logic of a kind and they can also engage users very well.
Stories are easier to produce, they are loved by the majority of users, and they can encourage your followers to interact with your traditional posts.
By publishing consistent Stories, you move yourself to the top of your followers’ Stories feed.
This means that you will keep popping up to them and they will eventually start interacting with your usual content more and you will get to the top of their traditional feed.
Include More Video Content
Not only does the mere fact that your followers are engaging with your content matter, but so does the duration of this engagement.
The more time someone spends scrolling through posts on your profile or looking at a certain post, the better for you.
This, of course, means that videos are what you need to focus on.
With the help of Animoto, you can create easy animated videos, or you can record something from real life and post it on Instagram.
But don’t forget that there are different types of videos that are all effective:
- Video Post: This is just a video posted like you would post an image on your traditional feed.
- Time-Lapse & Boomerangs: These are videos that can also be posted on your traditional feed, but they may work better in attracting attention as they are edited in a certain way.
- IGTV: A somewhat new feature for posting longer videos (the usual duration is 1 minute, but with IGTV, you can publish videos up to 60 minutes long)
- Stories: Videos on Stories can be anything from a normal one to a boomerang to a time-lapse.
- Live: Live streams will be discussed in the next tip.
Go Live More Often
Going live is an easy way to appear at the top of your followers’ Stories feed and make them get a notification about you going live.
Live streams don’t really influence the algorithm directly, but they can increase the activity of your followers encouraging them to check out your content which will then lead to your posts appearing in their feeds.
Write Compelling Captions
Just like improving your photo quality will attract more attention to your content, writing compelling captions will improve your engagement metrics.
Likes and comments matter tremendously, and by crafting the right caption, you can encourage those.
Instagram Captions Will Make You Tons Of Cash. Here’s How!
For instance, adding a call to action or asking your followers a question will prompt them to leave a comment under your post.
Pictures speak louder than words, but you mustn’t forget about the magic of written content.
Run Contests & Giveaways
Contests and giveaways are perhaps the best way to drive engagement to your profile.
You might have noticed that contest and giveaway posts are usually the best-performing ones with the most number of likes and comments.
But there’s actually a way to channel these to your other posts.
Here are 4 ways Social media contests increase Brand awareness:
- Engagement helps boost visibility
- Incentives inspire engagement
- Collecting data fuels future campaigns
- Contests Boost word-of-mouth
- How to Run an Instagram Contest?
In order to host an effective contest or giveaway, keep in mind such things:
- Think Through The Rules: Will your followers have to like the post and tag three friends in the comments or will they have to create their own content to participate? What you choose largely depends on your aims. User-generated content can be a great way to get more exposure, while comments and likes can increase your overall engagement.
- Come Up With Prizes: Prizes should be somewhat of a compromise. These are what you are willing to give away for free, but also something that holds value to your followers.
- Set A Deadline: In order to create urgency and encourage people to participate faster, set a deadline not too far away.
What better way to get your posts noticed than to include the relevant hashtags and make them more discoverable?
- Hashtags don’t work anymore . . . unless you use this strategy.
- What is a Hashtag?
- The key is to identify Micro Niche hashtags.
- Why should I use hashtags?What is the most valuable Social Media engagement?
- Why are Comments better than Likes or Followers?
- Use this formula to calculate your engagement score:
- The key is to identify Micro Niche hashtags.
- How do I find the Best hashtags?
- What are bad hashtags?What happens when I try to use a restricted hashtag?
- What is the correct amount of hashtags to use on a post?
- What is the best strategy for hashtags?
- Use item specific or niche hashtags
- To gain visibility in your niche You must identify Micro Niche Hashtags.
- Follow these steps to find Micro Niche Hashtags
The best number of hashtags to add to a post is 9, because it prevents you from looking like a spammer and balances out the lack of hashtags at the same time.
Post at The Right Time
Contrary to popular belief, publishing during the day can yield better results than early in the morning or late in the evening.
This is probably because, during the latter two, people are usually busy with getting ready for work or coming back home and getting rest.
But, of course, everyone’s audience is different, so these hours may work better for you.
Experiment and see when your followers are most active and try to post at that time.
Be More Active
Lastly, don’t be afraid to post more!
By scheduling more content for different days with the help of CoSchedule or simply posting whenever you feel like, you will not do any harm to your overall performance.
As long as your content is of good quality, there will always be an audience for it.
To sum up, there is no way that we can predict how many times Instagram will change its algorithm in the future.
What we can do is put all of our efforts into dealing with this issue.
Use these tips to get through to your followers and master the Instagram algorithm.