Tips to grow your Instagram account

If, like us, you’ve been trying to get ahead of the everchanging algorithm to remedy your dwindling engagement, this post is for you. Yeah yeah, we know it looks and feels amazing when the numbers are high but what is the purpose of using this platform? First thing to remember is, Instagram doesn’t determine your success. And, if it didn’t exist, how would people know about you? Instagram is just a tool you use to engage with your followers and show what you do and who you are. It’s important to stay true to that and keep your content authentic so that you’re building relationships with the right customers and not just looking for follows or likes. For us, Instagram helps us tell the story of our brand, show the work that we do, the values behind our brand and our hardworking team. What’s important is that we remain authentic, useful, human and entertaining. If we get that right, then we’re winning. But because we put time and effort into creating our content, we’ve researched a few tips on how to maximise reach and increase engagement.

Instagram’s algorithm has always preferred the use of specific and relevant hashtags. Users can follow hashtags and control the content that they would like to see. This means users can now see your content in their feed if you’re using a hashtag that they follow, without them following your account. Users can also block hashtags that they don’t want to see by selecting “Don’t show this hashtag”, so choose them wisely. Target followers by using hashtags you think your audience would be interested in and searching for. Choose hashtags that describe your business, product and your target market. Community hashtags are a great way to connect with like-minded users and grow your own community. Currently the maximum amount of hashtags you can use is thirty which gives you more opportunities to be discovered. Use your post insights to analyse individual posts and find your top performing hashtags. Don’t forget to add hashtags to your Instagram Stories and bio too.

High post engagement is great not only because you’re getting likes and comments but those posts rank higher on your Instagram feed. The algorithm sees it as a good quality post with engaging content that people want to see. How quickly your post receives engagement also counts, so finding the best time to post is super important. If you post when more people are likely to see it, it increases the chance of getting more likes and the algorithm will boost your post. The length of time followers spend interacting with your content also counts. Posting videos increases the time your audience spends with each post, which can lead to increased engagement. Regular engagement from followers liking, commenting and watching your Instagram stories also tells Instagram that they really like your content, and your posts are more likely to be shown to them. We’re under more pressure to create compelling content that is either interesting, useful or entertaining. Ask yourself, “Can my followers relate to what I’m putting out there?”

Requesting your audience to comment or including a call to action boosts your engagement and inspires followers to engage with your account. The Instagram algorithm ranks comments and shares higher than likes, so keep that in mind when planning your content. It is also important to engage thoughtfully on the pages of accounts you follow. A sprinkling of emojis in the comments section is not going to cut it. Think about what you want to say and be prepared to start a conversation. This is a good way to attract new followers.

There are so many options for posting – your feed images and videos, Instagram stories and live videos, as well as Instagram TV. Always reply to your comments and DMs. Instagram favours the more time you spend on the app. Having a solid Instagram strategy is essential for planning your posts so that they meet your goals and objectives. And when you can, throw in a few giveaways throughout the year.

Use the Instagram Stories features
Quiz stickers allows you to ask questions by giving multiple choice answers. Questions is great for getting feedback and honest opinions, while Poll and Slider allows your audience to have their say on something you’ve put out. The Chat feature is great for real time conversations. By adding the sticker, people will request to join and chatting begins in your DMs. The Countdown feature is great for product or event launches and announcements. The aim is to be creative. You can also add a location to a story, tag others and include hashtags. The more you use these, the better. Just make sure it’s relevant and makes sense.

Tag your products
This allows your followers to be able to shop your products by clicking on the tag in your feed. You’ll need to set it up using your Facebook page and link the two accounts. It allows you to add your products with a description and price making it simpler and easier to purchase your products or services directly via Instagram.

A few don’ts

  • Don’t edit your post’s caption for 24 hours as it lowers the chance for it to be seen.
  • Don’t cut and paste the same hashtags in all your posts as it may be seen as spamming and Instagram will penalise you for it with low reach.
  • Some say to post hashtags in the comments section rather than in the caption, but we’re not too sure about that.
  • Don’t oversell your products or services. Focus on building relationships with your followers instead.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to follow the community guidelines and Instagram rules.

At the end of the day, Instagram is great for building a community, finding the right audience and telling your stories. But make sure that you’re telling the same story at every brand touch point that you own – in your store and on your website.

For more tips and tricks on Instagram, follow @latermedia blog.