OWNING the Instagram Algorithm (Personal Branding 101)
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OWNING the Instagram Algorithm (Personal Branding 101)

What works to grow your Instagram following
today is completely different than what it was even just six months ago. So this is my account six months ago, and
I was kind of stagnant and stuck. And now, this is my account today. Everything I’m going to share with you in
this video is exactly how I have grown my account and more than anything, really grown
my engagement. It felt like I wasn’t even getting found in
the algorithm. It felt like only a tiny fraction of my audience
was able to see my posts six months ago, and now I’m racking up a lot more engagement on
my photos. In this video, I’m going to share the four
factors to owning the Instagram algorithm and my Post Less, Reach More strategy. Let’s bring it back to January 22nd of 2019
when Instagram released this statement. Instagram tweeted, “What shows up first in
your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well
as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of your posts, how often you use
Instagram, how many people follow you, et cetera.” “We have not made any recent changes to feed
ranking and we never hide posts from people you’re following. If you keep scrolling, you will see them all. Again, your feed is personalized to you and
evolves over time based on how you use Instagram.” Interesting thing to note here is that Instagram
actually hasn’t really changed at all. Their algorithm may seem like it’s gone through
ups and downs, but it really hasn’t changed all that much. It’s how we interact with it and how saturated
the platform became with using the same strategy over and over and over again. So the key really to owning the Instagram
algorithm is understanding the algorithm, and understanding that it’s pretty much remained
the same from day one. It’s just that we have to adapt how we use
it. So four things to note are: In the statement
it said, “Posts and accounts you engage with the most, timeliness of posts, how often you
use Instagram and how many people you follow.” I paid super close attention to those key
phrases within that statement and started implementing some changes on my account. And that’s really what led to skyrocketing
growth and engagement on my account. So let’s dive in to those four things. Let’s start from the bottom up. So the first thing is how many people you
follow. Now, before you go and follow like 1,500 people
at once, that’s not really what this means. It’s more so about looking at Instagram as
a business because it is a business after all, and the business is built on social interaction
and retention on the platform, meaning how long are people staying on the platform. And if you can get people to stay on the platform,
then Instagram is going to like you a lot as an account and benefit you in the algorithm. So a couple of things that I do. You may have noticed that in everyone of my
YouTube videos, I always say, take a screenshot. You can do that right now, and share it out
on Instagram and tag me. When you do that which a lot of you do, so
thank you, you tag me and it shows up in DMs and I’m able to comment back and forth with
you. And that shows Instagram that I’m keeping
people on the platform. I’m actually driving people to the platform
and I’m creating relationships within the platform which increases the retention, which
increases the worth really of the business. Because the more retention, the more people
on the platform, the more advertisers want to work with Instagram. That’s one big thing. Other little tricks to create real relationships,
and less about following more about relationships is DMing people out of the blue. So when people follow me, sometimes I’ll just
send them a voice mail and say, “Hey, welcome. How is it going,” and start a conversation
because again it’s keeping people on the platform, and I get to build real relationships. The other thing is in my stories, I’ll do
polls or I’ll ask questions and that spurs engagement with my account. So it’s showing Instagram that I’m actually
building a solid foundation with my audience and I care about building relationships as
opposed to just distributing content. So what happened was and the way that we were
interacting with Instagram that wasn’t working is we’re using it just to distribute content
and wait for the lights to roll in. That’s no longer how you can use Instagram. Now, you have to use it super actively. So, when you’re doing a post, ask questions
in the comments, get people to comment in your post. Comment back and forth with them. Create that sense of engagement, comment in
the DMs, create conversations in the DMs. Don’t sit back and wait because Instagram
wants you to show the platform that you’re actually creating retention. That’s tip number one to owning the algorithm. Tip number two, that was made very clear in
that statement from Instagram is timeliness of posts. That one little phrase really triggered me. When I started experimenting with about six
months ago was I stopped curating my feed. I stopped taking these picture perfect, highly
edited photos and I went for real, raw, in-the-moment photos, and guess what? Those photos and videos have 10x the engagement
what my perfectly curated feed had before. So you have to think about the facts here. Instagram is called Instagram for a reason. It is about capturing your life in videos
and photos in real-time, so right here, right now. That was the whole ethos and purpose of the
platform when it first started. So I’m not saying you have to do every photo
in the moment right now because you still want it to be quality and you want to have
a caption that really engages people. But having more real, raw, authentic-looking
photos is an amazing strategy today to get more engagement and get more reach with your
content. Think about the value of Instagram as a platform
itself and how we all used to use it when it first started which was taking photos wherever
we were, posting them up and not thinking much about it as opposed to spending like
five hours editing a photo and then posting it. It seems and appears based on my experiment
that Instagram is moving more so towards in the moment, raw, authentic moments. And that’s what’s really working in the algorithm
right now. The other part about that statement that was
a big clue was how often you use Instagram. The final thing I’ll say about timeliness
of posts is it’s also about the amount of time you keep people on your posts. You know it works as far as photo/video content
moving towards real, more authentic imagery, but the other thing is having longer formed
captions which is something that I’ve started experimenting with and seen an insane amount
of results from is a big factor. Why? Because if someone is sitting there reading
your caption, what does it mean? It means you’re keeping people on the platform
