Instagram and it’s elusive algorithm have been a hot button topic for conversation lately. I think everybody feels a little uncertain, myself included, and it’s causing a bit of social media hysteria as people try to figure out what to do to get their engagement back up to where it used to be. While I certainly don’t have the entire Instagram algorithm figured out, I have found a few things that have really helped me with engagement and allowed me to continue to grow on this platform despite the growing uncertainties.
Update Stories Regularly
When this latest round of algorithm changes were announced at the end of January, I read an article that said using Instagram Stories would help you show up better to the people already following you as well as to potential followers. I’ve always loved watching everyone else’s stories, but felt super nervous creating and sharing my own. Over time though, I think I’ve gotten a fair bit better at sharing little peeks of my daily life. I’ve really enjoyed showing my makeup and skincare routines, and have even started sharing some behind-the-scenes tips on how I do my blog photos and editing. This has become a really fun way to connect with readers and friends, and I’ve definitely noticed that my engagement has gone up since regularly updating my stories.
Connect With Others & Share The Love
Speaking of connecting with others, taking the time to share the love with others has played a huge part in growing my following. I used to be really bad about posting photos and then just leaving the app. Now, I take the time to like and comment on other people’s photos, and have actually become quite obsessed with the app. I spend almost all of my free time on there chatting with people, liking photos, finding new accounts to follow, and actually making some incredible new friends. As easy as it can be to remain a “lurker” when it comes to social media, being present and active pays off so much more. Again, as soon as I started doing this, my engagement and follower count started soaring.
Post At The Right Time
One of the cool benefits of switching to a business account on Instagram is that you get to see all of the detailed stats for your account. Because of this, I’ve been able to see when my followers are on the app each day which allows me to post my photos at the optimum time everyday. One of the latest changes to the Instagram algorithm is that the better engagement you get within the first hour your photo is up determines if it will be seen by all of your followers or not (supposedly – I don’t know this for certain, but it’s what I’ve read in a few articles and it seems to be true for my account at least). My Instagram stats show that the majority of my followers are on the app anywhere from 9am-6pm, with 12pm being the peak hour everyday. Because of this insight, I now know that posting in the morning is a much better idea than late at night, and I’ve begun posting my photos around 8am-9am so that they’re live when the majority of my followers will see them. This allows my photos to get optimal engagement right off the bat (which will help with overall engagement) instead of the photo just sitting stagnant for hours before actually being seen.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Oh, hashtags. I’ve seen so many arguments both for and against them, so here are my thoughts. I love them. The photos that I use hashtags on get way more likes and comments than the ones that I post without them. I use all 30 tags that Instagram allows, but here’s my secret – I get super specific with my tags, and it’s made a huge difference. Things like #cute, #fashion, and #makeup are ridiculously oversaturated and you’re never going to get your photos seen that way. I like to go with hashtags that have anywhere from 100k-1.1m posts. These tags still have an audience but are nowhere near as overused, so you are much more likely to get a coveted spot in the “Top Photos” section. This will allow you to be seen by a ton of people, which will hopefully result in more likes, comments, and followers.
How are you doing in regards to Instagram’s latest algorithm? Have you discovered any helpful tips?