Are you struggling to grow your Instagram account and get noticed?
Then this post is for you!
I’m sharing my best tips and tricks to help you beat the Instagram algorithm and finally grow your account in 2021.
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I’ve been on Instagram since 2013 and seen all the changes, from introducing InstaStories to removing the chronological order.
You name it, I’ve seen it.
When you do something every day for years you learn some tricks, you can quickly evaluate what works and what doesn’t.
This post is a list of some tricks I’ve tried and seen great results from as well as some things that are currently “popular”.
I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve that will turn the algorithm to your side instead of hiding your posts from absolutely everyone.
If you wanna find out what they are, just keep on reading this post.
How to beat the Instagram algorithm in 2020
Engagement is the key
It’s 2021 people, and nothing is more important than engagement. If you want to grow your account and for people to follow you, you need to spend time engaging with others.
Engage with your followers. Ask questions in your captions to start a conversation, respond to all your comments and continue the conversation in the comments.
How the algorithm works right now is that the comments are much more important and valued than likes. The more comments you get the more people Instagram shows your picture to.
It’s also important not to, only, engage with your followers and people you follow but also other Instagram users.
Talk to people with similar interests who post similar type of content as you by leaving real and meaningful comments on their posts.
Don’t spam people with “nice pic” comments, take the time to actually look at the photo and read the caption, and THEN leave a genuine comment. Show them that you actually took the time to engage with their post.
Tell a story
Instagram has turned from a photo-sharing app into a storytelling community.
Many people use their Instagram accounts as “microblogging” platforms where they share their experiences, give advice and tell stories.
A caption has become an incredibly powerful tool and you should utilize it.
If you’re a blogger or a business think of Instagram as an extension of your website, another place where you can share helpful content.
Write engaging captions
Like I mentioned above, captions are very important on Instagram.
You need to write captions that will engage your followers.
Captions that will make them want to comment and have a conversation with you.
You want to build a community and connect with your followers. Captions are a great place to do that.
They are a great way to get personal and show your followers who you are, what matters to you.
You can use captions as a little personal diary where you tell your followers who you really are and what you care about.
You can also use them to give advice and share valuable information.
There is SO much you can do with your captions!
Take advantage of that space and use it wisely.
Because anyone can just put an emoji or a quote in their caption but not everyone uses it to actually SAY something.
Focus on smaller hashtags
With so many photos being shared every day it’s incredibly hard to stand out from the crowd. Especially when using hashtags that have hundreds of millions of posts.
That is why you need to forget about those mega-popular hashtags (well…not completely but for the most part) and focus on smaller ones.
You know that saying “work smarter not harder”?
Well, it can be applied to hashtags as well!
Don’t just add some random hashtags for the sake of it!
Just because you’ve been told you have to use them!
You need to be smart with hashtags!
Take the time to research hashtags and find the best ones for you!
To help you find the perfect ones for your account read my detailed post about hashtags where I shared how to use them effectively and make the most of them!
Define your target audience
In order to create a game plan for your account, you first need to learn about your audience.
Who are they? What are their interests? Where are they from? How old are they?
All this information can help you to better understand them and what they like. Take advantage of all that information and create content they will more likely engage with.
After all, that is the goal, for your audience to engage with your account. It all starts with engagement (remember my 1st point?)
If you’re just starting your account define your “ideal” follower, what is their age? gender? interests?
After putting together their “profile” go and create content that will attract them, use hashtags related to them.
Don’t waste time trying to target everyone.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in marketing class it’s that you can’t target the entire market.
You need to decide on a small group within that market to focus on.
You need to find your niche.
If you need help, you can check out this post where I walk you through how to define your ideal follower and find your niche.
Games don’t work
Long gone are the days when you could do the old follow-unfollow game *major eye roll*, buy followers or leave meaningless spam comments.
People are sick of that and don’t tolerate it.
Neither does Instagram.
So be smart and don’t play any games as they will only harm you.
Use all the features Instagram offers
Instagram has stepped up their game from the old photo-sharing platform it once was. So take advantage of all the new features.
Here are just a few you should start utilising if you aren’t already!
Undoubtedly, my favourite feature.
Instagram stories are one of the most used tools on Instagram. They allow you to share more content than what’s on your feed, allow you to be more personal. And show that there’s an actual person behind the account.
Instagram stories let you interact with your audience on a more personal level through polls, Q&A, quizzes etc. which helps you build a stronger connection with them.
With all the algorithm changes and posts not showing up on your followers’ feeds, Instagram Story is the only place your followers get to see you!
So take advantage of that and be active on stories!
Post every day so people can see you and remember you!
If you post stories and people engage with them there are higher chances that your posts will show up on top of their feed!!
InstaStory is a very powerful feature and you need to get the most of it!
Get creative with your stories and create unique and helpful content people will love and want to engage with!
I wrote a whole post about InstaStories where I shared my top tips and some really cool tricks you need to try if you want your stories to stand out!
Instagram highlights are a very useful tool which lets you keep stories on your profile, under your name. You can create highlights to keep some important or popular stories.
They are especially useful for bloggers as you can save all your blog post stories into one highlight, or some faq, etc.
You can put whatever story you want. So take advantage of that!
There are so many different types of video content you can share, from video in your feed to stories to igtv. Take advantage of all these possibilities and create some videos.
Nowadays video content is more popular than ever. People prefer watching videos over pictures as they find them more interesting and dynamic.
And lastly, take advantage of the analytics that comes with Instagram.
(if you don’t have the analytics go to settings>switch to business account and follow the instructions)
Research your analytics to figure out what kinda content works best. What are your most liked posts? Most commented posts? What kinda content does your audience like? What type of content has the least engagement? Use all that information to create content you’ll get the most from.
Final thoughts on beating the new Instagram algorithm
We’ve finally come to the end of this super long post. I tried to be as short as possible but I’ve never been a woman of a few words…
I hope you enjoyed reading my babbling and learnt some new Instagram tricks that will, hopefully, help you grow your account and beat that annoying algorithm!