You might have come across influencers complaining about the changes in Instagram’s algorithm and the drop in likes that it has caused. The Instagram algorithm has become efficient over the years at the type of content its users want based on keywords. The keywords and related searches dictate the order of posts users see on their feed.
Instagram prioritizes posts based on the following types of interactions, i.e., likes, comments, saves, time spent on a particular post, and taps on the profile.
These five actions determine what kind of posts you will be seeing on your feed in the future. Instagram customizes the feed according to the content you have engaged with in the past. So, as the number of interactions with a specific post increases, it will get exposed to a wider set of audiences.
The more engaging your post, the more interaction you stand to get on it. This means that to get more visibility, you must create engaging and interesting content.
Now that we know how Instagram’s algorithm works, we can find ways to hack it.
1) Select a niche
All brands and content creators on Instagram have a set niche they target. Niche is any topic or industry that people are talking about, interacting with, and sharing knowledge about over the Internet. You should choose a niche that you are passionate about.
For example, an environmentalist can niche down and post only about the environment, climate, and other related topics, like plastic-free products and businesses.
Many people don’t know that niching down is the basic of hacking the social media algorithms in your favor. You don’t have to be a technical expert to know some technical details or have prior credentials in some technical degree to trail blaze your own path in the technical industry. In fact, computer science jobs without degree in the technical fields is now a reality and many firms do offer applicants with diverse degree backgrounds roles related to programming and other fields.
Since you want to learn about using Instagram’s algorithm to your advantage, you should look into digital marketing, which can also be easily learned online without having to resort to enrolling in a 4-year degree program.
Instagram also favors frequent posting on specific topics, which leads the algorithm to identify your profile as an expert voice in the niche you’re targeting. If you post on environment-related topics, your posts will start popping up on the feeds of environment-conscious users.
Remember, you should post consistently along with relevant keywords and use hangtags in the post’s description.
2) Make your posts more engaging
As mentioned above, engagement is the secret sauce to gaining visibility. You must keep close tabs on your followers’ interactions with your page. How many comments, likes, or clicks do you receive per post, and whether or not you are replying to your followers consistently.
Luckily, Instagram has a few features up its sleeve which makes engagements a breeze:
– Quiz stickers: This sticker allows you to ask your viewers to choose the correct answer to a question from any of the given options. People spend time reading the question and then tap on the answer they feel to be the correct one.
– Poll stickers: These stickers allow you to ask your viewers about their preference between two options. Businesses can use it to understand customer demand, and influencers can use it to increase interactions with followers.
– Question sticker: This gives your viewers a chance to ask you questions. You can answer the questions in your stories. People with a question will keep checking your story for a response. You can also reach out to your audience on what kind of content they wish to see more of on your page.
– Hashtag sticker: This sticker allows you to add a trending hashtag to your story. Tapping on this will take you to a page with all the other posts with the same or similar hashtags.
A number of other ways to boost follower engagement is by regularly replying to their comments, posting reels, and updating your stories. Frequent updates will keep people hooked to your page for more on what you are up to.
3) Post when your followers are likely to be online
The quicker the engagement, the better. For this hack to work, you must know what times your followers come online and are ready for interactions.
An easy way to know their online timings is by outright asking them through an Instagram story. You can give your followers options on the timings you should post.
Or, you can let Insights help you check when your followers are active. According to research, the best time to post on social media is midweek mornings (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9 or 10 am). This posting strategy will give your content better visibility.
4) Find out your followers’ likes
You might have noticed the differences between the interactions your posts get on Instagram. Lower likes and comments can be demoralizing, but they are valuable in terms of the lessons they provide you on what not to do.
Keep tabs on which posts do well and which tank, and reshape your content strategy according to that data.
Business accounts have access to Insights on Instagram. The feature helps with analyzing audience engagement on a page. You can use the tool to learn more about your audiences’ preferences.
There is no right way to hack the algorithm, but a tried-and-true strategy has always been to constantly improve the quality of your content and post at regular intervals. Don’t just pander to the algorithm, but make content that serves to entertain, educate, and engage your followers and you won’t need to hack the algorithm to achieve success on Instagram after all.