If you use Instagram, then you have no doubt seen a change in your engagement. This is because with the new Instagram algorithm your post only goes to 10% of your followers! Why is this? Well, Instagram’s new algorithm shows posts of accounts you engage with the most first on your feed. That being said, if your engagement is down to begin with, then your posts aren’t being seen. Today we are going to dive into what you can do to counter the algorithm and get that engagement up.
Timing Is Everything
The time of the post is often neglected by many. Timing is one of the most critical factors in your Instagram post. Check your analytics, when are you followers engaging most with your posts? Also, think about when you engage with Instagram posts. For example, posting at 2 pm on a Wednesday probably isn’t the best idea because most people are at work. However, if you were to post at 11 am, you might catch people as they go on lunch and are looking at their phones. Experiment with some time slots and see what works best for you.
Take Advantage Of Stories
Although Instagram claims stories have no factor in your overall ranking, they are still an overlooked tool. Post a story at least once a day, make the story compelling. Stories are the most used feature on the app and can easily be used to drive traffic to both new posts and your website. The more consistently users are watching your stories, the higher they will appear on their story feed. Consistent quality content is vital, so put some thought into it and make your posts count.
Post More Videos
This is a trend that is only growing on all social media platforms, but especially on Instagram. Video content is skyrocketing in popularity, and it is slowly becoming the standard. Do you want easy engagement? Post an interesting video that your audience will enjoy. The views on the videos matter and will gradually make you climb in their feeds. Take advantage of Instagram TV as well. Instagram announced that IGTV will now appear in your feeds instead of the IGTV section of the app which opens a world of opportunity for users. You don’t have to make a TV show, but make something interesting that you think your niche is interested in.
Improve Your Photo Quality
This is a fairly obvious tip but think about content that goes viral. What characteristics do those posts generally have? Great lighting, sharp colors, and clear subject matter. Take your time with your posts, with this is your brand. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression. From personal experience, I have rushed posts on accounts I managed in the past, and they never perform well. Take some time and learn some basic photoshop or at least spend a good amount of time editing your photos in the Instagram app or photo editing applications.
Captions Are Key
Captions are the key to engagement on Instagram. This is the most significant user error I see on the app. When you make a post, you need to ask questions on that post. For example, if you run a food blog and you post a picture of Spaghetti, you could make your caption “Tonight I made spaghetti.” Now that isn’t going to get any response from your audience, however, if you were to post and make the caption “Tonight we made spaghetti! What are you making tonight?” That opens the door for responses from your followers. Open questions encourage interactions from your audience, and that is a key metric Instagram takes into consideration.
Don’t Stuff Hashtags
We are all guilty of this. You find the best hashtags you can, and you cram as many as possible into the caption. Well, Instagram has caught on to this and now may view this as “hashtag spam.” You want to stick to around ten-fifteen of the best performing hashtags you can find. The overuse of hashtags can lead to Instagram keeping your post reach low. Star slow by experimenting with ten solid hashtags and see if your engagement goes up. Then, slowly add in one or two, but we suggest staying at ten.
Instagram algorithm updates will keep coming, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to grow your engagement naturally. Apply the tips we offered in this article, and you will start to see a boost in your engagement. Be consistent, look at your ideal posting times and above all else post quality content that your followers want to engage with.