Instagram is currently the platform most used by social influencers, but it’s also the most aggravating platform because they are constantly messing with the algorithm and throttling organic reach (the ability for your followers to naturally find your images through their timeline without you having to pay for them to see it). I’ve seen several complaints on twitter from bigger influencers talking about this exact problem, in fact one of them has 2 million followers and yet she went over 150K likes per picture to just under 15K IN A WEEKS TIME! So I’ve done some experimenting on the platform as well as reached out to my contact there and this is the feedback I got:
- Be active on the app for a minimum of 30 minutes before posting a picture. Being active on the app means liking other peoples pictures, watching InstaStories, leaving comments on other peoples pictures, and replying to comments on your own pictures.
- Respond To Comments As They Come In, rather than all at once. The best way to do this is turn on notifications so that when people do comment you can quickly write a nice reply.
- “Thank You” Isn’t Enough when replying to comments, you want to try and have a minimum of 7 words for each comment, so when someone comments “Beautiful” on your picture instead of saying “Thank You” reply with ” Thats so kind of you, I also had a little sneaky peak at your grid and you look amazing!”.
- Always ask a question at the end of your captions, we want to answer questions it’s ingrained in our brain as human beings to find the answers which is why people invent things, its why we went to the moon, its why astronomers wanted to know if the world was actually flat in the 14th century, so when we see the last sentence of a caption that has a question we feel almost compelled to answer.
- Make Sure Your Caption Is Relevant to your image, we’ve all been there scrolling though instagram and we see this amazing image of your favorite influencer on the beach drinking a Pina Colada, and when you go to the caption to see where she’s traveled to the caption reads “I have a new vide up all about how I keep my oven clean..”, the caption doesn’t fit the image so why would anyone comment on that. The caption should have read “Nothing calms the soul like a cocktail on the beach! Where’s your favorite travel destination?”, this caption is is relevant to the image and it asks a relevant question to the image.
- Change Your Hashtags Up Every Post, if you use the exact same hashtags on every post Instagram will implement what’s called a shadow ban, which means to you everything is functioning normally but if you click the hashtags on your post that post isn’t showing up, which then means you’re not being discovered by new accounts, and really the use of that hashtag was pointless. So when planing your Instagram posts and captions be sure your mixing it up when it comes to those hashtags.
- Post 2-3 images to your grid per day. Before you laugh hear me out, Instagram favors accounts that are active on the app and that keep people active on the app, which is why some of those bigger social influencers that you follow post sometimes 4 times in one day! When posting this many images it can be a bit annoying if you post back to back within an hours time, so instead post once in the morning, once in the evening, and if you’re doing 3 posts then one in the afternoon. By spacing your posts out it gives your followers a chance to see your current one and engage with it before a new post comes their way.
- Film At Least 20 InstaStories A Day. Again before you laugh think about how easy it is to film 4 stories at once, so really you only need to do that 5 times a day, it doesn’t take a huge amount of time or effort and it’s just one more way for your followers to engage with you.
- Turn Your DMs On. One of the biggest changes to the Instagram algorithm is they are now tracking DMs as part of your overall engagement score, which means your DMs need to be on.
- Reply To Your DMs. Because DMs are now being included in your engagement score you need to be replying to them, and just like comments its as they come in. When I was first told this by my contact I was horrified that there was one more thing I needed to be doing for Instagram (you’re probably starting to see that being an influencer is actually a full time job), but really if you think about it the people who are DMing you are taking time out of their day to engage with you and your content, and frankly it’s your job to be responding to them. There is a caveat to this which is the men who DM inappropriate content and of course haters.
- Leave Comments On Other Accounts. I know this was mentioned in the 1st tip but it’s so crucial to be engaging with other accounts and simply liking their post doesn’t count, I mean it does but its not enough. Taking a bit of time to leave a comment on other accounts creates two big wins for you, 1 the owner of that account will see your comments and hopeful respond to the comment and fingers crossed follow you/engage with your content, and 2 it tells the algorithm “look I’m being super active on the platform so go ahead and show my content to all of my followers”.
By incorporating these 11 tips into your Instagram routine who should see a nice uptick in your followers and engagement! I would love if you have any tips of your own if you share them in the comments below!