5 Tips to Grow your Business Instagram with the Algorithm
Get ready to become a master of Instagram Algorithm by leveraging specific strategies to make it work in your favor. Instagram has changed & getting followers is harder than ever. But we are here for you, Boo. Read on to learn how to leverage this Social App to grow your business and your followers into engaged fans.
Meet Taylor Loren / Brand Builder and Instagram Expert
I’m Taylor Loren, an Instagram loving, pop culture obsessed marketer! If I could pick any mentor, it would definitely be Kris Jenner. I’m a very classic Capricorn: type A and I lovvvve being organized.
When I was in college, I took an internship at a small tech startup doing marketing and social media, and I quickly found my passion for helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by growing their business through social media. I dropped out of college to focus on my career, and fast forward a few years and startups later, and I started working at Later as the first marketing hire, back when we were just a little Instagram scheduling app called Latergramme. Since then, we’ve grown our company into the #1 Instagram marketing platform with 2 million users, and I have loved building our brand through our content marketing (blog, newsletter, and free Instagram courses).
If you’re a small business looking to make your mark on Instagram, you need to be strategic and creative with the content you post.
Instagram has changed, and it’s harder to get followers than ever before. Instagram’s algorithm pays close attention to your posts and engagement, and all of your followers’ actions too. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing — if you start making positive changes to your Instagram marketing strategy now, the algorithm will pick up on your actions, and you’ll soon see an increase in your likes, engagement, and followers!
5 tips to conquer the ever-changing Instagram algorithm
1. Create a Cohesive Instagram Aesthetic
If you want to grow your account, having a beautiful and cohesive Instagram aesthetic is the key to turning visitors into followers.
A curated Instagram aesthetic that shows off your brand’s unique style and tone is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd and get more followers! And the best part is that you don’t need to be a photo-editing pro to make it work.
Start by looking at what kind of content you want to create and show off on your Instagram page. Find inspiration in other Instagram feeds, create a mood board on Pinterest or collect images that you think best represent your brand. Taking the time, in the beginning, to think about these things will help you decide what “aesthetic” will best represent you and your brand, and resonate with your target audience.
Once you’ve decided on what type of images you want to post, it’s time to start editing! What you’re aiming for is a cohesive look and feel across all your images in your feed, regardless of the subject or where it was shot!
Adobe Lightroom is one of the best programs to use if you want to create a cohesive aesthetic, thanks to it’s super-easy to use presets. Lots of Instagram influencers and photographers have created Lightroom presets which allow you to edit your images to all have a similar tonal quality with just a few clicks! Plus, you can use presets on the free Lightroom CC app!
Finally, plan out your feed in advance. It’s important to maintain some balance across your feed. That means not posting 6 selfies in a row, or placing too many product shots close together. Being able to preview what your feed will look like is so important when it comes to creating your aesthetic, and that’s exactly why we created Later’s Visual Planner! You can just click and drag your images to reorder and schedule posts in a layout that works!
2. Write Strong Post Captions that Convert
We’ve talked about having that beautiful Instagram aesthetic, but now it’s time to write a killer caption to go with it. And sometimes, writing the post can be the hardest part!
For too many businesses, captions are an afterthought, and that could be seriously affecting their engagement and growth!
Why? Because the algorithm is taking a look at your captions too! Not only the content (including any hashtags you use in the caption) but also how much conversation it sparks in your comments, and how your followers are engaging with each other, and your brand.
While there’s no hard or fast rule to creating a winning Instagram caption, you should try to write a post that provides context, adds personality, and inspires your followers to take action.
Make sure your personality comes across in your content and try to have call-to-actions (CTAs) within your post copy to inspire your followers to comment on your posts. This will definitely help drive even more engagement on your account.
It may take a little trial and error to get right, but the golden rule is: if your audience finds it engaging, you’re doing great!
3. Build a Winning Hashtags Strategy
Did you know that posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag? That’s a whole lot of potential eyes looking at your posts on Instagram!
If you want to reach new audiences, building an effective hashtag strategy is one of the best things you can do. It helps your content be discovered by new audiences, and depending on how targeted your hashtags are, this can mean more engagement, more followers, and even more customers.
Start by finding hashtags that work best for your business and your target audience. For example, if your audience is female entrepreneurs, you may want to use hashtags like #femalepreneure. The key is to not use hashtags that are too generic, like #business. These are flooded with posts every minute, and your post will only get lost in the feed. Instead, look for niche hashtags that can really hone in on your target audience — that way you know you’re putting your content in front of the right people, and providing potential followers with content you know they’ll enjoy.
There’s a ton of different ways to use hashtags in your Instagram marketing strategy, from including them in your captions, to Instagram Stories’ Hashtag Sticker, you can even add hashtags in your bio! If you want to learn more about hashtags and how they can drastically improve your reach and engagement on Instagram, check out our Instagram Hashtag Strategy Guide. It’s a 53-page, hands-on guide to implementing an effective hashtag strategy that boosts the reach of your Instagram marketing campaigns!
4. Be Active with Instagram Stories
Not only are Instagram Stories fun and creative, but they’re great for growing your engagement, building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and even making e-commerce sales!
Instagram Stories is one of those special channels that appeal to both regular folks tapping through Instagram and businesses looking to grow. So it’s easy to strike a balance between fun, lighthearted content, and marketing posts that can drive e-commerce sales!
But what a lot of businesses are missing out on, is all the awesome features Instagram Stories has to help you boost your engagement and views. Adding Hashtags and Mentions Stickers will help you reach new audiences while using the Polls and Questions Stickers boosts your engagement levels as viewers want to share their thoughts and feelings with you, in real-time!
This year’s hot trend was Instagram Story templates. It relates back to having a strong Instagram aesthetic and making sure it translates across all your Instagram content. Using templates in apps like Unfold, or creating your own in Canva (or you can use Later’s free Instagram Stories templates too!) is a really easy way to build your brand awareness and recognition on Instagram.
There are tons of great hacks to Instagram Stories that you can try out for your business and we’ve shared everything we know in our free Instagram Stories Course. It’s such a great platform to reach your audience in a personal and informal way, and you should definitely be using it for your business!
5. Always Find Time to Engage with Your Followers
Instagram isn’t a one-way street. If you want to grow your account and build a loyal following, it’s super important that you engage with your followers at every opportunity.
Remember Instagram is a social network, so the algorithm identifies when conversations and interactions happen between accounts and favor the profiles that regularly engage.
So when you’ve received comments on your latest posts, be sure to like and reply to them. Take the time to respond to your DMs. And most importantly, make sure you’re liking, commenting and sharing content from your peers!
The latest feature in Instagram Stories, the Question Sticker, is an awesome way to engage with your audience. Posting a question on your story, and inviting your viewers to respond, could open up a huge stream of communication that you’ve never had before on your feed. Not only are you building these relationships with your viewers, but you can actually use it for some market research. Why not ask your followers what products they like from your line, or what they would like to see in your next collection?
Regularly communicating with your audience, and being open to having conversations on Instagram will really help your account flourish.
Instagram is such a powerful platform to grow your business on, but it’s not easy! Nowadays, it takes a lot of commitment, and you have to be nimble and flexible as the social media skill set is constantly changing. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and always try to be learning and staying on top of current trends!