Love Instagram? Me too! Noticed your interactions have gone down considerably since the new algorithm came into play? Me too! It’s always frustrating when your favourite social media site moves the goalposts, but I have picked up a couple of tips and tricks that could help to beat the negative effects of the changes. Do bear in mind that these are from my own experience only, and please do feel free to share your own tips in the comments below!
Perhaps it’s just the law of averages, but I have definitely found that the more regularly I post, the more likes my images get and the more followers I earn. As posts are no longer showing in chronological order, it’s tricky to know exactly when your content will be seen, but as a rule I like to post three times per day (on the days I have not done this, I have noticed my likes per image dropping down, so I do believe it can help).
I like to post my first daily image between 8-9am, the second between 12noon-1pm and the third between 5-6pm. I used to make them super topical, so I might post a breakfast image in the morning for example, but I’m becoming more relaxed about this due to the less chronological nature of the platform.
KNOW WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Maximising the number of images you know work for you is always going to help, as even if fewer people see it you’re still more likely to pick up those little hearts. Although I chat about beauty, fashion and lifestyle online, the latter two topic areas by far work best on my feed. Selfies, travel photos, fashion posts – they’re the kind of images that my followers like. I will, of course, post occasional make-up shots, but I know to focus more heavily on the other areas.
I don’t know this for sure, but I can imagine that the new Instagram algorithm favours the snowball effect, i.e. the more likes your images get the more they’ll continue to pick up due to added exposure. As I say this isn’t a fact but more an observation, so just keep going!
INTERACT WITH OTHERS
Again, this may be a coincidence, but I have really noticed that the more I interact with other Instagram users the more traction my feed gains. This could purely be because my name is out there more in the comment sections leading people to click out of curiosity, or there could be some favour within the app for those more active users. I suspect it’s the former, but adding to the overall experience of Instagram can never be a bad thing!
Do make sure that the comments you leave for others, and the images you like, are genuine. Don’t spam (never, ever spam!) and do try to add something useful to the conversation. Sure, it’s lovely to post a bunch of emojis on your friend’s latest selfie, but asking genuine questions or letting a user know what you’re loving about their image is always more constructive.
CREATE & CURATE
Posting your own original content on Instagram is VITAL, but regramming images from time to time is also a great tool. It goes without saying that you should ALWAYS credit the original poster (always, always, always) – I find that it’s a great way to collaborate and encourage a crossover of follower bases. For example, if I regram a well-known lifestyle Instagrammer and tag them in the image, they may see it and like the image or even leave a comment. This could then mean I show up somewhere on the ‘Following’ tab, which again helps with that crossover.
Again, it’s important that you do this for the right reasons and not for the interactions alone – I will only even regram something that I really love and think my followers will enjoy. It’s still something I really rate though!
LOVE THOSE HASHTAGS
In the past I’ve been a bit dubious about the power of hashtags, but quickly realised that it’s not the number that’s important, it’s about being smart with the ones you choose. There are countless super popular pockets of Instagram based on certain trends, and if you can tap into them with your images you’re going to get a whole new community looking at your posts. It could be anything from cottoning on to the ever-popular marble trend by hashtagging #marbletable or #marbledesign when your image genuinely feature these elements, or even getting involved with a brand’s Insta network, like with River Island’s #ImWearingRI tag, or Black Milk’s countless personalised item hashtags.
Remember, never spam or use hashtags that are irrelevant to your post. They won’t help at all, and end up wasting time.
I hope this has been useful! As I say, please do leave your own tricks below in the comments and let me know what you think of mine.
Oh, and if you fancy – do give me a follow on Instagram!