Right After Posting – The Window Of Opportunity
Most people think that all of their posts get shown to every follower they have. That is NOT the case at all. When you initially post, Instagram will show your post to roughly 10% of your followers. That’s it. That initial 10% that they show it to are primarily going to be your most loyal followers, meaning the ones who like and watch and comment on your posts and stories the most. Based on how many of that initial 10% engage with your post in the first 30 minutes, Instagram will decide to show it to a certain portion of your remaining followers. If it get’s a lot of engagement in those first 30 minutes, Instagram sees that as a high quality relevant post and will increase the amount of people who get to see it.
It is also important that within that first hour after posting you engage back with those commented on your post. Instagram wants to see that you care about your audience when they engage with you, so make sure you like and/or respond to any comments on your post for maximum exposure.
Let’s think of some obvious types of posts that tend to always get lots of likes – Engagement/wedding announcements, pregnancy/birth announcements. If someone posts an engagement photo, for example, you’re going to like that almost every time (unless you hate that person, in which case you probably shouldn’t be following them). Instagram then says “Wow, everyone likes this let’s show it to everyone.” Is it all making sense? In summary, if Instagram recognizes your content as high quality and engaging, your post will get better reach. That’s also basically how posts go “viral” on Instagram. They get so much engagement that they get shared to a greater and greater audience until they reach millions.