Instagram Algorithm Break-Down: How to Gain More Followers

Do you want to get more Instagram followers? Need a little help breaking down the popular algorithm? This is your lucky day because we’ll get you through all the tips and advice on how to increase your Instagram followers.

The Contents

  • Disclaimer
  • What is the Instagram algorithm:
  • How to get more Instagram followers:
  • Conclusion

Disclaimer

First off, this post is about getting more quality followers.

Many people pay for followers and that just doesn’t help: fake followers won’t buy from you. So if you just aspire to see your number of followers grow no matter how so your ego is content, don’t read this post. For those who truly want to have a real organic audience, this post is for you.

What is the Instagram algorithm:

The Instagram algorithm is a set of rules that control the reach of your organic content. Understanding how it works will help you get more Instagram followers. As in the Search Engine Results Page of Google or any other search engine, several factors influence the algorithm.

Interest

Turns out there’s someone else who cares about likes and comments apart from desperate teenagers seeking validation: the algorithm. If Instagram notices your content is popular, you have more chances to get even more popular. That’s just how life works, folks.

Look, the algorithm is a good listener. It knows users better than they know themselves so it gives them exactly what they want to see. To use this to your advantage, you need to be truly appealing to your audience. Two key points for that: define your target audience and put storytelling into practice.

Another thing that works is using hashtags in the right way. The algorithm is smart: it’s a machine learning that sorts social content in complex ways. However, once again, just like Google, using labels or, in this case, hashtags, helps the algorithm to better understand what’s in your post and show it to people that might be interested in it.

To use hashtags correctly, do some research inside your niche and find the hashtags that actually represent your post. And please, do not exceed 30.

Recently, Instagram launched the option to hide the number of likes you receive on posts on the app, as a way to improving the mental health of its users. However, this doesn’t affect the algorithm.

Time

Although Instagram’s feed is no longer reverse-chronological since 2016, recent posts are still preferred over old ones. It’s not even a matter of months or days, hours can make the difference between a post seen and one that goes unnoticed.

That’s why people talk so much about which is the best time to post on Instagram. We’ll explain this later.

The algorithm also considers how much time a user spends on Instagram per day and how often in order to decide what content to show them. Someone that is on Instagram constantly has more chances to see your content than a light user.

Relationship

Instagram shows users posts from accounts they might not follow but have interacted with in the past. Interaction includes liking, commenting, saving posts, reacting to stories, or even just searching for an account and seeing its posts or stories.

The algorithm prioritizes engagement because it tries to piece together the user likes and relationships to deliver the things they’ll want to see. Next time you post, don’t hesitate on asking your followers directly to like, comment, and save.

That’s also another reason why fake followers are worthless: the algorithm recognizes loyal audiences that constantly engage with your content.

Instagram also has an Explorer page dedicated purely to accounts you don’t follow but might like. So if you want to get more Instagram followers, appearing here is key.

Finally, do keep in mind that the algorithm is always changing. Stay updated so you can adapt properly!

How to get more Instagram followers:

1. Optimize your profile

Carve a nice and attractive profile. Consider:

  • User name. It has to be the same in all your social media and easy to remember. Name Check is a great tool to make sure the name you want to choose is available. Don’t put numbers or anything weird.
  • Name. Use nice typography and add emojis. Social media account are supposed to be playful!
  • Profile picture. This is an excellent place to put the logo of your brand. So invest in graphic design. Canva is awesome but you should also consider hiring a professional. If you are a freelance, put a picture of yourself. Of course, if you’re an artist like Viria, a piece of your art as your picture works perfectly.

Viria's Instagram profile

  • Bio. Who are you? What do you do? Now is when you need to link to your website, your Youtube channel, or any project you’re working on. Many accounts use third parties like Linktree or Campsite to have a link that redirects to multiple places (like their ecommerce and their Spotify playlist). However, these alternatives are controversial because they harm your SEO.

2. Create quality content

To get more Instagram followers, you need to create quality content. As we mentioned before, if Instagram sees that people like your content and interact with it, it’ll show your account to more users.

So make a list of possible needs or doubts of your audience. Keep your ear to the ground with new trends. Especially when talking about reels: there are always new trends and it’s so easy for them to go viral.

Once you’re certain of what your audience would appreciate seeing, make a post about it.

If you don’t know what are their needs, ask! Use Instagram’s stickers to interact with your audience and make the content they are asking for!

