If you read any blog post on Instagram tips, you will find the same old techniques rehashed in a new bottle. You heard them all before. You tried them. Now here’s something new.
You probably know this. You’re supposed to add hashtags to your posts on Instagram so that your social media content on Instagram gets the highest levels of engagement. Adding hashtags to your Instagram stories and posts in a bid to grow your account makes sense. When you use hashtags, you multiply the odds of being featured for the hashtags you use. As a result, more people see your content. You get more followers.
However, anyone using hashtags would be inclined to limit their use, not because the platform penalizes you but because your followers might equate a post full of hashtags as spammy. You already know that you have to post hashtags and you probably do that with some measure of restraint. I can’t blame you. As a result, you may never use the full limit of 30 hashtags.
If your followers see you using all possible hashtags(30), that probably won’t go in your favor. It doesn’t look pleasing to the eye. Someone sees the huge list of hashtags dotting the post and they can be put off by it.
What’s the solution?
Make hashtags invisible
If those hashtags are invisible you can use all of them to the limit of 30.
Here are the simple steps to follow:
Open up a text editor like notepad
Here type a dot then press enter. Repeat this or five times. Then after the dot, write your list of hashtags.
Here’s what I mean
#insta, #30more, #boats
Select the photo or post you’re sharing
Copy this entire text and paste it to your Instagram post after the caption. The hashtags as you guessed don’t just disappear but they’re only visible to people who select the “read more” button in the caption.
Voila, the hashtags are nearly invisible now. Most people would have no clue to its presence.
Also, this way the presentation of the post is just apt.
Engage more with followers and others on Instagram
On social media channels— engagement is everything. Instagram loves engagement. Facebook loves engagement. Turns out— the longer you engage people, the longer people sit around basking in the sunlight of content that social media gives them. That means more real estate to sell to advertisers. Yes, social media channels are all big on engagement.
So reply to comments and ask questions so that engagement goes up and Instagram views your account as a quality account.
Even with 1.3 million followers, RedBull manages to reply to every single comment on their posts. That’s an example to learn from.
Another way Instagram measures engagement is by taking note of the likes and comments on a post immediately after it gets posted. Good engagement immediately after the post goes live tells the algorithm that this post can make people stop on their tracks and pay attention. So they prop it up, sometimes pushing it all the way up to the Explore page.
So here’s how to make the Instagram algorithm feel that your posts are worthy of attention.
I have seen influencers do this. All the time. They know that to get the most engagement they need more than what their 100k followers are capable of. Before they post something new, they interact with fans on older posts like commenting and visiting profiles of their fans for 15 to 30 minutes. They pick hashtags for their future post, search for those hashtags and visit the profiles of those who posted content.
Next, they go on a commenting and liking spree on these profiles as well.
They like the most recent content of these users and leave a few comments. And repeat this with several hashtags that are relevant to their upcoming post. Their activity is in the hopes of creating a flurry of activity in return for them. Because everyone at this stage is asking who this person is and they’re checking out his profile and looking at the new posts and that automatically creates excitement. Instagram can’t ignore the engagement that comes from relevant profiles. This results in increased lead generation for the client since most influencers alter the bio with the client link. So if you do something similar you get more traffic to your landing pages. Just make sure the website isn’t too slow. Or you risk losing conversions.
Own other accounts to interact with your own content
It’s not wrong to create multiple Instagram accounts. The truth is most of us have more than one Instagram account. It could be a business account where you’re allowed to have up to 5 accounts connected to a single account. And since that’s not against terms, we can take advantage of that. You can also be logged into all these 5 accounts simultaneously without any problems. If you can’t manage your account alone, have your team manage each account and support each other. Communicate your plan in advance with your team.
When you post something on your main Instagram account, switch up the profiles and visit these other accounts. With those additional accounts leave a like, post comments that look real and do everything else to mimic authentic interaction. Ths trick would be a booster shot to your posts. This improves engagement and the levels of interaction on your content.
You might already be posting at times your audience is most engaged at. This little trick would give you another boost your content needs to get some extra love from the algorithm.
Keep your posting schedule consistent.
This is important. Post at least once a day. You won’t grow your account at breakneck speeds if you don’t post for weeks together. Sporadic posting is the quickest way to bottom out engagement and kill your Instagram account.
The fitness brand Onnit posts once every day.
Your followers visit your account with the hope of finding something new. Do not disappoint them. Your followers are going to love your account because of your consistent schedule. In addition, this boosts loyalty.
Redbull wasn’t big on Instagram back in the day. But now the brand draws most of its customer base from Instagram. This is thanks to keeping a consistent schedule that follows an overarching theme.
They do it by adding photos and videos of people engaging in extreme sports. This creates a bond and relationship with people.
It’s a trend on their feed. Almost all their posts are pictures and shoots of extreme sports.
With each post, you have before you an opportunity to get it before new people. When you post you might get comments and people might tag others who they feel are relevant to the post. This fuels the rapid growth of your account. That new post gets in front of a new audience. If they find your content as engaging, they will follow your account. This means with every new piece of content you improve the odds of engagement. That’s why you must post once a day.
Use well thought out hashtags
Hashtags have always been valuable on Instagram. The most popular ones are filled with hundreds of thousands of posts. Use all 30 hashtags and make sure you don’t use too competitive hashtags so that your post has an opportunity to stand out and gain some engagement. When using hashtags do some keyword research around their volumes so you use relevant, moderately popular hashtags.
Post at optimal times for your audience
Your Instagram account shouldn’t post at times your audiences aren’t active. With analytics, you can find out the most active zones and times for your audience and with this, you can post content to reach people across time zones. This way by posting at active times you can also take more of the traffic from Instagram to your own website. Or to a time-sensitive webinar.
These are the tips and tricks you can use to grow your Instagram account and get more engagement. Do let us know what you think.
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George is a freelance writer and blogger who over the past 8 years has worked with some of the biggest SaaS companies in the world like CrazyEgg and ReferralCandy creating them a copy that helped them generate thousands of leads. He now writes at Seekdefo.