Instagram 101

Growing Your Instagram Following

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Growing your Instagram following is not what is was 5 years, even 2 years ago and these day it can prove to be quite the challenge. When Instagram first started, discovering content and new profiles to follow was fairly easy for users to do but as the algorithms started to roll out, Instagram made it harder for new Instagrammers to break out. But as the algorithms changed to prefer popular content, growing your Instagram following at any level brought on it’s own set of challenges.

Another obstacle that you’re sure to face when growing your Instagram following is that with over 800 million users, it proves harder to stand out than it did back when Instagram had only 50 million, even 200 million users. There are so many profiles covering a variety of niches like food, travel, beauty and street style, not to mention Influencers and Bloggers that also use the platform to reach their audiences. Growing your Instagram account successfully takes a lot of planning, effort and strategizing but by adding these simple tips into your routine you’ll find great reward.


Growing Your Instagram Following

Publish Regularly

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Your followers on Instagram want to see fresh content on a regular basis, so publishing regularly is important to keep them happy. Publishing frequently on Instagram also betters your odds of attracting more followers kind of like how it is with playing the lottery: if you don’t play, you don’t win. To add to everything algorithms dictating not only what content makes it beyond the 10% of your followers but what makes it to the Explore Page and Top Post page for hashtags, it’s in your best interest to post on a regular basis if you’re interested in growing your Instagram following. But be careful, you don’t want to come off as spamming your current followers with too many posts, which can result in follower losses. So try and keep your posts to 1 to 3 post a day, spaced out by a few hours if you can.


It’s All In The Content

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Publishing content regularly is great, but that alone isn’t the be all end all of growing your Instagram following. If you’re not posting the right content that gets people’s attention and gets them engaging all your hard work is for nothing. Focus on posting a variety of content and using your captions to engage your audience. You might want to think about planning the overall look of your feed, which has a big impact on growing your Instagram following. Our Feed Planner helps Instagrammers plan their content in advance with a feed-like view of their content to build an overall profile aesthetic. You can also learn more about feed planning and get some of our tips in our previous article here.


Use The Right Hashtags

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Hashtags are really the key to getting your content seen by more than just your followers. If you’re goal is growing your Instagram following you want to be sure you’re using hashtags on every post you do. But before just start slapping hashtags here, there and everywhere it’s important to know a few guidelines. First, never hashtag every other word in your caption, it makes it impossible to read, instead try using them at the end of your caption, or using key ones sparsely throughout your caption  Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, but the sweet spot to not come off overly spammy is 11-22 hashtags. Finally if you want to have any success with growing your Instagram following, using the right hashtags is important otherwise it’s all for nothing. You want to use not only relevant hashtags, but ones you have more odds to rank with because remember, algorithms rule it all. Our many tools for maximizing your use of hashtags with Melon Stats can help strengthen your hashtag strategy for growing your Instagram following.


Post At Prime Times

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Posting at the times when the most people are active on Instagram is a great way to use the algorithm to your advantage. Instagram deems content popular based on it’s engagement levels within the first 60 minutes of it being published. If you post at times when your followers and target audience are in bed sleeping, or at work how will they see it? Another great tool for growing your Instagram following available with Melon Stats is our engagement and media reports, that allow you to monitor when you’ve posted against a post’s performance, to tweak your publishing times to match when your audience is most active.


Engage With Your Followers

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If there’s one tip we couldn’t stress enough that is probably the simplest of them all, is engaging with your followers. Accounts that see high follower engagement and strong relationships with their followers often engage with them, proving it to be a bit asset when growing your Instagram following. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated at all, just be sure to reply to all DMs, acknowledge all comments replying to those you can, and showing your most loyal followers some love on their own Instagram profiles. Taking the time to do these few things daily are sure to bring big rewards with growing your Instagram following.

Instagram Algorithm: 5 Ways To Have It Work For You

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Instagram algorithm is a topic you hear about frequently when reading blogs and articles about social media. Ever since they were rolled out by Instagram a couple years ago, the Instagram algorithm has been a forever changing force that boggles brands, influencers and marketing managers alike. To cut a long and complicated story short and sweet, the Instagram algorithm replace the chronological way content was presented to users to a data based system. When Instagram first started, content was show whether it’s on your feed or through hashtags based on when it was published. Now, the Instagram algorithm uses several factors, time of posting being one of them to determine what they deem popular content and they constantly change the Instagram algorithm.


In 2019 the Instagram algorithm is reported to be set in such a way that your content is initially only seen by 10% of your followers. To unlock your content to the large majority of your followers is all based on many pieces of the Instagram algorithm including what time you post and how much engagement you get within the first 60 minutes of your content going live. It can seem almost impossible to get the Instagram algorithm to work in your favour, but with a few simple tricks you can set yourself on a path to reap its benefits.


Instagram Algorithm: 5 Ways To Have It Work For You


1. Post At Prime Times

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To even have a chance a breaking through the Instagram algorithm it’s important to post during Instagram’s prime times. These are the times where there is the most activity on Instagram from users, and it betters your odds of your content being seen. You can easily do a search on Google and find a tone of recommendations that base it on certain days of the week, and times of the day, usually being mid-morning, afternoon, and evening times all varying depending on your timezone. With Melon Stats you can take that data even further and see how your audience responds to your content, seeing what times you’ve posted at previously and how engagement levels ranked.


2. Use Hashtags You Can Rank With

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Hashtags are the essential tool for getting the Instagram algorithm to work for you. Without the use of hashtags, you limit your reach to only your followers and any location tags you may use, if any. Our multiple hashtag reports including monitoring the reach of your previously used hashtags and with our Premium subscription our Hashtag Generator that helps find hashtags you have chances to rank with based on your engagement rate. These tools are a great way to get advance information and build a successful strategy around maximizing Instagram algorithms.


3. Share New Posts In Your Instagram Story

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An easy way to get extra exposure to your latest posts is sharing it in your Instagram Story. Truth be told, may Instagrammers spend endless amounts of time browsing Instagram Story much more than they do scrolling through their Instagram feed. Instagrammers with active Instagram Stories also have better odds of gaining exposure with the Instagram algorithm has location tags and hashtags work very much in the same way here as they do on Instagram posts.


4. Boost Real Engagement With Engagement Groups

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We mentioned above that the first 60 minutes of a post being published is where the Instagram algorithm counts, so a strong amount of engagement in that time period is crucial to have it work for you. Buying fake engagement is one way to go about it, but with the rise of Engagement Pods, these days the small amount of effort is worth the benefit of 100% real Instagram engagement. Engagement Pods like Fresh Engagements and Wolf Global are filled with hundreds of thousands of Instagrammers all trying to break to the top of the Instagram algorithm. Short cycle groups for likes and comments are where you’ll find quick boosts of engagement as they tend to move faster than the longer ones.


5. Never Post At The Same Time Daily

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A great way to make the Instagram algorithm work against you is to make your account look like a bot, or fake account, something it’s trained to spot. Things like using the same hashtags in the same order post over posts is an old tip that most know. But posting at the same times every day is a lot a bad way to have the Instagram algorithm flag your account, and eventually shadow ban you. By posting at the same times daily, you also miss out on your audience, who don’t live robotic and time scheduled lives. Keep your content fresh, and your account out of the Instagram algorithm bad books by posting at different times throughout the day.