How to Get Into Instagram’s ‘Top Posts’ for a Hashtag

Instagram Hashtags

Whenever you browse through a hashtag on Instagram, the very first thing you’ll see is a three by three grid of the ‘Top Posts’ for that hashtag. Because of their visibility, getting featured can provide a lot of exposure, possibly helping you to engage a wider audience and gain more followers in the process.

How Instagram’s ‘Top Posts’ Work

Essentially the ‘Top Posts’ on Instagram are a picked out by an algorithm that attempts to rank posts within that hashtag. Unlike the ‘Explore’ page that is user-specific, every viewer sees exactly the same ‘Top Posts’ for a given hashtag.

Although no one knows precisely how Instagram’s algorithm selects ‘Top Posts’, it has been proven to measure engagement and its growth. More specifically, it tracks both the ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ that a post receives, as well as how much they have grown recently.

Simply put a post that has acquired more likes and comments recently has better chances of appearing in Instagram’s ‘Top Posts’.

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Getting into ‘Top Posts’

Now that you understand how Instagram’s ‘Top Posts’ work, you should already have an idea of what it will take to get into them. In particular you will want to:

  • Aim to hit the ‘Top Posts’ on less popular hashtags

Because the ‘Top Posts’ section is hashtag-specific, you will want to aim for hashtags that aren’t that popular. Popular hashtags have a larger audience, but the competition is much stiffer and unless you have lots of followers you’ll find it tough to gain enough likes or comments to get into the ‘Top Posts’.

  • Mix in popular hashtags to increase engagement

Although you will want to aim to be in the ‘Top Posts’ for less popular hashtags, that doesn’t mean you should ignore popular hashtags entirely. In fact you should make sure that you mix in popular hashtags as well in your posts so that you can benefit from their wider audience and gain more likes and comments.

  • Encourage comments with a call to action

One other way to increase engagement is to try to encourage comments by placing a call to action in your caption. In this case you’ll want to use a caption that is likely to provoke a response – either by asking your viewers a direct question, or through more subtle prompts.

  • Time your posts to maximize engagement

It may take a bit of tracking and experimentation, but you should try to figure out when your audience tends to be most active and time your posts accordingly. You can repost other peoples content using a screen capture tool. Typically it is said that it is best to post in the evening (i.e. between 7 pm to 9 pm) – but that can vary on a case by case basis.

3 Pro Tips for Increasing Instagram Followers, Engagement and Conversions

Is your company looking to get more out of social media this year? If so this post is for you!

Today I want to talk about three big goals: how to get more Instagram followers, how to increase engagement and how to drive more conversions.

To do that I thought we could deconstruct one of the top Instagram accounts and see what sets it apart from other branded accounts.

Entrepreneur put together a fantastic list of award-worthy Instagram accounts for us to take inspiration from, but today we’re just going to look at the number one account: Lowe’s Home Improvement.

We’ll start at the top (with the bio) and dive into the meat (linking people to a website) as we move through these Instagram marketing tips. Let’s jump right in!

1.Include a benefit-driven bio.

It’s common for a businesses to include a short description of the company in the Instagram bio area.

For example, the software company called HubSpot includes a bio description that reads “A full stack of products for marketing, sales and customer relationship management.” That’s a totally accurate description of their company which makes it a really good bio.

Lowes takes their Instagram bio to the next level by not only including a description of the company but also detailing why you should follow the @LowesHomeImprovement account.

The Lowes bio reads, “Inspiring your home improvement journey. Your house becomes a home when you start with Lowe’s.”

Lowe’s is able to do this because their Instagram name is “Lowe’s Home Improvement” rather than just Lowes. This adds on a descriptor for anyone who might not know what type of store Lowe’s is.

By including the descriptor in its Instagram name the company frees up space in the bio to speak to the user deciding whether or not to follow the Lowe’s account.

While it may be your preference to keep an Instagram handle as short as possible, keep the Lowe’s naming strategy in mind if you want to build up a large following.

2. Share a shoppable link.

Instagram photos aren’t clickable unless you make them into an ad.

This can be a real problem for brands that want to link followers to a website where more information can be found or products can be purchased. Many brands use the “click link in bio” approach to move followers from Instagram to their site — and I definitely think that’s a smart tip.

Lowe’s uses this approach as well. You can see how they did it in this post below. Notice how it says, “Find inspiration with the link in profile.”

Many brands will use this tip to drive traffic to a specific URL on their site. This is a great idea unless you post multiple times per day and are always mentioning different products. Then it becomes quite difficult to manage because you have to update the link at exactly the right time to make sure you are directing traffic to the right page on your site.

