You’ve heard about it ad nauseum.
In the not-so-distant past, Instagram moved from a chronological feed to an algorithmic feed, based on a number of factors that are meant to improve the feed experience for Instagram’s average user (and of course, make businesses pay to play).
The good news is, just like when Facebook made video supreme, there are also ways to maximize your content to take advantage of Instagram’s algorithm.
Using appropriate hashtags and locations on each post is still a best practice, but once you’ve gotten some fresh eyeballs on your posts, it’s important that you’re prompting engagement with the below techniques.
Comments Are King
If you want your posts to reach a larger portion of your followers, or (fingers-crossed) reach many fresh eyeballs of the explore page, it’s all about how many comments you get, how influential your commenters are and how fast they come.
Until Instagram revamps their algorithm, comments are going to be significantly more valuable to your post’s success than likes.
There are a number of ways to work the system and make comments work for you.
1. Ask questions, play fun games that incentivize tagging friends, ask for 1-10 ratings or emoji descriptions… Have fun with it!
You’d be surprised at the weird and fun ways to make people excited to comment (boosting your post right up to the top of the feed – and sometimes right onto explore page virality).
Train your followers to comment frequently with consistent comment calls-to-action with every post. On our entities, we format all of our post captions to include a one line “teaser” or post description, followed by a unique comment call-to-action.
2. Take advantage of the current fad & big secret: engagement/like/comment groups.
Collaborate with users in your niche or users with similar amounts of followers and join a group. You can find these on telegram/kik and you can even direct message users who might be a good fit. Even the biggest pages in the world use these groups to boost the reach of their content.
For our pages including @BasketballVideos & @Sports, we collaborate with other pages in sports that have millions of followers to like & comment on each comment, and it makes a huge difference in the posts’ velocity.
If you’re just starting out, it may be in your best interest to try reaching out to large pages and actually purchasing comments or sponsored posts to get momentum.
3. Create giveaways or comment games with incentives.
A great way to get your important posts a giant boost is to offer a giveaway or follow to a random commenter, or require a comment for entry.
On Instagram, the main source of virality is the explore page, and the best way to reach it is through comments.
Brandon Harris is the President of NuMedia Agency, an agency with an owned network of over 15 million followers and ecommerce stores generating multiple millions in online sales. You can follow him on Instagram @BrandingHarris or contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.