As a blogger, keeping up with the latest social media trends can be a daunting and overwhelming task. You’ll find yourself asking questions like: am I doing this right? What can I change about my posting strategy? (Do I need a posting strategy?!) In this blog post, we’ll go over tips and tricks on how you can work to grow your following on Instagram.
How Does the New Instagram Algorithm Work?
For the first few years of Instagram’s life, their posting algorithm was simple; users viewed photos in their feed based on when the accounts they followed posted. i.e. when logging in, users would see the most recent photo that was posted. This all changed in 2016 and a lot of users and brands are still trying to figure out what works best for their profile on Instagram.
Why did Instagram’s Algorithm Change?
Instagram adjusted their algorithm from chronological to algorithmic, with the ultimate goal to create a better user experience for their users. This would create the best user experience as they would be able to engage with content they love rather than just seeing the most recent post when they opened the app. Showing users photos and moments Instagram believes they care about most (based on previous behavior and interaction within the app). The challenge with this update is that users would have to make changes to their overall posting and engagement strategy.
Top 10 Ways to Increase Instagram Followers and Engagement
1. Establish an Instagram Brand Style
If you’ve ever taken the time to look at the profiles of social media influencers, you’ll notice that their profile has a consistent color scheme. If done properly, their branding style should match the overall look of their website and/or other social media platforms. With so many photo editing apps available (both free and paid), this task is now easier than ever.
2. Post Unique and Quality Content
Be yourself. Yes, you’ll want to learn from what influencers are doing, but you’ll want to make sure your content is uniquely you. This will help you stand out and build your audience and following.
3. Post Engaging Captions
When you’re posting photos on Instagram are you asking your audience questions or giving them a call to action (CTA) that will help encourage interaction? If not, this is one suggestion I encourage you to implement so you can provide engaging content to your followers. This change will also encourage new users to follow you.
4. Be Real & Connect with your Audience
Creating the perfect social media post can be paralyzing. There are so many beautiful profiles and it can be very intimidating to start posting on your own profile page. As you’re posting, you’ll want to remember to stay true to yourself and be real. This will help attract genuine followers and will also allow you to connect with your existing followers.
Remember: as you post, you’ll want to connect with your audience. Make sure that you’re replying to any comments that are made on your photos and are engaging with photos from other users.
5. Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram
When is the best posting time for your profile? The answer for this question will vary depending on your niche. You’ll want to test posting times to see when your followers and potential followers are online and interacting with Instagram. There are studies for the best time to post on Instagram, but the right time for you may be different based on your followers and niche.
6. Be Consistent
Post on a consistent basis to help increase your follower engagement and followers.
7. Use Hashtags
You can use up to 30 hashtags in one post and I would suggest using as many relevant hashtags as you can to help increase engagement. Hashtags can help draw new users to interact with your posts and encourage them to follow you. Here is a great tool to use to help you find relevant hashtags for your posts. (https://websta.me/search)
Also, if you notice a new trend or buzz phrase, using the relevant hashtag may help your post(s) get more visibility.
8. Run a Contest
Contests with good CTAs help encourage users to follow instructions on your post in order to win what you’re promoting. This is a great opportunity to increase followers and drive traffic to your blog.
Running contests with other Instagrammers who are in your niche or similar niches will help your content reach a larger audience. As you continue to build relationships with Instagrammers, you’ll be able to ask each other questions and give tips on how to continue to grow and interact with your audience. It’s helpful to connect with other instagrammers who are trying to grow their audience just like you are!
9. Utilize Instagram Stories
One way to help increase engagement is to post consistently on Instagram stories. (i.e. asking questions via a poll will help increase engagement and also learn about your followers)
Increased engagement will likely show your posts more in user’s feed. Instagram’s algorithm takes all interaction, including stories. (i.e. followers replying to stories or sending a story to someone)
10. Take Notes From Social Media Influencers and Competition
What are Instagram influencers doing? What are successful Instagrammers in your niche doing? It’s important to have a pulse on what works for others in the industry. What is working for these Instagrammers? Are there any techniques you can take away and implement your own brand strategy?
Like all social media platforms, Instagram is constantly changing and making updates to their algorithm. You’ll want to make sure you stay up-to-date with the changes and trends. Also, it’s important to be patient as you’re working to grow your profile and brand. Growing your brand and profile will take time, effort and testing to find out what works best for you and your brand.