longer and also keeping people on your content, your post longer which tells Instagram that
this must be a really good piece of content and people are spending that much time on
it. The length of your captions is also really
important factor and storytelling, weaving stories into them, you can look at all of
mine to get some ideas and some prompts, but it’s a really good way to boost you in the
algorithm as well if you’re keeping your eyeballs on there far longer. I don’t know about you, but trying to think
of a really great photo, video and caption on a daily basis, I literally would get nothing
else done. And I used to use that strategy. I used to post every single day of the week. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. If you can do that and you have the bandwidth
to do that, great. But I’m about quality over quantity. I do the same thing here on YouTube. I would rather put out a piece of content
that I know is guaranteed to get reach because I know I’ve done every single step behind
the scenes to get that reach. When it says how often do you use Instagram,
it’s not saying you have to post every single day. I actually at this point, post the least I’ve
ever posted yet my account is growing the fastest it’s ever grown. And so this is where my post less reach more
strategy comes into play. What I mean by this is you want to be very
strategic and intentional with the post that go in your feed and post them in a way that
you know is going to get engagements. So I made a whole other video on this on how
I post Instagram with all the steps involved to max out your engagement and reach, so you’re
going to want to check that out afterwards. We’ll put it in the links below. But outside that, it’s about using stories. I don’t post on my feed every single day but
I pretty much use stories on Instagram every single day. Why? Well, as I said earlier, the more that I use
stories, the more I’m keeping people on the platform and the more I’m building the retention
on the platform for my audience which then shows Instagram that I have an engaged audience,
and that they should push me in the algorithm more. You don’t have to be posting every day in
your feed, but you should be active in some way, shape or form on your stories on a daily
basis. I also have this video on Instagram Story
Hacks which should you help you with that. We’ll link to that in the description below
as well. But just think about being on it, and not
necessarily having to post every day but being on it in an intentional way sharing value
even if it’s just on your stories or doing live streams because all of that leads to
people being on the platform longer, which of course Instagram loves. The final piece is post in accounts you engage
with, which was said in the statement as well. So there’s a couple of things here. One factor is getting people to engage with
your posts, obviously, which I mentioned. I made a whole video on exactly how to do
that to max out your reach with your posts, so check that out in the description below. The other piece here is that it’s again telling
you that if you want to own the Instagram algorithm, and Instagram is literally telling
you this in the statement if you paid really close attention. This is what I’ve been experimenting with
over the last six months and you’ve seen the growth that I’ve had, if you’re using the
platform actively. Meaning that on a daily basis, something that
I do is I go in and I comment and I like and I share content from other accounts, because
again, that tells Instagram that I’m actually using the platform. I’m actually active on it and I’m influencing
my audience because the things that I’m sharing, they’re getting more involved in and they’re
sharing that content on their stories, et cetera, et cetera. So it doesn’t mean you have to be on the platform
every single day. I usually map out 10 minutes a day to go in
and engage with accounts with the similar audience to mine, talk to people on the comments
of some of the posts and captions on these accounts to further my reach and to my build
more relationships and get people over to my account. But 10 minutes max, that’s all you need. Go and engage with other accounts outside
of your own because again, that’s keeping people in the platform. It’s keeping you in the platform and it’s
telling Instagram that they should favor your account because you are actually active and
you’re not sitting back waiting for people to come to you which is a strategy that just
does not work anymore. I wanted to share one final note with you
that I think should be really encouraging because when it comes to building your personal
brand, especially online, there are so many factors that go into it. And there’s a lot of advice out there to look
perfect, to have a perfect aesthetic, get a photo shoot done, et cetera, et cetera which
all of those things can work but I am noticing a big trend especially in my own experiments
and in my own account of reversing and going back to real, raw and authentic content as
I mentioned earlier and seeing the engagement spike when I did pieces like that. Another account that I follow who I love,
@JennaKutcher, she is a friend of mine and just an amazing human and content creator. And she did a post recently that shows you
just how fake and misleading Instagram can be and just how much people are craving real
and raw content, and her post went a little bit viral. So I want you to take a look at this. She’s basically showing that within a couple
of seconds, she was able to alter what her face looks like and her body looks like using
an app on her phone and then she could just share that altered version up on Instagram. And people went crazy over it because we all
know that this is happening and we’re all craving real. Don’t be afraid to show up as who you are
authentically, real, raw. That’s what people want now. We’re sick of seeing photoshopped, same aesthetic,
same preset, all day every day. It’s not interesting anymore. So take it from someone who has almost a million
followers on Instagram, Jenna, and the trends that she is moving towards. And for me too in doing these experiments,
I’ve really realized what the platform is favoring and it is favoring more authentic
content. I hope this helps you in building your personal
brand. Let me know what tip you’re going to take
from this, and actually start implementing. If you haven’t subscribed yet, make sure that
you hit that subscribe button and the notification bell to be notified when I post new videos
every single week. And I wanted to acknowledge our comment of
the week. I read your comments. I appreciate them so much. I know there’s million other channels out
there, so I love and appreciate that you are with me and watching this content and I hope
that it’s making a difference in your business, your brand and your life. That’s what I’m here to do. So thank you, thank you, thank you for all
of your comments. Thanks so much for watching as always and
I will see you in the next video.

