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December 5, 2018

5 Tips for Maximizing Instagram Reach

At Geek Power, our bread and butter is creating gorgeous, fully-optimized websites; but, it is lesser known that we also offer social media and digital marketing services to our clients. Part of this new segment of our business will operate by training business owners how to operate their own accounts and take the reign on their digital marketing activities in order to find social success on their own! Now that you know, let’s get into today’s topic.

Instagram Reach (and How-To Maximize It)

Just setting up a business account and sharing content on Instagram is not enough to guarantee results.

When you think of success on Instagram, one very important word is: REACH. Put simply, reach is the number of people who view your posts. Increasing your reach will put your posts in front of more people (and more relevant ones), which consequently means more followers and eventually, more customers!

Social media platforms and their algorithms change at an alarming frequency with little-to-no forewarning to users. Ever since Instagram changed their sorting algorithm – which decides which posts are shown at the top of the feed – users have had more control over their feeds, which ultimately results in less control for businesses wishing to take up that space. Replacing the chronological feed, which sorted posts by the time they were shared, Instagram’s algorithm now takes into account a variety of other factors – including engagement rates and users’ relationships – to create the order posts show up in the feed.

Since Instagram began sorting with their new algorithm, marketers have noticed a decline in organic reach and engagement rates. This does not have to be the case for your business. In fact, with the right timing and curating of posts, the new Instagram algorithm could actually help propel your business and get noticed by a larger audience.

Want to know how to boost your business’ Instagram reach? Let the Geeks show you how! Here are five powerful tips:

1. Set Engagement as the Primary Goal

When you’re trying to increase your reach on any social media platform, the biggest concern of your strategy should be increasing the overall user engagement on your account. Engagement refers to the number of likes, comments, and shares a given post receives. Creating content that your audience can actively engage with will ensure that your posts are pushed closer to the top of your followers’ feeds.

Some popular tactics that can help increase engagement on your Instagram are:

  • Creating intriguing giveaways
  • Hosting contests
  • Asking your followers questions
  • Including a call to action

Along with trying to include these elements in your Instagram content, another way to boost engagement organically is by trying to create conversations with your followers when they comment on your posts.

Geek Tip: Create a contest that requires people to share your account to their profile in order to enter; this way all of their followers will not only see your account but will also be enticed to enter the giveaway themselves.

2. Figure Out the Optimal Time to Post

Now that you know your main goal for improving your reach (upping your engagement), you can move on to figuring out which time is the best for you to post your content. Timing is important because if you get it right, your content will receive the immediate boost in engagement and show up higher in your followers’ feeds, but get it wrong and you risk getting lost near the bottom.

The best way to figure out your optimal post time is to get an understanding of what times your followers are most likely to be on Instagram. If you have a business profile (which you should), you can use Instagram Insights to find out which days and times your followers are the most active. Your post schedule should heavily depend on your audience demographics and when your followers are using Instagram the most.

Geek Tip: By focusing on finding your optimal post time, you can increase the overall engagement on your posts and remind yourself to be active during periods of heavy follower traffic.

3. Optimize Hashtags

Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter! Hashtags can also be extremely useful for boosting Instagram reach, and choosing the right hashtags for your brand can ensure your content is viewed by the wide audience it deserves. Take advantage of hashtags that are already popular and widely used – but still be selective and make sure to choose appropriate ones that relate to your brand – to extend your reach and find new audience members who would be interested in your business.

When you go about planning your hashtags, take time to think about what terms your target audience might be using to search for content. For maximum reach, find a balance between hashtags unique to your business and popular hashtags that are commonly searched for.

Geek Tip: A good way to determine useful hashtags is by browsing through your audience’s posts and looking at which hashtags they use for their own content.

4. Make Use of User Generated Content

Save valuable time and boost your engagement rates by making use of your audience’s content. Showcasing your followers and their content on your business’ Instagram account can help to humanize your brand and make it more relatable for your followers. This tactic not only helps with your content strategy (by providing free content), but also shows your audience you recognize and care about them. This kind of recognition can create a stronger connection between your business and your audience, which ultimately forms loyalty and helps to drive sales.

Curating user-generated content (UGC) can encourage the individual to engage with and share that content on their own accounts, which boosts the reach of the post to that individual’s entire following. Since the new Instagram algorithm also takes user relationships into account for ranking purposes, building closer relationships with your followers can help to increase overall reach.

Geek Tip: Sharing UGC is the perfect way to make your brand relatable; if your audience knows they have the opportunity to be featured on your page, they will be more likely to want to interact with your content.

5. Tell Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is the relatively recent Snapchat-esque addition to Instagram that allows users to create and share images and videos that appear on their profile for 24 hours before disappearing. Instagram Stories live on the very top of the feed – prime real estate – and are extremely visible to followers. This location allows stories to stay at the top of users’ feeds indefinitely and grab a lot more attention. If your followers regularly view your stories, it will begin to help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds. It is worthwhile to note that Instagram Stories also show up in the order decided by another algorithm, so it’s important to take some time to learn how to craft interesting Instagram stories.

Geek Tip: Creating daily Instagram Stories will help your page to always appear up-to-date!

Time to try it yourself!

Making use of these expert tips will help boost your Instagram reach, but as with any social media strategy, the most important factor is being consistent with your content and scheduling. Keep in mind that to be successful online, you have to create engaging content that your target audience will care about enough to want to interact with it!

Now that you have plenty of ideas to start with, all that is left is for you to create your plan and execute it!

What is your favourite reach-boosting strategy? Let us know by Tweeting us @GeekPowerWeb or slide into our DMs @geekpwr

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