4 Ways to Outsmart the Instagram Algorithm

Creating a marketing strategy that works for your business doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think. To help you see exactly what we mean, we’re breaking down 4 of our favorite social media marketing tips to work with the instagram algorithm instead of against it. And, more importantly, to help you create a winning instagram marketing strategy for your craft alcohol business. 

Myth: The Instagram algorithm changes so often that keeping up is a full time job.

Fact: The Instagram algorithm DOES change, but mostly to prioritize the newest trends or features. All you have to do to keep up is pay attention to what is new, what instagram is promoting, and what people are using the most. Repeat after me…

The algorithm is not your enemy!

In fact, the Instagram algorithm is your friend put in place to help your business reach the most relevant followers. That means your job is to ensure your content IS relevant to your followers so they engage with it in the way that keeps the algorithm rewarding you for all of your hard work! 

Hot Tip: Let us do the heavy lifting for you.

Join our free, private Craft Makers Marketing Community on Facebook to hear firsthand about changes you should be paying attention to and get other tips and tricks for great marketing in craft alcohol from us and your peers!

To get you started on your journey of making nice with the Instagram algorithm we’ve put together a few top  social media marketing tips so your brand stays friendly with the algorithm in 2021. Try them out and drop a comment on how they are working for you!

1. Create “Saveable” Content For Instagram Algorithm Love

Rumor has it that Instagram is thinking about removing likes, and using the save button instead. While this this rumor hasn’t proven true just yet, we do know that saves (the little bookmark icon on the right side under  posts) is an Instagram feature of focus. Instagram wants this feature to be used as people are scrolling, so the Instagram algorithm prioritizes posts that have more saves, which means it shows those posts to more people. If you’re not using the save button yourself when you’re scrolling on Instagram, start trying it out so you can get a sense for the type of content you personally find “saveable.” It’s also a great way to create repositories of items to repost or peer and competitor posts that can inspire your own content down the road!

Creating saveable content is critical for the Instagram algorithm

4 quick ways encourage your followers to save your posts:

1. Create infographic images that teach them something new, that they will want to find again in the future.

2. Write captions that are educational, that your followers will want to come back to.

3. Create quote graphics that your followers can relate to. People love to send funny, relatable, or motivational quotes to their friends or share to their stories.

4. Use call to actions like “save for later” 

2. Create more video content, and do it the easy way!

We get it, it can sound scary to think about making video content. But this type of content is crucial right now and is one of our top social media marketing tips for 2 main reasons.

1. The Instagram algorithm wants to see users post with the new reels feature because it’s now competing with Tik Tok. You creating more reels helps Instagram achieve its goal which means your posts get more support.

2. Video content grabs attention and gets followers to stop scrolling and spend more time on your post, meaning they are spending more time on Instagram (another big win for Instagram). This applies to all social platforms, but especially Instagram and Facebook.

“But I don’t have time to record videos all day, I’m busy running a business.”

We get it, making video content sounds time consuming, and it does take more time. But here’s a secret: video content can be repurposed in SO MANY WAYS, so it doesn’t have to be overwhelming!

Here’s a quick example:

Record a 5(ish) minute video about your newest rum. Include 1) flavor notes, 2) rum tasting techniques 3) special techniques used in distilling, and 4) a cocktail recipe using the rum.

This video is perfect for Youtube. This video can also be split into 4 different IGTVs and/or AT LEAST 4 different reels. Tease your viewers with the full video, while providing value in each short clip. Sprinkle 1 IGTV and 1 Reel into your posts each week, and BOOM. You have a month of video content scheduled on Instagram. This content is all focused around your new rum, and will attract your customers to try it out without any pushy sales strategies.

Depending on how your brand communicates with your facebook followers, Facebook will love either your full video, or your 4 short ones. And quite a few of these elements can also be repurposed for Pinterest and Twitter (and don’t forget about your blog!) if you’re using those platforms.

InShot Logo - creating video is critical for the Instagram Algorithm

We love to use the InShot App for editing our videos because it is quick and easy to use from your phone. You can choose your canvas size based on where you will be posting the video, combine multiple clips into one, or split and trim long clips. Add background music for reels (although we recommend doing this in Instagram directly for more points with the Instagram algorithm!), and add text overlays for even more value for your followers and engagement for your content.

3. The Instagram Algorithm Loves Hashtags

Yes, hashtags are still relevant, and a crucial part of your Instagram strategy. When it comes to social media marketing tips, this one has been around forever and there’s a good reason why. Hashtags help you reach new audiences that are relevant to your business and get discovered.

Become The Social Media Rockstar Your Brand Deserves

Our online Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp has a full course where we go deeper on all things social media and lots of other great courses to grow your brand.

Or you can focus in on hashtags specifically and grab our curated list of craft alcohol hashtags to start using today in our free Hashtags Mini Course! 

While there are a few different strategies for hashtags out there, we like the “more is more” strategy…as long as all of those hashtags are relevant to the post and your ideal audience.

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, and we recommend using every single one of them while you’re growing your brand. The more hashtags you use maximizes your chances of being seen and appearing on more screens, making more impressions and attracting new followers. 

Your hashtag strategy should contain a variety of the following types of hashtags:

1. Community hashtags connect users who are interested in a specific subject, like craft alcohol. There are tons of community hashtags, that can focus around your products, industry niches, events or seasons, locations, and many more.

2. Branded hashtags are hashtags specific to your brand, and likely include your business name or something similar in them. All of your posts should have these hashtags,  so that if users like one of your posts, they can easily find more by searching your branded hashtags. It’s important to remember that branded hashtags are great for branding, but should be limited because they are not widely used and will not attract new audiences.

3. Campaign hashtags should be used for a specific amount of time, such as when launching a new product. This is also a great way to curate collections, like our #TCCMarketingTips

Make sure to do some research to find hashtags that are optimal for your business. And also check the list of Banned Hashtags, because new posts with these hashtags won’t appear to anyone! 

We love using Later’s Hashtag Suggestion feature when we are looking for relevant hashtags. They give suggestions around your topic and show the relevance of each one. 

4. Give Engagement to Get Engagement

When in doubt, if you feel like you’re just not connecting with your followers, ask yourself if you’re building relationships with them. If you’re just going on social media to push your content and then immediately getting off it’s likely not working very hard for your brand’s goals. Communication on social media is just like face -to-face communication: it’s a two way street! Engaging with your followers and hashtags is important for two reasons:

1. The instagram algorithm…of course. Instagram likes to see you interacting with other users via comments, saves, story replies, and direct messages. It will bump up your posts to the people who you are engaging with and who are engaging back. Feel free to practice doing this with us @thecraftycask and we’ll engage right back! 

2. More importantly, engaging with your followers on social media helps you connect with your customers! Genuine interactions between you and your followers shows humanity in your brand. People connect with people, not products, so the more connected they feel with you, the more they will trust your brand.

We have 3 rules of engagement to help you stay consistent:

1. Keep all of your comments genuine and true. This builds your brand’s trust and credibility

2. Reply to every single comment you receive. This shows the algorithm you are engaged, and builds relationships with your followers.

3. Comment on posts with hashtags in your niche daily. This helps your posts appear to new audiences in your niche. If you weren’t aware, you can follow hashtags just like you follow people on Instagram to curate your feed and see the posts you really care about. Just click into the hashtag and hit the follow button. 

Do you have other social media marketing tips or strategies that you are using right now that are helping you connect and be seen on social media? Do you have questions on the best way to get started with your brand? Hit us up on social media or join our private Facebook community and let’s chat about it!

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