Do not think that only the ill-fated smart Instagram is to blame for the fall in coverage, which supposedly wants to nullify your efforts. Alas, other factors that do not depend on algorithms affect the decrease in feedback:
Followers are hard to surprise. The amount of content in the vastness of the social network is growing rapidly, so just a beautiful picture and a thoughtful quote are no longer enough. If earlier photos of cats collected a lot of likes, now you have to sweat to amaze a sophisticated audience with something original.
It used to be easier to get coverage. Until 2016, even a photo of scrambled eggs published in prime time, when everyone goes to work and uses their phones, could get into the feed and receive a response, but now everything has changed. Now it’s much more difficult to reach the target audience, because first of all, followers will see quality content, and only then if you’re lucky, your eggs.
After the introduction of the smart feed, bloggers and commercial pages began to sin with advertising. Whether users want it or not, even if they just skip it, they waste the time they could have spent looking at your post.
If you have passed the stage of denial and have come to terms with the fact that the algorithmic feed, unfortunately, will not go anywhere, it’s time to move into the offensive phase and change something in the strategy in order to attract the attention of subscribers. By increasing engagement, you will automatically rise to the top of the feed and begin to flicker in it more often.
1. Work on the quality of your content
It is not only about the attractive picture, but also about the content. Post quality photos that you want to look at. In this regard, the easiest way is for travel bloggers, because they have the opportunity to post incredible landscapes and unexplored locations.
Despite the fact that most Instagram users believe that likes are needed only to amuse their pride, this is not entirely true. Comments and cherished likes allow you to cajole the algorithmic feed and get more coverage.
Try to surprise your followers with posts with relevant and provocative topics. Open-ended questions at the end of the text are a great opportunity to get the audience talking and get feedback in the comments.
2. Videos. More videos
Yes, photos and videos work the same, but the advantage of video content is that it plays automatically, which means it is guaranteed to grab people’s attention and make them stop watching the video.
You don’t have to take out a tripod, adjust the light, and shoot something ingenious to satisfy the aesthetic needs of your followers. A small live video or a flashing boomerang is enough.
3. Post stories regularly
The Stories algorithm also pays great attention to relevance, since the very essence of Stories is to show the latest news from the lives of users. Therefore, some accounts that post them frequently may appear at the top of the feed, even if you rarely interact with them.
I do not urge you to fill your followers with useless photos and memes every 2 seconds. Everything must be approached wisely.
4. Don’t ignore live broadcasts
Live streaming is a cool opportunity to interact with your target audience. Yes, broadcasts have nothing to do with the ranking of the feed, but when you start the broadcast, followers receive a notification about its beginning. This means that you have the opportunity to attract their attention. Moreover, this type of content is much simpler than video.
5. Add some interactivity
Games, polls in Stories, contests and sweepstakes – all this can significantly increase engagement. Followers give you a cherished reaction, and you, in turn, make them happy with gifts. Everyone is in black.
I recommend not to abuse interactions, as followers can simply get used to it and stop giving due feedback in the form of likes and comments.
6. Loads of posts
In the era of timeline feed, the high frequency of posts per day could alienate followers and induce them to click the Unsubscribe button, but this trend has now disappeared into oblivion. Remember, the more the better.
Due to the algorithmic feed, users see only a part of the posts, therefore, even if you post 3 posts a day, it will not annoy your loyal followers. And, besides, it will help you to test the content faster and understand which photos and videos “enter” the audience, and which do not inspire admiration.
7. Publish when followers are online
Publish posts during a time frame when most of your audience is online. This will increase your reach and get good feedback.
Let’s figure out how it works: if, after publication, a post starts to be actively liked, it automatically appears in the feed, even for those subscribers who rarely interact with your content.
Thanks to the speed of getting likes, you can even get to the top on hashtags. True, it is necessary to approach their selection wisely.
What you should avoid
Checklist of mistakes that can kill your reach and drag you to the bottom of the Instagram feed:
1. Participation in giveaways.
Giveaway is the scourge of social networks, but for some reason, users persist in participating in them. Now I will fight off this desire once and for all. What’s wrong with them?
When the contest is over, you will face a massive churn of followers. Instagram algorithms will see a huge unsubscribe in 1-2 weeks and decide that your profile is not interesting.
The result is a feed basement and futile attempts to increase engagement.
2. Lack of textual support.
A beautiful photo with filters is good, but if you did not accompany it with meaningful text, be ready to give the palm to the author with fascinating long reads. Alas, you won’t surprise discerning users with visual content alone.
3. Comment spam.
Swirling comments, replete with the same type of phrases, are a sure road to nowhere. Instagram values not quantity, but quality so removes the fiery speeches of bots, which only spoil the appearance of your profile.
4. Publishing content “on a whim” and completely ignore statistics.
Of course, there are talented newbies who can come to the social network and blow it up with super ideas. Try, what if you are one of those? If posts collect 10-20 likes and there is no growth, pay attention to the statistics.
So, let’s summarise my mini-guide on the wilds of Instagram algorithms:
– comments, likes, views and reposts affect the position in the feed;
– photos and videos work in the same way, but the video is more likely to hold the viewer’s attention;
– the algorithm is constantly changing in response to user behaviour;
– interactive in Stories will attract the attention of subscribers, but you shouldn’t abuse it;
– comments of any length are taken into account only if they are from your audience, and not bots;
– the type of account does not affect the reach, the main thing is more original content;
So, in order not to be afraid of algorithms, use useful cheat sheets, improve the quality of content, interact with followers and you.