Digital Marketing

7 Instagram Algorithm Hacks to Increase Engagement in 2021

Look, it’s no secret that Instagram is one of the best social media platforms right now.

In 10 years they’ve grown to over 1 billion users and consequently, there are over 300 million photos uploaded every day.

Now that’s a lot of noise.

So much noise that Instagram has updated its algorithm to filter through it all, show their users the best content, and keep them on their platform.

And that’s why today, we’re going to show you the best Instagram algorithm hacks to gain more engagement for your business.

How Does The Instagram Algorithm Work?

In order to do these Instagram algorithm hacks effectively, you need to understand their business model.

Instagram’s primary source of revenue is advertising.

And the only way they can make money from advertising is to keep users on their platform for as long as possible.

So basically, the longer you stay on Instagram, the more ads they can show you. And ultimately, the more money they can make.

So yes, Instagram wants you hooked on their platform like crack.

They want you to wake up thinking about Instagram, checking Instagram on your lunch break, and thinking about Instagram right before you go to sleep.

That’s what Instagram wants. And the algorithm helps Instagram to accomplish this. So let’s master the algorithm now.

Instead of crack, the Instagram algorithm uses content to hook people on their platform.

Instagram algorithmContent is the substance that keeps Instagram alive. It’s what keeps people coming back for more.

But Instagram doesn’t want bad content. No, no, no!

If they serve you bad content, you’ll never come back.

You’ll just use another platform like Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, or another one of their competitors.

Instagram doesn’t want that. So they’ve designed an algorithm that shows the best content to its users.

Forget about what you think you’re interested in.

Instagram’s algorithm knows more about your interests than you can probably write down on a sheet of paper.

It tracks every single action you take – every post you like, share, save, and even the amount of time you spend looking at a certain post.

If you’re that person that sees a post on Instagram and doesn’t like it, that person may not know you were looking at them, but Instagram knows.

Ultimately, the purpose of the Instagram algorithm is to filter out the best content to show its users to keep them on their platform.

Therefore, the better your content performs, the more circulation your content will have throughout the Instagram algorithm.

By default, only a small percentage of your followers will actually see the content you post on your page.

But if Instagram determines that your content is really good, they’ll show it to more of your followers.

And if your content is blazing hot, and people absolutely love it, they may even show your content in the Discover feed.

This is so that more of their users will find it and love it too.

You see, by creating great content, you’re not just helping your business or your followers, but you’re helping Instagram as well.

Therefore, the best way to break through the Instagram algorithm is to figure out how Instagram determines what is great content.

What Is Great Content According To The Instagram Algorithm?

Great content is content with high engagement, retention, relatability, and quality.

If your content scores well in these areas, they will show it to more people.

If it doesn’t perform well, they will stop showing it.

Every time you post content on Instagram, the algorithm conducts what is called a micro-test.

Basically, what this means is that Instagram will show your content to a small percentage of your followers.

For example, if you have 1,000 followers, they might show your content to 100 people who are most likely to engage with it.

Based on how this micro-test performs, the Instagram algorithm will either show your content to more people or stop circulating it altogether.

So if your content does not perform well with the initial group of people who saw it, then Instagram won’t reward you with more visibility.

It doesn’t matter if people follow you or not. If Instagram thinks your content is not useful, it will stop it dead in its tracks.

Therefore, your main task to break through the Instagram algorithm is to make the algorithm think that your content is useful.

Here are 7 Instagram algorithm hacks to do this.

7 Instagram Algorithm Hacks To Generate More Engagement

  1. Research Top-Performing Content
  2. Help People Find Your Content
  3. Post Frequently
  4. Make Your Content Longer
  5. Post When Most of Your Audience is On
  6. Use Content Stacking to Boost Your Engagement
  7. Educate, Inform, or Entertain

1. Research Top-Performing Content

Forget about what you think is cool to share on your Instagram page for a second.

Before you start writing posts and designing images, you need to research the top-performing posts on Instagram.

The good news is that you do not need any fancy 3rd party tools to do this. You can perform your research right within the Instagram app.

You can start by logging into Instagram and going to the search tab.

Instagram algorithm hacks

Then start searching for words related to your business. For example, if you’re a landscaper you might search for landscaping.

Here you see all of the top-performing posts related to landscaping.

You can then click into these posts, look at their captions, hashtags, and more to get an idea of what is performing well on Instagram.

Because we know what the Instagram algorithm looks for, we can assume that these posts have high engagement and retention.

Therefore, we can use our research as a guide to creating valuable content. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Just make a list of all the topics related to your business and research those topics on Instagram to get an idea of what is performing well.

Then create similar content, with your own creative twist to it, to try to outperform those top-performing posts.

Remember, this isn’t about what you want to post. Instagram doesn’t care.

The algorithm is trying to find the best content to show Instagram users.

The best way to do this is by seeing what’s already performing well in the algorithm based on your niche.

If you want to learn more about what to post on Instagram, then be sure to read this post next.

2. Help People Find Your Content

When you have very few followers, the best way to break through the Instagram algorithm is to help people find your content.

The best-proven way to do this is by using hashtags. Millions of people use hashtags to find the content they are interested in.

