Instagram allows brands to simultaneously scale and individually hone in on engagement opportunities with fans. However, breaking through Instagram’s algorithm to ensure your followers see your content can be challenging. This week, we discussed best practices for reaching your intended audience on Instagram.

Pay Attention to Everything

Managing an Instagram account takes more than pretty photos. To ensure maximum visibility, maintain a content calendar and pay attention to every post variable including which types of images, captions and hashtags are most popular with your audience.

Uses Branded & Popular Hashtags

Branded hashtags tend to resonate better with an audience and can help any brand stand out among competitors. However, popular hashtags are necessary in order to increase reach and visibility. Get creative and find ways to join the conversation when a popular hashtag is directly related to your brand. Don’t forget to rely on go-to’s such as #TBT, #FridayFeeling or #TravelTuesday.

Publish a Combination of UGC & Original Content

User-generated content (UGC) gives your audience a more intimate view into what your brand is really about. It showcases how your customers perceive your product or service and that perspective can be really impactful. Maintain an effective ratio of UGC and original content by sure noting within your content calendar what’s owned and what you’re pulling from your community.

Proactively Comment

A great strategy you’ve undoubtedly noticed is proactive brand engagement on your follower’s posts. This is a great way to gain visibility without spending a dime. However, it does take a good chunk of time to do at scale. Make sure the profile of the post you’re engaging with is someone who’d more than likely be interested in your brand because overdoing it will give you a bad rap.

See you next Wednesday at 2 p.m. CDT for #SproutChat. Join our Facebook group to stay posted regarding topics and discussion questions. Want to discuss something specific with the community? Tweet me @Sprout_Sarah!