Instagram allows you to easily take fun snaps of whatever you are doing and instantly share them with the followers of your company or brand. Indeed, this is exactly what the name, Insta-gram, implies. But over the years, Instagram has changed slightly. In the past, photos were taken with the actual app. Nowadays, users publish well-thought-out posts, which are (usually) staged. Up to a few months ago, these posts were displayed chronologically, but now you are increasingly shown posts published several days ago. Why? Just like Facebook, Instagram too has decided to rely on the popularity of your brand’s posts.
In reality, the idea behind this approach is very simple. Instagram knows exactly which brands or companies its users follow, which hashtags they click on and what they actively react to or like. Food lovers will have a feed filled with posts and brands linked to food and drink. If they suddenly decide on a lifestyle change to live healthier, Instagram will also know immediately and it will adapt the ‘unhealthy’ feed to feature only ‘healthy’ messages.
Instagram is incredibly smart at assessing users’ engagement, as it considers what they would like to see. When a brand publishes a post, Instagram compares the interaction of this new post with that of previous posts. By making and assessing this comparison, Instagram decides how many users will be shown the new post.
Luckily, there are other ways for you to maintain or even boost your brand’s reach. That’s right, you can even increase your reach despite the algorithm.
How? Discover 10 simple tips below.
1. Find the best timing for your posts
Timing is an important factor in the algorithm. That’s why you should actively try to find out the best times to post your messages. Go to Instagram for Business and check when the followers of your company/brand are online and active.
2. Experiment with videos
Generally, photos get more likes and videos get more reactions. Compared to photos, videos garner double the number of comments. It is unclear whether the algorithm is already taking this into account, but it is a fact that writing a comment takes longer than liking a post. As a result, posts with a lot of comments probably will be ranked higher than posts with a lot of likes.
3. Organise a competition or ask questions that boost engagement
You can interact with your company’s followers in three different ways. You can ask a question, or encourage them to take action. A giveaway is also a very efficient way to get them on board.
4. Use your followers’ content
When reusing your followers’ content, you boost their engagement. They will share that content and interact with your brand. Customer-brand relationships are very important to Instagram. If they are strong, your brand will rank higher in your users’ feeds.
5. Use Instagram stories
Instagram Stories – also known as Insta Stories – are a major part of Instagram and they are very important, because they are literally displayed at the top of everyone’s feed. This allows your brand to attract users’ attention even before they view their personal feeds. It hasn’t been proven yet, but it seems that if followers watch your Instagram Stories, your posts will appear higher up in their feeds too.
6. Use Instagram Live
A similar trick is to use Instagram Live. This relatively new tool is not widely used yet, but it has plenty to offer. When you go live, a LIVE button appears around your brand’s profile picture. That puts you right above all the stories, the ideal ranking for your followers to instantly spot you when they open Instagram.
7. Use Instagram ads
This is only an option if you have an Instagram Business profile. The app has a feature for you to promote your company’s posts with the target audience you have selected. This boosts their engagement and gives you a higher ranking in your followers’ feeds.
Paid reach can help add to your organic reach.
8. Post less
Contrary to what you might think, posting more is not better. Less is actually more. It is more worthwhile posting one quality message than 20 average ones. Before you post, ask yourself how this message will contribute to your brand. Will it boost your followers’ engagement? In short, go for quality rather than quantity.
9. Gear your posts to Instagram alone
Do you want to make quality content? Then create specific posts only for Instagram. Instagram is a highly visual tool, making photos or videos more important than text. A post that would score on Instagram would not necessarily do equally well on Twitter or Facebook, so gear your copy and images to the channel you are using.
10. Be a ‘good’ Instagram user
‘Good’ equals ‘high-quality’. Social media platforms have introduced algorithms to encourage their users’ real, authentic and positive behaviour, allowing them to counter abuse and hacks.
Good Instagram etiquette includes:
- Post relevant, quality content
- Answer questions quickly and correctly
- Thank users who comment on your posts
- Discover other profiles, interact with their posts and build a relationship with them
These ten tips in a nutshell? It’s quite simple really: make the followers of your company or brand happy and keep them happy. Let them jump on board and enjoy the ride with you. We guarantee your brand will benefit from it too.
What is Instagram for Business and what can you use it for?
Instagram for Business is a free tool for accounts that want to continue to be recognised as businesses on Instagram. Any company can create this type of profile, provided they have a similar Facebook page.
What can you use it for?
- (Potential) customers can contact your brand quickly and easily
- You get access to post statistics (top posts, reach etc.)
- You get an insight into your brand’s followers (gender, age, location etc.)
- It allows you to easily turn successful posts into ads
- You can advertise in a very targeted manner