Trying to grow on Instagram may at times be very frustrating. The algorithm seems to change every other month and once you figured out, what works best for you, it looks all different again. This article provides 5 tips on how to beat the Instagram algorithm and therefore be less frustrated with the platform.
Instagram has been founded in October 2010 and just celebrated its ten-year anniversary. Today, it’s hard to imagine a world without this platform. It is not only used for sharing private photos and videos from our last vacation: A lot of businesses rely on it as a marketing platform. According to Instagram statistics, there are more than a billion active users monthly and more than 25 million businesses on the platform. These numbers may seem overwhelming or even off-putting for someone who wants to start their own account. However, there’s always space for more good content and as long as you don’t want to become the next Kim Kardashian, you might as well just dive into it. This article is a starter guide for Instagram and provides 5 do’s and don’ts regarding the algorithm. Before getting into the tips, there is an important fact about the Instagram feed you need know: Ever since the algorithm was introduced in 2017, the feed is no longer chronologically ordered. Instead, posts are ordered by relevance.
There are three factors that measure the relevance of a post:
- Engagement: Views, likes, and comments a post gets
- Interaction time: The longer a person looks at a post the better
- Type of content: the platform analyses what type of post an account usually interacts with and pushes that content
The algorithm is powered by machine learning and therefore changes constantly. Here’s how to still be successful on Instagram:
1/ Create original content
If you want to stand out amidst all the other accounts, it is important to create original content. Do not use stock photos to get your message across. Rather, we suggest you take the photos yourself even if they’re not always perfect. Additionally, having real people on your posts now and then helps your followers to connect with you.
2/ Know when to post
Knowing when your followers are online is very important in order to get maximum engagement. Setting up a free business account is recommended. With a business account you’ll have access to the Instagram insights, which are interesting statistics about your posts and your followers. This is how you’ll be able to see on which days and at what time your followers usually are online.
3/ Post frequently and consistently
Another important tip is to post frequently and consistently. In order to follow this tip, you don’t have to post daily. Instead, find out what suits you best. If it’s three posts a week, that’s fine. The important thing is to maintain this frequency. This helps Instagram to know that you’re a quality account. Planning and scheduling your posts beforehand can help in being consistent. A useful tool for this is the Facebook Creator Studio.
4/ Insert a call-to-action
Your aim is to get your followers to interact with your content. Inserting a call-to-action is a good way to improve your engagement. Ask your followers questions and animate them to comment on your post or redirect them to your website.
5/ Use hashtags
Hashtags are a vital part when growing on Instagram. Of course, you want your follower to see your posts and interact with them but you also want to gain new followers and tell them about your business and what you’re offering. Attracting new people to your account can be achieved through the use of the right hashtags. For some time now, you can not only follow accounts but also hashtags. If you specialize on interior design for example you can reach new people by using #interiordesign. Other accounts that follow this hashtag will see your post. If your content is original and interesting, they might be intrigued and follow your account. However, when you just started on Instagram, it won’t do you any good to use Hashtags that have already been used 4M times. The algorithm will push larger accounts more and your post is not likely to be featured on other users’ feeds. Via the search on the Instagram app you can check if your hashtag is suitable for your account. As we can see from the picture below, #interiordesign is popular and therefore not recommended for small accounts.
Similarly, if you use hashtags that are too specific and have been used on less than 100 posts, you won’t get a lot of views either. Finding the right hashtags is worth investing your time for. When starting on Instagram, try to focus on hashtags in the range 100+ – 5000+. As you grow gradually, you can up your game. Last but not least, it’s crucial to change up your hashtags every so often. Instagram will analyze your use of hashtags and if you always type in the same ones, the platform won’t push your content anymore.
Being active on Instagram may sound like it’s very complicated. Once you get the hang of the different features though, it’s really not. The 5 tips mentioned above will help you to beat the algorithm and have a successful growing account on the platform.