How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm and Boost your Reach
Your content is polished on Instagram but your reach is lacking? To boost your visibility and therefore your number of followers on Instagram it’s important to understand how the social network’s algorithm works. Influence4You reveals a few ways to beat this algorithm and be successful on the platform!
Optimize the use of hashtags
Instagram has its own search engine. Very efficient, it allows users to find content that they’ll enjoy and that is relevant to them. For this the use of hashtags is essential to organically boost your visibility on Instagram. The more relevant and numerous hashtags you use, related to your profile and your content, the more likely other Internet users will find you. There are automated hashtag management tools that are very efficient and automatically generate hashtags related to your post. Don’t hesitate to read this article to find out everything you need to know about hashtags and their uses.
Instagram also offers a lot of information in a blog post available here. You’ll learn that hashtags are certainly promoted as well as the text typed in the search bar, but that the content that generates a lot of interest, i.e., likes, shares, etc. may appear first.
In order for your profile and content to show up in search tools make sure to follow Instagram’s very clear guidelines:
- “Use an appropriate profile name and alias. The search results correspond to an entry. So, using a profile name or Instagram alias that is linked to the content of your posts will help you appear in relevant results. If your friends or fans know you by a particular name, include that name in your username or profile to appear in their results.
- Include relevant keywords and locations in your bio. The principle is the same here. Make sure your bio includes keywords that reflect your identity and profile. If your account is location-specific, such as for a small business, sharing the location in your bio can make it easier for users in your area to find you.
- Use relevant keywords and hashtags in the captions. In order for a post to be found via the Search feature, place keywords and hashtags in its caption, not in the comments.”
Another little tip for the SEO of your posts is to use the Alt Tag or alternate text feature of Instagram. This is where you describe your image perfectly in fewer than 100 characters. The benefit is twofold as your content will then be available for the visually impaired and it will be indexed on the social network and therefore more easily presented to Internet users who are looking for this type of content. A little confused? Head here for further explanation and a pretty good tutorial!
Generate interest and fine-tune your content
Why focus on interest on Instagram?
Well, first of all, because every Instagram user’s data is carefully analyzed by the algorithm. The social network is able to know which posts you are interested in, what you have commented on, what you have liked as well as the time spent on a particular account or post. Have you ever noticed as an Instagram user profile suggestions or posts that appear on the Explore section? They are all related to an action you have recently performed. For example, did you recently like the photo of a tiramisu taken in an Italian restaurant? Immediately the Explorer area of your account will promote pictures of related dishes.
How can interest affect a content creator? Brand or influencer?
Well, because your posts need to generate that interest, and Instagram will measure it. You’ll need to offer content so interesting that users will stay on your profile, zoom in on a photo detail, or even scroll down your feed to see older posts.
Perhaps this seems obvious. But stick around, we’re not done. The objective is to retain the Internet user. What are the existing means on the platform for this? The carousel is one example! It’s a perfect tool as the user will scroll through the content, and therefore spend more time on it than on a simple photo. The time a user spends on your Instagram account is key.
Opt for long reels, lives, and rewarding content. That way the algorithm will remember that your content is interesting and will be more likely to suggest it to other followers. Your posts will have more reach by going far beyond the hashtag strategy.
Build relationships and drive engagement
We can’t say it enough: Instagram is above all a social network! The key is to connect people, share, exchange, emotion, and engagement. It’s vital that you’re present on the platform and respond to messages and comments. Influence4You strongly recommends that you follow profiles, to keep yourself informed of what is happening in your sector.
Don’t give in to the temptation of automation tools offered by many websites. Spend some time interacting with the Instagram community. Your own, but also of those who might like your profile or your product.
What is your target audience? Who are you talking to?
Don’t hesitate to establish a typical profile of someone who might follow you and do some research. Do you offer sports coaching in Philadelphia? Why not do a geo-localized search in and around your city, and look for profiles interested in sports, wellness, or food. You could, for example, find out what these people are doing, like their photos, chat with them.
Regarding your already established community, it is also very important to encourage discussion, by making posts with open questions, leaving room for debate, exchange, writing comments, etc. You’ll also need to know your audience, who are your most loyal followers? Those who always like your posts, those who send you messages very often or leave comments almost every time. Feel free to take a moment and check out their profiles, so you can maybe understand who they are and what they like.
The Instagram algorithm will then understand that you are a driver of engagement, that people are communicating with you, that your account is active, that you are sharing. And you will naturally be promoted by the algorithm.
You have to post regularly! Why is this? Because if you disappear for several weeks, Instagram’s algorithm will have completely forgotten you. Even your followers will not see your posts anymore. It’ll be very difficult to get back to your previous level.
The right pace? 2 posts per week; no need to post every day if you don’t have enough interesting content or if you don’t feel like it. Consistency is key. The best way to help you plan posts in advance and prepare them is to use tools like Preview or Hootsuite.
This will allow you to schedule even several months in advance of your posts and ensure the cohesion of your Instagram account. Schedule content in posts, stories and reels. According to some social network experts, Instagram promotes accounts that use all of the site’s content creation features. Though this theory unproven, you have nothing to lose by trying. You’ll end up with an account with rich and varied content that’s especially rewarding for your community.
Analyze the data
Now it’s time to analyze your stats on Instagram. This data is particularly interesting as it allows you to understand what your audience liked the most and will prevent you from making mistakes if one or more posts did not really work.
You’ll need to understand what your audience prefers. Did you get more likes on posts about this or that topic? Are posts with a dash of humor the most successful? The goal is to understand what works and what your audience likes so you can repeat what you’ve done, increase your engagement and continue to draw in your audience. Be careful not to repeat yourself and produce the same content! You can just replicate the format that appealed to people or make variations on a topic that was a hit.
Data analysis will also allow you to understand when your audience is most present, so that you can post your content regularly at the same time and reach a maximum number of people.
Finally, you can read our numerous blog posts, which will allow you to learn more about social networks.
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