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Last updated June 25, 2019

With around 50,700 new posts flooding onto Instagram every minute, how can yours be seen? The algorithm of Instagram (and Facebook) is a funny thing, and learning to work with it will be the make or break of your account’s success.

Instagram prioritizes quality content. The posts you see upon opening the app aren’t necessarily the most recent, but instead are the posts which have been interacted with and so are deemed worthy of showing to a wider audience.

To be found on Instagram, there are a few things that you can do.

Connect with email and other marketing platforms.
A few months ago, First Table (a website to book the first table of the night at participating restaurants and receive 50% off your meal) sent an email to their database, advertising a $200 voucher up for grabs. To enter the contest, you simply had to follow them on Instagram. In the next couple of days, they gained over 3,000 new followers (nearly a 50% increase on their original amount)! The traditional email database is something that non-profits usually have a great handle on, and social media isn’t here to replace this channel of communication but to work alongside it. You may not have a voucher to give away, but the basic idea is the same. You currently have supporters who are signed up to your newsletter or who have liked your page on Facebook – so let them know that you’re on Instagram too!

Respond to direct messages and comments.
Knowing the reason why you are using the platform is crucial. It’s about more than support online, but is all with the intention of building a community and reaching real supporters who will partner with you. It’s the start of a relationship. With this mindset, treat your followers like friends. Respond to their direct messages, answer their questions, and have conversations. While it may feel detached, there is a real person with real thoughts and real influence on the other side of the screen. This interaction will also show the algorithm that what you have to say is valuable, and so will allow it to be seen by more of your followers.

Use Facebook Ads.
As Instagram is owned by Facebook, the two work together beautifully. Facebook has a highly developed Ads system, and allows you to mirror these ads onto Instagram. Facebook advertising is currently one of the most economical resources available, and allows you to be really specific about who you are targeting. For people to know about you, they have to see you! I highly recommend investing in Facebook advertising.

Be Featured by Related Accounts.
Word of mouth is still such an effective marketing tactic. Seeing something that your friend is endorsing will help you to trust it too, and knowing that your friend is involved in something will pique your interest. World Vision does this well each year with their 40 Hour Famine Ambassadors, where their message is spread to a new audience through each of their ambassador’s channels. You could contact your city’s account (most have one now, even if run by someone not employed by council) and partner with them to promote an upcoming event, or have a chat to individuals with large followings whose values align with yours.

Know Your Audience.
It’s worth having a look into the response you’re getting from different types of posts, and the time you post them. Each demographic will have spare time at different points throughout the day, and so you should aim to be posting when they are using Instagram and will see your content. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments as you go!

If you’ve missed the last posts in our Instagram series, Why You Should Be on Instagram and How To Manage Instagram Well, then I’d recommend giving them a read too.

Emily Woolerton
Emily is our Marketing and Communications guru with Exult and has a passion for digital marketing!

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