Instagram has gone through some big changes in the last 12 months and that means we have to adapt. So I had been working on some new strategies and some new techniques and just been playing around on the app, and I wanted to share with you my new Instagram growth strategy for this year. So if you’re excited about this, give this video a like, be sure to subscribe and hit the bell to be notified every single time I post a new video, and let’s get to it. So the first thing is that obviously Instagramremoved likes. So if you want to check out my video about that,

you can check it out here. And that has had a huge effect on how we quantify success on the Instagram platform because it used to be all about vanity metric, which, if you watch this video, you’ll know that I don’t really love because vanity metrics really don’t tell you much. And also it was having a huge effect on how creators and anyone using the app was using it, because people were afraid to post because they were afraid they weren’t going to get enough vanity metrics, likes, etc. And also bigger influencers, and people that were trying to grow their followings were using these reactive tactics to just get likes. And sometimes that can affect the quality and the intention and the ethics behind what you’re posting on the platform. So I’m really excited to see this change, but like I said, it does mean that we have to adapt a little bit. So I created a whole bunch of notes. I’m going to keep looking down just to make sure that I’ve got all of them. But the first thing is that for me, what trumps your vanity metrics now is your reach.

 So the thing that I focus most on when it comes to Instagram now, is I focus on how much reach is my content getting. Because that tells you a lot about how much people are valuing your content. And the more reach you get, the more you’re going to grow your account. So instead of focusing on things like likes and comments, I’m more focused on creating content that people are going to be super excited to share, particularly to share on their stories, because it’s really easy and Instagram’s made it really easy for you to take somebody else’s post and share it onto your own story. So I’ve been playing around with that strategy for a little bit now and I’m working on creating a lot more graphic posts. And the posts that I know get shared a lot, now this goes back to a point I make often, which is you have to know your metrics. So you want to pay attention to, on each individual post, which posts are getting saved the most, and which posts are getting shared the most, and sent via direct message, or sent to people’s stories, etc. Because when you figure that out, you know what kind of content to create to get more shares, because more shares get more reach.

So you really want to pay attention to that metric. And that is probably the biggest metric I’llbe focusing on. And so your reach refers to the total number of people who’ve actually seen your content. Your impressions are how many people have seen your content, times how many times they saw it. So it’s a little bit of a crazy number that I don’t really pay attention to. I’m more so pay attention to reach. Now if you watch this video, the Instagram algorithm updates, which I made not too long ago, I talked about the three ranking factors on Instagram, and how all of the social platforms are pretty similar. There’s a ranking system on YouTube, there’s the ranking system on Instagram. So to get your content seen by more people, you have to pay attention to those ranking signals, which are interest, which is the thing that I’m focused on most now. It basically means the content that is actually interesting to your audience and is getting the most time spent on it. So the other thing that you’re paying attention to is, are you making content that keeps people on your content? So if you make a post in your feed, are people actually taking the time to look at it, read it, etc? So this comes along with long-form captions, swipe posts.

 So getting people to swipe through, that been a tactic that I’ve been playing with. That is huge right now, and making a big difference to the amount of interest that your posts get because people are spending more time looking at your posts, and that’s what a way that Instagram values the amount of interest in your content. So if you make posts that keep people on it for longer in your feed, then it makes a big difference. The amount of interest you’re getting and the more interest you get, the more Instagram’s algorithm sees you as an account that they should boost more in the algorithm. So interest is the thing I’m most interested in. So things with my face in them, and text graphics, tend to get the most interest. So those are the things that I’m doubling-down on. So you have to figure out through your analytics, what are the things that you’re looking at doubling down on. So the next thing is relationships, which I talked about a lot in my five minute Instagram growth video because that’s a big part of how I use Instagram, is to actually talk to people. Imagine that. So I love using my DMs, I love talking to people in the comments, because I know the more relationships I build, the more authority have inside of the Instagram algorithm as well.

 And then the next thing is timeliness. Because let’s face it, feed posts just don’t the kind of love that they used to. And so I am very intentional with my feed post. I’ve talked about a lot that I don’t post often in my feed, but when I do, I’m very, very intentional with it, and I want it to be something that’s going to get reach. And so I put a lot into it, and I made this video on how I post to Instagram, to break down my whole process that goes behind the feed posts. So being really intentional with your feed posts, and also understanding the times of day when your audience is most active and most likely to see your content because they feed on Instagram is based on timeliness. So the most recent posts or the posts that get seen. So you want to post at a time when your audience is actually active on the platform, so it pops up at the top of their feeds, so you get more engagement, etc. So those are the things you really need to be paying attention to. And that sets the stage here, but I’m more focused than ever on making content that makes people stop, stare, and read. That’s really what I want to be creating. Whether that is a text graphic with a minimal caption, but at least it makes people stare at the content and read it, and share it. Or, it’s a picture of me with a long caption that makes people read the actual caption, again, spend more time there. Or, it’s a swipe post in a combination of all of those things, where I have more than one image in the feed post, and people have to swipe through to get the whole story. Because again, that creates more interest in my content, which creates more authority in the algorithm.

