The Instagram algorithm is one of the tools that many people keep discussing regarding Instagram growth, engagement, and reach. Users believe that a system or a hack can be used to game the algorithm, but they struggle to understand how the algorithm works and how they can use it to their advantage.
Many “gurus” have created a lot of videos on the internet around the Instagram algorithm, teaching their followers how to hack the algorithm and game the system, using some gimmicks and tactics, but most of their videos don’t give any tangible results when put in practice, so I will be sharing some tips, tricks, and secret Instagram algorithm hacks that you can implement to gain massive exposure, growth, engagement, and income on Instagram.
5 Instagram Algorithm Hacks for Explosive Growth
1. Amount Of Time Spent On Your Content
The Instagram platform is made in such a way that it will keep users longer on the platform, so the algorithm is programmed to reward content that will keep users longer on the platform.
Suppose your content keeps users longer on the platform. In that case, the algorithm will rank your content above all other content, so the longer people spend on your content, the more the algorithm pushes those content up the Instagram feed for more users to see and interact with them.
The Instagram algorithm is highly clever, and it detects when creators try to use engagement groups to gather tons of comments and likes on their content in order to beat the system, so it actually focuses on watch time to determine if your content is good as compared to other content on the platform.
Vanity metrics such as likes and comments are not a good indication to the Instagram algorithm that your content is good because people can easily use engagement groups to easily get many metrics.
However, the amount of time that people do spend on your content is a good indication for the algorithm to know if your content is good or not.
For instance, with engagement groups, they are tasked to like and drop a comment on every member’s content so they just go out to either drop a like or comment on a participant’s content without taking time to consume the content or watch the video. This isn’t a sign that you’ve enjoyed the content.
On the other hand, if a user comes into contact with your content and spends more time consuming and swiping through the content and even forgets to like or drop a comment, it indicates that they enjoyed spending time on your content.
NB: Avoid engagement groups and fake engagement because they will give you results in the short term but will hurt your account growth in the long term. So creating content that people spend a lot of time consuming is a great indicator inside the algorithm.
Types Of Content That People Will Spend More Time On.
- Create Short Reels. Create interesting short reels that will educate people or entertain your followers, but it is supposed to be really short to get your audience to view it multiple times. It will indicate to the algorithm that people are spending more time on your content, and it will push that content above other content for more visibility.
- Tell Stories in Your Captions. Write meaningful captions using storytelling to get people to spend more time consuming your content. Grab their attention with a hook, then educate and excite them. This is a good indication to the Instagram algorithm.
- Create More Carousels. Carousels allow you to add up to 10 images to tell your story. This allows your audience to spend more time swiping through your content rather than just a single image content, making them spend less time on your content. You’ll probably also be able to deliver a lot more in that content which will drive more comments, shares, and likes because people will get more out of the post and are more inclined to share that because they believe you’ve gone through all this effort of creating all of this awesome stuff.
2. Spend Quality Time Building True Fans
Winning the algorithm game is by spending more time building true fans who will be engaging with your content more often, irrespective of what type of content you create on Instagram. So instead of trying to beat the algorithm by applying all the tricks and gimmicks, invest that time into building true fans.
They will be engaging with your content anytime you post because they are in love with your brand. This will help push your content above other content in your niche.
More often, people focus on getting tricks and hacks they can apply immediately to boost engagement and increase their followers. But, the best thing to do to improve your standings in the algorithm is to focus on converting your existing followers into true fans who genuinely love you and your brand or whatever it is that you’re all about. Then they’re going to engage with you more often, which will make your account and content appear on the explore page.
How To Build True Fans For Your Instagram Page
- Create More Interesting Content. Spend some time improving the quality of your content by improving your designs and doing more in-depth research into the topic that you’re creating a post about. This will allow you to create better and well-informed content that will be extremely valuable to your followers, which will later increase the trust and loyalty they have in your brand.
- Engage Back with Your Audience More. To build a true fan base, you need to engage back with your audience. Go to their page and interact with their content, drop a like or a genuine comment on their page, and you will be surprised about how amazing this will make them feel, especially if they’ve been following you for a while and they love your content, and they almost look up to your page. I experienced this myself when a big brand I use to follow on Instagram and interact with their content followed my account; I was so happy and even went on their page to share more of the content with my audience. This tip works, and it helps you build a strong relationship with your followers.
- Show The Face Behind the Page. Another way to build a strong relationship with your audience is to show the personality behind the brand. People connect more with brands that show the face behind them.
