Do you want your Instagram post to go viral? Every person who adds a new post on the social media platform wishes that more people could see and what is more important to react to it. One of the ways to achieve this goal is to get your post into top posts on Instagram. The platform introduced this feature only a year or so ago but it has encouraged many users to take advantage of this marketing trend. They began to work on their posts more efficiently since it is not that easy to get to the top 9 with over 3 million active users. However, you will agree that it is possible if to follow several important tips strictly.
Look: this article will focus on the most efficient ways how to act so that your posts could get to the top and attract more people interested in this direction.
What Does Top Mean on Instagram?
Instagram introduced Top Posts feature in 2016 and it has become a challenge for marketers to understand the algorithm how these posts are selected. In some time, they have come to the conclusion that every hashtag has the top 9 images selected using a unique algorithm. They are represented in the form of a grid that is offered as a result of a certain hashtag search. It means that a person who wants to see the most popular posts should go to the Explore Tab and enter the hashtag he is interested in.
Moreover, there is a top of posts not only in a certain category by a hashtag but also for the whole year and the total number of likes. The current record belongs to the post of Chris Godfrey who has an account called @world_record_egg and his post description sounds quite simply: Photo of an egg. This post has attracted 54.2 million likes for only a year or so since it was posted on January 4, 2019. Other members of the top managed to reach only an 18-million threshold and lower.
How Does Instagram Choose Top Posts?
Since there is still no clear evidence of the way how IG algorithm works, some experts in marketing have come to the conclusion that there are several important factors considered when this choice is made.
The most important feature of a popular post likes. It should collect as many likes as possible during the first hour after it was added and it can help this content get to the desired grid.
However, a very big role, in this case, is played by a hashtag. There is a tendency that it is much easier to get to the winning grid for hashtags with fewer results.
In fact, there is also interdependence between the number of followers and hashtag ratings, since the accounts with more followers can engage a bigger number of people with their posts and they have more chances to be ranked the best.
At the same time, small accounts can also achieve their goal for their post to be recognized as the best selecting less popular hashtags. One more thing to consider is the fact that the best posts in larger hashtag families are changed more often (every 12 or 24 hours), while leaders of small hashtag groups can hold their first positions longer (for about 3-4 days on average).
How to Get your Instagram Post to the Top?
Months of observations and attempts to promote posts allowed experts to determine several ways how to get a post to the grid of 9 best-ranked ones. This is the list of effective solutions that will help accounts with different follower number to achieve their goal and make their post go viral.
Post Attractive Photos
The first thing every user can do to attract followers’ attention is to analyze the content posted and make some changes for it to become more efficient and appealing. For this purpose, it is possible to look through the IG insights and compare which posts have received the highest reach and engagement. It will hint users what kind of content is appreciated by the followers and other people most of all and adjust it to these parameters.
Naturally, most of us enjoy high-quality content with some emotional background and beautiful pictures. It should be both attractive and deep, so it is necessary to make every post well-thought and encourage followers to interact with it too.
How to make posts more adorable? It is important to learn how to use your camera effectively and take advantage of tools that allow editing and manipulating images. Some of them are even provided by Instagram, so why not use them for your own benefit?
Write Engaging Captions
It goes without saying that the first thing that strikes user attention is an image, but you can see that the next thing that users check is the caption of this photo. It is important to understand the message of this image and a heading is a key to this puzzle.
It is very important to create captivating headings because they can encourage engagement and interaction too. They should be both informative and interesting at the same time. You can ask a special question to get a response in the comments or use a creative phrase that will set the mood of your post.
Use Right Hashtags
One of the most important aspects to consider is the use of suitable hashtags. It is great if you have your own unique word that is associated with your account, but it is not enough. It is necessary to use 5-7 hashtags with different levels of relevance. You can select one highly targeted hashtag and select a couple of more narrow groups to get higher in the rankings. It is important to understand that the more popular hashtag you use, the fewer chances there are to be ranked the best – the competition is tough on the platform. Therefore, you should consider the most relevant but less-targeted hashtags to attract a bigger number of the specific audience that is interested in your type of content.
Use Geographic Tagging
A very effective approach to reach a specific audience to boost Instagram trending is to target it by location. If you have added a post of the sight, it would be great to let people know where it is located. Moreover, geographic tagging allows attracting users located and interested in the events and activities of a certain area. Usually, such local communities tend to be more active and you can count on a higher interaction level thanks to that.
