In June 2016, Instagram made its intentions clear that its new algorithm would prioritise content that appealed to users regardless of when it was posted. As a result, this made it hard to incorporate social media marketing, as users would often miss content. Therefore, engagement is key and the following 3 factors influence the ranking of content on the Instagram feed:
- The number of Likes and comments a post has
- If a user has interacted with your content in the past
- How recently the content was posted
Put simply the more people that like/comment on your post/content, the greater chance it has of appearing on the explore page.
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To get more engagement on Instagram:
- Host a giveaway or competition – there is a multitude of ways to do this, encouraging users to comment to enter into the competition or free giveaway, this will raise the probability of content being featured on the explore page. Alternatively, encouraging users to generate their own content and tag your page in the post, or use a relevant hashtag is a creative way to engage users.
- Hosting an Instagram takeover that features colleagues/employees or social media influencers with a respected following is a quick way to create brand exposure and capture the interest of Instagram users.
- Post interesting content that is funny, surprising or provocative – you want users to engage so the content you upload needs to provoke a positive reaction.
- Vary content by posting videos and making use of Instagram’s multiple picture feature, use it in creative ways to tell a story that engages through a slide of images.
- Use appropriate hashtags to target users based on topics they might be interested in. To boost this, it is suggested that you integrate a call to action as part of the description of the content you have posted.
- Instagram analytics can be a useful tool and for Instagram business accounts it’s possible to use Instagram analytics to identify the best time to post content.
In summary engagement is key and to increase the likelihood of engagement from users will benefit your business through increased brand exposure to new users that do not currently follow your Instagram page but may form part of the segment you wish to target.