100 thoughts on “OWNING the Instagram Algorithm (Personal Branding 101)

  1. Thanks so much for watching! Let me know which tip you’re going to take from this video and start implementing right away 😊

  2. All this advice is soo great! I’m trying to grow my IG with posts about spirituality, identity, and purpose. I really pray my writing can make a difference to someone
    IG: EmmaAriena

  3. I can make my insta account like yours,easily.i recommand morelikes(dot)vip,one week you can get 100K Followers and more then 100K Likes

  4. I'm really getting tired of this Instagram thing. Yes, I would like to be seen as we all want to but is just not happening, it doesn't matter how actively I am on the platform I already lose a lot of time in it, my activity stats are currently around 5 hours in the app, that's crazy, I'm losing more and definitely no getting anything back. So good that this is going good for you and thank you for putting the time and sharing this with us but for me, this thing of trying is just not working.

  5. Wow so helpful Sunny! You’ve been in the back of my mind for a year. I’ve been producing lush content for YT for three years and it’s time to get it out there. I’m looking forward to joining your YT course. I’m trying to find it now. Thanks for this video. So helpful!!! 🙂

  6. Yes! I love this video! I’m going to use the strategy where you engage for 10 min. a day! I just revamped my youtube channel and i’m excited to use these instagram techniques to grow my following! Love it!

  7. I am definitely going to be focusing more on what I post and being more authentic instead of just posting to post.

  8. Hello lovely, great video!!!… I’ve just recently started vlogging and I would love some feedback on my current videos… what I could do to make them better etc… I’d really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart ❤️❤️

  9. Sunny can we know how you do your hair make over. Your hair look so beautiful. I have never seen such unique hair. Please let us know how you do them. They are not beach waves, right?

  10. Confession – I typically have stopped watching most videos that promise how to own, or hack, or (fill-in-the-blank) tips simply because too often it's more about the hacks and a lot less about just being on a platform, having fun and sharing your passion, okay and growing a business too.

    BUT, I bit and really, really glad I did. I really liked the realness of this and how simple your tactics are. Possibly the best "owning an algorithm" video I've watched. It just made sense. And actually one of the things I've (tried) to do more of…just be me.

    Appreciate it. Appreciate you too! Best

  11. bruh the ig algorithm has now way of telling if your ass is edited or not…So wrong about what’s doing good it’s just whatever ppl want at the time fake stuff can do good id it looks real.

  12. #1. So when u say in the moment… do u mean going to the photo place and take a photo in the Instagram app or just using less filter and posting your photos right after u took them through your actual phone camera app?

  13. I forget which video you made when you said find which platform works best for you, but I after watching your videos and playing around with different platforms, I chose Youtube because I'm comfortable with cameras and I actually like editing videos lol! However I just launched my channel with a trailer from a few of your tips, and I will be batching content with your Instagram tips and see what works for my content. Thanks for the constant great tips, I love your channel, I can't wait to watch my channel grow as a newbie!

  14. Sunny your engagement is really really low? You've grown in followers but I don't think these tips work. Also, I keep thinking your videos are going to say different things but you give the EXACT same tips in every single video. I really enjoy your channel but I just wanted to give you some feedback on this particular video.

  15. Some whopping generalization's there and most tips not backed up with facts in any way. Not to mention the fact that you based this whole video on a comment made by instagram about user feeds, not to content creators.

  16. These algorithm changes are for the better. It encourages creators to be more raw, real & engaged on the platform rather than an obsession with likes/perfection.

  17. Awesome video and great content. I love how you broke down the IG algorithm. It really hasn't changed. 😀

  18. You are amazing Sunny! Thank you for leading the way for so many of us so that we also can help this world to become an even more awesome place ❤️😍

  19. These videos are all very well but it then makes you seem ungenuine and that you are only liking comments or engaging for your own channels gains.

