We all know and lament about the dreaded Instagram algorithm.

“What is an algorithm?” you may ask. Every search engine and social media site uses some sort of algorithm. In short, for Instagram, your post is published and released to a small percentage of your followers; if it gets good engagement, then it is released to more of your followers, and potentially featured on the Discover page. Engagement on Instagram is defined as how a user engages with your post – typically through a like or comment on the post.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard some form of the question, “How do I beat/outsmart/outplay the algorithm?”

Spoiler alert: you CANNOT beat the algorithm.

Now that you’ve come to terms with that fact, let me give you some tips on how to increase your engagement, algorithm or no algorithm.

3 Ways to Increase Your Instagram Engagement

  1. Hashtags
    This may seem pretty obvious, but let’s dive a little deeper. Instagram allows you to include up to thirty hashtags in each post. So, why not take advantage of all thirty? But, be smart about which hashtags you use. This will take a little bit of leg work – but it will pay off in the long run. Before you create your Instagram posts, do some hashtag research. Search “tags” on Instagram and look up whichever one(s) you are planning to use. For example, let’s take a look at #MotivationMonday. This hashtag currently has over 4.4 million posts. What do you think the likelihood of your post being seen in that will be? I’m not saying to not use it as part of your thirty, but also be sure to curate your hashtags to get more exposure. My recommendation is to use hashtags that have between 20,000-500,000 posts.
  2. Geotag
    When you’re posting on Instagram, take advantage of the “tag location” feature! If your photo is from a specific location, then be sure to tag them. If you’re looking to reach a target market, tag that area. When people search these various locations, your post will show up in the results. If they like what they see, they’ll head to your profile, and maybe even comment or give you a follow.
  3. Actually, Engage
    That’s right, you can’t create the perfect post and then just sit back and relax. If someone comments on your post, like it and respond! (Pro tip: If you’re able to, it’s best to respond to comments within the first 60 minutes after they are posted). If they message you about your post, respond! If they repost you, send a sweet thank you message! This is especially important to do if you have a call-to-action in your post. No one likes to respond to someone and not receive at least a thank you in return!

The algorithms for Instagram, Facebook, Google – you name it – change constantly! Rather than getting caught up in the race to try to beat it, embrace it by employing these tips in your Instagram strategy! If you have any questions or want to chat more in-depth, contact me or leave a comment below!

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