It’s not me, it’s you. – The Algorithm
May 21, 2021
Sorry, but it’s true. If your Instagram page is not growing or not growing at the rate you’d like it to be, it’s not the algorithm, it’s something you are doing or not doing.
Let’s go down a list of categories you should be focusing on to avoid getting dumped by the elusive algorithm.
Let’s start with your content.
Are you clear on its goal? Every piece of content you share to your account should have a goal. This could be to educate your audience, to provide them with information, or to promote a product. It just simply can not be shared for the sake of sharing.
Is it valuable? Having a goal for your content means it should provide some type of value to your audience. Again, this could be educational, inspirational, motivational, or simply entertaining. The type of value you select must be aligned to what your specific audience find valuable. If you’re running a meme account, then humor and entertainment are valuable. If you’re running a business account for a service provider, then maybe not.
Is your content worth sharing or saving? Instagram values content that is shareable or so valuable that your audience comes back to it by hitting the save button. When publishing content keep this mind and think about how you can create posts that will make your audience want to save it or share it. Things like step-by-step tutorials, numbered lists, and how-to pots typically perform well in the saved category, while relatable content tends to be shared.
Does your content have high quality and on brand visuals? Instagram is a very visual platform and having a page that is well curated and visually branded will help you gain our audience’s credibility. If your photography and graphics are high-quality, your audience will automatically assume that this quality is going to be reflected in the product, services, and experiences you will provide them.
Is your content consistent? You have to deliver the same quality content regular. Maintaining this consistency in your visuals will make your profile visitors stay as followers. Maintaining this consistency in the quality of your content will make those followers stick around.
Next up, let’s review your engagement strategies.
Are you engaging strategically? Engaging on Instagram is not just about aimlessly liking photos and scrolling for hours on end. You need to have a strategy in place and this strategy should consist of engaging with accounts that are of some value to you—industry leaders, ideal clients, peers, etc.
Are you engaging just before and after you post? It’s important to remain active just before and after you post. This will serve as a reminder to your audience that you’re around and the interactions will also ensure your post shows up on their feeds. Engaging should not just be replying to comments and DM’s. You should be initiating contact with accounts you already follow and those you don’t, i.e. your ideal clients. And no you don’t have to follow accounts to interact with them. Follow for follow is a definite NO.
Are you using effective CTA’s? You have to use a call to action in your content. You audience needs a bit of a nudge to do what you want them to. If you want greater engagement on your posts, you should always use a call to action.
Now let’s make sure you’re utilizing all the growth tools at your disposal.
Are you making use of stories, reels, IGTV consistently? You don’t have to use all three, although it helps, but you have to use some. Showing up on stories is extremely important. Your posts are shown to a small percentage of your followers, by staying active on stories you increase your chances of staying in their radar. By utilizing reels and IGTV you are giving your content additional opportunities to be found in the reels and IGTV sections respectively.
Are you geotagging posts, stories, videos, and reels strategically? Using the location feature on all your content is key if you want to reach local and non local audiences. Your content will show up on geographic searches, so not using this feature is a wasted opportunity.
Are you reviewing your analytics for decision making? Instagram insights should be part of your weekly routine. You should be going in there to check what posts performed best, who is your audience, where are they located, and when are they online.
Are you posting at optimal times? Your posts should made around the time the majority of your audience is online, which you can find by reviewing your analytics.
Is your bio optimized? This means your bio should include a name or title that has keywords indicating what you do because this is a searchable field. It should also have a description telling your audience what you do, who you do it for, and what makes you different or better. Lastly, it should have a link to your website or at least an easy way to contact you.
Last but not least, let’s discuss your hashtag strategy.
Are you using them correctly to promote your content and to find your ideal clients? You should be using the 30 hashtag limit allowed by Instagram on all your posts. This doesn’t mean you’re going to slap random hashtags because that can hurt you more than it can help you. Your hashtags should be carefully researched and selected.
Now that we’ve covered all these categories, go back to your account and figure out where you can make improvements. Once you get all these sections in check, you can be the one to tell the algorithm “it’s not me, it’s you,” and avoid getting dumped.