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How to increase your reach on Instagram to target and convert new audiences? Building Instagram reach can help you achieve your business goals — increase brand awareness, build an online community, or even sale your product or service.
A few years ago, building an Instagram marketing strategy was relatively easy. Instagram displayed the posts chronologically, so if you had discovered the right time to post, the only thing you had to do was stick to it.
But Instagram has changed since its early days and it has become harder to increase your reach and deliver your content to your target audience.
This post will help you increase your organic reach and boost your Instagram presence. Here’s our itinerary for today:
- The Instagram algorithm
- 11 tips to increase Instagram reach
- Instagram reach vs Instagram impressions
- What does reach mean on Instagram?
The Instagram algorithm
Like most social media platforms, Instagram does not reveal its algorithm’s specific details publicly.
However, the company has provided some general insights into how the algorithm functions over the years.
Below are some of the key factors believed to influence the Instagram algorithm:
- User engagement: Posts that receive more likes, comments, shares, and other forms of interaction tend to be ranked higher in users’ feeds. This is because the algorithm interprets these signals to indicate the content is valuable and interesting.
- Promotion of Reels: Instagram tends to promote its new features to encourage users to use them. Compared to traditional posts, Reels are often given more prominent placement. For instance, Instagram Reels are available in a dedicated feed and in the Explore tab, which increases their potential reach.
- Recency: The timing of your post can influence its visibility. Newer posts are more likely to appear at the top of a user’s feed, although the algorithm will still prioritize relevance over sheer recency.
- Relationship with the user: Instagram prioritizes content from accounts that a user frequently interacts with. This includes liking, commenting, sharing, and direct messaging. The platform aims to display content from accounts users care about in their feeds.
- Profile searches: If a user is searching for your account frequently, it’s a signal to Instagram that they are interested in your content, which can influence how your posts rank in their feed.
- Content type and duration: The type of content (photo, video, carousel posts) and the time users spend viewing it can impact its ranking. For example, if users spend more time watching a video or scrolling through a carousel, Instagram might deduce that the content is engaging and rank it higher.
- Story engagement: Users interacting with your Instagram Story could influence how your posts appear in their main feed. Engaging Stories content can be a way to increase overall visibility on the platform.
- Saves and shares: Beyond likes and comments, Instagram also considers saves and shares as valuable engagement metrics. Posts that are frequently saved or shared may be given priority in the Instagram algorithm.
- Frequency of use: How often users open and use Instagram can influence what they see. If they check multiple times a day, they might see fresher content. If they check less frequently, they’re more likely to see only the most relevant content.
- Following count: If a user follows a large number of accounts, they’re less likely to see all posts from every account they follow. The algorithm will prioritize showing them content it believes is most relevant.
- Direct Messages: Engaging in direct messages with users can be another indicator of a strong relationship, potentially affecting feed ranking.
- Usage Time: How long users spend on Instagram during a session can also be a factor. If they have short sessions, they might see only the top content, but longer sessions might expose them to a broader range of posts.
Remember, the Instagram algorithm’s main goal is to keep users on the platform for as long as possible by showing them content they find relevant and engaging. The factors listed above are designed to serve this goal.
It’s worth noting that Instagram continually updates and experiments with its algorithm, so what works at one time may not work at another time.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea to stay updated by checking official announcements from Instagram and conducting your own tests to determine what works best for your audience.
Measure and analyze your Instagram reach!
How can you use the Instagram algorithms’ rules to your advantage and increase reach?
In this post, I present a few social media tips to boost your Instagram reach, attract new followers, and increase your conversion rates.
11 tips to increase Instagram reach
There are several easy Instagram techniques to increase the reach of your posts. This tips and tricks will help you combat the effects of the algorithm for Instagram as well as reach and influence brand new audiences.
Let’s dig in!
01 The importance of Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels, introduced as a response to the growing popularity of short-form video content (especially in light of platforms like TikTok), has become a significant feature within Instagram.
Because of its importance to Instagram’s strategy, the algorithm treats Reels videos uniquely, and its prominence has influenced user behaviors and content creation patterns.
Using Reels can significantly increase Instagram reach due to the platform’s promotion of short-form video content.
Here’s how utilizing Reels can enhance the reach of your Instagram posts:
- Instagram Reels are given prominent placement within Instagram, both in the main feed and in the dedicated Reels tab. This boosts visibility and encourages users to engage with this type of content.
- Short-form video content often garners higher engagement compared to other types of content. Higher engagement signals to the Instagram algorithm that the content is valuable, increasing its potential reach.
- Instagram Reels allow you to participate in trending challenges, songs, or themes. Jumping on trends can boost visibility as users explore these trending topics.
- The Reels format caters to various content types, from entertainment and comedy to tutorials and reviews. This versatility allows you to attract a diverse audience.
