If you want to build a following on Instagram, you need to learn about Instagram algorithm hacks.
Instagram's algorithm considers user actions to learn what content is most engaging to its audience. The platform then prioritizes posts in users' feeds depending on how closely they match their specific interests.
Here are the ‘Instagram hacks’ we learned to make your content engaging and shown to more users in the feed.
Use mostly Reels
Last year was the year of TikTok. This year was the year Instagram copied TikTok and priorities Reels.
Anytime a social network introduces a new feature, it’s best to jump on the bandwagon. Meta went all in on Reels after all the pressure they had from TikTok’s enormous growth with short form 9:16 videos.
Reels get more visibility than any other content type on Instagram right now. Some creators have gone so far as to make still 9:16 videos of images instead of posting an actual images.
It is best to lean your Instagram content heavily on Reels. If you’re posting video content, definitely make it a Reel. That being said, using a mix of content types, including static images, carousel posts, and Instagram stories, is best.
Add trending music in your Reels
Instagram's algorithm gives greater weight to posts that are on trend. Music is just one of the ways Instagram determines who they will show your posts to. The incorporation of music also makes your material more noticeable to people as they swipe through Reels.
Using trending music gives your content a boost in the Instagram algorithm. Do a little searching to find trending music to add to your Reels.
Boost the Likes on your posts
Paying to boost the likes on your Instagram posts can significantly increase your chances of getting featured more in the algorithm to other users. Instagram's algorithm favours content that gets high engagement and interactions. By boosting the likes on your Reels you'll get more reach, which can lead to more likes, comments, and shares from real users.
This may be a controversial opinion however, I've tested it with just 50 Likes per post versus no boosted Likes and and the boosted Likes posts reached significantly more people.
Add music to your image posts
You can now add music to your static image posts, which helps increase the reach of your pictures. You can access music for your posts directly from Instagram's in-app music library as you post.
There are many methods to increase the number of people who see your posts, and adding music is one of the easiest ones. Including music in your content is a great way to further establish the tone and style of your brand.
Use sound effects in your Reels
People are more likely to stay interested in your content if it includes well-executed sound effects.
We found that many of our most popular Reels utilized sound effects. This may have been a coincidence however, using sound effects in your videos serves a number of purposes, including conveying information, enhancing the production value, eliciting emotional reactions, emphasizing jokes, and indicating mood.
Use subtitles and emojis in your Reels
Using subtitles and emojis in your Reels allows people to enjoy a video without the sound on, including those who are deaf or otherwise unable to hear the audio. However, we found that many of the most viral Reels we saw used partial subtitles, emojis, and effects. This was much different from standard captions, which are auto-generated by Instagram and can be enabled or disabled by users in Instagram’s settings.
Tagging other Instagram users in your posts is an effective way of broadening your reach. It makes sense, especially when you tag someone who is famous or someone who owns a business that can promote your content.
Some of us may want to tag everyone on our posts because we know that doing so would increase the visibility of our material. However, overusing tags is bad for marketing and might backfire. That is why you should be careful about including other people in your brand.
There’s also a chance of getting a shoutout from the influencer you tag, which could give you an opportunity to get a ton more viewers and followers.
Hashtags used to play a much larger role in lists of Instagram hacks a few years back. However, they got so overused Instagram had to change things up. It’s not all about keywords or hashtags anymore. For example, TikTok recently switched from prioritizing hashtags to prioritizing descriptions and extended descriptions from 300 characters to 2200. AI has progressed a lot in 2022, and now it is easy for apps to determine the context of your post by the description and the auto-generated caption from words spoken in your video.
Hashtags may still help the Instagram algorithm determine what your content is about just don’t overdo it. You should use 5 to 7 hashtags in your captions. Hashtags will help you get visibility on the hashtags page to people who follow the hashtags and to people interested in the topic of the hashtag.
It’s important to note that hashtags in comments no longer get you added exposure as they used to. However, including a hashtag using a sticker in your Story may lead to exposure on the hashtag page and the hashtag Story.
If you want to build a solid connection with potential customers, sharing visual content is the most efficient hack that you can use as an advantage. With Instagram, this is possible. Your audiences can easily know what your brand is all about and what it looks like.
To get more Instagram views, likes, comments, and followers, it's more important to cater to the preferences of your audience versus trying to fool the Instagram algorithm.
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Watch the clip below from our show Good Morning Marketers, where we discuss every Instagram algorithm hack we learned.