If you forget to update the link in bio and a new post goes up you’ll be directing traffic to the wrong page and will end up with frustrated shoppers. That’s definitely not what you want, luckily there is a great work around.

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You can create a shoppable Instagram feed using a software platform like Curalate’s Like 2 Buy It solution. Using Like 2 Buy It, Curalate will automatically duplicate your Instagram feed and allow you to assign specific links to each photo.

This is exactly what Lowe’s does to keep their shoppable link up to date. You can see in their bio they link to a specific Like2Buy link.

When you click the link it takes you to their shoppable feed. You can then click any of the photos to be taken to a specific product page or collection on their site.

For example if you click the first photo in the top left you will be taken to this page where shoppers can learn more about putting together a front patio and shop the items shown in the picture:

Using a shoppable link like this creates a seamless experience for followers and allows you to increase your sales from Instagram!

On the Curalate website, the Digital Brand Manager for Fossil says, “Traffic has substantially increased since we implemented Like2Buy and all of our channels have seen the positive effects of both added followers and the new and highly engaged audience.”

Additionally, the social media manager at Forever 21 says that “Like2Buy has assisted Forever 21 in turning a social channel that was built purely for brand awareness into a revenue driver.”

If your company is looking to achieve similar results look into creating a shoppable link as soon as possible!

3. Make great use of video.

If you browse through the Lowe’s Instagram feed you will see lots of videos included among the still photo updates. Videos allow you to explain how to use a product or service in an easier and faster way than text.

Video also allows you to show off a product from multiple angles, or in the case of Lowe’s, it allows the brand to show off a big area like a garden or a living room.

There is no doubt that posting video can be beneficial for many brands, but the key thing to do is post the video at the right time. CoSchedule has found that posting at 9pm garners 34% more interactions than any other time, and that, generally speaking, posting videos between 9pm and 8am is best.

There are many reasons this could be, but my best guess is that many people are unable to watch videos at work. It’s easy to discreetly scroll through a bunch of photos but once volume is involved it’s less easy to hide what you’re doing. Whereas when you’re at home and relaxing for the night you can easily play a video without worry or distraction.

Getting Started

Now that you have a few ideas for growing your Instagram follower count, increasing engagement and driving conversions it’s time to get started!

If you have any questions leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer!

More Than 50% Of Brands On Instagram Posted At Least One Instagram Story Last Month

Welcome to our Instagram growth and engagement study for August 2017.

In these monthly studies, we look at 2,500 Instagram profiles and their growth and engagement on the platform.

We also look at the latest product improvements and other news too to help you identify the trends and standards on the platform.

More Than 50%25 Of Brands On Instagram Posted At Least One Instagram Story Last Month

Engagement still at the record low

Follower growth in August was at 0.07% of the total audience. This is a 40% increase compared to the record low follower growth we saw in July.

Post engagement in August was consistent with July at 0.8% with 99% of all engagements being likes. This continues to be the lowest engagement rate we’ve seen since we started doing our studies in May 2015.

Photo posts engaged 0.8% of the audience while video posts engaged 0.6%.

Profiles were trying to combat the decrease in engagement by posting more. The average profile posted 3 times per day in August with 84% of all posts being images.

Locowise Instagram Stats for August

One-year anniversary of Instagram Stories

It’s a one-year anniversary of Instagram introducing (Snapchat) Stories to its platform. Instagram has released more than 20 new Stories-features during the year. The latest is the announcement that users can now view Stories on the desktop or mobile web. The ability to post stories using mobile web is coming soon too, but the platform doesn’t plan to allow social media managers to post from the desktop.

Today, Stories have more than 250 million daily active users. Over 50% of brands on Instagram have posted at least one Instagram story during the last month. One in five organic stories from brands gets at least one direct message as a response.

Instagram has also announced that its users under 25 years of age spend “more than 32 minutes a day” and users over 25 years of age “spend more than 24 minutes a day” on the Instagram app.

Why did Instagram suddenly release their time spent in app stats for the first time in three years? To prove that their Snapchat copy is now actually more engaging than the original.

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Latest statement from Snapchat in February 2017 had users of 25 years of age or under spending “over 30 minutes on Snapchat every day” and users over 25 years of age spending “approximately 20 minutes on Snapchat every day”.

Instagram Stories

This news has caused the share price of Snapchat to go to an all-time low during the month.

A hack hits millions of Instagram users

Not everything was all positive for Instagram during the month. The platform was hit by a hack that affected millions of users including many verified accounts and celebrity users.

