Can we be real for 5 seconds? Instagram stresses me out. Making sure the feed is on-point and cohesive, posting a few times a week, coming up with captions, Instastories (that are just as stressful) and then Instagram drop a bomb with the algorithm that’s got everyone up to 90!
I finally thought I had a grasp on things and then of course they switch it up again! I think they never want us to understand how they operate. Yes, there have been changes to the Instagram algorithm and I think I’ve decoded it! I have been researching like the boss bitch I am 😉 and this is what I’ve come up with…
Here’s the situation.. when you post something on Instagram, it’s only shown to 10% of your followers. If the post does well with that 10% straight away then it will get shown to the other 90%.. which is why some posts do fab and others.. well.. lets say 7 likes is not where we wanna be.
Before I start spilling out the secrets I’ve learned, I should tell you this research hasn’t come directly from Instagram because lets face it, they aren’t gonna let us be in the know.. they love suspense apparently. This is “word on the street” info, but seeing as people are obsessed with Instagram these days, I’m taking this as gospel.
Anyone else think for your Instagram to be amaze-balls it needs to be a full time job? I’m exhausted from it. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure your well thought out content is not being buried and getting the most exposure/engagement as possible!
Tip 1 : Interact ❤
Stop scrolling needlessly and interact on your feed.
To get engagement, you have to give it. Comments are the pot of gold at the end of the Instagram rainbow. Although, if you’re not replying to those comments, not only are you not showing your followers love, you will get an algorithm minus score. Think of comments like a conversation. You wouldn’t ignore a friend if they asked you where you got your new chunky runners (love btw). So don’t ignore your followers either! If the comment isn’t a question or doesn’t require a response, comment with a heart..it’s not hard lads. Show the Instagram gods you’re there, aware, and engaging.
Timeliness also matters! Keep your responses quick within the first hour of posting! The slower your response time, the more your exposure will decrease.
Which brings me to comment pods. If you haven’t heard of a comment pod they are a hack bloggers came up with to make sure they are getting seen. Basically it’s a secret group in your chat list of about 15 to 20 people and when they have a new post they leave a DM and everyone goes and comments. (To be honest, personally I couldn’t be bothered, I’ve heard from people they are extremely time consuming, imagine the anxiety of having to comment on people’s Instagram 20 times a day and then being called out if you don’t do it? No thanks.). It’s time to leave your comment pod. Instagram have copped on and this can cause you to disappear on people’s feeds. Same goes for comment bots- if a comment is below 4 words (“Stunnin’ girl ❤ “), Instagram doesn’t count that as real engagement. I know, I know, horrendous.
Tip 2: Captions are Vital
The glorious days of an emoji being a sufficient caption are gone (unless you’re Kim K, then you don’t even need a caption). Captions need to be engaging AF to increase the authentic comments on your account! Also, word on the street is editing your caption within the first 24 hours is also a minus point in the algorithm.
Then come the hashtags. You can post hashtags in the first comment of posts, but with this new algorithm you have to be very specific with your hashtagging ways so that Instagram doesn’t see it as spam (because spamming will make you disappear!). You will have better luck with 10 really specific hashtags than 30 #Likeforlike ones.
Don’t paste the same hashtags every time (you know who you are!) and put some thought into it. I love hiding my hashtags in the comments but some people are saying commented hashtags aren’t making it to the search pages (not 100% sure if this is true or not).
Another tip.. you can now follow hashtags and Instagram really likes when you utilize their new features, so follow dem hashtags biys.
Tip 3: Stories Display Your Realness
Posting is tough enough as it is but now stories are playing a big roll in this algorithm as well. Keep posting those stories and when people reply to your stories, try to respond in a timely manner!
Also, be sure to tag locations and use hashtags in stories! All of these small details can give you a big boost. Also, shout out other bloggers/Instagrammers in your stories- when they message you back and you interact, it shows Instagram you are authentically engaging with people and that’s what this whole algorithm shift is all about.
Tip 4: Connect
Cast your mind back to when Instagram first started (what about my Instagram being 6 years old?!…craaaazy!)… you’d go on and just look to see what other people were up to. It wasn’t about signing on solely to see how your post did. It was about catching up with old friends and seeing what was going on with their lives. Or if you were like me, using it for the filters and then posting to Facebook haaa!
This is how Instagram wants us to work. They don’t want you to be a selfish Instagram user only signing on to post photos and check analytics.
I can easily get distracted when I go on Instagram (attention span of a goldfish). By the time I am done posting a picture/replying to comments or messages/checking how well a post did, I close the app and forget to even look at anyone else’s content. This is a no go. Sometimes you gotta just get on Instagram to interact with the people you follow.
If I didn’t already say this, here it is again: Instagram wants us to be acting more like real people. They want to see us engaging with each other in a real way. So, although you’ve got to get up that stun bun selfie you took, take a minute to just explore and leave genuine, real comments. It doesn’t matter how many followers someone has, if you like a photo, comment! Don’t do it just to get your name on a big bloggers photo, do it because you mean it.
Tip 5: Post About Things You Enjoy
Okay here we are again with the whole realness push.
Share things, or people, you actually stand behind on both Instagram and Insta-stories, and always give credit by tagging that brand or person. Not only will this show Instagram you’re being your realest and just a good Instagram citizen, but it will increase engagement because real recognizes real. Ya know?
In the same way, if someone shares something from you, don’t let it go unnoticed! If you’re tagged in a photo, or 100 photos a day, pop in to say thank you!
Tip 6: Value
I’ve been noticing a lot of big bloggers decreasing their posting amounts. Instead of three a day, it’s gone down to one a day. Or even one every three days… but when they post, it’s unrealcontent.
We all have our moments when we don’t want to get out of our pajamas or straighten our hair (just me? k.), but instead of stressing yourself out and posting a recycled photo… hold off and wait until you come up with something you actually want to post and people will want to see. Maybe it’s the law of attraction on this one, but the more excited you are about what you are posting, the more engagement it will receive.
There you have it 🙂 I hope you learned a bit from this post.. basically just be a real person on Instagram and they’ll love you 🙂
If you wanna follow me on Instagram you can catch me here.. gonna try and work on my Insta game 😛
Until next time,