Post at the Best Time
Several years ago, the platform used to add posts in chronological order and it was possible to look through all the posts added one-by-one. Nowadays, the algorithm has changed dramatically and the website decides itself which posts deserve to take the best positions in the feed. Therefore, there are higher chances that your post will be viewed by a bigger number of people and receive higher engagement if you add it in the evening.
However, it is a general piece of advice if you have no desire to look closer at your own audience. There are tools that can help you to determine the time when your followers are the most active, so it is better to add a post during this period.
Run Contests to Encourage Likes
It is possible to get artificial inflation of likes or comments to your post by announcing a contest with prizes in it. The best choice of a contest is to ask your own followers to attract other users to your content and your engagement rate per post will increase significantly thanks to that. The same goes for free giveaways when users grow interaction with the content by promising a free gift to one of the participants. It can be not only a physical thing but also a piece of advice from an expert, digital data or a receipt.
Respond to Early Comments
Since the engagement rate plays a significant role in post promotion, a user should encourage others to interact with the content posted. Moreover, it is important not to lose any minute to make this communication live and interesting. Therefore, early responses can be key to your post success. You should not only answer questions but also provide more informative answers and ask questions. It will allow your target audience to feel needed and appreciated as well as be more active each time you add new content.
Collaborate with Influencers
The promotion of new content can be very effective if to team up with other influencers. If you have similar spheres of interest, it is possible to attract followers of another person to your post. You may wonder that social media marketing is not free and requires extra investment.
However, it is possible not only to pay for a shout-out but also to exchange one for another – S4S is incredibly popular with modern influencers. They look for an account with similar content and number of followers, contact a person and exchange posts with links to their own profiles or brands. It will boost traffic to the post making it twice more popular than a usual one.
Join Instagram Pods
One of the most effective ways to get your post to the upper positions is to join Instagram engagement groups known as pods. These are communities of people who have united around a topic of common interest or simply to help each other with IG marketing campaigns. The role of every group member is to like, comment or save other users’ posts immediately after they were added. In return, you will receive a high level of engagement in your own post too.
Pods operate on a free or paid basis. You can find them directly on Instagram (though they are limited in number there) or in such popular messengers like WhatsApp and Telegram. Every person can try to join such a group of interest but it is necessary to follow its rules strictly not to be excluded from it.
Tips & Tricks
It makes no difference whether you are a professional marketer who tries to promote a certain brand or product to Instagram’s top posts or you an ordinary user who wants to attract more followers and become an influencer, everyone can set a goal and achieve it. Naturally, the number of ways of how to make your post one of 9 highest-ranked ones listed above will be very helpful, and experts advise considering undertake several actions simultaneously to be able to get the result you hope for. But there are also some tips from experienced marketers that can be helpful too:
- Reasonably popular accounts have more chances to get to the top. Accounts that have millions of followers, as well as ones with only a couple of hundred subscribers, have chances to get to the grid, but most of the winners are accounts with about 10k followers.
- It is easier to appear in the grid of less popular and active hashtags. There is less competition in such hashtags and even a moderate increase in engagement can result in a desirable place in the grid.
- Follow modern trends. If you want to be interesting to your followers, you should be one step ahead of them. Therefore, it is necessary to keep up with Joneses and share your new knowledge with others.
- Take advantage of modern tools. There is a variety of apps and tools that make IG posting more entertaining, scheduled and exclusive. You can use them to your benefit too.
- Avoid too many hashtags. It is not a secret that earlier it was reasonable to provide your post with numerous hashtags, but this tendency has disappeared along with changes in the algorithm. Nowadays, experts advise using 5-10 hashtags including a couple of popular ones and one unique created especially for your content. The rest of hashtags should be mid-range ones.
- Remember that old content does not go viral. The most important thing for a user who adds a post is to get as much interaction with it during the first minutes and hour as possible. There is no sense to attract followers to the post added yesterday or month ago, there are no chances for it to reach the top.
- Never post spammy or crappy content. You can not only discourage your followers with it but also lose some of them. Modern people look for true emotions and trust, so any attempts to manipulate your public will not bring about a desirable effect.
Some people consider it impossible to make a post one of the best ones on Instagram, but it is not a problem if to put some effort. Following these pieces of advice on how to get on top posts on Instagram, there are high chances to get in charge of some hashtag groups. You need to consider the ways and tips provided in the article and analyze in what hashtag group you can achieve this goal. If you are persistent and keep on working on this goal for some time, you will see the desirable result, undoubtedly.