Instagram has a nack for changing the organic engagment game up every so often, and leaving us all wondering what we are doing wrong. Well they have done it again. January 2019 brought about another algarithm change to rock our instagram worlds.
Building your brand on social media is by no means an easy task as it is, without having to constantly change strategies to stay ahead of the algorithm monster. So here is a breakdown for you of what instagram has done and a few tips on how to gain back your visability & organic reach.
So what’s up with the new Insta Algarithm?
In January 2019, Instagram acknowledged the growing public concern over their algorithm and broke their silence in a series of tweets.
Make sense to you or are you as confused as the rest of us. This explanation is as vague as vague gets really, but then Instagram is not known to make anything easy. For many brands and individuals this response has left them with more questions than answers.
So how do you maximize your engagment with the new algarithm in place? Well in short, come up with a new content strategy that gives the insta algarithm exactly what it wants.
8 Tactics to get a leg up on the new Instagram Algarithm
1. Step up your photo quality
According to Instagram themselves, ranking higher in your followers’ feeds goes hand in hand with creating “great content.”
Seems simple enough, but what exactly is classed as “great content”. Surely that hinges on the eye of the beholder. Visually we are all attracted to different things. But if we are to follow this advice, it’s probably best not to complicate it too much.
The basics of good content goes as follows…
- Make sure you post good quality images. This can be done these days with a decent mobile phone & a few editting apps, which makes it possible for most of us to achieve.
- Share bold eye catching images. Instagram is a visual platform, so to stand out your images need to pop.
If you’re already creating eye-popping content, you’re ahead of the curve. If not, you’ll need to up your game by taking some good quality images every now and again.
2. Up your Story Game
Why bother with Instagram stories if they don’t affect the post algarithm? Maybe it doesn’t and maybe it does in an indirect way.
Also consider, for a moment that they’re actually the most popular type of content on the platform. Instagram Stories just passed the 500 million daily user mark which is a pretty big deal.
Add to your stories daily but at the same time don’t neglect your feed. You should be doing both.
Stories provide an authentic, quick way to engage your audience. They also push your account to the front of your followers’ Stories updates, putting you quite literally front and center on their feed as a result.
In short, Stories will consistently keep your profile popping up.
3. Video Content is Key
Instagram has never straight up said that video content trumps photos, however given that video now autoplays in your followers feeds and I did mention that you want your content to be eye catching…video may well be the way to go. There is sometimes no better way to go to get your followers attention while they are scrolling.
And if we’re following the logic behind Facebook’s algorithm, we want followers to spend as long as possible engaging with our posts & profiles. Videos require people to stop and look for longer, plain and simple.
Plus Instagram has been pushing IGTV of late, which tells me that video content is the flavour of the moment. In fact, Instagram recently announced that IGTV content will now begin appearing in your followers’ feeds rather than being confined to IGTV itself. Big hint there.
4. Go Live
Instagram Live generates notifications to followers by putting itself atop your followers’ Stories feeds. This can help keep your profile top of mind. Plus it’s always a good idea to give your followers a little direct access to you and your brand as it builds relationships. That keeps followers loyal. Keeping followers is just as important as gaining new ones…remember that.
5. Create Engaging Captions
The Instagram algorithm supposedly prioritizes engagement. The best way to get engagement is to start a conversation. So don’t be reluctant to ask your fans questions or to leave a comment.
Conversations encourage interactions which is a positive signal to Instagram.
You’ve seen brands do it…in fact you more than likely have taken part in a number of social media run competitions. For many businesses, you’ll notice that competition posts are among their most popular and engaged.
Whether it’s sharing a hashtag or creating some user-generated content, contests can help drive a surge of engagement to your profile.
7. Hashtag Hustle
The Hashtag strategy is alive and well and you should be using it to get your brand in front of as many people as possible. Including hashtags as part of your content strategy ensures that your posts are essentially searchable.
Don’t be afraid to be a little heavy handed when it comes to hashtags. 9 to 15 hashtags seems to be the trend. Also remember to select the less popular hashtags so that your posts get seen.
8. Post Consistantly
Consistancy is everything. You need to stay top of mind and at the top of as many news feeds as possible. So try to post daily. Instagram explicitly said in 2018 that posting “often” is within their best practices. In their own words:
“We don’t down-rank people for posting [frequently]. We do make sure your feed feels diverse so we may break up posts.”
Posting more often will give you more room to experiment and assess which pieces of content are working and which aren’t.
If all this is still just too overwhelming, you can always hire an expert to worry about it for you. I’m here to help if need be.
And on that side note…that is the end of my Instagram Algarithm guide. I hope you found it helpful and interesting. Share it if you did.