Growing your account on Instagram is no longer as easy as it once was. Back in the day, we could all simply buy a few thousand likes or followers and the algorithm would recognise our account as being popular and push it in front of every user that was willing to look at it. Whilst we may be pining for simpler times, there are still ways that you can work with the algorithm to your advantage and increase your reach.
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Think of the follower to engagement ratio as the key to all on Instagram. Remember we said that back in the good old days you could just empty your wallet and buy followers and get instafamous?
Well, this algorithm was put in place to stop exactly that, but it does mean that you can work with it. The follower to engagement ratio is exactly what it says on the tin. What is your engagement rate vs the amount of followers you have.
Engagement on content is what brands look for as well as Instagram, so it really is important to use it to your advantage. What makes this algorithm even better is that you don’t need millions of followers to be able to leverage it.
How To Use The Follower-to-Engagement Ratio
First thing to do is calculate out your current ratio. You need to be getting at least 10% of your followers commenting and liking your posts, this then raises to 15% when you move into the hundreds of thousands of followers, or so we are told. When it comes to working with algorithms, there isn’t an exact science, but there is enough known about them to understand what works and what doesn’t.
Once you have your ratio worked out, have look at who is consistently engaging with your content. You will have a band of core followers that you will see liking and commenting. It is these followers that you want to keep engaged as well as more. One of the ways that you can increase engagement on posts is by asking questions from your followers or recommendations.
This way people will be more inclined to comment on your feed, thus increasing this ratio.
What Happens When You Get A Good Ratio?
We don’t want to underplay how important this ratio is. It really is the governing algorithm that makes people Instagram account and gets content pushed in front of others.
You are rewarded for a good follower to engagement ratio by having your content fed out to others. It is pushed in front of people who may want to engage with your content, thus increasing the chance of it being liked and commented on, with the end result being that you gain more real followers.
Whilst the follower to engagement ratio is the primary algorithm, there is another one that can also help you gain more reach and this one involves hashtag. As we all know, hashtags are literal currency on Instagram so you need to make sure that you leverage these as much as possible, the better and more accurate they are, the higher the chances that you will get your content in front of an audience that wants to see it.
Now the thing is, as humans we look for short cuts, so just copying and pasting tried and tested hashtags is how we used to do things. The problem with this now is that Instagram has adjusted the algorithm to punish users that do this, so if you recycle the same hashtags over again, Instagram will shadow ban the post.
So, when you are looking to tag your latest content, make sure you check out which hashtags are performing well and change them up accordingly. You can simply change around adjectives and use different prefixes to give the same results but using different words.
Gone are the days of being able to buy followers and becoming Instagram famous overnight.
Now you need to concentrate on leveraging the sophisticated algorithms to increase your reach. The key algorithm that you need to work with is the follower to engagement ratio.
Make sure that you get your followers commenting and liking your content and that way your algorithm will sit at a good level and Instagram will force your content out in front of others. Once you have started working towards that ratio, make sure that you change up your hashtag game to stop you getting shadow banned.