Instagram is one of the top social media platforms marketers use today with more than 500 million people using the platform every day. Everyone from individuals to international companies use Instagram to showcase their lives and business endeavors.
About 22% of all Instagram users log in at least once a day, while 38% of users check multiple times a day. It is becoming one of the top marketing tools available to companies of all sizes. There are, however, some obstacles users will face when trying to expand their reach on this social media platform, whether it’s through growth services or done organically.
Instagram has an algorithm that can prove to be limiting unless you use the following tactics for ranking higher on the platform.
Understanding Instagram’s Algorithm
1. Engagement gets you to the top - You can’t just follow and unfollow, Instagram knows what you are doing. Based on who, what and how much you like, the higher your content will appear on feeds. If your post itself gets high engagement, the more people it will be exposed to.
“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.” - Instagram
2. Quality or quantity - You don’t need to post 3 times a day to get noticed, Instagram will actually hide your content if it becomes spammy. Instead, focus on top quality content your audience will enjoy.
3. Post consistently - By consistently putting out good content, the algorithm will recognize you as a quality account and place more of your content on top of feeds.
4. Comment or like - Always, always, always comment or like back if you get engagement and comments on your content. You want to show that you have a relationship with your followers and it isn’t one sided. Make sure to turn on your notifications so you never miss a comment again.
5. Find your best time to post - You can beat the algorithm by finding a high time when your followers are online and actively on Instagram. It’s recommended to post between 9am - 11am on Instagram, but you can find the times your followers are most active under insights in your business account.
Tactic #1. Create Eye-Popping Content
If you plan on being noticed when using Instagram, you must post eye catching, magnetic content that will stand out in the crowd.
If you can put out amazing content, you will rank higher and get the attention you need to showcase your brand. When using Instagram, be sure to feature high-quality photographs and short, but well composed videos that grabs the viewer’s attention and compels them to interact or follow your brand.
Tactic #2. Be Consistent With Your Stories And Feed
For social media marketing, consistency is the key. While using Instagram, remember to be consistent with your stories and when you’re posting to your regular feed. This will not only help you rank higher, but it will give you the chance to connect with a much wider audience.
It’s recommended that you post 1-2 times daily, depending on your content and goals, between the hours of 9am - 11am. However, everyone has different followers, so post based on their activity times and their own peak hours for posting.
Something to keep in mind as your brand grows in popularity on Instagram is that content should be consistent and relevant. People follow your account because they like your posts and want to see more. However, if you change your posting style or theme, followers are going to lose interest because that isn’t why they followed you in the first place. So remember, consistency!
Consistent Accounts (below)
Stories are also very useful for beating Instagram’s algorithm and keeping your content on top. Stories appear on the top of the Instagram feed, so the more often you post there, the more you will be placed on top and easier to find. For more tips on creating captivating stories, check out this article.
Tactic #3. Use IGTV
IGTV is a handy app that can be used in conjunction with your regular Instagram account to provide viewers with videos that can be up to one hour in length. It is very similar to YouTube and can help your company provide promotional content and videos that appeal to a larger audience.
Social Media Examiner suggests using IGTV as a way to provide loyal viewers with insider material exclusive to your brand. They also suggest using behind-the-scenes video and unedited content to help create a more personal experience. Posting raw, unedited video can be time-saving and effective while still building loyalty with fans because you are being open about your brand.
Tactic #4. Create A Buzz
A great way to create a buzz about your company is to select posts that either have a unique and entertaining quality, or offers the viewer a chance to engage.
For example, in the last few years, brands wanting to attract attention have been offering participants the chance to win items or services in exchange for commenting and sharing content. This forces followers to engage with their posts in order to be considered for the giveaway. Remember, more engagement = more reach.
Even if you don’t want to host a giveaway, you can still achieve buzz worthy posts by creating stand out content that sticks in the memory of the viewer.
Tactic #5. Use Scheduling Tools
We are not superheroes, meaning we don’t have unlimited time to make and post consistent content throughout the day. I suggest getting on board with other businesses and start using a social media scheduling tool. You have lot of options:
and so much more!
These tools not only let you plan and schedule your posts in advance, but can show you analytics to make sure you are posting at the right time. Instagram can be one of the most useful marketing tools in your arsenal if you use these strategies to overcome obstacles related to algorithms and reach.
If nothing is working or you want to speed things along, you might have to give in to Instagram and pay to have your content/campaign promoted. To learn how to set up an Instagram campaign, check out our tutorial video below.