If you use Instagram for your small business, you need to understand how the algorithm governing its feed has altered recently. In the past, posts appeared in your followers’ feeds in reverse chronological order, so if your followers checked their Instagram accounts shortly after you posted something, your photo would appear at the top of their feeds. That has changed recently.
Instagram, as you probably know, is owned by Facebook and the Instagram feed algorithm has been reworked to parallel how items appear in the Facebook News Feed.
Here are 8 ways you can make the Instagram algorithm work in your favour:
1. Invest in a Photographer or Videographer
It’s all about quality on Instagram. When most of the app’s real estate is taken up by visual media, it makes sense to hire a professional if you need one. Your photography needs to be eye-catching and designed for storytelling. Using videos from time to time gives you a slight leg up in grabbing those who are browsing their feed.
2. Regularly Utilise Instagram Stories
One way to get around the decrease in post reach and engagement is to expand your posting in another area. Instagram Stories offer a variety of engagement opportunities, including the newest Poll feature. The algorithm takes into account all actions of engagement like replying to a Story or sending a Story to someone. The more engagement, the likelier your posts will show up in the feed.
3. Run a Competition
One sure-fire way of increasing your engagement is to run an Instagram competition from time to time. Customers love feeling like they’re getting something for nothing and it creates a little goodwill in your fan community. The frequency and rewards can vary, but the idea is to increase engagement and brand awareness.
4. Post Engaging Captions
Captions that ask questions or provide a call to action can help start some conversations with your followers. Be sure to reply to comments and continue the conversation, otherwise, your followers might stop engaging.
5. Jump on Trends
Whether they are fleeting hashtag trends or making holiday posts, timeliness is an important factor in the Instagram algorithm. It is important only to choose the ones that are most relevant to your brand and test a post out with it.
6. Post During Most Active Hours
To increase your chances of higher engagement, schedule posts when your followers are most active. If you’re unsure, you can easily check this in the Insights tab within the Instagram app.
7. Include Instagram Ads
The downside of algorithmic timelines is that you need to boost your posts when they’re time sensitive. If you have an event you’re promoting or a product that you want to talk about at a certain time, Instagram Ads are the way to go. Ads now offer a wide variety of goals and targeting options.
8. Use Influencer Marketing
If done right, influencer marketing on Instagram can help you with brand awareness, sales, and new customers. The best influencers collaborate with brands but still manage to stay authentic to their personality.