How you can boost engagement around the Instagram algorithm

Everyone likes to complain when social platforms change their user experience and design, but for many brands and influencers on Instagram the switch to an engagement-based algorithm from a fully chronological timeline has resulted in a major engagement drop for them.

So what’s a brand or influencer to do? We pulled together some of the strategies we’ve seen in action across the Stories and feeds of a few brands and influencers for you to test out for your own brand. Here’s how you can boost engagement around the Instagram algorithm.

Got a question or something we’ve missed? Tell us about it on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

Use your Stories

You may have seen this trick while tapping through your Stories: Brands and influencers take a screenshot of their Instagram page, then cover the latest update with a reminder to their followers to go check out that new post and engage with it.

Instagram algorithm 1

Some use a similar format to ask their followers to subscribe to notifications for their posts so they don’t miss any, drawing on the screenshot to give specific instructions on how followers can turn on notifications for their accounts and never miss one of their posts again.

A few influencers even outright state why: They know their followers aren’t seeing all of their posts anymore and want to make sure they do if they’re dedicated fans.

Instagram pods

Some Instagram users and influencers connected around a certain industry- like fitness or nutrition, for example- have formed “pods” where they all commit to liking and commenting on one another’s posts in order to guarantee a boost in engagement across the board. (You can read more about the practice in this piece from Mashable.)

While some of these have come about organically from the users living in the same area, attending the same industry events, and even being sponsored by the same brands, some are more artificial and have raised concerns from marketers about artificially inflated numbers.

If you’re a brand looking to work with an influencer, check to see the quality of their podmates if they appear to be in one before you commit to working with them. Working with someone who is part of a high-quality pod of fellow industry influencers should only enhance the results of your partnership, not hinder it.

What are we missing?

Are there any tricks you’ve seen Instagram users employing that we’ve missed? Tell us about them! (As long as they’re legit and don’t involve buying bogus followers, that is.)

And if you want a quick look at your own performance on Instagram, try out our free Instagram account checkup below.

Want more engagement on Instagram? Our checkup analyzes the last 30 days of posts, likes and comments on your account to quickly give you key insights into how to improve.

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