9 ways to beat Instagram’s Algorithm in 2019


Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing, it can be hard to get your head around why your photos suddenly aren’t receiving as many likes, or that you’ve been stuck on the same follower count for weeks. I’ve written some tips to help you be the boss of your Instagram in 2019. Teaching you how to gain more followers, boost your engagement and take the best photos to suit your account.

How to grow your engagement on Instagram

Engage with as many photos you can over a day, but make sure to spread out that engagement. Like and comment on every photo you can, and make sure your comment is relevant. But try not to spam hundreds of likes within an hour, or you’ll get put under a temporary ban. Not only is engaging with other user’s photos a great way to interact and invited users back to your account, but it’s also the best way to find new photos and users that you may want to follow!

How to use the Instagram Follow button to your advantage

Follow users you love, find new accounts and therefore new inspiration. The more people you follow, the more people who will follow you back. This is a great way to keep your Instagram feed fresh with posts from lots of different users. Similarly, it’s worth checking every so often if you are following any inactive accounts, especially if you started your account a few years ago. A little online spring clean is always a good idea.

Why you shouldn’t use a theme divider

If you’re starting a new theme on your account, don’t post up a theme divider. Lots of people use these to separate from their old theme, but did you know they’re significantly lowering your reach and engagement? Because the divider will usually be a fairly plain image, this will not receive as much interest on an Instagram feed, three of these photos in a row and you’re looking at three photos with low engagement. Now the better your photos do (e.g. more likes and comments etc), the more Instagram will push them, so if you have three theme divider images that don’t have a high engagement, Instagram is less likely to push your new theme’s photos as far initially.

Why Instagram captions are crucial

Make sure the captions you’re writing are interesting and engaging for your followers. Captions are now a place to share a story, talk about your day, share advise. Use this space to invite your followers to leave a comment, the best way to do this is to ask a daily question, something they’d be interested in answering.

Why you should choose a theme for your Instagram photos

Try and have a theme to unify your photos and your feed, a look that makes people think of your account. This can be easily achieved through a filter using an app such as VSCO. Something that applies to every photo you post will help you form more of an image for your account’s name and will look nicer to new users who come across your photos. I personally use my filter as my theme rather than a location setting for my photos or a camera effect. This is what works best for me, have a play around and see what fits for you.

Why having a posting schedule can help

Try to post daily if you can, or at least as often as you’re able to. I know Instagram can take up quite a lot of time, but if you’re able to post once a day you will see your engagement will be consistent and will improve over time. This also stops you become a inactive/ghost account that users will unfollow if they stop seeing content from.

How to take the best photos for your Instagram

Something to help with posting as often as you can, is to take your photos in bulk. I know this doesn’t work for everyone and you can’t always find inspiration. But having tried both, I prefer to have a photoshoot every few weeks to create some great content on my feed. This helps me when I don’t have the motivation to take more photos, when I’m posting later than usual and when I’m away from home. It’s a guarantee that I will always have content.

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The perks of Instagram comment pods

Join a comment pod, this is a group chat on the app where users share their most recent photo with each other and you all exchange a comment and a like. This is a bid to beat the Instagram algorithm and get your post’s engagement up as quickly as possible. Plus you always know you’ll have a group of users who will get the interaction started on your posts. It’s also just nice to have a little community in these groups for somewhere to go for help and advice.

Enjoy yourself!

HAVE FUN! That’s my final tip. It’s easy to forget that you started your Instagram account as somewhere to have fun and be yourself. Be happy with every photo you post, or you’ll start to feel unmotivated and dislike your feed. The point of being on Instagram is to have fun with it and enjoy posting your photos and interacting with your followers. I take plenty of photos that I am mildly okay with that I end up scrapping because I didn’t love them. I want my feed to be somewhere I look at and feel proud. If you have passion for the content you’re sharing and enjoy to share it, then others will see that.

Share any tips you have in the comments below!

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  • Reply Lacey Marie Simpson 04/01/2019 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks for the tips! My Instagram game is rather week but I’ve been thinking about the bluk photoshoot method to get a week’s worth taken at once! Hopefully that will help 🙂

    • Reply BooksNest 05/01/2019 at 12:25 pm

      I have my fingers crossed for you!

