The change in Instagram’s algorithm, though great for users, has created challenges for marketers.
Its announcement about the change said, in part, “The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”
Now marketers must work harder to increase engagement and interest and to get their content seen. Here are eight tactics to boost followers’ engagement and interest:
1. Create an editorial calendar. People like to know what to expect from the brands they follow on social media, so be consistent with the content you’re sharing. Create an editorial calendar with specific themes for different days of the week. You might share quotes for Motivation Monday, tips on Tip Tuesday or pics from the past on Throwback Thursday. If your audience expects certain content from you, they’ll notice it when they scroll their feeds, and you’ll have a better chance of fostering engagement. See what’s been working for you so far. Keep sharing the content followers like, and avoid the posts that haven’t gotten much attention.
2. Use hashtags. Instagram users will search for and click on hashtags of interest to them. Increase your engagement by using relevant hashtags in your captions. If you have themes for your Instagram content, research and create a list of relevant hashtags that you can use every week. Don’t be shy about using multiple hashtags. According to Quicksprout, Instagram posts with 11 or more hashtags get the highest engagement.
3. Watch your timing. Though the news feed is no longer based on when content is posted, timing does factorinto the Instagram algorithm. Keep track of what times and days have worked best for prior content; then use online tools to schedule your posts.
4. Use your branding. Create a consistent style for your content using your branding colors and logo. Your audience will easily find, recognize and engage with your posts in the Instagram feed.
5. Show your people. Try sharing images of your employees and your customers. Posts containing faces are more popular than other types of content, according to a study by Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs. Photos with faces are 38 percent likelier to receive likes than faceless photos, and faces are 32 percent likelier to attract comments.
6. Share graphics. Add variety to your content by creating quotes, facts, stats, tips or infographics with tools like Canvaor PicMonkey. Although research shows that images with people do better than other content, those might not work for your business. Often, graphics get much more engagement than photos with faces do. Test both types to see what your audience prefers.
7. Regram. Tagging works well with regramming, which is reposting an Instagram post originally published by another user. (Note: When you regram, be sure to give the original user credit and tag them in the image and caption.)
8. Tag users. If you’re featuring other people or businesses in an Instagram post, tag them. Anyone tagged will get a notification, and they’ll be likelier to engage with your post. They might even regram it in their feed.
What tips do you have to increase engagement and make the most of the Instagram algorithm? Please let us know in the comments.
Azure Collier is the social media marketing and community manager for Constant Contact. A version of this article originally appeared on the Agora Pulse blog.