If you’re using Instagram to market your business, then it’s important for the largest number of people to see your posts. For that to happen, you need to understand and successfully manipulate the current Instagram algorithm.
So what is the current algorithm?
First of all, the algorithm is simply computer code. This code analyzes a person’s activity on Instagram, so it can generate the content it believes is most interesting to that one person and place it towards the top of their timeline.
Be aware, however, this code is unlike the original algorithm Instagram had where photos were organized chronologically.
While time is a factor in what posts get seen first on a feed, there are also other factors, such as if a person is regularly commenting and liking another account’s photos or the number of people they follow.
You might be wondering what you should do to get your content seen.
Well, in this article, I’ll go over seven ways to get around the Instagram algorithm.
1. Utilize the Insights tool
The truth is, if you don’t understand the importance of or how to use the Insights section on your business Instagram account, hacking the algorithm will never work for you.
For a quick explanation as to what Insights is, The Social Media Examiner has you covered: “Instagram Insights is a native analytics tool that provides data on follower demographics and actions, as well as your content.”
So, why is this important? “This information makes it easy to compare content, measure campaigns, and see how individual posts are performing.”
Now that you have an elemental understanding of Insights, be sure to play around with its features to see how your posts are performing.
2. Post when your target market is online
You know that old saying, “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, did it really make a sound?”
It’s the same idea with Instagram.
If you post on the app without checking your Insights to see what times your pictures and stories have the most engagement, then you are wasting your own time.
Just like Ignite Visibility says, “if you post at a time when the lion’s share of your users are online, then you stand a better chance of getting engagements. When that happens, you can expect more impressions.”
Even if you are still trying to maneuver the Insights tool, you can make educated guesses about when to post your content.
Just make sure to keep on practicing the tools that Instagram gives you!
3. Use hashtags
With a lot of Instagram accounts, you can see a trail of hashtags at the end of each post.
Why is that?
Well, hashtags are one of the easiest ways to make your posts more searchable on Instagram.
Therefore, the more hashtags you use, the more likely your posts are to be seen by a wider audience. This is important, because the more people you reach, the more brand recognition you are likely to have.
One tip that the Digital Branding Institute gives is to, “make sure [your hashtags] are relevant. For starters, include about 4 or 5 hashtags per post, all of which must align to your specific content.”
4. Be personable
If you’re a business it might seem obvious to sell your product by exclusively uploading the highest-quality images of your merchandise. You might think a product is just a product.
However, if someone is modeling it or simply in the picture with what you’re selling, there is a higher chance that your market will engage more.
People like seeing people, so it makes sense!
Tami Brehse offers her own example to prove the effectiveness of people-centered pictures: “My posts that had at least one person in them got 14% more impressions and 29% more likes than those without people (like scenic shots and shots of objects).”
Additionally, customers like to feel as though they are engaging with real people rather than a machine, so make sure to personally comment and message back your consumers as well.
5. Watch out for trends you can use
Trendy seems to be a buzz word for every industry these days, but more so for the Instagram community.
Trends are important to a business on Instagram because users are more likely to search for posts and stories related to specific trends.
John Hughes of Member Press gives a great example of how you can use a TV series to market your product when he said, “Consider the widely-popular Game of Thrones series. Prior to its release, some of the world’s largest companies took to social media to promote their products using references to the show.”
6. Step up your story game
One of the “newer” features Instagram has added to its platform within the last couple of years is the ability to go live on your account.
Though going live does not necessarily guarantee that your content will be seen more often by more people, it will send your followers a notification when you do.
The more live notifications your audience will see, the more your brand is constantly on your customers’ minds.
However, just because live stories do not necessarily affect the algorithm, this does not mean you can slack on what you stream.
Make sure your video is high quality, fun, and informative so that your customers know exactly who your brand is. Also, make sure your videos have captions. Even better yet, make them interactive!
According to falcon.io, “Facebook research shows that captioning videos increases average video view times by 12%.”
While adding polls and questions to your video allows you to not only build a deeper connection with your audience, it can also help you grow your reach too.
7. Promote your posts
One way to easily market your brand and get more exposure is by promoting your pictures and paying for ads on Instagram.
Don’t know how?
Riotly Social Media offers a great how-to, “You can create an IG ad yourself by setting a reasonable budget at the beginning to showcase great content and test your results quickly. Another option is to hire an IG ads expert on Upwork. Make sure you ask the freelancer for transparent reporting and a good track record before hiring (ideally in your target niche).”
As you can see, you don’t have to have a team of hackers to crack the Instagram algorithm.
Additional articles you might be interested in:
- How To Utilize Instagram For Business
- How To Keep Publishing New Content Without A Team Of Writers
- 13 Ways To Increase Your Instagram Engagement
- How To Use Every Function On Instagram Stories
- How To Use Instagram Hashtags Correctly
- 10 Influencer Marketing Trends That Will Explode In 2020
- How To Become An Industry Leader
- How To Find Your Target Audience As An Influencer
- 14 Ways To Increase Video Views On Your Instagram Stories
- How To Post Consistent Quality Pictures On Instagram
- How To Discover And Engage Your Target Audience
- 4 Critical Instagram Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business
- How To Auto Post On Instagram And Find The Best Hashtags
- How To Get People To Notice Your Digital Content
Claire Erickson is currently a blogging intern at LadyBossBlogger.com. Claire has just returned from studying abroad at the London College of Fashion and will finish her senior year studying retail merchandising back at her home university – University of Minnesota (Twin Cities). She is looking forward to having a future in buying, trend research, or planning.