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

Instagram HashtagsWhenever 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’.

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.

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SEO For Yelp…What Really Works

Yelp search results are based on a confidential algorithm and while we do not have the exact formula, a few things that may influence search and rankings include review text, star ratings, number of reviews, text that a business includes in their listing in the Specialties/History/Meet the Business Owner sections, key words that a searcher types in and location the searcher seeks.

Yelp functions similarly to the other search engines in that it looks to match the key words that the searcher types in. There are a few reasons why you are not likely to be presented in a search for “…… Agent” near “Mooresville, NC”. Currently, you do not have the key word “Agent” anywhere in your Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner sections of your listings. You also do not have any reviews from consumers who reference the word “Agent” in their text.

If you perform a search with the key words “Bobcat Locksmith”, “Locksmith” near “Austin, Texas” you will likely find the your listings do show up in the search results because all of the key words typed in appear in your listing. If you would like to increase the odds that you appear in search results for a specific key word, we would recommend that you add it to the Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner section of your listing. We would caution against what search engines call “key word stuffing”, which is adding key words to game the system and attain better results. Ultimately, text should be written for a consumer as they would be reading it and should have a nice flow – it should not just be a laundry list of words that you would like be tied to your search results. Pages/listings/websites that are suspected of key word stuffing, could potentially see a decrease in traffic over time as the search engines become aware and remove or block you from appearing at all in search results.

Another thing that will help you to appear more often in search results is to receive more reviews. As you receive more reviews, the text from consumers becomes “eligible” to be searched for key words, in addition to the limited character space available in the Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner sections. Reviews not only help you with searches on Yelp, they also have the potential to show up in search outside of Yelp (on Google, Yahoo, etc.).

One last thing worth mentioning is that adding additional photographs or the agency video from Marketing Package will make a listing more dynamic and interesting from a consumers perspective. Our recommendation would be to add pictures of the agency, of staff, a group photo, of events that you have worked, etc. to further personalize your listing. Certain pictures may be displayed in mobile search (for example the street view may appear for people seeking out directions and maps to a location) to help consumers find the agency more easily. These things may have an indirect effect on search results.

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