With the everchanging Instagram algorithm, the best ways for influencers to achieve growth and expand their reach often change as well. We’re diving into the current Instagram best practices for success in 2022.
Instagram best practices of 2022
Make your content engaging and valuable.
Your Instagram strategy should include content so heavy in value that your followers feel like they’re gaining some type of benefit every time you post. Whether the content is informational or simply makes people laugh or smile, your followers should be able to identify a positive takeaway.
Use Instagram Reels
Reels have achieved tremendous growth since first being introduced in 2020 and are now the fastest-growing format on that platform. Instagrammers currently spend around 20% of their time on the app watching Reels, according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Instagram continues to push them and encourage users to implement them.
According to Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, the platform is currently giving an extra boost to educational and entertaining videos. To really make the most out of this feature, create them in the app instead of reposting them from TikTok or other platforms.
Use various content formats
Instagram also says, “Sharing across formats (like Reels, Stories and Highlights, Instagram Video, etc.) can help you find new followers and expand your reach.” Aside from Reels, carousel posts usually attract some of the highest engagement, especially when they include multiple media forms like photos and videos.
On average, carousels get 1.4 times more reach and 3.1 times more engagement. Including both forms will likely keep users engaged longer since there are several types of content to interact with. Also, it could be beneficial to alternate between media forms, instead of, for example, posting three photos in a row.
Growing your account depends on how much you post and gaining new followers is only half the battle. The other half is maintaining those existing followers, so the total follower count remains on an incline. That calls for valuable, high-quality content to be posted regularly, but without overloading your followers’ feeds. It’s imperative to be strategic.
Back in 2021, Mosseri also expressed that a “healthy feed” is a “couple posts a week, a couple Stories a day.” It’s been reported by several marketers that four to six posts per week are ideal.
Engage with your audience
Yes, consistent posts will keep followers around, but also engaging with them will more likely cultivate long-term followers.
This could also bring additional engagement since users are more likely to engage if they see you’ve taken the time to respond to previous comments. However, responding to comments isn’t the only way to engage. Other methods like Questions stickers on Stories and answering all DMs are also effective.
Post when your followers are most active
Engagement is imperative, but early engagement is what will carry your content far and wide, which will most likely occur when your followers are active. You can gain information about when your audience is most active from your Instagram account Insights.
This is a more personalized approach, however, the general estimate for ideal times to post is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the best days.
Engage with high-value accounts in your niche
Whatever your niche is, engaging with accounts in that same niche could be helpful. Instagram’s algorithm is based on various signals. Getting the algorithm to include your content in their in-feed recommendations means the app has to recognize you as part of that niche.
Following and interacting with other accounts already recognized by Instagram could help achieve that. Getting the people behind these accounts to follow you back is a bonus and could even potentially lead to a collab.
Choose the right hashtags
Hashtags are an easy way to expand your reach, and using relevant ones can quickly bring in those new followers by placing your content in front of people who will likely interact with it. Although each post can have up to 30 hashtags and Stories can have up to 10, it’s not beneficial to use the maximum amount every time.
The recommended amount for hashtags constantly varies, but the recommendation of between three and five hashtags seems to be a common recurrence. Many users mistake thinking the biggest or most popular hashtags are the most effective, but that isn’t always the case.
Hashtags with fewer posts and less competition may send clearer signals to the algorithm, making it more likely that your target audience will be reached, as opposed to a broader audience. For hashtags to be most effective, they should be included in the caption, instead of the comments.
Write quality captions
While posting definitely contributes to growth, the captions on your post matter. They can increase engagement by about 2%, especially when they signal the algorithm that the content is interesting and relevant to potential followers while also engaging your existing followers so they interact.
They can be a captivating story related to the content at hand, something short and charismatic, or anything in between. Making your captions easy to read by breaking up longer text, as well as using emojis, keywords, and hashtags.
Create a compelling bio
Having a relevant and clear handle and bio can work wonders for the growth of your account. It makes it easy for your target audience to find and follow you. Including keywords in your bio is imperative, and if one can be implemented in the handle, even better.
Use your bio to tell your potential followers who you are and what to expect if they choose to hit the follow button.
Use the location feature
If building a local following is ideal for you, then Instagram’s location feature can assist. Tagging your content with a location can get it in front of people and businesses nearby.
Be authentic and original
Above all else, remember to remain true to who you are and what you’re about. Also, try to stick to posting original content, meaning content created by you or content that hasn’t been posted before. Instagram currently has the algorithm set to prioritize original content when showing recommendations.
As always, monitor your content’s results to see what’s working and what isn’t, so informed decisions regarding content can be made in the future.