Getting featured on Instagram’s top posts is easier than it seems. A few weeks ago, a photo I had posted was trending and made it to top posts in several hashtag groups. As someone who’s interested in reaching an audience for my blog through my IG posts, the top grid is prime real estate.
I am no way tooting my own horn (even though it did feel kind of great) but this circumstance made me realize two things:
You don’t need a big following or a ton of likes to be featured in “Top” posts
Here’s the thing : I posted a “selfie”
Yup. I’m guilty of employing window lighting to create a flattering selfie (thanks mother nature!) . Yet, this long overdue selfie only garnered about 110 likes.
Which isn’t that great compared to the some of the top contenders next to me who exhibited anywhere from 1k–100k likes
So what gives?
I garnered lots of visibility on my post by posting at what I like to call “late night infomercial hours”
If you own cable television you know that late night infomercial hours (12 am- 3 am) are when the night owls come out to play .
Or better yet, when people are either :
B) Binge watching on Netflix
Why on earth would you post then? By posting at a non peak hour,
You’re allowing your post to gain traction throughout the morning hours when people are getting up for work.
You’re basically avoiding the “rush hour traffic” when all the accounts with big followings infiltrate IG.
What you’re also doing is posting at peak hours in other time zones.
Say for example you post at 12 am EST, that’s 9pm PST, which is when most bloggers are more than likely scrolling on their phones and not uploading content.
It’s a Win/Win
Side Note– As much as I posted a selfie (which I hadn’t done in awhile), I didn’t use spammy hashtags like #instalike #follow #likeforlike to seek validation and attention for my post either.
With my usual introspective voice, I tied it in with a favorite quote from a recent read of Designing Your Life:
What I also did, was use a mixture of low/ medium volume hashtags .
Exhibit A : Low volume Hashtag = <1k
Exhibit B : Medium Volume = 25-250k
In the end, Instagram is all about fair game and doesn’t care how big your following is, or how long you’ve kept your spot at the top.
They’ll give it to a newer post if it gains enough activity.
You don’t necessarily need to post a flattering selfie to bump your way to the top.
Case in point, here are two other posts I had created and posted around the same time using similar sized hashtags:
You’ll notice how the hashtag volume is on the lower side. While I didn’t gain tons of engagement (likes,comments) I gained enough to make my way to the top.
If your priority is to gain visibility to your IG profile, then I highly recommend opting for lower volume hashtags with high activity.
Not only will you get the chance to your post featured, but it’ll provide you a window of opportunity to get your page noticed.
Key Takeaways :
- Post late night-early morning
- Use a combination of low -medium volume (but active) hashtags
- Avoid high volume hashtags, your content will be buried amongst the brands with big followings
Has your photo ever been featured in Top Posts?
Any tips you’ve tried that made your post appear at the top? Share your comments below!