Back in the good old days, our feeds used to be reverse-chronological. If you posted something, you could be sure that it popped up on top of everyone’s feed. And then the ‘Instagram algorithm’ was born, prioritizing content users we really care about. Luckily, there are a few things that can help you hack this algorithm and increase your brand engagement anyway.
Post when your audience is online
Let’s kick-off with our most important tip: post when your audience is online! “But how do I know when my audience is online?”, you might think. Easy peasy, ‘cause Instagram Insights will show you the day and hour the majority of your audience are online. If you see a peak on thursday between 9 AM and 12 AM, you can upload your post on thursday at 11 AM, for example.
Why this is so important? It’s actually pretty logical. When you upload a post, the Instagram algorithm will show it to a small percentage of your followers at first. If your post is getting a lot of likes and comments really fast, it will appear in more feeds. So if there’s nobody online to see your post, you’ll get less engagement and the post won’t appear in people’s feed.
Respond to people commenting on your posts
Make sure your Instagram page is not a monologue, but a dialogue. It takes two to tango, right? And let’s be honest: everyone likes to be noticed! Besides creating a relationship between you and your followers, you also increase your engagement. Of course, your own comments aren’t as important to Instagram as comments from your fans, but they still count and can get you higher in people’s feed.
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a great opportunity for engagement, since people can answer questions, participate in polls and move the emoji slider. The more possibilities you give your followers, the more chance they will actually engage with you. Another benefit of using Instagram Stories? People see your account popping up more often, which makes them want to check out your Instagram page as well!
A really easy, yet important way to get more engagement are hashtags. It makes your post ‘searchable’ and increases your audience size. If you add the hashtag #fashion, for example, not only your followers but also everyone that follows this hashtag can see your post. This means more visibility and more visibility means more chance of engagement!
Instagram shows content based on what you looked at in the past, but also on how long you looked at it. Conclusion: we want people to look as long as possible at our content, so our next posts will be prioritized in their feed. The easiest way to do that? Using videos! Even a boomerang or time lapse will keep people’s attention longer.