With Instagram switching up its features and algorithm so often, it can be hard for you as a brand to keep up. I get it, you’ve got a million things to do and only 8 hours in a work day. Despite all the changes, it’s still one of the best tools for growing an online presence, especially for brands that are trying to market to Millennials and Gen Z. Recently, they’ve changed up the Instagram algorithm which has made reaching your followers much more tricky than it was before. Following these do’s and don’ts for the new algorithm will help you strengthen your Instagram game and make the platform work to your advantage.
7 Instagram Algorithm Updates - Things You Should Do
Instagram has made updates in order to encourage users to be more interactive with followers and create genuine connections between accounts. To get the most out of the platform, you need to focus on posting authentic content that’s relevant and engaging. They are now filtering posts to only reach 10% of your audience (I know, huge bummer), so make sure your posts spark interest and conversation.
Make the new algorithm work for you with these do’s:
- Reply back to comments – Reply to comments left on posts within 60 minutes – Instagram will reward you for making an effort to connect with your followers and will generate more exposure for the post.
- Use hashtags – You can use up to 30 hashtags, but we find that you should at least use 20, if not all of them. Put them in your first comment, but make sure to comment with them immediately (Instagram displays hashtags in the order that the photos were taken, not when you added the hashtag). Don’t forget to use a hashtag unique to your brand so you can easily find user-generated content.
- Use longtail hashtags – With millions of users filling up common hashtags with their posts, it’ll be easier for your posts to get lost in the mix. You’ll have less competition with longtail hashtags and your post will stay on the hashtag feed longer. Plus, you’ll reach a more targeted audience. So if you’re a vegan beauty brand, the hashtag #veganbeauty will be much more beneficial than simply #beauty.
- Use Instagram stories – Use the Stories feature to promote new posts. Since the algorithm may not show your post to everyone, this guarantees more followers will see it. For more great ways your brand can use the Stories feature, check out this post.
- Use Instagram polls – These allow you to connect with your audience and get their opinion on a subject by inserting them in the stories. You can set up a poll by finding it in the stickers section of the story editor, you get 22 characters to set up a two answer question and it’s a great tool for engagement.
- Consider influencer marketing –This technique can get you great exposure and content for your brand that’s diverse and creative in nature. Influencers can bring your products a level of engagement you wouldn’t be able to achieve with a business account. Word-of-mouth marketing is highly influential, especially among younger generations.
- Plan out your grid – You’re going to want to pick a theme and stick to it, this makes your overall look more aesthetically pleasing. If you love the color palette of pink and green, try and make sure everything you post can cohesively fall in this category. Your grid can help present your account in a clean and appealing way, attracting new followers easier.
5 Instagram Algorithm Updates - Things You Shouldn’t Do
A new algorithm means you could be harming social presence rather than helping it if you aren’t careful. With the new “connect with others” focus that Instagram seems to be pushing, there are obvious ways in which they are trying to weed out fake engagement from bots and spam accounts.
The threat of being shadowbanned (having your content blocked from being seen by other users without you knowing), is real so don’t take Instagram’s rules as simple suggestions.
Keep these don’ts in mind to beat the algorithm blues:
- Don’t post more than once a day – We are noticing that Instagram is splitting the reach between your uploads if you post more than once a day.
- Don’t post low quality or out of focus photos – This is unappealing to the audience and with all of the steps you have to take in order for your posts to be seen, you should make sure it’s the best content possible.
- Don’t post without a caption and call to action – Like we said previously, with the new updates, posts with no caption don’t encourage engagement and won’t be seen by your followers.
- Don’t ignore your Instagram analytics – These metrics give great insights like when the best time to post is and which posts perform the best.
- Don’t use bots – Instagram has caught onto those trying to game the algorithm by using bots to create fake engagement like spam comments and likes. Paying your way to the top won’t work like it used to, so it’s better to just play by the rules.
Despite many users being less-than-thrilled about the new algorithm, it looks like the changes are here to stay. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects to the new Instagram, we should shine a light on all of the positive things this new algorithm may bring for brands. Instagram is still one of the best social media platforms to build your brand, so don’t get discouraged when they switch things up.
If you’d like to take the next step into growing your online presence, even through the new algorithm’s obstacles, click here to learn how Statusphere can help.