If you are new to the IG space or have been here for a while, you might feel like you are in a bit of a rut when it comes to your engagement. Here are my top ten tips and tricks for how to beat the Instagram algorithm. Please keep in mind that these are just a few tips and tricks to help and not an end-all solution to your Instagram woes. Learning what works for you will be a process of elimination and a lot of trial and error. The following tips worked for me though so I hope they work for you too.
First and foremost, let’s take a second to understand the Instagram algorithm. It will definitely help to understand the algorithm in order to beat the algorithm. So, what is the algorithm? In simple terms, the algorithm is a blend of different factors that help the app decide what content to show you. It all boils down to Who. What. And When.
Remember, the goal of IG is to keep you on there for as long as possible. It will take all three of these whos, whats, and whens into account and push posts, reels, and stories that you will not look away from.
You want to keep three main types of content in mind when posting; stories, posts, and reels. Below are my top tips on what you should do to up your Insta game to help the algorithm share more of your content.
Reels have taken over more than twice as much real estate on Instagram over other types of content. They are short immersive videos where you, as the creator, can express yourself to your audience in a fun and authentic way. Reels have developed over time to allow up to 1 minute of video time. So take the time to inspire, make someone laugh, or educate your followers.
Stories are short 15-30 second clips that disappear in 24hrs. These are the most viewed on an account, so take advantage of this feature entirely. Daily stories are a great way to teach the algorithm that you are an active participant.
Writing a good caption might seem like it’s not that important and you’ve probably heard many people say something like “no one reads my captions anyway”. But the algorithm does. When you write a good caption and it holds the attention of the audience the algorithm takes that into account. Writing can be challenging for those who are not naturally born with the talent but there are simple formulas that you can follow to help get the creative juices flowing. I use this simple formula for writing a good caption: Strong first line + Call to action + Brand voice + Hashtags + line breaks or emojis = kick-ass caption.
Your first line will be your best shot at catching your audience’s attention. Keep this fun, exciting, and spicy.
CTA’s are a perfect way to invite your audience to engage with your content. Play around with statements like “double tap if you…” or ask personal questions. CTA’s are also the best way to learn about your audience, so ask them to comment below and consider their answers when posting next.
If you feel the writing juices flowing and have a lot to say, break it up by separating with a clean break or an emoji. These clear breaks will help your audience not get lost in your writing and stay on track.
Be true to yourself and show the world who you are. Your personality, quirks, and sassiness make you interesting. So share that with the world. Captions don’t have to be stale. Add your character to them to bring you out. Be sure to check for spelling, though.
Best times are different for everyone. It may take a bit of playing around, but I swear it makes a massive difference once you find your best time to post. Find the best time for you and be consistent with it.
Find when your Instagram followers are active by going to your page, hitting insights, scrolling down, and looking at the “most active times” section. Your insights provide a general idea of when your followers are active on their Instagrams. For me, my audience’s most active time is 9 am PST and my days are all pretty much the same.
Instagram wants you to return to it consistently, so it rewards accounts that show up often. You can post once a day to once a week or even once a month. The essential thing to focus on is that you keep showing up! I suggest frequently posting at optimal times to show your followers that you come back daily.
Instagram can be a great resource to create friendships and start meaningful relationships, so use it to its full potential and start those meaningful conversations with people. Some ways to do so can be by replying to the comments left on your posts or visiting someone’s profile and leaving a thoughtful comment.
When leaving a comment on someone’s profile, some things to remember are:
When I started modeling, I started shooting with every photographer who would shoot with me. I tried reaching out to both large and small accounts, asking if they wanted to collaborate. Whenever a photographer posted and tagged me in their photos, I noticed a bump in my followers.
Something to keep in mind: When posting, always use proper credit. For example, when I work with someone other than my husband, I tag the photographer in the photo and in the caption.
Focus on what you want to share and start producing good quality content with your core values in mind (mine are; travel, van life, and adventure). Start by finding your style of photos and plan your shoots out more. Get your outfits and destinations planned out well in advance, so you aren’t scrambling when you are on set.
Invest in good equipment to get the best photo. Here is a link to the camera gear that my husband uses to take pictures of me.
If editing isn’t your thing, and you’re using your phone, then try my mobile presets! Each collection has five unique filters to help your images go from ordinary to extraordinary.
There are tons of scheduling apps that help with visualizing your feed before posting. Take advantage of them and plan out your feed and then go a step further and plan out your captions as well. I use the Preview app. Since I started using this app, I have been able to clean up my feed and make it look exactly how I want.
Feature accounts are super niche, and the followers associated with that account have a specific thing in mind they want to see. Getting featured on a big account will mean that all the people that follow that account for inspiration will now see your work. Tag big feature accounts to get recognized and potentially get a reshare.
A bio might seem like it won’t make a difference; however, this is the FIRST thing someone reads when they land on your Instagram page. Follow the tips below to help maximize your IG bio and get noticed!
Name: The term “name” will refer to the ‘Name Field’ on your IG. For example, my IG handle is @thewildindiangirl but my name is “PRIYA | Travel Lifestyle Model”. I used a simple formula for my name to get more traction on my page.
Name + keywords
Keywords help maximize searchability, so try to think of words people might be searching for and how you can be at the top of that search. For example, I use my name field to include my name and three keywords I associate myself with. You can have more than three, but IG only lets you have 30 characters, so this is what I have.
People who look at my name know three critical things about my page. Followers know; my name, my interest, and what kind of content I will be producing.
Show off your skills in your bio
Think about why people should follow you. What are you offering them? Is it recipes? Is it travel advice? Or maybe it’s modeling tips. Be sure to include this in your bio.
Next, claim your audience. Who are you trying to reach and engage with? Is there a specific region or country?
I want to reach women worldwide, and my goal is to help them break free from societal norms, step outside of their comfort zones, and learn about themselves. So my bio has:
Use relevant keywords to improve searchability
Keywords help focus your account while providing prospective followers opportunities to connect with like-minded people and build a community. Try using words that help express your root/core values.
For me, I used travel, van life, and adventure. So when people look at my feed, they know those three are my core values, and that’s what my content will be about. Here is what it looks like in action:
It takes time to make an account grow, so don’t be discouraged if things don’t go as planned. Try a new approach for three months before you let it go. And always remember that it’s a process.
Book a 15-minute call with me, and let’s chat about what your IG looks like and some tips you can do to help you move forward.
In 2017, I quit my job and dropped out of school to set out on a path less traveled. Since then, I have ventured across the world, built a van and created a life that both scares me and fulfills me at the same time. And I’ve never looked back.