Strategies to beat the Instagram algorithm
Technically there are a series of algorithms within Instagram, rather than just one. Just like all social media platforms they use a series of evolving algorithms to deliver content to their users.
As a business owner if you are looking at strategies to beat the Instagram algorithm the best thing you can do is give it what it wants. What do I mean by this; the best way to beat the Instagram algorithm is to feed it with what it needs to do its job as it was designed to.
If you only take one sentence from this blog – You need to create consistently delivered high-quality content that will stand strong within the algorithms.
Strategy 1 – Peak times
One of the easiest strategies is to post when your followers are most active and most engaged on Instagram.
Remembering that the feed doesn’t show posts in chronological order means that you won’t necessarily get an immediate flood but you also don’t want to post when they are not active.
Evenings in general for most accounts works very well, however, everyone’s audience is different so you need to try different things. Also mix things up from time to time, posting at different times and on different days.
Strategy 2 – Post more
If you are in doubt, post more often.
This helps you to see what days, times and content is working better. It gives you more space to experiment and potentially reach more people than just posting occasionally.
I would recommend that you post daily as a minimum so anything more than that is always going to be better.
Strategy 3 – Remember your niche
If you are a business that offers interior design (for example) make sure that every post you share, hashtag you use and caption you write relates to this. Remember that the algorithm is learning from you and what you share to understand what your business represents. Being consistent in your niche helps to continue to educate Instagram.
It makes sense that the easier it is for Instagram to categorise your business page the more chance you have of appearing in the feed of your followers, ready for them to engage with your content. Your page will also be more likely to be shown via the explore page too as Instagram understands who you are.
Strategy 4 – Image quality
This can be a difficult one but one that you can absolutely achieve.
While not everyone will agree as to what constitutes a quality image there is no denying that bold colour and breathtaking views are going to stop people mid-scroll. Just as the image I have shared at the top of this blog may stop you from scrolling to see where it is and why it was shared.
Depending on your business you may need to invest in professional photos or you may be able to improve your own iPhone photos yourself. There are plenty of tutorials online via YouTube to help step up your abilities. Not to mention there are plenty of apps to give your images a professional vibe.
Stock photos can work too – For example, have you looked at the My Sassy Business Instagram account? We are using heavily curated images that do not necessarily relate to what I do but the images are enticing and the caption does more work.
Strategy 5 – Instagram stories
While it is known that stories do not have an effect on the algorithm, they do have an effect on your followers.
Stories are the most consumed item on Instagram with more than 500million daily users on stories.
It is important that you use both, don’t just switch to stories and post less content as this will result in lower engagement for your page.
To help with engagement on your stories use stickers. Polls, sliders, questions and more make it easy for your followers to interact and create a deeper relationship with your page/business. People love to feel like they are having an influence on a choice or providing their 2cents towards your business.
Strategy 6 – Video
Yes, everyone loves moving content and on Instagram, you have lots of options. Video in your feed, in your stories, reels and IGTV.
Video gives people the ability to spend more time engaging with your profile and this is a big tick in the algorithm.
So a combination of both short-form and long-form video helps with this. Boomerang videos can be fun and time-lapse videos are great for showing results quickly.
Strategy 7 – Captions with calls to action
Comments, likes, reshares and video views are all the most important engagements you can receive.
Creating natural conversation captions is key on Instagram.
While it is perfectly fine to have a simple one-sentence approach sometimes you should also mix these with calls to action, asking questions, tagging others and more.
Captions give you the opportunity to create a conversation which in turn creates engagement.
Strategy 8 – Instagram SEO
As part of Instagram interpreting your posts, there are a number of things you can do to help with the categorisation of your content and your page.
- Ensure your caption/description is relevant and has keywords that people may be looking for.
- Add relevant keywords to your profile name and profile bio
- Manually add alt text descriptions to your posts. This is for people with visual impairments.
- Include up to 30 relevant hashtags in your caption or first comment.
Strategy 9 – Hashtags are powerful
Hashtags make your posts searchable so a combination of brand, community, location and product-based terms is ideal. Plus Instagram allows you to follow hashtags so you can see what others are posting using any given hashtag.
- They must be relevant to your post, audience, location, industry, product etc
- Complete a search of the hashtags you would like to use to ensure you don’t use banned ones
- Take note of other popular posts in your niche, what hashtags are they using
- Try not to use oversaturated hashtags. Ones with a volume of 10K to 300K will give you a better chance of being seen
Strategy 10 – New features
When Instagram provides a new feature, use it fast.
Instagram Reels is one of the latest features and you will find that Reels are still being prioritised over other content.
So run don’t walk when it comes to using these strategies to grow your Instagram engagement. If you struggle to keep your Instagram up to date, consider outsourcing it. By outsourcing, you will achieve many of the strategies mentioned above.
At My Sassy Business, we can help you with all types of marketing including looking after your social media accounts. If you would like a local professional who understands your business, contact Kelly @ My Sassy Business.