By incorporating hashtags in your post, you are associating your content with that hashtag as if it is its own category.

Now, you can use up to 30 hashtags in your Instagram posts. So we’d recommend that you use as many hashtags as you possibly can.

But don’t just use the most popular hashtags in the world. The more popular the hashtag is, the more competition you will encounter.

For example, if you sell beauty products, you might think that you should use #beauty in your content. Well, there are 445 million posts with this hashtag!

Instagram algorithm hacks

Even if your post was in the top 1% of posts with this hashtag, there would still be millions of posts on top of you.

So instead you can search for other beauty hashtags with far less search volume.

Instagram algorithm hacks

For example, #beautynews gets searched 314,000 times…

…and #beautytip gets searched 6.9 million times.

If you have less than 10,000 followers, you should try hashtags with as little as 5,000 posts and as high as 150,000 posts.

Although these hashtags may be less popular, you have higher chances of your content actually being seen through the usage of Instagram hashtags.

3. Post Frequently

Let’s say that one of your posts starts showing up as the top post for a particular hashtag.

As a result, you will probably start gaining more engagement and followers.

Now, you have to continue to build on this momentum to grow even further.

The best way to do this is to post frequently.

For example, if every post you publish gains 5 followers, you’d need to post 50 times to gain 250 followers, or 500 times to gain 2,500 followers, and so on.

We’re not going to sugarcoat it – growing your presence on Instagram is a grind. Especially in the beginning when no one knows you exist.

However, just like with investing, there are compound returns as time goes on.

As you post consistently over time, you will gain more engagement and followers at higher rates.

If you’re not posting at all, try to start by posting once per day.

And if you have the means to do more, we’d encourage you to do up to 3 posts per day if you can.

A lot of people think that they are going to overwhelm their audience, but this is irrelevant today.

Remember, the Instagram algorithm is governing what your audience sees, how much of it, and what they will see next.

You can post 3 posts at the same exact time and we’re willing to bet you that your followers won’t see them all at the same exact time.

So just focus on creating content on a frequent basis, and you should be able to gain more and more traction in the Instagram algorithm.

4. Make Your Content Longer

Remember, audience retention is important to Instagram. The longer they can keep people on their platform, the better.

Likewise, the longer you can keep people on your posts, the better.

Want to know why swipe posts perform so well on Instagram? Because it engages people and holds their attention longer than a single image.

Instagram algorithm hacks

The same goes for reels, videos, carousel ads, and other forms of media. It also applies to captions which may give you more points in the algorithm.

But obviously, these longer captions need to be engaging as well. No one wants to read a big fat piece of text.

Space out your content and add spacing after each sentence to make it digestible.

Instagram algorithm hacks

And add some emojis here and there to better express the message you are trying to relay.

5. Post When Most of Your Audience is On

When it comes to the Instagram algorithm, your post metrics within the first hour are absolutely critical.

For this reason, it is most advantageous for you to post when most of your followers are online.

This is so you have the best chance of generating the most engagement.

If you want to know the best time to post, you can easily do this by logging into your account and going to Insights.

Instagram algorithm hacks

Then you can click on your audience and scroll down to see which times of the day they are the most active.

For us, it’s at 12 PM Eastern Time, so we try to plan our content accordingly so we can have the best results at boosting our engagement.

You should definitely do the same and see how this changes as your audience grows.

6. Use Content Stacking to Boost Your Engagement

For example, you can use your story to promote a post you just published to your page.

Instagram algorithm hacks

If you include the URL to the post in your story, you will increase the engagement of that post.

Also, you can improve its chances of breaking through the Instagram algorithm.

Since engagement like clicks, views, likes, comments, and shares helps, this could help you boost your results from your content.

You can also gain more circulation in the Instagram algorithm.

You can also do this with Reels, IGTV, and other Instagram formats.

By simply mentioning certain content on your page, you can help build your overall page engagement and ranking within the Instagram algorithm.

7. Educate, Inform, or Entertain

At the end of the day, no matter what you’re posting, you need to make sure that it is valuable to Instagram’s users.

To make sure all of your posts do this, follow this rule – educate, inform, or entertain.

Anything you post on Instagram should do one of these things.

You’re either teaching them something they did not know or informing them of something in your industry.

Or, making them laugh, smile, giggle or feel some type of emotion.

This is how you add value to your audience.

By doing this, not only do you grow an audience that people truly connect with…

…but you’re also giving the Instagram algorithm a reason to open up their gates and share your content with more of their users.

Take Advantage Of These Instagram Algorithm Hacks!

So these are the 7 best Instagram algorithm hacks to earn more exposure for your business.

If you’re thinking of making the most of your Instagram marketing strategy, then look no further.

LYFE Marketing offers Instagram marketing services that is trusted by hundreds of brands across all industries. Now it’s time to help your brand.

If you want to learn more about it, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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About EagleView Consulting

EagleView Consulting is a full-service consulting agency that helps brands, retailers, and manufacturers launch, grow, and scale on Amazon. We create beautiful brands and help Amazon Sellers to dominate on the Marketplace.

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