Every one loves a bit of Instagram right? There is something kind of warming when you post a picture and you get loads of likes and lovely comments. Certainly I am not an Instagram pro, I don’t have a gazillion followers (yet!) But I do have a nice group of well engaged people who regularly comment and like my content. I am also pleased to see some steady growth on my Instagram account.

So I have heard a lot about the new algorithm for Instagram. Luckily for me I only joined Instagram after the changes so I never knew any other way. Instagram is like every other social media platform. You get what you give. If you want to post one photo a day and leave it to do its thing then don’t expect amazing things. If you really want to make Instagram work for you then you need to understand it, and use the algorithms to your advantage.

Instagram Tips for Growth & Engagement:
  • Probably the most obvious thing is great content. A few fuzzy pictures is not going to get a gaggle of followers. Spend sometime editing pictures, everyone knows that Instagram is not a true depiction of your life. Besides you are creating a brand of sorts. People like to see a kind of pattern or uniformity to your feed.
  • The first 15 minutes is key. This is when your picture is most active in the Instagram algorithm. You need to get as many likes and comments as possible in this time to keep your picture in the algorithm so more people see it. Instagram pods are great for this (more on this later)
  • Timing of posts is really important for getting your picture noticed. Catching people in the morning between 6.30-7.30am and in the evening between 5-6pm when they are on their commute is the best time. This is when Instagram is the most active, giving you lots of extra likes.
  • Hashtags are the currency of Instagram. Some posts suggest that 11 or more is the way forward. I can’t say I have tested it under strict conditions but there are some hashtags that perform better than others. Spend some time working out what works for you. Look at the feeds you admire that have lots of followers, likes and comments. Try out some of the hashtags they use.
  • Join a pod. Not sure what this is? Basically its a group of people working together for each other. The pod is usually run via the message part of Instagram. When you post a picture you drop a heart and the others in the pod like and comment on your picture as soon as they can (ideally in 15 minutes). In return you are agreeing to do the same for each heart dropped by others in the pod.
  • Comment and like other photos. This is really important. If you have taken the time to follow lots of people its only courtesy to spend some time looking at their feed. If you want your own followers to be engaged with your feed you need to engage with theirs. Take some time to scroll through the feed and share the love.
  • Get involved with some of the available Facebook threads. Most of the blogging groups will run an Instagram feed where you agree to like all the pictures linked up. Personally I like this group. A lot will also run a follow thread too. If you join this make sure you follow all the members and don’t be a bad sport and unfollow them immediately afterwards.

So there you go. Some really easy tips for getting your Instagram account off the ground. I am by no means saying I have the answers for a viral feed, but these tips should help you grow an engaged community. Do you have any others you want to share?

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