There was a bug on the platform that could be used to access private information such as email addresses and phone numbers of users.

Victims’ contact information is available to purchase on the dark web including phone numbers for celebrities such as:

● Actors: Emma Watson, Emilia Clarke, Zac Efron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Channing Tatum.
● Musicians: Harry Styles, Ellie Goulding, Victoria Beckham, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Adele, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears.
● Athletes: Floyd Mayweather, Zinedine Zidane, Neymar, David Beckham, Ronaldinho.

In other news, it has been reported about “several employees getting fired for selling verification” of profiles on the platform. There is a black market for those blue checkmarks designated for public figures and celebrities. The fee can be anywhere up to $15,000.

Other improvements to the platform

Users can now choose between landscape and portrait formats when posting posts with multiple photos or videos. All photos or videos within the post must be in the same format though. Users can now also edit tagged people after the post has been published and even saving these posts as drafts for publishing in the future.

Users can now reply with photos or videos within direct messages. There’s also an option to send split-screen replies.

All data and metrics now available in the API

Instagram has had an upgrade to its API. Businesses with Instagram Business Profiles can now get access to a new and improved API with access to all the metrics and data. The API now also includes the option for brands to moderate comments including hiding of individual comments or turning the comments off completely.

How To Check Your Instagram Followers With New “Follows You” Feature

The wait is finally over, photographers, selfie virtuosos, and existential caption writers. Your social media media game is in for a change now that Instagram unveiled its “follows you” feature. It’s time to really make those posts count, so choose your filters and angles appropriately.

When you log on and check out other people’s pages, there is now a designated spot after the profile information that indicates whether or not that person, business, or organization is following you. It’s the long-awaited tool people have been dying for… and it definitely has the potential to make things messy. Why isn’t she following me? Why is my ex following me? Who is this guy? Oh social media, you toy with our emotions so well.

The update seems to only be available for Android users at the moment. However, if you have an iPhone, you will probably have to wait for the next iOS update before you can check out “follows you.” Until then, you’ll be forced to do things the old-fashioned way: by scrolling through your followers and keeping a tab of who has access to your profile.

Though this is something people have been anxious to see on the app — though I’m not entirely sure why, as it can definitely cause a bit o21st-centuryry chaos — the news unveiled rather quietly.

iphone in handiphone in hand

sergey causelove

But the “follows you” unveil wasn’t quiet enough to go unnoticed.

You can’t fool your savvy users, Instagram.

Things have the potential to get awkward.

Take a look at “follows you” for yourself.

Groundbreaking, right? I look forward to explaining this feature to my mother, a new Instagram user with a total of three followers (my cousin, my aunt, and me) who happens to only be following those same three people. She has a lot to keep track of, so thankfully Instagram decided to make this update. It’s going to make things dramatically different for her experience.

But “follows you” isn’t the only change you can expect to see on Instagram. Now, when you check out a friend’s video of her super adorable pup or your co-worker’s new baby, all subsequent videos will automatically play afterward. However, exiting the app will reset these video capabilities. And to be clear: videos of puppies and toddlers are nice, but they’re not required for this new feature. Regardless of the content, all videos will play automatically when you click (it was just a wild guess that you enjoy pups and tiny tots).

Perhaps what users should really enjoy is the fact that taking a less than suitable selfie doesn’t mean you have to click “delete” and lose it forever. The archive app allows you to take down that subpar post and hide it from your profile, however, it won’t be completely deleted. So let’s say the lighting is really outstanding but you’ve noticed you smudged your lipstick. It might not be worth trashing entirely, so give this feature a whirl. You might have a moment where you reconsider the magnitude of said smudge and decide it’s not awful enough to remove. I’m more excited about taking advantage of the archives than “follows you,” but that’s just me.

Personally, I kind of enjoyed not knowing who was following me and who wasn’t. It took the guess work out of social media and let me just be. Documenting your life — from your career to relationships, family life, friendships, and everything in between — has become such a competition, it was nice to not have the option to see if someone decides to be so kind and follow you back.

While I guess it make sense that “follows you” would become a thing, I’ll enjoy not using in until my iOS updates. Sorry I’m such a social media Debby Downer.

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

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Danielle Valente

Danielle is part of the Elite Daily news team. When she’s not working, she’s usually reading or eating gnocchi at Frankie’s. Find her @dvwrites.

Danielle is part of the Elite Daily news team. When she’s not working, she’s usually reading or eating gnocchi at Frankie’s. Find her @dvwrites.

Check if someone follows you on Instagram with this new easy update

It’s finally happened: Instagram now has a “follows you” section on people’s profiles if they, er, follow you.

