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How to Use the New Instagram Algorithm to Your Advantage

instagram-algorithmIf you have an Instagram page for your brand, you’re likely well aware of the recent change to the algorithm on this social media site. In short, no longer will your Instagram posts be ordered chronologically. Now they’ll be shown in the order that the algorithm thinks your followers will most appreciate based on their interests, their relationship with you, and the timeliness of the posts.

So what effect will this have on your Instagram success? Well, it could actually work in your favor, as long as you tweak your tactics to keep up with the algorithm change. You can get started by using these tips to guide your new Instagram strategy.

Post High-Quality Content

If you’ve been posting great content all along, just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll continue to make your followers happy. On Instagram, great quality means clear, focused images that don’t all look the same. This might mean you can only post one or two pictures per day, and that’s okay.

It’s much better than the Instagram users posting dozens of low-quality, blurry pictures that seem to be a slightly different angle of the same item. This algorithm will actually weed out these users and reduce their visibility on this social network, leaving more room for you at the top!

Improve Your Engagement

The newer algorithm focuses more on the relationships Instagram users have with each other, which means you should work on making it clear to the site that your followers are engaged. The easiest way to get started is to like and comment on images and videos that you enjoy. You can also respond to comments or questions on your own images and videos. This will show both Instagram and your followers that you are engaged with other users on the site, making it more likely that people will see your posts.

You can also increase engagement by hosting giveaways or contests that encourage your followers to share, comment, or like your posts in order to win. For your other posts, you can simply add a call to action to let your readers know what you want them to do. This might include commenting, answering a question, or tagging friends.

Post at Strategic Times

Now that it’s clear that not all followers on Instagram will see all posts, you need to make sure you’re posting at the right time. Of course, if you already have an engaged audience and high-quality images, it might not matter what time you post on the site because your images will likely get seen. But if you’re still working on this, it’s important to schedule your posts at the best time and day.

The exact days and times vary, but generally Instagram experts say that Wednesday at 5 pm EST is best. In addition, pretty much any time Monday through Thursday is good, especially during mornings between 6 am and 12 pm because people seem to be constantly checking their phones during that time. So if you have a few images that you want your audience to see, consider posting one in the morning and one around 5 pm as people are getting off work. And if you’re wondering if these times are really best for your followers in particular, you can always check out your Instagram analytics to see which of your posts get the most engagement, taking note of the times and days they are posted.

Use Hashtags the Right Way

Yes, there is a right way to use hashtags on social media, and no, adding a pound sign to 20 made up phrases is not it. You want to make it easy for people to see your posts, and hashtags can help. You can get started by seeing what’s trending. If the images or videos you plan to post relate to the most popular hashtags at the moment, feel free to tag them appropriately. This way, you can instantly be part of the conversation in real time, giving your posts as much visibility as possible.

You can also make up your own hashtags out of your brand name, products or services, or slogan. Either way, try to add at least 11 hashtags to each post, since that seems to be the sweet spot on Instagram. The more you use, the better chance you have of reaching people who might be interested in your posts. And you’re going to need all the help you can get if you are still trying to improve engagement and quality.

Have you noticed a difference in your Instagram success after the algorithm update? If you have – and the changes have not been positive – try out these tactics and let us know how they work!