Insta Tips:Free ways to get the most out of Instagram
All of the tips below are essentially the ways we think are the best ways to make your posts seen on Instagram. We know that "the algorithm" doesn't show all posts to all followers, but we can do somethings to increase our visibility.
Instagram's only goal is to keep people ON INSTAGRAM. That's why you can't put links in posts to outside sites and you can only have one link in your bio. It's also why they prioritise what they show to users - they want to show first what the algorithm tells them is good content, and will keep them on the app. Doing all of the stuff for the algorithm is to convince our social media overlords that we are worth showing.
Please know that I share all of these tips with the dead-eyed despair that you all feel reading them.
1. Hashtags, Part 1.
You can use up to 30 per post. The most effective way to use them is by having a mixture of popular and niche ones - #supportsmallbusiness is popular, and #notonthewestend is niche, for example.
2. Hashtags, Part 2.
You also get better chances if you change them up on each post, don’t use an identical set of 10 on everything.
3. Hashtags, Part 3.
Instagram apparently also knows if you type them in my hand or copy and paste and will reward you in someway for taking the time and tapping each one individually.
(Feel free to save this image and share it, to remind your followers that they can help your business, FOR FREE!)
Your posts drop in search results and in people’s feeds if you edit after posting. Double check everything is right first time.
5. Comments, Part 1.
This is a way to help both your posts on @notonthewestend but also help each other. Commenting on a post helps that post come higher in search results and in your followers feeds and posting a comment with 4 or more actual words in is even better. Apparently the difference between “Beautiful!” and “This is so beautiful!” is important. Respond to comments on your posts (both on your own business account and on your feature post on NOTWE). Thank people for compliments and answer any questions. Even if it just your friends being algorithm helpful!
Make sure to add appropriate captions, if you want to engage with your audience consider asking a question to them. If you have a lot of information to share, put just the most important things in the image and the details in the captions. Instagram favours showing images without a lot of text, and by putting the information in the image rather than the captions you make the information less accessible to people using screen readers.
7. Image Description and Alt Text
Putting an image description in your captions or 'Alt Text' on your posts makes them more accessible to visually impaired people. Find more info about this on our guide. If you include image descriptions you can also tag #imagedescription so it can be found by people who want that.
8. Sharing, Part 1.
You can share a post using the paper airplane icon below the image and this again impacts rankings in search results/feeds. This includes sending it privately and to your story. You can be brazen and just find a friend with a business too and just agree to share each others posts to each other. Find a friend who doesn’t mind seeing your gorgeous work and use your personal account to send them all of your business account’s posts. Ask friends to share your work on their stories – I promise people are wanting to support you and will be happy to.
9. Sharing, Part 2.
If you have any sort of promotion happening, tag @notonthewestend and I’ll do my best to share it to our stories. Launching new products, or a discount code, or a charity appeal or a giveaway – send them to me!
The more interactions (likes/comment/shares) that your posts receive in the first half hour of being up, the higher up in feeds/search results instagram’s algorithm will put it.
Instagram knows how much time every user spend looking at each post. If people scroll straight past your post they know. This is why some of the following are useful -
videos - something like a time lapse of products being made, or quick video of how you package your products is likely to have that satisfying watchable quality that people will watch to the end, even if it's only 25 seconds that is longer than most people will look at one image.
multiphoto posts - if you've got even two images to swipe through it keep people looking at your post for a few more seconds which tells Instagram that they care about your account and it's interesting, so they'll show the post to more people.
Instagram like posts with a locations, plus it's another way for people to find you too.
As above Instagram knows how much time every user spends looking at each post and story and if that user engages with the post. So having some stories with a lot of text makes people hold and pause the story to read is - this is why the "8 facts about you" post does the rounds.
Having a poll or a questionnaire on your story gives users a change to interact. Social media brings out the toddlers in us and we like pressing buttons. Giving people the opportunity to chose their favourite colour-way or style of product in your stories can be good market research, but also it's getting your followers to engage with your content in a way that Instagram can use.
3. Tagging Games
These aren't for everyone and never feel the pressure to do them if you don't wanna, but this is why/how they work: A lot of them ask other to share one of your posts and you share one of someone else's posts. It's a way for small businesses to work together. If you're following their account there is a reasonable chance that the people following them might also like what you make. Getting your posts shared on other people's stories increases you "reach". Some of them get your to share your own "most liked" post from a certain period. this is another chance for you to show off what is your most popular stuff.