The new update seems to be for Android users at the moment, but with a new iOS update imminent, everyone may have this long-awaited feature soon.

Instagram's new follow feature

Digital Spy

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Related: How to get more Instagram followers: Tips to becoming an overnight social success

Up until now, if you popped onto someone’s profile, you wouldn’t have a clue whether they followed you or not unless you trudged through their followed accounts or scrolled through your followers.

That isn’t so bad if you just have a few followers, but if you’re lucky enough to have plenty of people desperate to see your pictures of Starbucks mugs and your cat, this update definitely a good thing.

People are of course delighted by the new update, which seems to have arrived very quietly.

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Related: How to become an Instagram success: Photography tips from one of its biggest stars

In another recent update, if you click to play a video, all subsequent videos after that will play automatically, though exiting the app will reset that feature.

Instagram is on a bit of an updating spree at the moment, trialling week-long stories rather than just for the current 24 hours.

Also, the photo app’s Archive feature allows you to remove posts from your profile without having to actually delete them permanently.

Want up-to-the-minute entertainment and tech news? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Digital Spy Facebook page and ‘Follow’ on our @digitalspy Twitter account and you’re all set.

How to make your pet Instagram-famous

LOS ANGELES — There are all kinds of jobs today that wouldn’t be possible without social media. One surprisingly lucrative gig: posting pet photos on Instagram.

A sponsored post — one in which your pet is photographed with a product — can fetch from a couple hundred dollars to tens of thousands. (The pet doesn’t have to be a dog or cat. There are successful accounts for foxes, pigs and at least one featherless bird.)

If your pet can perform on video, that’s worth even more, especially if you make the leap to booking TV commercials.

It takes more than just a cute pet and an iPhone. To find out how to make your pet Insta-famous, we consulted the experts:

Varisiri Methachittiphan lives in Corona and owns a cat named Nala. @Nalacat has 3.4 million Instagram followers. Running that account for Nala and her two other cats (@whitecoffeecat, who has 1.5 million followers, and @hellolunarose, who has more than 295,000) is Methachittiphan’s full-time job.

Aiden Lee lives in L.A. and owns Geordi La Corgi, named for the character Geordi La Forge from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” @LAcorgi has more than 238,000 followers. When Lee isn’t working with Geordi, she’s an art director at an ad agency.

Loni Edwards is the founder and managing partner of the Dog Agency, a New York City talent agency that represents Insta-famous animals. Edwards’ dog Chloe (@chloetheminifrenchie) has more than 172,000 followers.

Colleen Wilson is the chief executive of Pets on Q, an L.A. talent management company that manages animals that star in commercials, do book deals and, yes, have massive Instagram followings. (Nala and her feline siblings are part of Pets on Q’s talent menagerie.)

Here’s what they had to say:

Know your brand

When you start your account, choose a few descriptive words and phrases for your pet’s “brand.” Is your pet a spirited troublemaker? Curious and friendly? Silly and a natural performer? Make sure all your photos have a similar theme so your followers know what to expect when they see your pet in their newsfeed.

For instance, if your pet’s brand is “free-spirited and loves nature,” don’t post photos of it perched in a first-class seat with a pet dish full of Champagne.

If it’s “upscale city dog,” don’t post photos of it sitting artfully on a log in a forest. Stay consistent.

Don’t trade

You can start to make money from your pet’s account once you have about 20,000 followers. Before then, many smaller accounts will be approached by brands that want to give a free product in exchange for you posting a photo of your pet with it on your Instagram.

It’s tempting — free stuff! — but it’s a bad idea. If a multinational pet chain looks at your account and sees you’ll work for free, it will expect you to work for free for it too.

If you’re serious about making a pet Instagram your full-time gig, hold out for a paycheck.

Posting photos

Plan to post, if not every day, then at least five days a week. Methachittiphan, Nala’s owner, posts two to three times every day across her accounts.

Lee, who owns Geordi La Corgi, said she sets aside some time each month and takes several photos and videos, then spreads them over the next few days or weeks.

When you post, add a few hashtags in a comment so people using Instagram’s “Discover” feature can find your account easily. For inspiration, look at accounts similar to yours and see which hashtags they’re using.

Have fun

This can be a full-time job that makes full-time money. But if you aren’t having a good time, it’s not worth it. You have to love taking photos of your pet or at least like doing it enough that you can motivate yourself to get it done even when you don’t feel like it.

Edwards, who runs the Instagram pet talent agency, said people tell her often how much seeing Chloe in their Instagram feed brightens their day: “It really is an incredibly rewarding experience.”