iPhone: Your screen time is up by 78% this week.
We are all too familiar with this little report, delivered unprompted and certainly uninvited as an alert each week. And in a time like this, it's no doubt that screen time reports are higher than ever as we turn to platforms such as Instagram for connection to the outside world.
Evidently, this is music to marketers' ears, with more consumers at home, online business owners have the opportunity to gain more eyes on their business more than ever before.
With that said, I'm here to give you with the latest insight into the 2020 algorithm and provide you with the basics to organically grow your account in iso.
THE 2020 ALGORITHM:
Since moving away from the chronological feed, the algorithm has caused a lot of confusion however recently, Instagram came clean;
Powered by machine learning, the algorithm changes based on new behavioural patterns or trends by users
Photos and videos are equal
Comments, likes, shares, + views impact feed ranking
It's always evolving based on user trends
Fake interactions don't count
All comment lengths count as engagement
All account types are equal (personal, business, influencer)
LINK YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS:
Within the settings of your Instagram account, you can link it to other platforms and social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. When you set this up, it will allow you to share your Instagram posts to those linked accounts killing two birds with one stone or in this case putting in the work for one account and sharing it across them all.
SWITCH TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT & GO PUBLIC:
By making the switch, Instagram will pull in some details from your Facebook page, including your page type (i.e. personal blog, public figure, coach), "About" and your contact details. This option allows you to view insights/statistics about your followers and posts. You can also create promotions (ads) to help grow your business.
THE PURPOSE OF YOUR ACCOUNT:
As marketers, we throw around the term "quality content" a lot, but what does that actually mean? Is "quality content" content with a university degree? Is it images only taken on a Canon EOS 1500D? Or is it full of industry lingo?
Put simply – No. But before you go ahead and press 'Share' you ask yourself these questions:
Who is my target market?
Does it provide value?
Is it informational?
Is it entertaining or highly shareable?
Is it unique?
Is it in trend?
Do I have a compelling call to action?
And I cannot stress this enough, if you want to grow your following and increase your awareness or get your business name out there, you need to genuinely engage. Comment, like, share and tag people and other brands, and do it all again.
Do a giveaway, EVERYONE loves a giveaway, and it's a speedy way to get those numbers up. Have people repost your photo, follow your page or tag a friend in the comments. This is an excellent way to reach new people because they're friends of existing followers, they're more likely to be more of your ideal clients.
Testimonials or reviews go along way. Depending on the product, this acts as social proof and could be what they see before making the final decision and making the purchase.
Promote your latest videos, blog post, podcast episode or any other great content you've created. You could even promote guest posts or interviews you've done or articles where you've been featured.
Use and abuse Instagram stories, provide tips + Q&A's, share tools, resourced & recommendations. If you're not too shy, get in front of the camera, this shows transparency and allows your audience to grow a more profound recognition and relationship with your brand.
Hashtags are a powerful way to reach new people, so if you're not already using them, it's definitely something to look into and start doing.
Where to find the right hashtags?
If you're not sure what hashtags to use, start by looking at popular or well-known people in your niche or industry. Check out their photos and see what hashtags they're using. Then check out the feed for those hashtags. You can follow the breadcrumbs this way to discover great hashtags that will get your content in front of your right people.
My tip: Include tags with 25,000 to 500,000 posts, your picture is more likely to be seen. Trial and error different tags to see what works best for your business.
Post quality content as often as you can, consistently.
So to my fellow business accounts, there are many methods of growing your Instagram following organically. I've highlighted a few here, a combination of the above tactics will put you in a good place to grow your business account organically and steadily.
In saying that, building an active Instagram following can seem like a part-time job, requiring you to consistently produce valuable and shareable content and employ countless other strategies to engage with your audience. With every tweak to the algorithm and the introduction of new features, it’s important to keep up in the digital rat race and maintain it. Remember that the April Ford team is here to help.