Week 3: In 30 Days I Learned How Instagram’s Algorithm Works and Drove Engagement

This month, I am focusing on building my social media presence, increasing my following, and learning about the Instagram algorithm. I am posting every day on Instagram and making two Reels for Instagram a week. 

Here’s how week 3 went!

Instagram

I successfully posted every day! Even though I’ve been able to keep up with this every week it is still a big accomplishment for me. This week I tried to take a lot more outdoor shots. I liked the idea of changing things up. So far I had mostly been taking photos on my bookshelf. A lot of them started looking very similar and I wanted to make the photos more interesting. 

I ended up taking photos whenever I went to a new place. I went to a friend’s house one day and I had brought a book with me. Realizing I could take a photo in a new environment that became the photo for the day. 

Getting creative with the photos was so much fun! I live right next to a park so I took some photos on the trails and in my backyard. I took one on a rock with trees in the background. Another great thing about outdoor photos is that during the day the lighting is great. 

This week’s most popular post was this one:

It got 28 likes in a single day. The series pictured is quite popular and I think that tagging the authors and using the series hashtags helped with engagement. I also love this picture. I like taking a picture with me in it every once in a while to change things up. 

This week’s least popular post was this one:

This is actually the post I took at my friend’s house for a change of scenery. It didn’t quite work out. I still really like the photo. I was thinking it would be popular because I tagged all the authors and hashtagged them too. Unfortunately, this post only got 7 likes. 

Here’s this week’s grid!

Reels

My Reel went really well! I ended up getting 3,000 views in the first 3 hours! I was shocked. It was even more popular than the last 2 Reels and they were pretty popular as well. 

I did tag all the authors and hashtagged them as well. That and the popular audio I used definitely helped more people see my Reel. It was very rewarding to see my Reel get so many views. 

I was really happy with the Reel overall. My transitions in the video looked great and the timing was spot on. I enjoy the book challenge Reels and I will definitely be doing more of them. Next week I want to try and come up with my own book challenge and see if I can get it to trend.

Changes I Made This Week

This week I made a couple of big changes to my project. One was I stopped doing a YouTube video completely and two I focused more on increasing my Instagram followers. 

Why did I take the YouTube video out? I realized that I was getting burned out. I had to create so much new content each week that my brain couldn’t come up with the ideas fast enough. Having to come up with photo ideas, Reel ideas, and YouTube ideas all in one week is a lot. I realized the best thing to do was to take out the YouTube video and focus on Instagram. 

As I was deciding this I realized that I wasn’t doing enough for follower increase on Instagram. Putting your content out there and expecting it to succeed isn’t realistic and I realized that was what I had been doing. I needed to be deliberate and actually try to seek out people and followers. 

Thanks to an awesome friend who challenged me and helped me come up with ways to do this I changed the way I looked at Instagram. I started to look for fellow book accounts that followed more people than followed them. Then I would like a bunch of their posts then follow them. I do this for multiple accounts a day. 

I also look through book-related hashtags to help me find more accounts. Looking for small accounts can make it more personal and they are more likely to follow you back. 

Also, look through the top comments on a post. If someone has commented they probably comment consistently on people’s posts and you want to follow those people. The same rules apply though. You want the number of followers to be smaller than the number of people they follow. 

This new system has been successful so far. I now have 220 followers. Most of them are from the last few days when I implemented this new system. Better than a 4 follower increase each week. Want to read a more in-depth post about this? Click here. (I’ll be writing this later)

Final Thoughts

Even though I had to reevaluate my project this week it still went well. I posted every day and made my Reel. 

Next week I will be focusing on implementing my new system and finishing strong. I will continue posting every day and I will add a second Reel to my agenda. 

Want to see how week 4 went? Click here.

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