Instagram algorithm insights for 2021

The Instagram algorithm is a tricky bugger to conquer, but when you view it as more of a tool for your business and learn how to use that tool for your benefit, the sky is the limit!

December 28, 2020 Creative

Simply posting on Instagram on a regular basis is no longer enough.

Using the right hashtags doesn’t necessarily guarantee your content will get seen by its intended audience.

But we know this, right?

All in all, your content shows to people who interact with your account the most.

So, knowing this, don’t just count on likes or worry about responding to comments the minute they come through. Instead, map out a strategy to work with the new Instagram algorithm.

We know it can sound daunting; spending the time to cultivate the online presence you need in order to gain an engaged following and actually sell your products or services. But the more time you invest in developing a content strategy with the below tips, the less you’ll need to worry about it!

Here’s a few insights into how you can use the Instagram algorithm in 2021 to soar:

1. Focus on relationships, not just reach

Contrary to popular belief, your Instagram chops shouldn’t only be determined by the number of followers you have. It matters if, how and why you engage with the community you do have.

Audience loyalty.

That doesn’t just come from the amazing educational or motivational content you’re posting. It comes from building relationships.

This means continual engagement from your followers. But how are you going to get it? By interacting with them!

The algorithm favours the people you engage with most. Posts on the top of your feed, on the first few stories, reels you see, that’s all part of it.

Posting user-generated content to your stories, sharing your own reels and others, liking and commenting on your ideal client’s posts (big and small!).

Aka the more you interact with your ideal audience, the more they’ll see you.

2. Get notified of new posts from relevant users and brands

Comment. Comment. Comment.

Commenting on posts from relevant users and brands helps larger audiences see your name.

That doesn’t mean just adding an emoji here and a “cute” there.

This means actually reading your audience’s posts and leaving an interesting and involved comment.

Do this on content from potential clients, relevant influencers and related businesses, and ensure that your comment is one of the first!

Posting first on larger accounts that have a big following can help get your comment more visibility and get more followers to your account.

So, spend some time over the next few days and turn on notifications so you’ll receive prompts when those people post. Then go in and leave an engaged comment.

Remember though, be genuine and add value.

Hot tip: Follow certain hashtags with that are relevant to your brand and your target audience and engage with those as well to optimize for higher engagement rates.

3. Post during your audience’s peak posting time

Gah! To be honest, we hate talking about this one because, in our opinion, it’s more about trial and error, but it is important.

Time is still a factor.

In order to maximize your potential audience with every post, use your Instagram analytics and see when your peak posting times are. That’s when you should be posting!

Use time to your advantage.

When your audience is posting, that’s when you should be posting too. 

Like we said, it’s a trial-and-error game though. So, don’t expect instant results and be open to switching it up if something isn’t working.

4. Don’t just add hashtags to your own posts

Hashtags are a tool that many don’t seem to take full advantage of.

It’s not about just adding hashtags to your own content to increase your reach by helping you show up in relevant searches.

I mean, do that for sure! Use popular hashtags and mix them up with some that target your ideal client actually follows or uses, ones they actually use like community, niche hashtags.

But that’s not everything.

Click through and engage with the other posts that are using those niche hashtags as well.

Even a simple like on a post can translate into a profile view or a follow.

Don’t wait for your audience to come to you. That’s where they are, so go and get them.

5. Encourage further replies in comments on your posts

We all know responding to comments when they’re fresh is important, but what are you responding with?

It shouldn’t just be about adding another comment to your posts to help boost your Instagram ranking.

NOPE.

It should be about bringing the original author of the comment back for more.

Engage your audience with your follow up comments. Ask them questions, get their opinion, or better yet, give further insight.

By encouraging even more engagement on your posts, you can create social proof that you and your content is helpful.

Looking for more tips? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on the latest Lunar & Co. news, tips and work!