  20. I just started a instagram for a podcast Im putting together for community television station in South Canterbury New Zealand…

  21. Thank you so much for this. I just launched an online boutique and growing and IG follow from scratch is a lot of work. I definitely don’t want to burn out at the start! These tips are so helpful ❤️ @illuminatedliving_shop

  22. about 6 months ago I posted one of my beats, and got about 400 followers in 2 hours, most of them actors and photographers…I still don´t know how or why, I used the same hashtags and posted at the same hour but nothing…can someone explain that to me?

  23. This is really interesting actually. All of the things that work now, were the “what to avoid” things when I joined ig originally. Thinking about how to come back to the platform after abandoning my catstagram a couple of years ago (bc of dealing with real life issues.)

  24. Great Video and Advice. Living in the south As a photographer I engage with so many customers that ask for this and that to edited on their bodies. I was encourage them to simply be who the are and not the current trend. I love taking photos of people in the moment, I tell remember this and how you felt.
    Thank you for some great advice and I will let you know my progress.

  25. thank you for your tips!! I noticed that is harder now but i was just using the old method. I will start using all your tips starting today. Follow me on @thepetitecliche if you want to see how I do!

  26. Ciao complimenti per il tuo canale e molto interessante e simpatico ed efficiente educativo come mi a consigliato la mia amica Simona senesi io mi sono ISCRITTO VOLENTIERI iosono un cantautore emergente se ti va di passare per il mio canale ti aspetto volentieri ce una canzone che ti piacerà si chiama ancora il mio cuore ciao a presto..

  27. Ran across your channel from Vanessa Lau. Your videos are super helpful and I love how concise and to the point they are. I had 0 idea how Instagram even worked when I started my reselling side hustle. So thank you! Can’t wait to step up my Instagram and YouTube game.

  28. I did this tips like a long while ago.. i mean CONSTANTLY for a year now.. & I'm just grow 300/400 only.. doesn't make sense at all😑

  29. I did this tips like a long while ago.. i mean CONSTANTLY for a year now.. & I'm just grow 300/400 only.. & my likes & views not reaching the same height from 3 months ago. It's frustrating!

  30. You're amazing. The real…you inspire me to change my life. Yes, I said that, change my life. I see your brand, your candor, and I digest the content and find it to be very applicable wisdom. I want to launch my brand, and I've been terrified simply to send it, to ship it, to push the big proverbial green button. I've dealt with a lifetime of depression and other not so positive stuff and have struggled formulating a delivery style to show people the climb out of the trenches. I need to get my butt in gear. It's time. Authenticity it is.

  31. U r every video is purposeful super super super😍😊😊😊👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👍

  32. Not too sure about all that because at the end of the day someone that has 40,000 followers is more likely to get more followers than a person with 1000 followers. People think of that number as a reason to follow. You could have the best content in the world but if you only have 1000 followers a lot of people look at that number I think it’s not worth a follow. I’ve seen some of the ugliest unworthy accounts to follow on the planet that somehow I have 1 million followers and I’ve seen wonderful accounts with great content Have less than 3000 followers.

  33. I am SO glad I found your channel! Tip I'm taking away from this: interacting with more people and post less and reach more! BossBabe!

  34. Hi guys . 🙋🏻‍♀️
    I m here to supporting channels .
    If u want to grow with me ,! Let’s help each other out .
    Most of the big YouTubers do that and that’s why they are so bigger today .
    So I just will support channels that support me back .
    I mean going to come by ur channel , and if I didn’t got to ur channel yet , just dm me right now . I will get to everyone that dm me for support . 👏
    Let’s get this done guys .

  35. Thank you for the info it was really helpful. I'ma take you up on that idea of screenshotting you lol. Thank you once again.

  36. very helpful. It's difficult to post on my feed everyday lol but I do post on my story daily. I need to be more active on engaging with others. Thanks for the info! I bet some of these same tips work for youtube as well, hence another reason i'm leaving a comment lol

  37. I used to get more likes, now it’s not even many. I follow different categories like knitting, photography, veganism, etc,. So I don’t think the algorithm works for me, my adhd is too fast 😂 (only ppl with adhd might know what that means) ✌🏼

  38. We also can check analytics from each instagram account. for example https://www.postgramer.com its for Instagram Analytics

  39. Love your video and account so much! I have a YouTube account as well, go check it out VictoriaClaireOfficial!

  40. Love this! Instagram is such a mysterious game to me. I just can't seem to get anywhere near the numbers I want no matter how many "hacks" I try. I love that Insta seems to be going toward more authentic, because that's what I'm all about! Keep it real people!

  41. Just subscribed to your channel. You have by far the most unique and practical tips to grow instagram. And thank you so much for these videos

  42. I really struggle with deciding what to post on my feed vs what to share in stories. How do you determine that?

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