Have you noticed a decrease in your likes? Or have you noticed that you are getting the same amount of likes and comments on your photos every time? Just when you think you’ve got Instagram figured out, they go and change their algorithm again. As a photographer, Instagram is a huge platform to share my work. Therefor I need to stay updated on its always changing algorithms. Here are 5 things I’ve learned to increase your engagement on Instagram in 2018.
- Post Consistently:
I use to post 2-3 photos a week, then wait a month and post another 2-3 photos from a shoot I’ve done. That’s the wrong way to do Instagram. You need to post either every day, every two days, once every week, etc. The point here is that your followers get use to seeing your content either every week, every day, or every hour (please don’t post every hour) and they start to expect you to post at the same times. Instagram sees this as a good thing and will start showing your photos to more of your followers.
2. Create better captions:
Start asking questions or creating better captions in order to get more people commenting. Instagram does this thing now that when you first post your photo, it shows it to only 10 percent of your followers. Based on how many people are liking and commenting on your photo, they will show your post to the other 90 percent of your followers if it is performing well. Instagram does this so that most people will only see posts they care about which is around 10 percent of people you follow.
I use to be that guy that got on Instagram and never liked or commented on anyones photos. However, since I started asking questions and creating engaging captions, I’ve genuinely enjoyed chatting with like minded people in the comments. If we’re gonna be on social media, lets at least start talking to each other more!
3. Start creating stories:
If you aren’t using Instagram stories, you need to start today. It’s a great way to get people engaging with your content. Ask questions, take polls, do live videos, etc. The more people that interact with you results in Instagram showing your post to more people (meaning better engagement for you!)
I know, I know. Everyone HATES hashtags, but I promise they can be beneficial to you if you use them in the right way. Hashtags are a great way to reach people who aren’t following you yet. Instagram allows you to put up to 30 hashtags in your caption or comment section. Most people use all 30 but I’ve read that it’s better to post 10-20 relevant hashtags than all 30. Using all 30 every time makes Instagram think you’re being spammy which could result in a temporary ban.
Make sure your hashtags are related to your post. So if you post a picture of your dog, don’t put #cat. And I know most people HATE using hashtags but honestly, I’ve started talking to some really cool people who found my post through a hashtag and started following me.
5. Comment of your followers posts:
If you aren’t liking or commenting on certain posts, chances are you probably won’t see many of your followers posts. Instagram only shows you the posts they think you will like the most and they do the same with your followers. They are able to do this by how much you interact with the person posting (liking, commenting, saving, direct messaging, etc).
Commenting on others posts will make you favorable with Instagram and will help you gain more engagement on your account. When you comment, please leave a thoughtful and genuine comment. The whole purpose of Instagram changing their algorithm was to try and get more people to be authentic and start engaging with others.
At the end of the day you’re trying to increase your engagement by asking questions, using hashtags, and creating stories but if increasing your engagement is your main goal then find something else to do with your time. Instagram can be a great social media platform that lets you interact with your followers so be authentic and you’ll see the growth come. Nobody likes a robot.