Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Securing a grip on Instagram's algorithms is challenging because it's in a constant state of change. The algorithms are what determine whether or not your target audiences see your posts. Ways to beat the algorithm continue to saturate the Internet. But how do you know what works? Since COVID-19 and the stay at home orders, I have taken a deep dive into Instagram and the algorithm that governs it. This is a case study of what I've learned thus far.
To Be Followed Or Not To Be Followed
1. Consider having at least a 1:2 ratio for your following to follower count. Ideally, you want to have 1:10 or greater. When you follow more people than you have followers, the algorithm suppresses your posts. The higher your ratio, the more your posts will be boosted. The results? More people will see your posts.
To Leave Comments Or To Not Leave Comments
2. Be sure the comments you receive are at least four words long. Ask a question in your posts that will encourage longer comments. The algorithm doesn't count comments less than four words. Also, reply to every comment on your posts to boost engagement. This isn't only for increasing engagement, but it also creates connections and builds community with your audience. Lastly, treat this as networking opportunities with people in or out of your industry.
How Many Times Should I Post
3. You must frequently post, 2-3 times per day, using up to 30 hashtags to extend your reach. Use some of the same hashtags on each post as well. People who follow those hashtags become accustomed to seeing your posts. Also, create videos, preferably time elapsed, instead of photos. Videos count every view, so it popularizes your posts.
What About Live Videos
4. Comment on other people's live videos and go live on your own IG at least once a week. Show your audience you're a real, approachable human. It will be slow at first, but don't worry. It takes time to find your groove, and it takes time for your audience to become accustomed to seeing you live. Try to offer valuable information on your lives. It helps grow and maintain your audience.
The Impact Of Tagging
5. Tag relevant companies in your posts. Do you have products featured in your posts? If so, tag the products and the companies. Are you at a unique location? Tag the location and the business. What are you wearing? What foods are you eating? Tag them as well. You might end up with paid sponsored posts or free products as a result. You never know who is watching.
Educate Your Audience
6. Lastly, write blogs about life hacks, cupcake recipes, or whatever your specialty is. This will lure followers to your website but also have you seen as an expert. Your blog posts may appear in Google searches, which potentially will lead new followers to your website and social media.
After having a stagnant Instagram account for some time, I've been able to increase my following by 400 followers and my engagement 1000% in the last month. It has been work, but I'm happy with the results. Hopefully, what I've learned helps you receive the most out of your IG account as well. Let us know if you've implemented these changes and how they've worked for you.
Dana Todd Pope, is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist, author, illustrator, model, and actress from the South Side of Chicago. In addition to her fine art, Dana is most noted for her children’s series, recently rebranded as Fearlessly Hue. Influenced by notable brands/artists like American Girl, Annie Lee, and Paul Frank, she describes her work as encouraging, disruptive, and self-affirming.