Instagram has become a vital platform for every digital marketer. At least 50% of Instagram users follow brand profiles and this number will only continue to grow. The greater you grow your Instagram reach, the more attention to your brand’s visual content. In the face of the platform’s ever-changing algorithm, brands need to explore beyond the traditional Instagram tips and best practices. With over a billion monthly active users and a constant flood of content, it is now time to rethink how you can extend the lifespan of any piece of content.
Here are 8 effective methods for extending your Instagram reach.
Find your optimal posting times
Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still relevant. This is because timing is a factor in the algorithm. Posting at the correct times can help to create an initial round of engagement. This can prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your fans’ feed. If you are using an Instagram Business profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day. To access these, tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app. Then click the bar chart icon in the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your fans’ activity information. From there, you can tap on “See More” to view more detailed insights. Once you have found your ideal posting times, you can schedule Instagram posts to ensure high-quality posting.
Experiment with videos
Several studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement than videos on Instagram. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos typically get more likes than videos, videos generate more comments. Videos on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos. It is not certain whether the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. Instagram found that the video watch time on the platform increased by more than 40% over a six month period. With this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos. That way, you can discover whether it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram. To make things simple, you can also schedule your videos to your Instagram business profile.
Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement
Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts. Hosting giveaways is an extremely effective way to engage followers. Giveaway contests typically generate more comments than usual posts. Therefore, it is best to allow for a few months in between each contest. It also keeps things fun and exciting! Another thing that works is asking a question in an Instagram post. This gets people involved in answering the question.
Curate user-generated content
Curating user-generated content can encourage those users to engage with and share those content. The Instagram algorithm considers users’ relationships when ranking content on their feed. So, building relationships with your users through Instagram may help your content rank higher on their feeds. Besides organic reach, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is 35% more memorable and 50% more trusted than the traditional media and other non-user-generated content. Therefore, user-generated content is a valuable strategy to try.
Instagram Stories take a prominent position on the Instagram app, above the feed. This allows you to remain on top of your followers’ feed and grab more of their attention. If your followers regularly view your Stories, it could possibly even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds. It is also worth noting that Stories are also ranked by an algorithm. Spend time crafting your Stories to help them rank better.
Go live on Instagram
A similar approach is to go live on Instagram. When you use live video, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed. The ‘LIVE’ logo also makes your profile photo more prominent in the Instagram app. Social Media Examiner found that the more they went live on Facebook, the more their non-live content received exposure. One possible reason for this is that their brand is in front of their fans more often so fans may go to their page to see their content more. This effect could be useful on your Instagram too. Seeing your logo at the top of their feed might encourage your followers to check out your Instagram profile.
Use Instagram Ads
This may sound a little counter-intuitive but Instagram ads can be an exceptional way to grow your organic reach. If you have an Instagram Business Profile, you can promote your existing posts from within the Instagram app. By boosting an existing post and selecting the appropriate target audience, you can drive more engagement to the post. This will help it rank better on your followers’ feed. The paid reach can eventually help to drive organic reach. But which post should you promote?
Here is a quick way to help you in picking a good post to promote:
- Go to your Instagram Insights on the mobile app (tap on the profile tab and then the bar chart icon).
- Tap ‘See More’ under the ‘Top Posts’ section.
- Tap on ‘Impressions’ at the top (a pop-up should apply to let you adjust your stats filters).
- For the first filter, you can choose ‘All’, ‘Photo’, or ‘Videos’ according to your preference.
- Now for the second filter, select ‘Engagement’.
- Finally, for the third filter, select ‘7 days’.
- You will see your top posts by engagement for the last seven days. From there, you can pick a post to promote.
As these posts have received the highest engagement from your followers. As a result, they will likely resonate with the people you promote to.
Create specifically for Instagram
One way to create content of quality is to make it specific to Instagram. Instagram is a very visual platform. It has a greater focus on the photo or video itself than the text. A post that would do well on Instagram is probably different from one that would do well on Twitter or Facebook. For smaller social media teams, it can be a challenge to always create unique content for each platform. Cross-posting and re-purposing content from the other platforms can be great as well. However, if you are doing this it would be best to craft specific caption for each social media platform as your followers are likely to follow you for a different for each of the platforms. With tailored posts, you can write customised captions for each social network. This feature can encourage more creativity with social media posts. Hopefully leading to more engagement.
Instagram has become a truly indispensable platform for every digital marketer. It is time to take advantage of that. The main objective of Instagram, like most social media platforms, is to encourage user happiness and give them an enjoyable experience. Brands can do a lot more to create a great experience for their followers which in turn will benefit them. There are several ways to increase the reach of your posts. However, these methods given will help you combat the effects of the Instagram algorithm in addition to reach and the influence of brand new audiences.