Beating the Instagram Algorithm

1. Quality

First and foremost, make sure that the content you are putting out is quality! People gravitate towards beauty. Simple, well lit photos (see this post for tips) and well written captions are key to gaining followers that stick around and become loyal customers. In addition to individual posts, keep your overall grid picture in mind (see this post for more tips on planning your grid).

2. Engagement

The more people engage with your post the more it shows up. Have you ever noticed on Facebook that when someone announces a new marriage or baby that you continue to see that post for days at the top of your news feed? It’s because people always get excited about those posts and engage with them! Just because you don’t have something that exciting happening every day doesn’t mean you can’t get good engagement. Here are a few tips: ask simple questions, encourage people to “double tap if..” or “tag a friend who...” Give them a reason to comment! In addition, if you engage on other people’s posts they will often times click over into your feed and are more likely to engage back. It’s a two way street!

3. Hashtags

Research hashtags that your ideal clients are using and use them too! Don’t use broad hashtags where your posts will get buried in seconds or small ones that no one else uses. Find the ones that are just right for your brand and use them. This takes some time, research and testing, but it’s worth it! Notice that when you search for a hashtag other similar ones populate at the top of your page. This is a helpful tool in picking the right ones! In addition, there are websites like that can help with your research. To keep your post looking clean, put your hashtags in the comments below your post. For ease of posting, make a list of hashtags in a note on your phone (or using your Plann app) so you can copy and paste them (instead of typing each one out every time).

4. Collaborations

Whether it’s an official collaboration or not doesn’t matter. Tag other brands that naturally show up in your feed (ie. your favorite ice cream, soap or coffee shop). You can also team up with other brands to offer a giveaway. Cross promoting can boost engagement and new followers!