Instagram Hacks: 101

Hello ladies! We are back talking about our dear friend, good ol’, Instagram! Let me preface this post by first saying - followers, likes and comments do not define YOU. Your value or worth does not come from Instagram AT ALL. We simply want to share these tips and tricks to help build your brand, business or your chance to work with incredible brands. With that being said, let’s jump in!

Engagement and we are not talkin’ about a ring!

Engagement is the bread and butter of Instagram. You could drop, dead stunning photos on your feed but if no one is engaging with your posts, does it even matter? Maybe! But it won’t mean a thing when it comes to working with brands. Engagement is simply, everything. Instagram’s new algorithm does not make this an easy task. However, it can be done with a little a effort!

Comments are now more valuable than likes. Yup, likes are all fine and dandy but it’s not going to boots your engagement like your friend Mr. or Mrs. Comment can. Instagram is very particular with this. Comments are only accounted for on the algorithm if they are longer than three words and sorry to break the news but, those cute little emojis don’t count. Example: “Great Pic! *insert several heart emojis” translated to = absolutely no comment at all. It basically renders invisible.

Comments are extremely valuable because it helps with post ranking. Instagram’s feed is no longer chronological anymore. It’s all based on who is getting the appropriate engagement for each user. The user with the highest ranking will be pushed to the top. So for the underdog this can be frustrating but hope is not lost!

Tip 1: Ask your audience a question in your caption! Advise them to participate in your Instagram stories. The point of social media is to be SOCIAL. So use that to your advantage. Your caption could read: “Loving the sunshine this weekend! I can’t wait to take to the beach for summer. Comment below your summer plans!” This asks them a question and encourages them to participate. The question also begs for them to hopefully leave you more than a one word response.

Tip 2: Comment back ASAP! The quickest you respond the better. If you’re keeping the engagement going on your post you’re telling the Instagram algorithm that your post is something to pay attention to.

Tip 3: Engage with your current followers and seek out potential new ones!

I often find that people rely on posting a beautiful photo and adding some hashtags and then walking away. Sadly, this won’t help you. Engage with your current community. Truly nurture the followers you do have! Comment, like and help them out! Because what goes around comes around. Along the same lines make sure you’re seeking potential followers. We love to use hashtags as a search tool to connect with like minded bloggers. Example: #BostonBloggers #NewEnglandBloggers are a few favorites we like to scroll through to connect with other bloggers in our area.

Targeting Your Audience

Hashtags are amazing. They make searching things on social media a breeze! And they can truly be beneficial to your growth and success on Instagram. Som tips to remember: Use relevant niche hashtags. For instance - If you’re a blogger posting an outfit photo, you should be using hashtags that are relevant and make sense to your post.

The bigger the hashtags is not always better! You want to hit that sweet spot when it comes to hashtags. If you search a hashtags and it has 500 million posts….the odds of your photo coming across that feed is slim to none. If you find a hashtags has 53 posts than, that’s not really going to boost you either. Aim to use hashtags that have 5 to 10K posts attached to them. This gives you a chance to be seen and potentially followed!

When scrolling through all the endless hashtags, make sure to be searching - Most recent! Why? Because it’s a great way to engage with users who JUST recently posted using that hashtag. When you are looking at top posts it with the highest engagement it could mean those photos are from a few days ago or even weeks!

Using All The Tools

Instagram loves when you take advantage of all the tools and functions they have. You may not care too much for doing Instagram TV or posting videos of you ranting about a product on your story but in order to grow and be noticed by the algorithm you better get started before you’re left behind! So, here’s your invite to jump on the bandwagon.

Instagram is more likely to push content when they see you’re taking advantage! When it comes to Instagram video it can be daunting to put yourself out there and I often find myself freezing up as I hold recording button down. You can take the less stressful approach and use the camera button on your phone to record a video and THEN upload it to Instagram stories.

Another helpful trick is tricking the algorithm into believing you’re using the Instagram filters. I love thIS tip and I don’t share it often, but it makes a world of difference. Most bloggers or influencers have a consistent “theme” which means, we use an outside filter or preset on our photos. I personally, am not the biggest fan of the IG filters on the app but guess what? Instagram favors those who use them! So I upload my photo with my curated preset and THEN….I apply any Instagram filter and the magic happens when you drop the filter all the way down to 1! So it’s barely visible on my photo but it’s telling the algorithm that I am using one of their filters.