It may be extremely challenging to stand out from the crowd on Instagram. The platform is inherently visual, and there will be stiff competition, particularly for businesses trying to position their posts in people’s Instagram Explore pages. Millions of marketers attempt to break onto the Explore page, without success. However, you can improve your chances of Instagram success by merely improving the way you run your account. By following good posting habits, you have the chance to optimize your Instagram posts for max influence. Here are some tips that help you optimize Instagram posts to wow your followers.
Understand Instagram’s Algorithm to Optimize Instagram Posts
There was a time when Instagram displayed posts within the order that people made them. This meant that you can create posts in the knowledge that all your followers would see them, as long as they were prepared to scroll through their posts for sufficiently long to get through the queue. However, because the variety of posts grew, Instagram changed its algorithm to try and make sure that people got to see the posts they most needed to see, leaving those posts deemed much less crucial further down the queue.
In theory, at least, which means that posts by friends and family will all the time take priority over posts made by brands. Therefore brands should optimize their posts to try and “beat” the algorithm.
Instagram’s main goal is to maximize the time users spend on the platform. The more time users spend on Instagram, the more ads they will view. Instagram uses “ranking signals” to assist decide the order of posts on each person’s feed. These ranking signals are:
- Relationship – Instagram prioritizes posts from people it believes are close to the user. Elements it uses to decide on closeness include whether somebody leaves comments on your posts, whether they have your notifications enabled, whether you DM each other, or if you tag each other in your posts.
- Interest – whether a post is likely to interest a user based on previous behavior. This makes use of AI to find out the kinds of posts that appear to most interest a user
- Timeliness – the algorithm favors newer posts over old posts. This is one of the reasons why it’s essential to publish when your audience is online – if you publish at different times, your posts could also be deemed to be stale by the time your viewers awakes
A number of smaller factors also influence the order of posts as defined by the Instagram algorithm. This embraces how often a user opens their Instagram app, following count, and every user’s average session time.
Change to an Instagram Business Profile
While having an Instagram business profile doesn’t have a direct bearing on the Instagram algorithm, it does make life a lot easier for any serious Instagram account. In particular, you need an Instagram business profile to have access to Instagram Insights – the free analytics tool that Instagram offers its users. A few of the more extensive Instagram tools provide you with much more data – although you’ll again need to have a business profile generally.
Share High-Quality Photos
Let’s face it. Instagram is all about visuals. If the text were still king, there would have been no reason for people to change over from Facebook.
One of the reasons for this is the rise in bandwidth and the speed of downloading over recent years. You only have to return a couple of years, and people would give warnings about limiting your file sizes to manage your internet connection.
Now, most individuals take pleasure in fast connections, both to their desktop and on their mobile devices. There is no reason why you can’t upload high-quality, sumptuous photos to whet the appetite of your fellow Instagrammers.
Instagram now encourages individuals to upload high-quality photos. Here is a guide about Instagram image sizes. They suggest the following sizes for your traditional Instagram posts:
- Square photos: 1080px by 1080px
- Landscape photos: 1080px by 608px
- Portrait photos: 1080px by 1350px
These are the best sizes. If you add larger sizes, you’ll slow things down for no extra benefit. Smaller file sizes, however, detract from the overall appeal of the picture, taking away a lot of the fine detail.
Don’t be afraid to change your photos to enhance their quality or fitness for your intended post. There are a lot of tools you should use to help you, ranging from industry heavyweights like Adobe Photoshop to free or low-cost tools like Canva and Gimp.