So the thing that I wanted to touch on when it comes to these quotes and these images, image graphics, and all that stuff is that I’m trying to focus on creating those graphics that are generic, I guess, which sounds maybe a little bit weird, but I want to create graphics that anyone would be happy to share on their feed. Because you have to take that into consideration, because if you have a certain aesthetic that is your brand, it makes it less shareable for other people, sometimes. So I like just sticking with black and white, because I know for me, if I’m going to share something, generally it’s black and white quote. And I like to keep it sort of neutral in the branding because I’m not apt to share a quote or a graphic or something on my feed or my story that’s like turquoise, blue and yellow. I’m just not. I find that black and white’s the easiest, and become the most shareable thing. So that’s really what I’m playing around with, and we’re creating a whole bunch of them behind the scenes for my Instagram account.

And the final thing is, I have found that ITV is extremely shareable content, and it is the searchable content on Instagram toa certain extent. And so I’ve been playing around more with ITV and I’ve been repurposing a lot of our content onto HGTV, especially tutorial-based content, because that’s the content, generally, that creates the most interest and creates the most engagement. And IGTV, Instagram TV, is something that people tend to share more on their stories, especially if it’s educational, value-based content. So, very similar to how you create a youtube video, you tackle Instagram TV the same way. I’m seeing a lot of fitness tutorials do really well on Instagram, or makeup tutorials, etc, or even business tutorials. Those things are shareable because they’revaluable content. So IGTV is something else that we’re playing with. I’m not making specific content, really, forIGTV, but we’re using a lot of our content from YouTube and from other platforms, repurposed onto that platform. So the next thing is understanding the different layers of Instagram. And this is something I’ve done a lot of thinking about, but really there are three layers to Instagram. There’s going deep, with people in your stories, and that’s your ephemeral content.

And I use my stories to be more consistent on the platform and to stay active, and to make sure that I’m still of interest to my audience, because why? The more interest your audience has in you, the more that you get weighted in the algorithm in a positive way. So I use it to stay active, show the behind the scenes of my life, behind the scenes of my business, do mini-tutorial, share testimonials. That’s what I use my Instagram stories for. But the other thing I use it for is I leverage my Instagram stories to drive more engagement to my post. So one of my little tactics is that, if I can get more people paying attention to my Instagram stories, then more people will actually see my posts because they share my posts in my Instagram stories. So my feed posts. So one thing that I’ve been doing, which I really just love doing, is I give away a Starbucks gift card randomly. Oh, you know what that means. Every time I get another thousand subscribers on Instagram, as a little thank you, the coffee, the tea, whatever you want at Starbucks ison me. On my Instagram stories. And my audience now knows this. And so a lot of them have turned on their posts notifications for my stories, and for my Instagram feed posts. So that means more eyeballs when I content goes up.

 So doing random giveaways, random contests on your stories, drives a lot more eyeballs and making sure you’re asking your audience to turn on their notifications so that you get more eyeballs on your content when it goes live. So that’s been one of the tactics that are worked really, really well for me. So the next thing is your feed, which is wide. Your feed is the searchable thing and the discoverable thing on Instagram. Your story is too, to a certain extent, but if you’re really going to get seen on the popular page and all of that stuff, I would say your feed is where you want to focus more so than anything. So I’m, like I said, really intentional with my feed. I’m also a big proponent of real and raw photos. I stopped doing brand photoshoots because found that they just weren’t relatable to people, and I think that’s what we’re all craving is relatable content. And keeping people on my content longer. As I mentioned earlier. So, swipe posts, long-form captions, graphic posts, etc., to make people really stop, stare at, and read. That’s my big thing for this new growth strategy.

 And recency and timeliness. So, capitalizing on things as they’re happening at the moment to be sharing about, and knowing when my audience is active so that I can post when they’re actually going to see it in their feed and it’s not going to get pushed to the bottom. So the app that I use for that, which I know some of you don’t like, but it’s worked really well for me, I’ve never had an issue and installed WhenToPost, but you can also go into your Instagram analytics, and you can see when your audience is most active, and that’s going to tell you when to post. So you don’t need to use that app, you canuse just Instagram analytics as well. And then hashtags.