  • Reply Lindsey 04/01/2019 at 10:14 pm

    My Instagram is severely lacking at the moment and I’ve never entirely known what to do with it. Receiving arc copies in a digital format can make photos tricky sometimes because there’s no cover, so nothing that really feels like I can make a decent photo out of. Definitely going to be following these tips and trying to improve it. Great post, thanks.

    • Reply BooksNest 05/01/2019 at 12:26 pm

      I’m glad you found it helpful Lindsey, I hope you manage to find a method that suits you!

  • Reply Swetlana 04/01/2019 at 10:41 pm

    This was a super helpful post, Beth! I’ll have to keep this in mind for when I finally start posting again – been having a bit of trouble finding inspiration and motivation lately!

    • Reply BooksNest 05/01/2019 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks so much Swetlana, I hope the motivation comes back to you soon!

  • Reply Kelsey 05/01/2019 at 11:09 am

    These are such good tips! I find Instagram discoverability difficult and they just need to bring back the chronological feed!

    • Reply BooksNest 05/01/2019 at 12:26 pm

      I agree, I miss the feed! I’m not doing too badly in the algorithm at the moment though. These tips help me try to break through!

  • Reply Charlotte 05/01/2019 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks so much for these tips! I’ve tried most of these before but not all at once and not for a decent amount of time, so this has reminded me of a few things I need to start doing again.

    The thing bugging me at the moment is the weather being so awful so there’s no decent natural light, typically on days when I’ve planned to take a load of photos in bulk. Can’t wait for the days to start getting a bit brighter!

    • Reply BooksNest 05/01/2019 at 3:51 pm

      I know the feeling Charlotte. I’m relying on editing light into my photos a lot of the time at the moment!

  • Reply Stephanie 07/01/2019 at 10:53 pm

    Having a great photo and being consistent really does help a ton! I think one thing I’ve found key is that sometimes you have to post great photos for a while before you really hit your stride with instagram, which can be a tough to do when you don’t see the results you want.

    • Reply BooksNest 08/01/2019 at 9:05 am

      Exactly, I definitely see the best results when I engage with the photos on my feed too!

  • Reply Amy 08/01/2019 at 9:25 pm

    Fantastic post and such great tips! I love Instagram, but I do sometimes find it difficult, engagement wise. Hopefully, things will start getting a bit easier in 2019! 🙂

    • Reply BooksNest 10/01/2019 at 1:04 pm

      I hope so Amy, fingers crossed for you!

  • Reply Lex 10/01/2019 at 7:44 pm

    Some lovely helpful tips to keep in mind for those (like me) who just struggle with instagram. I don’t know if it’s down to it being so visual and I’m absolutely rubbish at all things photography BUT you’ve definitely given me some words of wisdom. Thanks

    • Reply BooksNest 13/01/2019 at 4:21 pm

      I’m really glad it helped, good luck with your Instagram!

  • Reply Morgana 10/01/2019 at 8:58 pm

    Wonderful post! I´ve been recently thinking about ditching my Insta account because it´s too much of a hassle for me. But when I read something as inspiring as your blog post here I feel like it would be a waste to delete all the hard work. Thank you for this. <3

    • Reply BooksNest 13/01/2019 at 4:22 pm

      Aw thank you! I hope you can stick with your account, it could be worth it in the long run!

  • Reply Leyanis 12/01/2019 at 9:28 pm

    I hate this algorithm since it came out. It actually made me closed my old Instagram because I got very frustrated – I started seeing posts from days old and never the new ones. I’m back to Instagram now feeling the same kind of dejection because while I post regularly I feel I don’t reach many people.
    Plus, the genres of the books I like (I love adult books), get lost in the sea of YA bookstagram . Do you ever feel like this?

    • Reply BooksNest 13/01/2019 at 4:25 pm

      I think it’s all about breaking through the algorithm and pushing on with posting regularly and engaging. If you find the right people to engage with, that include the same genre you want to share, then you will probably be onto a winner!

  • Reply Ruxandr 13/01/2019 at 1:29 pm

    I am not a fan of the algorithm, so many of my followers don’t see my posts 🙁 However, my top tips would be to focus on quality content and quality engagement!

    • Reply BooksNest 13/01/2019 at 4:26 pm

      I would agree with you there, it helps so much!

  • Reply Jenn @ Bound to Writing 14/01/2019 at 11:14 pm

    Fantastic post! I’ve been looking to increase my Instagram game this year and this post is definitely being saved as a reference! Thank you! 🙂

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