- Engaging Reels may increase user session duration, leading to wider content distribution by Instagram.
And now, let’s check out what content brings the most reach to the Nike brand.
I set up a monitoring project using the Brand24 tool to discover Nike’s social media reach. I discovered that Instagram is the main source of mention. In the last 30 days, the brand noted about 317,000 mentions.
In the Analysis tab, I found the list of the most popular mentions. Most of them are short-form videos.
As you can see, Instagram accounts should produce short-form videos nowadays.
02 Time is of the essence
When it comes to Instagram reach, the number of likes and comments received right after posting is extremely important. If the initial round of engagement is high, it is more likely that Instagram will push your post higher in the feed.
Spotting the right time to post on Instagram should be a piece of cake if you have Instagram Business account. Take a look at Instagram Insights and check when your followers are the most active.
Don’t worry if you don’t have Instagram Business account. There are Instagram analytics tools that will help you. Take a look at Iconosquare, Buzzsumo, or Sprout Social. The tools will analyse when your target follower group is the most active and present the data in a neat table.
03 Use the right hashtags
There’s no increasing your reach on Instagram without using the right hashtags. Hashtags are everything on Instagram. They help other users discover your content and help you to analyse the performance of your Instagram marketing campaign.
Hashtags can be divided into:
- Trending hashtags
- General hashtags
- Industry-specific hashtags
How to find popular hashtags on Instagram? With a social media monitoring tool you’ll not only find the most popular hashtag to boost your Instagram reach but you’ll also be able to track all the publicly available mentions on the Internet containing your predefined keyword.
Using the right hashtags will help you reach a wider audience and, ultimately, increase your organic reach on Instagram.
Moreover, you should take a look at the Instagram analytics metrics that can be helpful for analyzing the impact of your Instagram posts. The most important Instagram metrics you should take into account are:
- Estimatedreach – the estimated number of people who could have had contact with the Instagram post
- Instagram interactions
- Instagram likes
- Instagram comments
- Brand sentiment — whether your potential clients are talking positively or negatively about your brand, product, or service
Want to see a list of trending hashtags for your business niche? With a media monitoring tool! Brand24 will analyse the hashtags used within your niche on social media. Based on the results, you will receive a list of 100 trending hashtags you can use to boost your Instagram reach.
Measure and analyze your Instagram reach!
04 Explore the social side of Instagram
Instagram is a social network, after all, that’s why it’s vital to interact with other users if you want to increase your organic Instagram reach. The changes made to social media algorithms after the Cambridge Analytica scandal was set up to encourage genuine, positive behaviours.
What does it mean when it comes to Instagram interactions? You can sum up Instagram best practices to these critical points:
- Quickly reply to questions asked by your Instagram followers
- Thank people for liking and commenting on your post
- Explore other people’s post and engage with their content
Thank people for all the positive mention to build brand awareness and associate your brand with positive emotions.
Negative comments can be a blessing in disguise. First of all, negative comments are a goldmine of knowledge when it comes to your followers’ needs. It will give you an idea of the direction you should develop your Instagram presence.
Secondly, they give you a chance to prevent escalation of a social media crisis. Try to address the queries promptly, so you show your followers that you care about them.
05 Curate user-generated content
That’s a great way to boost Instagram engagement rates. It will encourage users to interact with your photos or videos and share it further. And Instagram is making content sharing even easier, especially when it comes to Instagram Stories, which I’ll discuss in more detail later on.
User-generated content is 35% more memorable and 50% more trusted than traditional media and other non-user-generated content.
Posting user-generated content will help you build relationships with your followers. And fruitful relationships with your followers can have a positive impact on the Instagram’s algorithm.
06 Explore Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are important for two reasons.
Stories give you a chance to show the human face of your company. Record some behind-the-scenes footage of your company, run a competition or create a separate content. It’s a great way to have some additional exposure for your brand.
Instagram Stories are also great for brand’s exposure because they are above the news feed. Your company logo will be the first image people see when they log into Instagram.
I even heard a tip that we should post Instagram Stories every day. That’s an opportunity not to be missed!
The same applies to Instagram live streams. According to Social Media Examiner the more you go live, the more exposure your non-live content will receive.
The Stories are also based on an algorithm, so it’s vital to post regularly and deliver informative and inspiring content.
07 Use geolocation
Apart from Instagram hashtags, the geolocation is another great way to increase your Instagram reach. Some Instagram users search not for a hashtag, but for a specific location.
You can also discover images that feature your brand but you aren’t tagged in. That’s a proactive way to find new followers and expand your Instagram reach.
08 Take a look at Instagram Ads
I know that Instagram Ads and organic Instagram reach sounds like ice and fire or day and night. However, having a great Instagram Ad strategy in place can help you develop a sound organic following. How does this sorcery work, you might ask? Let me explain!
