Optimal Timing, Videos, and More: 10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach

Optimal Timing, Videos, and More: 10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach

Source: Social Since Instagram started sorting posts on users’ feed with an algorithm, many marketers have noticed a decline in their organic reach

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Since Instagram started sorting posts on users’ feed with an algorithm, many marketers have noticed a decline in their organic reach and engagement.

But that doesn’t have to be the case for you. In fact, it could be possible for you to reach more of your followers now than without the new Instagram algorithm.

In this post, we’ll share 10 straightforward ways you can use to increase your organic reach on Instagram today.

10 Ways to Increase Your Organic Reach with the Instagram Algorithm Today

Understanding the Instagram Algorithm

Here’s a quick side-note: Understanding how the Instagram algorithm works can be helpful in figuring out how to increase your organic reach in the algorithmic-feed world.

We’ve dug into the Instagram algorithm and broken down the seven key factors of the Instagram algorithm. If you’d like to learn about the algorithm and how it ranks content on users’ feed, feel free to hit the button below to read the post first.

10 Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach Today

So how can you increase your organic reach on Instagram? Here are the 10 powerful ways you can do that:

Let’s dive in!

1. Find your optimal posting times

Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still relevant as timing is a factor in the algorithm.

Posting at the right times can help generate an initial round of engagement on your posts which can, in turn, prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your followers’ feed.

Instagram Expert, Sue B. Zimmerman, suggests posting when the majority of your audience is online:

It may take time to get a long-term understanding of your followers’ activity, but it’s important to make sure you’re posting when the majority of your audience is online.

If you are using an Instagram Business Profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day.

To access your Instagram Insights (link to Instagram analytics post), tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app and then the bar chart icon () on the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your followers’ activity information, and you can tap on “See More” to see more detailed insights. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

Instagram Insights - Followers
Instagram Insights – Followers

2. Experiment with videos

Several studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement (i.e. likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. On first look, it might seem that photos are better than videos for engagement — and it could well be!

On closer examination, we might draw a different conclusion. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos, on average, get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, videos, on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos!

Instagram Engagement Study
Instagram Engagement Study

It is not certain if the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. But since commenting requires more effort from a user than liking, it’s possible that the algorithm values comments more than likes and would rank posts with more comments higher than posts with more likes.

Last year, Instagram found that the video watch time on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent over a six-month period. At this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos to see if it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram.

3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement

Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts. We found that hosting a giveaway contest is an effective way to engage our followers.

Buffer Instagram giveaway contest
Buffer Instagram giveaway contest

Some of the call-to-actions we have tried are:

  • Enter to win by sharing your favorite emoji party combo in the comments below
  • To enter, simply tag a friend below who you would “Vote” for as your favorite marketer and you’ll both be entered to win!
  • To enter tag a friend below who you know is rocking it on social media!
  • What’s on your reading list this week? Drop your book suggestions below for a chance to win a free book of your choice from the Buffer team!

While giveaway contests usually generate more comments than usual posts, we try to give it a few months in between each contest to keep things fun and exciting.

Something that we do more often is asking a question in our Instagram posts. Several of our most-commented posts (excluding contest posts) are posts with a question such as this, this, and this.

4. Curate user-generated content

Brian Peters, our digital marketing strategist, grew our Instagram account following…

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