A lot of people on Instagram have been complaining that the recent changes in algorithms are making it hard to maintain engagement, let alone grow their accounts. In our journal entry this week, we give you 5 tips to help you grow your account without using those nasty bots.
Gone are the days of chronological feeds and Instagram being so ‘instant’. With these algorithms and AIs fiddling around with our feeds, it can seem impossible to grow your engagement on Instagram. But all is not lost! Read our 5 tips to help you build your Instagram account.
1. Give yourself some self-promotion
With algorithms changing what we see on our feeds, it makes it harder to see all the accounts you follow. So give people the opportunity to catch up on what you’ve been posting on your feed by using different channels to promote your feed.
Insta-stories are a great way to connect with your audience and give people some insight into your life beyond your feed (lets face it - people are nosy beings!). Some great ways to use insta-stories to promote your account are:
- Show some ‘behind the scenes’ footage of how you have put an image together and refer your followers to your feed to see the final result.
- If you have posted an exciting new image or announcement then take a screenshot of your feed and post it to your insta-stories. We wouldn’t recommend doing this for every image though - just the really exciting ones!
- You may have seen lots of accounts running SFS (shout out for shout out) competitions. For a SFS competition you ask your audience to repost one of your pictures with a hashtag for a chance to be featured on your account.
- If that seems a bit daunting or you are worried about posting picture that don’t match your feed then why don’t you ask someone with a similar style to do an insta-intro with you? You can both swap an image and tell your audience why you like their account. If they have a similar account to you then you’re both more than likely to get some new insta-friends.
Use your other social media accounts.
- If you have a Twitter or Facebook account then you should use these platforms to cross-promote your accounts. Ideally you post different content onto each of these accounts which will reach different audiences.
- Pinterest is also a great platform to reach new audiences. You can add your Instagram pictures onto your Pinterest account and link these back to your Instagram account.
2. Change up your hashtags
You may have heard of Instagram reportedly ‘shadow banning’ people for using popular hashtags that don’t match their pictures. There have been reports that Instagram is actually using AIs to check that our images match our hashtags and will penalise you if they don’t.
What exactly does that mean?
Well if you post a picture of your desk and then used the hashtag #beach, this may result in your image not showing up in other peoples feeds.
Regardless of what the AIs are doing, it’s a good idea to change up your hashtags to match the content you are posting anyway. It makes the content more relevant to those searching these hashtags therefore people are more likely to engage with your image.
Also, don’t assume that you should only use the hashtags with the most posts. For example, if you use a hashtag like #flowergram with 660k posts, this means your image is likely to move down the #flowergram feed quite quickly and less likely to be noticed here. Instead, try mixing it up and use some less popular hashtags where you’re more likely to be seen.
3. Get involved with creative communities
Obviously if you’re reading this then you know that creative communities are a fabulous way meet a community of like-minded Instagrammers.
Participating in creative community styling challenges is a great way to get your images featured but it shouldn’t stop there. People in these communities are obviously keen stylists, photographers and creatives just like you so why not try to build some insta-friends within these communities? Search the community hashtags and give your fellow community members some insta-love!
You can thank us later for the meet-cute :)
4. Authentically Engage with people
Perhaps one of the best ways to build engagement and loyalty on your account is to leave genuine comments. People are more likely to take an interest in your account and reciprocate with comments on your account if you show genuine interest in them.
Remember you aren’t a bot and 9/10 times spammy comments won’t really get you anywhere!
5. Create unique content
Back to the AIs again and word on the street is that AIs can now tell if your picture looks like 10,000 other pictures already on Instagram. One example that springs to mind is a teacup surrounded by flowers. It’s pretty but definitely not the most original image in the world. Again, apparently the AIs don’t appreciate ‘overdone’ images so your picture isn’t likely to appear on ‘feature’ feeds and may not also rank high up on your followers feeds either.
So what’s a girl (or guy) to do?
The answer is simple. Keep creating the unique content with your own creative touch. We know you have it in your creatives!