It seems the powers at Instagram have listened to the public, and the chronological feed is making a comeback! Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, announced the big changes on Twitter.
The visual social media platform will let users choose between three different feeds. Two new options, Favourites and Following (chronological), while a third “home” option offers the algorithmically sorted feed we have now.
In short, the Following feed will show posts from everyone you are following in chronological order, the Favourites will be a collection of accounts chosen by you (e.g. your favourite brands and close friends), while the Home option will continue as is now. It will function more as a discovery hub than a way to keep up with content from people you already follow.
With these new announcements and feed changes coming into place this year, it brings hope to all smaller brands out there looking to grow their following on Instagram. But it doesn’t mean we should kick back, relax and forget to strategise.
With that being said, here are some top tips from our team to keep your brand in check for 2022.
How to beat the Instagram algorithm? Here’s six tips
1. Share quality, extra value content
It may seem like a no-brainer, but ranking higher in your followers’ feeds, and even making it on their ‘Favourites’ list goes hand in hand with creating great content that encourages users to hit that like button and comment. Ensuring your photography is high-resolution, striking, and on brand is the way forward.
The exact detail of what constitutes great content varies between different audiences, but take it from us – no one likes fuzzy, nondescript images.
Consider why you’re posting that specific post. What does it provide the user? Whether it educates, inspires or provides news, don’t just bombard your audience with sales messaging. Give them a little extra, and they’ll reward you.
2. Instagram Stories
Instagram stories keep you front of mind. How? Stories are automatically placed at the top of users’ feeds.
To remain front of mind, we recommend posting to your stories daily. Spend some time brainstorming ideas, it could be a product refresher or a ‘day in the life’ of. There are many possibilities.
To help boost engagement, and to make your stories interactive, use Instagram stickers to get your follower base connecting with you. The best stickers for driving engagement include the poll sticker, emoji slider, multiple choice sticker and question stickers, but play around with all the available options to see what works best for your brand. Also, all accounts can add links to their stories, so take advantage of this to improve traffic to your site.
Reels is the best feature to help you get discovered by a new, relevant audience. Reels is the latest feature to be added to the app, and it holds lots of potential for going viral, or at least giving your engagement and following a serious boost.
Our top three tips for increasing your engagement with Reels are:
- Post at least one a week
- Keep Reels between 6 – 15 seconds.
- Use trending ‘sounds’, otherwise known as the background music to your video. You can find out what is trending by tapping on the music section when creating a Reel, and clicking ‘see more’ to see what Instagram recommends or even by checking out videos on the Discover Page on Tik Tok, as trends usually carry across both platforms.
- Make sure the content is either entertaining, inspiring or educational.
Following these simple tips will not only help you reach a relevant, engaged audience but you may find one of your Reels could go viral!
4. Use captions
Yes, Instagram is focused around visuals, but captions are just as important. Make sure yours are as engaging as possible.
Instagram has confirmed that comments are a key factor when it comes to feed ranking, so the aim is to try and get as many comments as possible.
A good caption can do just that.
Whether your caption evokes a feeling or simply asks your followers a question or their opinion about something relevant, ensuring your captions make a connection with your audience is a must.
5. Embrace hashtags
Adding hashtags to your post is still one of the most effective ways to reach more people on Instagram, which means more “views” (and hopefully more engagement) for the Instagram algorithm to take into account.
Not only this, but the right hashtags will attract the right type of people; those who are actively searching for the content you are creating. This is why it is essential to use hashtags that perfectly describe your content and niche – generic hashtags such as ‘#instagood’ or ‘#love’ will not get you very far.
Balance your hashtags by using 15-30 that have different usage counts, and are suitable to your niche. For example, you could use two hashtags that have 1m uses, five that have 500,000 uses, five that have 10,000 users and so on, in order to get a good balance of popular and specific hashtags.
As well as usage of specific hashtags, try using a hashtag funnel: start with your industry, then move on to your niche, then your brand, then your community, then your location and specific product hashtags based on the post theme.
6. Listen to your community
Your community is key. These are the people who are regularly engaging with your content and keeping your page a success. Our advice is to listen to them.
Find out what content they want, and create it.
Respond to their comments, and spend time engaging on their posts too. Remember that interaction should be a two-way street.
Ultimately, beating the Instagram algorithm is all about showing that you have something to offer the user, whether this means using sharp, inspiring imagery, engaging followers through Stories, making the most of new features, using evocative captions and accurate hashtags, or listening to your community. To be efficient on social, remember that a dedicated strategy is always needed, with each platform offering different ways of boosting engagement. Get in touch with our experts today to book an audit of your channels and learn how to beat any algorithm.