So I’ve talked about my hashtag strategy before, the tool that I use, that I talk about all the time cause I love it so much, is called It has been the easiest way for me to figure out how to pick the right hashtags for Instagram. Now, I pick hashtags for two reasons. One, to make my content more discoverable and searchable when I post it in my feed, and two, to actually do outreach to people to join my community. So if you watch this video on my five-minute growth strategies, you’ll see how I use hashtags to build my audience by doing outreach. But in the terms of getting my content found in the feed, I do something, some sort of mixture of hashtags really. And it used to be that it was like, five that were between zero and 50,000, etc., searches per month. But now I use flick, it just shows me low-competition, medium competition, and high competition. So basically I do five low, five medium, and five high competition hashtags, and it’s really easy to figure out once you get in there. And then I do really, really hyper-relevant hashtags, even if they’re not showing up in the low, medium or high. I do five of those, and then I do five megapopular hashtags related to that post. That’s my little strategy. I don’t put hashtags on every single post, because sometimes they don’t fit when I do long-form captions. But I try to use them as much as possible because it does make a bit of a difference. And the last layer of Instagram, that I really love and thrive off of, and has been so beneficial to building real relationships with people, is the DMs. So I use my DMs on a daily basis. Shockingly,

 my DMs are generally pretty clean. I clean up my inbox pretty regularly, andI’m almost always at inbox zero because I like responding to people as quickly as possible. I don’t know how long that’ll last, but its just a thing that I do. So you want to go deep with people in your DMs. So you have your story, which is where you can go behind the scenes. You can get a little deeper, a little more nitty-gritty into your day-to-day life and your business. And then you have your feed, which goes wide, and then you have your DMs, that goes deep. So that’s where, people who follow you, you send them a DM video and say, “Hey, how’s it going? So happy you’re here. Tell me more about you and what you do.” Building actual relationships. And that might sound like work, sorry, but work is work and work pays off. So you have to do the work in order for your relationships and your following to grow. And I still do this every single day, and it’s been a big factor as to why people like following me on Instagram. So really, really important to understand that DMs are not something to be forgotten about. And while you’re using your stories, you can do things like polls or asking questions, and that will get people into your DMs to talk to them more on a deeper level and really connect with them. Because that deeper connection is the thing that ultimately grows anything.

It’s not about that vanity, wide-reaching numbers because you could have a million followers, but if they don’t care about you or what you do, then you’re going to have really low engagement on everything you do, and you’re going to get crushed in the algorithm. So I would rather have a hundred highly-engaged followers that have a million people who don’t care about any of my content. So the big thing here is that this doesn’thave to take all of your time. And I made this video, which I’ve referenced a couple of times on my five-minute rule for Instagram because I don’t spend a lot of time on the platform. It can be a scroll hole, and it can be dangerous for me to just go through all the content. So I made this video to break down how I spent five minutes a day on Instagram to grow my account. So make sure you check that out next. And because reach is so important, the thing that you really want to focus on too is your profile visits and seeing in your Instagram analytics, how many people are visiting your profile on a weekly basis.

 And that should be a metric that goes up every week if you’re doing all of this stuff right. And that’s a metric to really care about as well. So your bio should tell people who you are, what you do, and how they’re going to benefit from following you. They should know exactly who you are within six seconds when they land on your bio. So take a look at your bio and see how maybe you could tweak it to be more followable. That’s the word I just made up. So your reach and your promo visits are really, really important. Is there anything else I wanted to touch on? You want the right people to follow you. That’s the other thing too, are you don’t want a profile that appeases everyone. You want a profile that is attractive, I guess, to a very specific type of person. Because if you’re going for that broad audience, again, it’s going to be people who don’t really know why they’re following you and therefore you’re not going to get as engaged of a following as you should. So you want the right people following you. So it should be really obvious what type of person should follow you on Instagram, based on your bio. So that’s also something to think about, are you want those deep relationships.

You want the right people following you so that you get more engagement, you get more interest, you get all those ranking signals, and you get your content showing up way more in the algorithm on Instagram. So double down on what works. Pay attention to your metrics on Instagram, just as much as you pay attention to them on YouTube or anywhere else, because of the matter. And they’re going to be the things that actually grow your account. So pay close attention. So if you liked this video, I’ve got lots more about Instagram. Make sure you check out this playlist, and this video. And if you like this, hit the like button, subscribe for more, and I’ll see you in the next video. Bye.

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