5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Social Media Engagement
Instagram is constantly evolving and changing but there are some constants that everyone should know whether you're a seasoned IGer or new to the platform. Things like asking your audience questions and doing giveaways are well-known strategies for increasing engagement. This article is about behind the scenes things that you can do to increase your contents communication with the Instagram algorithms.
But first, let's talk a little about these algorithms and how they affect your posts. Remember seeing that awesome cat video or recipe that you wanted to share? Your social feeds, like billions of other users, are generated by a super secretive bit of code called an algorithm. While regular users like you and I don't have an understanding of how the code is written, we can learn what makes them tick.
First off, a little algorithm back story for us nerds out there.
Algorithms in social media all started in 2006 with the release of Facebook's news feed but it wasn't until the 'like' button was introduced in 2009 that Facebook was able to measure the algorithm's success.
When Instagram was originally released it displayed images in chronological order, and it wasn't until Facebook bought the app in 2012 that they rolled out an algorithm that is built around things like what time a post goes live, post type, time users spend viewing posts, and of course, engagement.
We may not understand the many layers of an Algorithm's complexity, and while it's true that posts with the most likes, comments, and shares are still shown to more people, those metrics are no longer enough to reach a larger audience.
Unfortunately, there isn't a one size fits all formula for navigating the algorithm world, but there are some tricks you can use to get your posts in front of more people.
First: Facebook and Instagram both prioritize posts about family and friends first. So that's an easy no brainer. And we thank them for keeping information about the people most important to us within reach at all times.
Second: Facebook values relevant (timely) content that leans more towards education than promotion. So, try incorporating trending content and hashtags that are relevant to your image or video. This only works if the post is genuine.
Third: Since these algorithms value authentic communication, users that create spammy posts will find their pages and profiles pushed to the bottom of the news feed. So, be authentic.
Fourth: Try incorporating more videos. Every app wants to increase the time spent on its site. Facebook and IG are rewarding video posts by placing them above the rest and showing them more frequently. So, grab iMovie or go live, and get creative. Everyone loves a good time-lapse!
Fifth: Be consistent with your posts. The more frequently people engage with your posts and stories the better chance they have showing up in future feeds. People can't engage if you're not giving them anything to engage with. Think about using a scheduling tool like Buffer or Later to help you be consistent and stay organized.
Lastly, pay attention to the algorithm updates. Tools like Social Sprout and Hootsuite will help keep you informed! Have fun!