Got an Instagram page for your business which isn’t really going anywhere? We’ve got ten powerful tactics to help you increase your reach on Instagram so you can grow your audience and build your brand.
Before we start… a quick word about the Instagram algorithm when it comes to increasing your reach on Instagram
Just like Google, Instagram uses an algorithm to ensure users see content that is of most value to them. But how is that decided?
Three basic factors (known as ‘primary ranking signals’) come into play:
- Relationship (your interaction history)
- Interest (the post type)
- Timeliness (how recently the post was published)
Here, we’re talking about tactics to help you to not only appear at the top of your followers feeds, but also to get a spot on the explore page, or on the page recommendations, so you can increase your reach on Instagram.
The tips we’re giving you are designed to help you have as much impact as possible on these areas, but as with all algorithms, updates happen on a regular basis, so watch this space for any updates in the future!
1. Make posts people save
Exactly how algorithms work are kept secret by each company, however users can carry out their own research and analyse the results, which is how we know that it’s really beneficial to your visibility if your posts are saved.
Think about it, it’s easy to double tap to like a post & move on. Actively saving a post means this is content you want to return to later, indicating to Instagram that the post is valuable and people are likely to want to see it, so the likelihood that it will appear on more feeds increases.
But how can I get people to save my posts? Funny you should ask….
2. Create compelling captions
A detailed explanation about your post is really useful in two ways – if a user is having a quick scroll, and doesn’t have time to read it all now but can see value in it, they’re likely to save it (= big tick in the algorithm box).
Also, Instagram recognises how long users spend on each post, again it indicates interesting content which tells the algorithm this is likely to be something lots of people will enjoy.
So get your thinking cap on and create compelling instagram captions that inform and engage the viewer – think of it like a mini blog post – you don’t have to just talk about the image itself, feel free to explore different areas and see what works for your business.
3. Frequency matters if you want to increase instagram reach
Bare minimum, you need to be posting once a day (no arguments!) if you want to grow your audience. This is sufficient for an audience around 1000 followers.
Once you hit 5000 followers, you need to be posting 2 or 3 times every day.
Also, don’t forget to check your analytics so you understand what time of day your followers are online (this requires you to have your page set up as an Instagram Business Account, which is really important too!)
4. Switching up your post types
Don’t feel tied to just posting one image or video – mix it up with a carousel post, where you share multiple items in one post.
Carousel posts are really powerful ways to engage your audience as you can include so much more content. For example, why not explain your products or services in more detail, tell a client story, give a product demonstration… the options are endless!
If we consider the all-important algorithm again, research shows that carousel posts are between 3 and 5 times more likely to be saved than standard single posts, so a clear indication to Instagram that it’s content people want to see.
Plus, it’s thought that swiping through each image or video almost counts as a ‘like’, and it will mean users are on your post for longer – all great for your post performance!
5. Take hashtags beyond your posts
No doubt you’re familiar with hashtags on Instagram posts… but did you know you can use hashtags on your story to help to increase your reach on Instagram?
You don’t want to cram them in, one relevant hashtag is plenty, but be sure to monitor and measure how it performs, then switch it up for future stories to see which ones work for your brand.
Definitely a simple but effective way to increase your reach and get your content in front of potential new audience members. And speaking of stories….
6. Don’t let your Instagram stories be Instgram snories
Sharing the same type of stories every time? Stop right now.
Stories are a wonderful way to be creative and have some fun with your audience, so there’s no excuse to be boring. Boost engagement and increase your reach on Instagram by experimenting with the different types of stories – from a quick poll, to ‘ask me a question’ or take the leap and go live, it will definitely pay off!
Not only will your audience appreciate it, Instagram will reward you for it too as it recognises when you post the same type of story and doesn’t like it, so change it up to get more reach and engagement with your Instagram story.
7. Reach out with more Instgram stories
Just as you should post more, you should also make sure you’ve got a steady and consistent stream of stories coming from your Instagram account.
Throughout the day, look to add more (and of course, different) content to your story – you’ll find it’s a quick and easy way to get in front of users at different times, and it will continue doing the work for you outside of office hours.
8. Create an Instagram story immediately after a feed post (the same one)
Did you know that over 70% of people check their stories first when they open the app?
This is really useful information as early likes, comments, shares and saves are factors in the Instagram algorithm, so what better way to alert users to your latest post than pushing it straight to your story feed too?
By clicking on the post image in your story, they’ll be redirected to the original post, and if you’ve followed our tips they’ll be engaging and helping to boost your reach in no time.
9. Story engagement is there for the taking
I know we keep going back to it, but engagement really is super important… but how can you get engagement on your stories when users can’t ‘like’ them?
Instagram has actually made this easy for you with polls, questions and the engagement bar.
We love polls – they seem simple but they’re really effective as they encourage quick engagement that pays off for your account.
Why not experiment with getting your audience to vote for their favourite out of two products? Or perhaps get them to choose if they would like a video demonstration of service A or service B? Supporting your Instagram presence and getting audience feedback all in one go… win-win!
(psst, but don’t over do it! Mix up the story types throughout the week to keep it interesting and engaging – loads of questions every day aren’t fun for anyone!).
10. Give and take
Comments on your posts are a gift, don’t let them pass you by!
A user taking the time to leave a comment is clearly engaging with your post, and by replying quickly you’re starting a proper conversation with your audience (remember those primary ranking signals?).
Others will then read through the comments and replies (hurrah more time on posts!) and it’s a wonderful way for the personality and responsiveness of the brand to shine through.
Remember, we’re constantly trying to not only grow your audience and increase your Instagram reach, but also build trust and confidence in your brand – posts are one thing but a proper interaction is invaluable.
Encourage post comments by asking open questions – you’re looking for more than just a simple yes or no. Again, these interactions are brilliant for increasing your Instagram reach, but they’re also a great way to stay connected with your audience.
So there you have it, ten powerful tactics to boost and increase your reach on Instagram.
Good luck, let us know how you get on, and if you decide you need a little more advice and guidance, the crew here at Fastnet are happy to help, so get in touch.