4 Ways to Utilize the Instagram Algorithm to Increase Visibility
I can say for certain that we all have a common goal when it comes to Social Media — we all want MORE EYES on our content. Like, NOW! If you've noticed in the last few years, Instagram no longer shows posts in chronological order; since 2016, the plan is to show posts based on "presumed" interest. For this reason, you need to work hard to convince Instagram that your content is both interesting and valuable.
The good news is, there are proven strategies to help boost visibility for your content. Read on for four top tips!
Use Multiple Surfaces. Maximize your "surface areas" on Instagram. Your surfaces are (you can also refer to May's blog): Feed posts, Stories, Reels, IGTV, Livestreams and Guides. Feel free to mix and match but utilizing all available real estate on the platform goes a long way in boosting your visibility. Posting 3 photo posts to your feed and one video post per week is the bare minimum. Consider carousels — they're the best bang for your buck, because the post will continue to pop up on the viewer's feed until all photos have been swiped through. The platform wants you to go all the way through the post. Make it worth your audience's while!
Don't forget to consistently post to your Stories. By posting more often and utilizing all the engagement stickers in Stories, you have a better chance of reaching viewers as they browse their Stories — and the more views you gain, the better your visibility will rank. The more people who engage with brand through Stories, the more likely they'll be to see your updates every time you post. Don't be afraid to ask your audience what THEY want. Polls, "ask me anything" boxes, story stickers, calls to action, DMs, etc. Keep encouraging feedback from your followers. Instagram really can tell that you are looking to build your following. (image courtesy of @creatopy)
Quality Content. A great way to get people to care about your content is to make sure it's unique and interesting. Stay on brand and utilize tools like Canva, stock photos or professional photo shoots to get the best images possible. Beautiful colors, lovely landscapes, fancy flatlays — something that makes your audience say "Wow!" And do NOT forget the captions. Compelling captions create conversation, conversation encourages interaction and Instagram most certainly takes notice of this. In turn, Instagram will push your content and discoverability.
And don't forget, when someone comments on your content — respond! This boosts your chances of earning more engagement while your post is still hot! Responding to comments can also encourage follow-up comments — creating a dialogue, giving you significant engagement that helps not only the reach of this post but future posts.
Tagging. Instagram tagging is identifying another Instagram account or brand in your post, sharing information about a location you visited or identifying a product in a post or Story. Tagging not only boosts engagement (you'll show up on the account's tagged content) but the brand itself may be inclined to comment or like your post! It's a great way to get your content featured on other accounts.
Hashtagging. Hashtags help organize Instagram content, so when a user searches a particular hashtag, they'll get all the content related to it. They can also help you discover industry trends and influential hashtags to clue in to what your target audience is looking for. Using Hashtags connects your posts to similar ones, as well as connects your account to similar brands — meaning that followers of similar accounts will be able to find you as well, knowing your brand is of interest to them.
Remember the three important hashtag categories:
- Strategic/niche hashtags: hashtags that are all focused on one geographic area.
- Saturated hashtags: hashtags used in 5,000 or more posts. Limit these to avoid getting lost within thousands of posts.
- Brand hashtags: hashtags that apply specifically to your business and brand.
Instagram is such an amazing and valuable social media platform for businesses and brands — expanding your visibility can mean more followers and more results. The Instagram algorithm might elude us, but it doesn't change one important fact: relationship building for the purpose of visibility is KEY. If you want to benefit the most from the algorithm, focus on building relationships and posting high-quality content, while engaging with users and staying true to you and your brand!
Written by Alexandra Reilly CEO of LadyBoss Global Media LLC
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LadyBoss Global Media offers custom client consulting, platform optimization, monthly management, content creation, email marketing creation and consulting, campaigns, social media event day management, photography, videography, and much more! Alexandra has spoken to many audiences teaching social media principals and tips customized for their field and has worked with men and women from many different industries throughout the United States and Canada.
Contact Alexandra at Alexandra@ladybossglobalmedia.com