Part 2: How Does Instagram’s 2021 Algorithm Affect Your Business?
Part 2: How to Reach More People on Instagram
How can your business get more views on Instagram? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be camera-ready. You can even wear your pajamas to work, as long as you take the time to read our two-part series about Instagram’s 2021 algorithms. Part 1 explained Instagram’s’ algorithm for the feed, Stories and Explore pages, and for Reels and Instagram TV. If you missed it, we suggest you go back and read it so you’ll have a better understanding of the information we’ll present here in Part 2.
Tips for Using Instagram’s Algorithms to Get More Views
In Part 1, you read that Instagram’s 2021 algorithms use data that measures post information, poster (the person or business who posted) information, user activity, and interaction history. In other words, they basically boil down to one question: How likely is the user to be interested in the post? That makes sense, but how do you use your newfound 2021 algorithm knowledge to get views on Instagram? We’ve got a few tips:
Content Creation Tips
Take a long hard look at the content you’ve been posting.
- Does it solve a problem for your viewers?
- Entertain them?
- Engage them in an industry-relevant discussion?
You don’t need to answer all of those questions affirmatively, but if you can’t say yes to at least one, you’ve got work to do.
Make it easy to engage. Encourage direct action with:
- A CTA button (when appropriate).
- Interactive stickers. Polls, questions, emoji sliders, locations, quizzes, hashtag stickers, countdown clocks and more—there are stickers that fit almost any post. Check out this Shopify Post for a breakdown of types and how best to use them.
- Hashtags. They help people find you and share you.
- Captions. Write captions that prompt viewers to take action. Ask them to answer a question, tap if they agree with your post, or tag other viewers.
Change up the form of content you post. Try:
- Sharing Instagram Reels. These 15-30 second videos are easy to create and are more likely to get your post added to the Explore page, where you’ll gain exposure to new viewers. Instagram’s 2021 algorithm also favors its newer features, like Reels, so you’ll up your chances of being seen.
- Producing longer video content. Share non-Reel videos on Instagram TV (formerly IGTV). Surveys indicate that video increases sales, ROI, brand awareness, and time spent on related websites.
- Creating carousel posts. According to HootSuite, Instagram carousel posts get 1.4 times more reach and 3.1 times more engagement than regular posts.
- Use eye-catching graphics and motion. You’ll grab more attention.
- Highlight your location. Posts with tagged locations get 79% more engagement than ones without.
Comment on others’ posts. Who do you want to follow you, share your posts, and/or become your customers? Once you learn who they are, follow, comment, and share their posts.
That includes the big dogs. Sure, commenting on a Nike post doesn’t mean they’ll reciprocate, but it does put the name of your shoe store in front of your target audience.
Share others’ content about your brand. If people are talking about you, your company and/or your brand, share the posts in Stories, and don’t forget to tag them.
Don’t forget to respond to comments. And do it as soon as possible, to create social proof, increase engagement, and just to be polite.
Consider timing. Figure out the best time to reach more people on Instagram with the help of their Analytics report, which will show you when your targeted viewers are most active. (Look in Insights, under Audience). Chat. Send messages to people you particularly want to engage with. Make sure to be genuine, and not too sales-y. Before messaging, ask yourself, “What’s in it for them?” (A good question to ask yourself when dealing with almost anyone about almost anything.)
Post Stories often. By doing so, you’ll put your brand in front of people as soon as they hop on Instagram.
Share across feeds. Share Reels to your feed. Share your feed posts to Stories. Share previews of your Instagram TV videos to your feed.
Repost former posts to Stories. Did you know you can do this? What a great way to make sure your audience sees important contentEmbrace the new. As mentioned earlier, Instagram’s 2021 algorithm favors content posted on its newest features. Stay up-to-date and be an early adopter.
Still have questions about how to get views on Instagram? We’re here to help.
- What is a good reach rate on Instagram in 2021? The average Instagram engagement rate is 4.7%. We suggest you aim higher than the average, remembering that smaller brands/accounts can get better reach rates than large brands with lots of followers. For example, Kazakhstan beats out all other countries with an Instagram reach of 78.7% of its population. Small can be good.
- What is a good engagement rate for Instagram in 2021? Engagement rates vary depending on the number of followers you have and how active they are Most analysts seem to agree that a good engagement rate is somewhere between 1-5%. Again, smaller accounts can (and should) get better engagement rates than large ones.
- Why are my hashtags not working in 2021? Though there’s been a lot of talk about shadow-banning, it’s more likely you’re using hashtags that are:
- Too broad.
- Too competitive.
- Unrelated to your posts.
- Banned. You’d be surprised at some of the hashtags that have been banned (like “workflow”). Search for “banned hashtags” to keep on top of the latest news.
It could also be the way you’re using hashtags.
- Don’t delete and re-add hashtags too often.
- You may be using too few or too many hashtags. While there’s an everchanging debate about the “right” number of hashtags, it’s really up to you to figure out the number that will resonate with your audience.
- You may come off as spammy or sales-y. Remember to ask yourself that good all-purpose question: “What’s in it for my viewers?”
One more FAQ: How can I do all of that well, keep up on trends and new features, and make sure I’m using the right number of non-banned hashtags? Well, you can work late, or you can work with us. We’ve got the time and the expertise to help you reach more people on Instagram. We’re good at our business. Let us take care of yours. Contact us today.