This is super important! Sometimes, we are tempted to create the kind of content we want. But when you have an audience, you need to think about how they’ll respond to what you are saying. You’re creating for them, not for you. If you want to post whatever you feel like, that’s fine, but don’t expect to have millions of followers. You always have to consider your audience’s reaction.

A tip to better understand your audience is to use an analytics tool. See what performs best and do more of that!

Get more content inspiration with 30 Creative Instagram Posts Ideas.

3. Be constant

In the same way, you can’t post whatever you feel like to get more Instagram followers, you can’t improvise either. Mainly because that’ll make your content not be regular and in marketing, being constant is important.

So plan your week. Make sure you prepare posts related to your brand and always have something pending to post.

Also, keep the same design throughout your account as the one in the picture below. Notice she has the same palette and theme in all of her posts. Meaning, she’s coherent in your content and has a unified visual identity.

To achieve this, have a template you can use for posts and others for stories.

Then update regularly. This is really important to break the algorithm and get more followers.

Knowing when to post is no rocket science. Forget about the posts that promise a panacea. If you want to post when your audience is active (which you should do), look at your own account.

You can see the analytics on Facebook Creator. Go to Audience Statistics and scroll down until you see the chart that tells you which days and hours you have more audience.

Visual identity

4. Be detail-oriented

Many people underestimate social media and think that it will be easy to get more Instagram followers. The truth is, it’s not. It requires patience and work. You need to take it seriously and give the best of yourself.

That means using all the tools available to be as professional as possible while spending the least amount of your precious time.

I recently wrote a post on designing tools for social media graphics. You can check it out and try some tools like Canva or Visme.

However, it would be great if you learn to use Photoshop or Illustrator. There are plenty of Youtube tutorials out there (and BforBlogger’s posts) to teach you. Eventually, when you have grown enough, it will time to hire a graphic designer to really step up the game.

Other tools for Instagram include schedule apps to plan your week and save you time.

5. Keep your brand human

Social media is the perfect place to show the human side of your brand. That means showing your face, your voice, or at least your hand!

Don’t be shy. The more authentic and human your account is, the more chances for you to get more Instagram followers.

Stories are the ideal place to do this. They last only a day and users love seeing them. You can show your day-to-day in your workplace, how you’re preparing deliveries, or even share a small moment of your private life.

With stories, you can also show you’re funny and interact better with users. Upload recommendations or reviews of your products and social proof. Ask them how they’re doing, what are their hobbies, or what their favorite paintings are.

Don’t forget to be present in your DM’s and the comment section, too! Don’t act like a ghost.

Use Instagram stories to interact with users and get more Instagram followers

7. Make reels and Instagram Guides

Reels are AMAZING for increasing your reach and therefore managing to get more Instagram followers. Reels can go viral so easily, you’ll be a fool to not enhance their potential. They are the sum of all that users love on social media: visual, short, funny, and human content.

As we were saying before, reels are very trendy so there are constantly new songs and ideas that creators use and the audience adores. So be a user and learn what’s hot this week on reels and TikTok.

On the other hand, another relatively new feature of Instagram is Instagram Guides. They allow you to gather different posts with the same theme into “guides” so you can show how they are connected and deliver bigger storytelling. This also helps keep your account organized and friendly to new followers.

The last helpful feature to beat the algorithm is post carousels, which earn more engagement than other post types.

8. Promote your account

Find an influencer with the same interests and values as you and offer a partnership. Often, you exchange products with them so they promote you just like Helena is doing in her picture.

But not everyone sells products so find what works for you. Taking a look at what your competitors are doing is the best source of ideas!

You can also promote yourself with a contest like many brands did on Valentine’s Day. However, don’t make a giveaway. Regular giveaways include strangers that never bought from you and don’t intend to ever do so, they just want free stuff and will unfollow you the second the giveaway is over. That doesn’t make you any good.

Invest in ads, too.

Organic and paid strategies go hand in hand. If you create great content but no one sees it, you’re wasting your talent. Facebook Ads are awesome because you don’t need to start big. A small amount of money is enough.

Conclusion

Instagram is a social media platform that’s very popular and changes a lot. However, some things will always be important to get more Instagram followers:

  • A good profile and brand identity.
  • Quality content that shows the human side of your brand.
  • Promotion.
  • Trends.
  • Details.

Would you add anything else? Let me know in the comments!

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