Aside from showing your face, you could also connect with your followers by sharing your interests with them, telling them what you like and what you don’t like. By doing these things, you’ll increase the percentage of true fans who are engaging with all of your content, and Instagram will pick up on this and start pushing your content to more users on the platform.
3. Post Before Peak Times on Instagram
Many creators on Instagram think the best time to post content and get more engagement is to post your content at your peak time because those are the time that your followers will be most active, but that isn’t the case.
From research, I have found out that posting before my peak time always works better for me in terms of reach and engagement.
To see your peak times, pull your insight and check when most of your followers are active during the day and post before your peak time so that your post will be active throughout the entirety of your peak hours.
Posting just before your most active time will help you get a lot more reach because your post will be live the entirety of that peak traffic time. That’s what’s worked for me anyway; this way, you maximize your early engagement and get as much reach as possible, which helps push you onto the explore page.
4. Law Of Reciprocity
The law of reciprocity is of the idea that when you go out and do something good or nice for people, they have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something good in return for you. With this idea, if you go out and engage with other people’s content on social media a lot, you’ll receive a lot of engagement in return, especially when it’s genuine engagement.
So, if you are following many big accounts in your niche, try and go and leave a meaningful comment on their content anytime they post rather than just saying nice post, good one, love this, and leaving a like. Suppose you leave meaningful comments and you continue to do that consistently. In that case, you start to build a circle of people who will genuinely engage with each other’s posts, and this will help everyone massively because people actually care for each other and will genuinely interact, with each other’s content.
When people start to engage with your content by leaving genuine comments, shares, and saves, you will notice a boost inside the algorithm pushing your content out to more people.
But don’t do this to receive something back; just do it with good intentions by engaging naturally with people’s content, and naturally, you’ll receive results from doing so.
How To Engage with People for Massive Growth on Instagram
Make it a point to engage with people daily.
- Engage with a handful of accounts in your niche who are bigger than you
- Engage with a few of the accounts in your niche that are of similar size to you at a similar stage of the journey
- Engage with a few of the accounts in your niche that are smaller than your account.
Engaging with accounts in your niche will help you build fans as well as friendships with the people you engage with. Because they are in the same niche as you are, you will learn more stuff quickly without searching through the internet for certain topics in your niche.
If you can network with other people who are on a similar journey and share more ideas, you will learn more than what you could find online searching through google.
Another benefit you get from engaging with a lot of accounts in your niche is that more people are going to find your account when they come into contact with the other accounts that you engage on.
So whenever those accounts you engage with decide to promote their content to more people, you will also be benefiting because once people see their Instagram account and come across your comment, they will follow it to your accounts, thereby increasing your reach, visibility, and engagement. It’s an underrated growth strategy that most creators don’t pay close attention to.
READ MORE: 11 Easy Trendy Instagram Story Ideas to Wow Your Followers In 2021
5. Use More of The Features on The Platform
The fifth Instagram algorithm hack for massive growth is to use more of the features that Instagram rolls out. Especially features like Reels, IG Story, IG Tv, Carousels, and many others.
When Instagram introduces a new feature, they want it to become normalized and seen as just a normal feature that people enjoy really quickly. Usually, they give a big boost in the algorithm to the creators who will be using those features. So, when you jump on the new features that Instagram rolls out and start using them, you start enjoying the benefits it comes with using those features because the algorithm is going to favor your account and give it more boost.
Example: Instagram introduced reels because they want to beat TikTok and pull creators from TikTok to Instagram through reels, so they’re pretty much giving people who use reels a ton of reach to try and bring the creators across and squash out their competition; which means you can take advantage of this and get a lot of additional reach entirely free by using reels.
Using the Instagram features doesn’t only favor your account in the eyes of the algorithm, but it also boosts engagement on your post; your audience will engage more with you if you make use of the interactive features on Instagram to distribute your content. These give more signals to Instagram’s algorithm that your audience wants to see more of what you’ve got going on, so using story polls or quizzes allows your audience to engage with your content more, which signals to Instagram that your content is more valuable to your audience and they show them to more people.
Instagram is a great platform for brand recognition and visibility, but focusing on tricks and hacks for short-term growth will hurt your account in the long term, so use that time to focus on creating content that will make the algorithm work on your behalf.
By following these five Instagram algorithm hacks that I’ve just gone over, can help you build up your engagement, and your true fans and that together is going to help push you onto the explore page, onto hashtags, get better reach in the feed, and all-around grow your reach following engagement and therefore income.
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