Choose an already existing post and promote it with Instagram Ads among the carefully chosen audience. The engagement rate for this post will rise and it will organically rank better on your followers’ feed.
The question remains – which posts to choose from? Take a look at your Instagram analytics and identify a post that generated the highest engagement rate.
09 Collaborate with Instagram influencers
Instagram influencers are your secret weapon. They will help you with:
- Finding new audience
- Producing new content
- Authenticating your product or service in the eyes of others
- Generating leads
- Raising brand awareness.
Most social media marketers think about collaborating with top influencers who have tens of thousands of followers. But take a look at micro-influencers as well.
Micro influencers usually have up to 100 000 followers and are considered much more trustworthy than Internet celebrities. Your followers will relate more to micro influencers. Their posts also generate much higher engagement rates.
Measure and analyze your Instagram reach!
10 Engage with your audience
Instagram gives you a possibility to ask questions, runs polls and tag other users in your posts and Instagram Stories. Running a giveaway will certainly generate a lot of online buzz that will help boost your Instagram organic reach.
Apart from engaging your audience, you get a chance to show the funny face of your business. Just remember to post questions and polls every few months, so you will keep the effect fresh and interesting.
11 Optimize your profile
When someone lands on your profile, you have a few seconds to convince them to follow or engage with your content. A clear, cohesive, and compelling profile can be the deciding factor in turning a visitor into a follower.
Your bio briefly introduces who you are and what you offer. It should clearly convey your value proposition. Including relevant keywords can also help users find you when they search on Instagram.
Story Highlights offer a way to categorize and showcase your best or most informative Stories. Organized and well-titled highlights can give visitors quick insights into your content, offerings, or brand ethos.
Your bio link is a gateway to drive traffic to external content, be it your website, a new product, or other important resources. Using tools like Linktree can help you share multiple links at once.
A cohesive feed, in terms of color schemes, filters, and post types, can be visually appealing and can encourage users to scroll and engage more.
Instagram reach vs Instagram impressions
Many marketers claim that in order to be successful on Instagram, you need to follow two metrics — Instagram reach and Instagram impressions.
Those marketers are right.
We’ll define Instagram reach in the next paragraph. Let’s focus on Instagram Impressions for now.
Instagram impression is the total number of views your Instagram post receives.
Let me explain with an example.
If someone scrolls down and see your post, that counts as one impression. If the same person sees the same post for the second time it’s one more impression. Bear in mind, that you still have reached only one person on Instagram.
That’s the difference between Instagram reach and Instagram Impressions.
Reach refers to individual users and impressions refers to the total number of views. That’s why the count of Instagram Impressions will always be higher than the number of Instagram reach.
What does reach mean on Instagram?
If you want to increase Instagram reach, you first have to define what does reach on Instagram mean.
Reach is the number of unique people who see, and could possibly interact, with your content.
There are two types or reach – organic reach, where you create engaging content, hashtags and other techniques to appear high on your audience feed.
Track the reach of your Instagram account. Set up a free 14-day trial!
The second type of reach you can get is paid reach, where you buy Instagram ads to sponsor your content.
Organic reach is much more difficult to achieve, but it is also much more beneficial when it comes to maximizing your conversion rates from Instagram or, in fact, any other social media channel.
Do you want to calculate the reach of your Instagram hashtag? You can do it with a media monitoring tool, for example, Brand24.
Brand24 collects only publicly available mentions and is 100% compliant with Facebook regulations and GDPR.
To collect the data about your Instagram hashtag, create a project.
Enter the hashtag you want to track in the project creation wizard and your job is done. From that moment on, Brand24 starts to collect all publicly available mentions containing your hashtag across social media.
To analyse only the Instagram reach, choose the Instagram icon from the top bar in the Mentions tab.
The tool will also analyse the posts and give you information on:
- The total number of posts containing your predefined hashtag
- The total number of interactions
- Reach of your hashtag(s)
- Number of positive and negative mentions.
And that’s just the beginning of the perks of media monitoring.
Increase your Instagram reach! Start a 14-day free trial, no credit card required.
So, how do you make sure that your Instagram reach increases over time?
Benefits of an increased reach on Instagram
To increase your Instagram organic reach you have to comply with the Instagram algorithm. And the top concern for the algorithm is high user engagement.
Think about your account as a whole. If you have lots of views on Instagram Stories but not many likes and comments under your photos, that’s perfectly fine. It means your target audience is more interested in video content and you should focus on creating engaging short clips.
Get to know your audience and try to fulfil their expectations. Building an organic reach on Instagram is not something you can do overnight but with the right attitude, you will succeed.
If you find the topics related to social listening, brand monitoring, and brand reputation management interesting, don’t hesitate to browse our blog.
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