Apr 7, 2022 11:05:52 AM
Have you ever dreamed of having a huge following? Influencers gain thousands of followers who take an interest in their style, insight, inspiration, humor or voice as content creators. An engaged following will even take an interest in the products and services you recommend, making you an ideal partner for brands that want to increase their audience.
However, things have gotten tougher for influencers in the past few years. It used to be somewhat easy to grow on social media. When there weren’t as many accounts, creative and knowledgeable people were more likely to gain followers looking to fill their feeds with inspirational posts.
Now, social media has grown in popularity, and the platforms have made it increasingly harder to gain organic followers. Does that mean you should buy a following? Absolutely not. Not only will platforms penalize this activity when they find out, but brands don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t have true followers.
Instagram, in particular, has made it difficult to grow and even harder to get your content on the feeds of your followers. We often hear, "What is the Instagram algorithm and how can I beat it?" So, here is a post to help you grow. We have plenty of micro-influencers and influencers at Beatly who have been able to beat the Instagram algorithm in 2022.
Why Use Instagram?
Instagram is a platform that is largely based on visuals. For many content creators, producing beautiful work helps inspire their audiences to act. While Snapchat tends to focus on entertainment and Facebook focuses on thought leadership, Instagram provides a place for beauty.
Brands choose Instagram because it is the perfect platform for encouraging people to purchase their products. However, a brand-centric approach doesn’t work well on Instagram. People don’t join the platform to see product promotions from the majority of companies. Most Instagram users are interested in following content that inspires them. Using influencers, brands can seek out their target audiences and sponsor brand mentions.
If you can build an engaged following of thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands, you could work with brands who will send free products or even pay you for your posts. Instagram offers a diverse option of content types with options for stories, reels and in-feed posts.
You can use these tips to grow the kind of engaged following brands are looking for. When you become an Instagram influencer, you will be able to pursue dream contracts and content-making opportunities.
How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work?
There isn’t one sole algorithm for Instagram. There are actually several algorithms that affect the visibility of your content. Instagram has a vested interest in keeping users highly engaged while on the app. There are essentially four ways the algorithm ranks content:
Content Details: When you post, what you post and how much engagement content gets early on are all things that impact your ranking. Instagram tends to promote content that gets a lot of attention early on, making it crucial to post during the times your audience is most likely to be on and active.
Poster Activity: You can’t just post and ghost. You need to be active with your audience. How quickly are you responding? What else are you doing on the app? Instagram tends to give an edge to active accounts. Not only will engagement help your rankings, but your followers are going to be much more interested in following an active and responsive influencer.
User Activity: Instagram’s algorithms take into account what people typically do while they are on Instagram. While some crowds tend to watch videos, others scroll past to look at photos. Instagram tries to play into those tendencies.
User Interaction: What really makes a user stop and interact with content? Instagram will boost content it considers likely to increase engagement on the app.
There is no way to hack the algorithm.
Since the algorithm is designed to only increases the visibility of desirable content, creating desirable content is the only way to increase your relevance on the platform. These algorithms impact the three types of Instagram content:
- Feed – Typical posts that you put on your profile feed and could appear on the organic feed your users scroll through. The algorithm tries to determine which posts people are most likely to take action on and show them those. Unfortunately, only a fraction of your users will typically be shown your posts.
- Stories – Short-lived content that is displayed on a special part of the feed and is accessible by clicking on the users profile image are called stories. Stories can also be saved into featured folders on the profile so your followers can watch them after the 24-hour expiration date.
- Reels: Another segment of Instagram features quick video content lasting up to 60 seconds. Reels can simultaneously be posted to your account profile. Instagram will try to figure out who is most likely to watch your Reel all the way through and show it to those people. Audio tracks, descriptions and popularity help Instagram figure out what kind of content you are offering. Engaging Reels are shown to more people.
- Live: Going Live on Instagram will show up in your stories but not have a set amount of recorded time. People can join and watch you interact in real-time. Once you finish your Live, you can choose to share it to your stories for followers to watch over the next 24 hours.
- IGTV: The long-form video content part of the platform can host videos that are up to one hour long. IGTV content is typically informative and educational (think YouTube), while Reels are snappy and entertaining (think TikTok).
- Carousels: You can post more than one photo to a single feed post. A carousel with the right images can help you beat the algorithm by causing people to pause and interact (swipe). The first image in the carousel will show up in your profile feed.
Aside from ads, you will only see content in your stories and post feed from the accounts you follow. You may get some additional eyes on your content because of the hashtags you use.
How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm in 2022
What can you do to get noticed on Instagram in 2022? Here are some tips to beat the Instagram algorithm this year.
Create Entertaining Reels
Creating video content is one of the easiest ways to get people interested in you and your content. Learn how to make quick and fun Reels for the audience you are targeting. When Instagram started adding videos to the platform, it prioritized the content. Many users see a natural spike in views if they are able to create videos that entertain their audience.
Ask for Interactions
It might feel a little cringe to ask for people to “like and comment” or follow you, but you need to do it! Your call to action is likely to spark at least a few users to do something, helping improve your engagement rates for the algorithm. There is a reason these kinds of requests are coming from so many other large influencers and content creators! Asking for interaction will prompt users to take the next step.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Don’t use a batch of super generic hashtags. Use a blend of umbrella terms and niche terms for each post. You can keep a list of your favorites on hand for convenience, but don’t use the same batch of hashtags on every post. Hashtags cannot save bad content, but they may be able to increase your audience for certain posts.
Post Content that Matters
The images you show and captions you write need to be things people actually WANT to read. In order to target an audience and become an influencer, you have to know what kinds of things they care about. While some will care about aesthetics, others will want to feel inspired. Most influencers have a niche area they are known for. Your audience will be more locked in if you have a honed skill, pension for adventure, amazing sense of style or entertaining personality.
Be Consistent with Posts
Your value, aesthetic, tone and frequency should be very consistent for your followers. If you binge post for days and then go radio silent for the next week, you are going to struggle to keep followers engaged. Your feed should ideally look cohesive and flow well. Many influencers have such a strong style that their feeds look curated, and their images are all edited to have the same vibe. Post multiple stories daily, along with regular feed posts and Reels several times a week.
Don’t be aloof. When your followers comment or message you, respond! People will get tired of talking to a wall that just keeps posting content and doesn’t reply. Respond to every comment and don’t use generic language, like “thanks!” Make your comments meaningful and personalized for your audience.
Follow the Trends
You need to be active on the platform to see the trends as they occur. Join in with popular Reel and story trends that will show you are a relevant participant on Instagram. It’s difficult to know the trends if you aren’t on the app quite a bit engaging with other accounts and content.
Tell a Story
Use your whole account to tell a story about who you are in the world. Instagram users love to follow accounts that offer consistency and authenticity. Your audience doesn’t want to see a perfectly curated feed at all times—they will also want to see raw content that is still keeping with your personality as an influencer.
Consider Boosting Your Best Content
Ultimately, Instagram makes the algorithm difficult because they are a revenue-driven platform that makes money from ads. If you are serious about becoming an influencer, you may want to boost some of your most popular posts and see what kind of interaction that gives your account. However, ads alone won’t make you a popular influencer. Brands often turn to influencers because they are typically more effective than ads. Some brands will also boost their influencer campaigns in order to get the most out of their sponsored content.