4 Ways To Outsmart The New Instagram Algorithm
Whether you are an Instagram blogger, a hobby photographer trying to build a following, or you are just using Instagram for inspiration and keeping up with friends and family – declining engagement and missing out on posts can be frustrating. Companies like Instagram are constantly changing their product functionalities and the algorithms to stay relevant and optimize ad revenue opportunities. From the day Instagram moved away from the chronological feed, the frustration and protest amongst users have been loud. There are rumors circulating that we might see the return of a more chronological feed, but for now: enjoy these tips and tricks to keep engagement on your posts, and make sure you see the content that is most important to you first.
Interact and spread the love
This is important because Instagram favors profiles that interact with their followers. The number of views, likes, comments, saves, shares and DM’s are the ingredients that determine your post and profile rankings in other people’s feeds. Try experimenting with longer post captions to make people view your posts for a longer amount of time, and encourage them to comment by asking questions and opinions. Treat the comment section as a conversational space, reply to everything and make the interaction longer by asking more questions. How people interact with your Instagram stories also seem to affect your ranking in their feeds, so take advantage of new features like polls or ‘swipe ups’ to get that engagement rate up.
Don´t want to miss out on your friends and family’s posts? The people and the type of posts you interact with is what determines what you see first when you log on to your Instagram account. Don´t be afraid to comment and interact with profiles you love. And, don’t you feel happy when people engage and give positive feedback on something you post? No more passive scrolling!
Put some thought to your caption
As mentioned above, the time spent on a post matters. A caption can be 2.200 characters long, but most people only see the first three to four lines. Make it count by starting with an interesting fact or assertion. You probably spend time on choosing a filter and compositions, so give your caption the attention it deserves as well. And, one more thing: Stop posting #hashtags in your comments, because they will not show up in searches and discover. Keep them in your caption, even if it doesn’t look as pretty as it would without. Other tips to make your followers spend more time with your content, are to experiment with video or carousel posts, which are typically viewed longer than single picture posts.
Be creative with new features
Instagram is constantly developing new features, and they want people to use them. Have fun with polls, gifs and the new music feature (not yet available for all accounts) in stories and save them in ‘story highlights’ on your profile. Make your own original hashtag, and follow hashtags of similar accounts. The algorithm will reward your creativity.
Stick with your post
If you are anything like me, you might like to spend time experimenting with filters, captions and picture styles. You may end up editing or even deleting and re-posting pictures to make those small changes in the color for a perfect feed. Here is a tip – stop doing it. Comparing of post performance through thorough testing shows that posts perform poorly if you edit or delete and repost a similar photo within 24 hours. This is however not officially confirmed.
The reason Instagram wants you to interact and spend time in the app is ultimately because they want you to use as much time as possible in the app. This is how they maximize ad revenue. And why don’t we just leave the app if we don´t like the development? Instagram have become one of the biggest platforms for a generation of content developers and influencers, and is also one of the social media platforms with the most active users in the world*. As a heavy Instagram user my self, I can’t imagine not getting my everyday inspiration and interacting with people I don’t get to see that often through their photos and stories.
Have all the changes in the app influenced how you use Instagram? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment section!