How to Gain Instagram Followers Organically
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What types of content do users want to see? which hashtags to use? when should I post content? what days of the week? what hours?
For some time now, my clients, myself, and, I’m sure you’ve seen it too, our performance on Instagram is becoming absolutely disastrous.
But why ?
What’s going on behind all this? How Instagram works?
A little history.
In 2016, Instagram announced that they would go from a chronological news flow where the contents follow one after the other, to a flow no longer chronological but dictated by an algorithm. An algorithm is artificial intelligence or more precisely a machine learning.
Simply because a chronological flow was possible as long as the community was not too important. Between 2016 and today, we have grown from 500 million to more than 1 billion users. If Instagram had not changed anything, we’d probably all have left the platform.
How does Instagram work?
The Instagram business model is based around advertising.
While the algorithm is supposed to analyze our behavior, show us in our news feed what is most interesting for us to optimize our user experience, make us want to stay as long as possible on the platform, Instagram is profitable thanks to advertisers and advertising. The application generates huge advertising revenue.
The goal of Instagram is to give pleasure to users by optimizing their experience to expose them to more and more advertising. As for the algorithm, it will analyze our behavior, our tastes and affinities in order to offer us targeted advertising adapted to our profile.
And if the platform has a high quality of commitment, and if it has a great ability to retain users, it gives more and more envy to advertisers to spend a lot of budget to increase their visibility.
It is by integrating all this principle that we understand what are the articulations of the algorithm behind it.
The goal is to optimize the user experience while also maximizing the potential for advertisers to reach a quality and committed audience, because it optimizes budget spending.
How does the Instagram algorithm work?
Let’s try to understand how this algorithm works to be able to benefit from the effects of levers behind:
We will note a phenomenon of reward, when there is a behavior which is in the norm desired by the platform, versus, the penalization when the behavior is not the good one.
And it is through these two mechanisms that we will forge a tool, a machine, which will be of great relevance to build a news flow that is both very interesting for your audience, so that it stays as long as possible on Instagram, but also to reward advertisers who have invested heavily in the platform.
Penalisation, the sanction of the algorithm
It is certainly on this aspect that Instagram has seriously « tightened the screw » for some time and the reason why, rightly, we see a sharp decline in the results of each of us.
Advertisers want to spend advertising dollars wisely, where there is trust, where they know they will reach a real audience, have a real commitment, especially with the ambassadors (influencer) they pay.
The problem encountered for some time, it is the abusive users who buy followers or use third-party applications, type « bot » (robot) to artificially inflate their results and create reciprocal commitment to their account, while as being part of private groups in which one agrees to like the contents of each other.
All signals are observable to show us that Instagram spends a great deal of resources, time, energy and ingenuity to develop the skills of this part of the algorithm, namely, the criminalization of inappropriate behaviors. recently, rightly or wrongly.
Indeed, sometimes the algorithm is wrong, you must have noticed. You do your best to provide quality content but you can not get your results off the ground. No algorithm is foolproof, but overall Instagram has every intention to do everything to preserve the quality of communities and the intrinsic quality of engagement, because it preserves the revenue potential for advertisers.
Instagram dynamically and consistently calculates a confidence score.
The higher your trust score is, the more likely you are to appear as a reference when you position yourself on a hashtag, explore it, feed news and appear in an increasingly wide audience, to enter the « virality ».
But there is certainly more, and this is pretty vicious, not only our own confidence score is analyzed, but also the quality of our subscribers.
This means that if you have a poor quality audience, not very engaged and abusive behavior or even ghost accounts with a very low confidence score, it will have as a consequence, to lower your own results.
It should therefore even purify its own community so that it is of good quality.
What you must remember :
- Avoid all behaviors that may affect the trust score of your account.
- third-party applications,
- buying followers and likes,
- follow for follow,
- automatic commitments,
- abuse of irrelevant hashtags…
You are « rewarded » when your account and your posts allow users who consume them to want to stay longer on Instagram.
The problem on this level is that there is no miracle recipe. Every audience and every community is different. There are only good practices, and the best if you want to feed the algorithm on this aspect « reward » and meet the needs and expectations of your community is to think of « the human being » who is on the other side.
Ask empathically what people want to see, what types of content they prefer and engage with most, whether it’s the type of publication topic you choose , texts, hashtags, etc.
Get the most out of your tests, stay on top of trends in your industry and watch your audience’s behavior against the best publications from your competitors. The more you understand your audience, the more you will be able to offer them quality content that will increase your results.
How to get more followers on Instagram today ?
1/ Offer good quality content
The quality of the content is to be consistent with its niche, because Instagram, recognizing the topics of our publications, will put us in a category (fashion, lifestyle, fitness, marketing, entrepreneurship, …) and from there, Instagram will analyze the content you post to see if it is consistent and appropriate for your community.
If you are consistent, they will expose you more to the public by considering that your community will adhere to your future publications.
Which photo or video content works best for you?
Test and see what generates the most emotional and genuine connections and continue to produce content that goes in that direction, while maintaining variety and consistency so you do not get caught up in the algorithm.
The idea is to maximize the user experience, your audience, through quality content.
2/ Take care of your Captions (texts, legends)
Look after the texts and descriptions of your content. The algorithm analyzes the « captions » to see how it should position you in the index in terms of trust and visibility.
Think that the algorithm is like a human being. Write attractive and captivating text and insert appropriate keywords. Launch and fuel discussions, ask questions, seek the advice of your audience, while remaining authentic. Heal the substance of what you say, so as to be inspiring, motivating and especially to make users want to interact with your content, to like, to comment, to feed the discussions, in which you too must yourself to engage you.
3/ Use the right Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the most important elements on Instagram, whether to feed the algorithm, but also to enhance your ability to be discovered at random from the explorer or in the news feed of hashtags that follow the users.
But be careful, avoid all the behaviors that the algorithm could describe as robotic and unnatural. Do not put the same list of hashtags all the time. Select contextual hashtags, tailored to your topic with enough volume of searches where there will not be too much competition and competition and mix with niche hashtags, more specific.
4/ Respect the timing. When to post on Instagram?
According to the studies, posting between 3 to 5 times a week is a good average.
To know the good days and good hours, again there is no miracle recipe and it depends mainly on your sector of activity.
The best way to know when to post to Instagram is to refer directly to your own statistics, only if you have a business account, to analyze your community and see which days and times you have the most. audience, the moments when it connects the most.
It is in this timing that it will be necessary to post, because the algorithm takes into account the speed of the commitment to extend the circle of visibility, first in your community and then outside the audience.
So be careful not to publish when your audience sleeps or is absent, especially during working hours!
5/ Use all the features
Instagram, in its business model, needs users to stay connected as long as possible. That’s why they have developed typical features: feeds, lives, stories, videos, stickers, surveys, IGTV, etc … in order to keep users connected and thus optimize their advertising revenues.
We can notice that certain accounts become, thus, quickly very popular. The reason being that they exploit all the channels as much as possible (story, IGTV, Publications, etc …)
Result: The algorithm rewards them by increasing their visibility and multiplying the effect of virality.
In conclusion, be patient, do not give in to the ease of platforms, which will be prejudicial to you, and expose you to the penalizing effects of the algorithm.
A reactive interaction in the form of tests, questions, exchanges and an optimal use of hashtags and geolocation will allow you to better target the needs of your community in real time, in order to create a lasting relationship, authentic and quality with your audience and of course, a significant increase in your results.