When it comes to social media advertising, your organic reach is a big factor in how well your paid ads perform. Organic reach on Instagram is no exception.
But changes to the algorithms and new features can make expanding and maintaining your organic reach tricky.
However, all the algorithms and features are designed to make Instagram users happy. If you focus on finding out what your audience wants and delivering content they find valuable, you’ll work with the algorithms and features instead of fighting them.
And your organic reach will expand.
Here are five ways to deliver valuable content and grow your organic reach on Instagram.
1. Post at the best time for engagement
The best place to start is with the practice that’s the least subjective. There’s tons of data about when to post, so it’s easy to see if you’re on track.
The first bit of data to consider is what time zone most of your users are in. For the U.S., most of the population is in the central and eastern time zones. So posting at optimal times in these time zones is a good default. But the idea is to tailor your post times to the time zones where you have the most customers.
The second data point to consider is when engagement on Instagram is highest. Here it is:
Engagement on Instagram spikes between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Instagram engagement is consistent throughout the week, so the time of day is more important than which day you post on. So, post on Instagram between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. for the best engagement. Something else to note is that engagement tends to dip between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., so stick to posting in the morning.
2. Post user-generated content
User-generated content is a great way to engage with your audience and post content that’s non-invasive in the Instagram environment.
A great way to get lots of user-generated content is to create a brand hashtag. Include the hashtag and a quick call to action in your posts that ask your followers to take a picture using your product or service or of the results they’ve gotten.
This gets you lots of authentic content, gives your audience an easy way to interact with your business and builds social credibility for your brand and your product.
3. Use Stories to create transparency
People like personable brands that they can identify with.
Instagram Stories are a great way to let people get a more personal look at your business.
Instagram Stories only stay up for twenty-four hours, so they’re a great channel for posting off-the-cuff content and showing the more casual side of your business.
Here are two ideas that make great Instagram stories:
- Behind the scenes stories. Let people see how your stuff is made or what life in the office looks like!
- Team features. Introduce your audience to the people who actually make your product or business possible!
Feel free to get creative with Instagram Stories, though. People open Instagram for fun and entertainment. Your Instagram Stories are a great way to deliver just that!
4. Create unique content for Instagram
If you’re running social media advertisements, you’re probably using multiple social media platforms. Your audience also uses multiple platforms.
If your Instagram posts are the same as posts on other platforms, people are going to start tuning out your posts. This really hurts your organic reach on Instagram. Keep things fresh by creating content exclusively for Instagram. It may happen that you have a picture or video that you’d like to share across multiple platforms because it’s really good or maybe you have a limited content pool.
If you do reuse visual content, always write a separate caption for Instagram, so there’s something new for people to check out if they’ve already seen the picture or video.
5. Talk to your audience
Creating posts that encourage your audience to engage is important.
But people may get tired of sharing or commenting on your posts if they never hear from you. Responding to Instagram comments or giving shout outs for using your hashtag gets you more engagement and entices people to give you more user-generated content.
It also humanizes your brand.
People like to buy things from people, so if you talk to your Instagram followers, they’re more likely to become customers.
In the end, people go to Instagram for cool content, not advertising.
Expanding your organic reach on Instagram is all about participating in the community. If your company is a member of the Instagram community, your paid Instagram ads will be even more effective and your bottom line will reward you for it.