With Instagram becoming a staple on smartphones everywhere, the question on many lips is how to grow on Instagram. In this article, you’ll learn the 7 best tips to increase your Instagram reach today.
Instagram was founded in 2010 but seems to have been around for ages. It’s becoming even more popular still and is one of the fastest-growing social media networks in the world right now and already one of the most used networks.
With 500 million unique daily users and 800 million unique monthly users, it’s far more than just a picture app. The influence of this mighty app doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon which is all the more reason to increase your Instagram reach today.
If we were to break down Instagram’s users even further, we can see that 80 million users are from the United States. That’s 25% of the population of America! 59% of internet users between the ages of 18-29 are active on Instagram. Odds are, you or a close relative, are active on Instagram.
- Why is this important and how can you use it to increase your Instagram reach?
- 1. Use relevant Hashtags & Rotate.
- 2. Post when your followers are awake
- 3. Share your location to increase your Instagram reach
- 4. Share more video content
- 5. Have fun and be creative with stories
- 6. Use Instagram Carousels and Slideshows
- 7. Capture attention with captions
Why is this important and how can you use it to increase your Instagram reach?
Instagram is ultimately a free service that can place your brand, your company, or even just your images & videos in front of millions of potential customers, colleagues, fans, or friends. If one image or video goes viral you can put your account in front of millions of new eyes & gain new clients, sales, etc.
68% of Instagram users are female. That’s 340 million women that could be one step away from falling in love with your brand every day!
Even if your brand is male-centric, that are still 160 million men that can find your brand and become a fan.
One more quick statistic before we get to the juicy bits. 200 million users actively visit business accounts every day.
Now you might be thinking, “my account is just for my personal use, but I still want to increase my Instagram reach today! Should I continue reading?”
Yes, you should. These practices can be used for both business and personal accounts.
You can see your results and have more detailed analytics by converting to a free business account though.
1. Use relevant Hashtags & Rotate.
Instagram allows for 30 hashtags in your caption, in 2018 & 2019 the Shadow Ban* was making waves, but luckily it seems to have died down if you aren’t spammy.
*A shadowban is when Instagram hides your account from everyone not following you.
This is why it’s even more important to use relevant hashtags in your posts & to rotate. Instagram tends to not like you posting the same group of hashtags every day, so rotate your hashtags. Relevant Hashtags are important because it puts your content in front of the people that want to see it.
So, you’ve just taken the most adorable image of a Labrador? Why would you use #lolcats as a hashtag? The more times your posts are marked, “Don’t show for this hashtag”, Instagram starts waving their red flags and your Instagram posts engagement will go from great to trickling down to a slow drip. I wouldn’t worry too much about that though. As long as your hashtags are relevant, you won’t receive enough of those red flags for it to matter.
The more relevant your hashtags, the higher your chances will be for engagement. Engagement is the name of the game for Instagram’s infamous algorithm, and if you know how to please the algorithm, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your Instagram reach.
Another reason to upgrade to a free business account is Insights. Insights show you how people are finding your content and how well your posts are doing. This can be a great tool to see which groups of hashtags are performing the best for you and which you can dump.
What to do:
- Use all 25-30 available hashtags.
- Rotate your used hashtags.
- Only include relevant hashtags
- Use Insights to gauge which hashtags are working best.
2. Post when your followers are awake
Did you know that Instagram likes almost immediate engagement on your posts? The algorithm loves it in fact. Generally, the posts with the best reach receive good amounts of engagement within the first 30 minutes after posting. This means that if your audience is asleep when you post, you’re going to just receive crickets in response.
If the majority of your audience is American, post when the majority of them should be awake. If they’re European, make sure they’ve had a delicious cappuccino before you wow them with your content.
This is another reason why you’re going to want a business account and access to those awesome insights. Unless you plan on guessing of course. ?
Insights give you clear activity times & can show you where the majority of your users are.
What to do:
Find out when your audience is awake and active.
Post your content when they’re most active.
3. Share your location to increase your Instagram reach
Location, location, location. It’s not just brilliant for holiday & real estate posts.
By including your location in your posts, you are just adding another way for your Instagram posts to be found by potential followers & fans. Simply add your location & let the magic happen.
4. Share more video content
Much like location, by posting videos you are increasing the possibility of being found. If you head over to the explore page, you’ll see a large square on the right. That’s just for video!
You’ll even notice other video clips when scrolling through the explore page. Meaning you should be posting more videos!
Another reason why you should be posting more videos is that of retention time. Remember I mentioned engagement being one of the things the algorithm loves? Well, Retention time is another.
Videos can be used all over Instagram now, in your feed, in your Instagram Stories, on IGTV and now also with Instagram Reels.
One of the best ways to get people to look at your posts for longer is to post videos. People tend to look at videos longer than pictures.
5. Have fun and be creative with stories
It’s storytime, Instagram stories that is.
Like videos, if you use hashtags in your stories, these have a chance to be seen on the explore page. You’ll also be able to connect with a larger percentage of your audience as your story displays in a different location & users tend to go from one story to the next.
This also increases the retention time on your profile which improves the rest of your content reach as a whole. Unlike regular posts, you can post 10+ stories a day. Just be careful not to overdo it, as you might get muted by some of your followers.
Instagram stories have 300 million active daily users already, which is a massive portion of the users of the network that you could also be reaching.
6. Use Instagram Carousels and Slideshows
We’re still on the topic of retention time! If videos are best for retention times, then the carousel/slideshow images are the next best thing. The logic is also quite sound & simple; more images = longer retention.
Remember to include either in the image or the caption to continue scrolling through the carousel, otherwise, people may see the first image and just continue through their feed.
It’s also best if the images relate or tell a story, give your audience a reason to stay at your post. High retention will increase your Instagram reach to potential followers and your own current followers.
7. Capture attention with captions
Now captions are one of the simplest ways to increase your retention times. All you have to do is write something engaging to get the user to comment/like/follow/save or just to continue reading and take in the details of your post.
For someone that is not used to writing this type of short engaging call-to-actions, you can always go the NatGeo way by including interesting facts and other information that the reader may find interesting about your post. You could even make journal-style posts.
Remember, the goal is to keep the reader on your post & if your caption is lengthy, there will most likely be some part that they may relate with and initiate them liking or commenting on your post, or better, following or clicking on that link on your profile page.
The best way to create engaging content is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience, what do they want to see? If you can answer this & implement these tips, whilst regularly posting, you’re sure to see your Instagram reach increase and continue to grow.