If you’ve been on this popular app since it was introduced more than a decade ago, you’ve watched it rapidly change over the years. The most recent shifts since becoming a Meta platform are also perhaps the most challenging for social media marketers to contend with. These tips will help you better utilize Instagram’s features for success.

Reels are the #1 way to get discovered organically

This tip may or may not lead to more followers instantly but reels, short video content similar to Tiktoks, are what is most likely to go viral on Instagram these days. So, if you want people who have never heard of your brand to discover it, make use of reels. The shorter the reel, the more likely users will watch the whole clip. And don’t worry about “likes” when it comes to reels. Pay closer attention to the number of views they get as a metric for visibility.

While you can use trending audios for your reels, the drawback to this is two-fold: the algorithm doesn’t register this as original content and sometimes popular audios get taken down. This means your reel you spent valuable time to create may have no sound and won’t be prioritized by the algorithm. So keep this in mind when using an audio that you don’t own–it’s okay in moderation but it is important to create original audio tracks for the majority of the reels you post.

Here is the most important thing to know about reels: do not delete a reel for under-performing. If a reel no longer fits your niche or you realize you need to upgrade the messaging–sure. You can delete a reel in those cases but generally reels take time to get views and interaction as they are being pushed to users who have never seen your account before. A reel may go viral days or weeks after it is posted so don’t delete it because that could happen long after you’ve moved on to posting new content.

Engage strategically

You know you need to interact with your audience. Replying to user feedback doesn’t have to happen instantly but if you reply to comments and create conversations under your posts this tells the algorithm it is a worthwhile piece of content. It will then be pushed onto more users’ feeds.

Asking open-ended questions in the body of your captions or your reels invites users to type answers longer than a word or an emoji. Longer comments are more of a priority for the algorithm and create more vibrant discussion among your followers.

The strategic tip you maybe haven’t considered is to respond or simply “like” the comments in your comment sections right after posting something new. This will send notifications to everyone who left comments and while they’re on your page, they are more likely to see and engage with your new post.

Accessibility is key

Don’t skip on alt text descriptions for photos and captioning your reels. Not only does this help potential customers who are deaf or hard of hearing–which needs to be a priority–it also means the people viewing your video content with the sound off can read along. Many users will simply swipe within seconds if this is not done and it only takes creators a minute to add to posts.

With captioning also comes the ability to highlight specific keywords which helps viewers retain the information from your reel and subtly draws attention to the most important elements of your script. Users are scrolling through hundreds of reels. Make yours catch their eye with highlighted keywords.