Photo by: Rachel Wolf Photography
If you’ve ever felt personally victimized by the “Instagram Algorithm”, you’re not alone! Gone are the days where your followers will find your posts just by scrolling through their main feed. Because things are not chronological anymore (and there’s the added algorithm), it’s a bit harder to get your posts seen! But not impossible! There are things you can do to boost your visibility and engagement on your next post that will help get your account back in the public eye.
1. Have a body part in your image
As weird as it sounds, people respond better to images that show there is a person behind the account. This could be in the form of a face, hand, or even a foot! If you like to utilize stock photography, like ones on HauteStock or Unsplash, look for pictures that have a body part in it.
PRO TIP: According to research done by Georgia Tech, photos that contain faces have as much as 38% more chance to receive likes compared to the photos without faces. Additionally, they are 32% more likely to receive comments.
See below for an example from my Instagram of the power of adding a person to a post. The one with the pattern has hashtags, an engaging caption, AND I paid attention to strategic posting times. The one of my fiancé and me has NO hashtags, has a thrown-together caption, AND was posted during what Later considers an unpopular time to post. Yet, the one on the right has more engagement. Why? Personal posts win in the world of Instagram. Always.
2. Use appropriate hashtags
Get rid of hashtags that look like this #love, #laugh, #happy, #instagood, #work.
These are NOT EFFECTIVE and can even hurt you. Instagram will see you using these hashtags and not getting any engagement from them, so they will say “oh, this account must not be important if no one is engaging with it”. BOOM, the algorithm strikes again and will show your account less frequently to people interested in those types of hashtags (even your followers).
Click HERE to learn how to choose the right hashtag group for your profile.
3. Geotag EVERY image
Geotagging is a great way to boost your posts visibility, especially if you are a location-specific business.
What NOT to do: Geotag your current address or a small location that no one is going to search for.
What TO do: Geotag a larger area (like a city or a popular neighborhood/district) that people are more likely to search for.
PRO TIP: Geotag your stories too! Locations have public stories just like hashtags do and you are more likely to increase your visibility if you get picked up on one of these stories!
4. Engage with other accounts 5 minutes before you post AND 5 minutes after you post
People are more likely to engage/follow accounts that appear active. Not to mention, people often browse accounts that engage with them. If they see that you just posted something, they are likely to give it a like or a comment to show their appreciation for your engagement.
Engaging around the times you post also shows Instagram that you are using the platform in the correct way, and not just to push content. Instagram will ALWAYS value/prioritize accounts that are using the platform in a social way rather than a sales way. Engagement is king.
PRO TIP: you don’t need to post every day to grow your account. Engagement can be enough (for the most part). Go read my Instagram post (linked below) about how I didn’t post on Instagram for 12 days, and my account still grew. ALL I did during this time was engage organically when I felt like it.
5. Put more thought into your caption and include a Call to Action
If you are really trying to increase engagement on your post, spend some more time on your caption. Engaging captions prompt engagement in return. Gone are the days where you can chuck a picture up and get engagement pouring in just because it’s on the top of your follower’s feeds. It takes more effort these days.
Not only do better captions improve engagement, people tend to spend more time looking at your post, which is believed to be an advantage with the current algorithm because Instagram always prioritizes content with more engagement. Yep, you read that right! People simply LOOKING at your post for a longer period of time is considered increased engagement. So how do you keep them around for longer? Keep your captions captivating.
PRO TIP: If you write long captions, put the Call to Action at the top of the post instead of the bottom.
Give one (or all) of these tips a try next time you post a picture and come tell me how it goes in the comments below!