Organic reach on Instagram - what's killing it?

Instagram is ruled by algorithms. Ever since FB owner Mark Zuckerberg took over Instagram (IG), people have started to complain more and more. I also have the impression that Instagram has changed a lot since then. Whether for the better or for the worse - I leave it to you to evaluate. Fortunately, there are some rules that IG follows and today I want to share them. By following these rules, your Instagram profile will certainly feel it, which will result in an increase in organic reach. Better not to mess with the Instagram algorithm and just follow the rules below.

On the blog you will already find some articles about Instagram, for example if you want to know facts and myths about Instagram and how it works or find out how to use hashtags on Instagram correctly or what are the benefits of doing live on Instagram I encourage you to read the linked articles.

What does the Instagram algorithm dislike?

Here are some things Instagram dislikes and that are lowering Instagram's organic reach:

  • No interaction under posts
  • No comments
  • No hashtags
  • Bad matching of hashtags to the photo
  • Use of banned hashtags
  • Breaks from using the Instagram app

No interaction or comments on Instagram posts

When we add a photo on Instagram and it will not be popular - it will not be heart-shaped, there will be no comments, then Instagram will not show it to other people. Your Followers won't see it either. In social media, the most important thing is engagement (than the number of followers / followers on Instagram), which, fortunately, is also starting to be noticed by companies cooperating with Influencers.

When a photo is very popular, there is a greater chance that it will appear in the search engine under the given hashtag (in the "most popular" section). This is the place where the most people visit when looking for photos using a given hashtag. I know from experience that it is from this place that we can attract the most new Followers.

how to increase organic reach on instagram

How to encourage engagement on your profile? First of all, post nice and engaging photos (sorry, Instagram loves and will love beautiful photos), and encourage discussion under the photo. Also, be sure to reply to comments. It is especially important in the first hour, because that's when the Instagram algorithm keeps an eye on you and decides whether to show your photo to a wider audience.

It's also good that your replies to comments encourage further discussion, and not just thank you for the comment. Of course, in a situation where someone writes a "beautiful photo" we do not have much to write. However, it is sometimes worth a little effort and write at least 5 words (which also affects the Instagram algorithm). If you trigger a discussion in the comments, it will affect your reach. The more discussions (IG is a social network after all!), The greater the organic reach of this photo. Sounds great, doesn't it? Then you just need to promote this photo a bit and we have really great results. This is my trick when it comes to Instagram campaigns - I never promote photos right after posting because it is killing organic reach.

You don't add hashtags under the photo or add them wrongly

The trend I see in inexperienced people who run brand profiles is not adding hashtags / adding them incorrectly or adding too few hashtags. If you only add a few hashtags under a photo (and you don't take advantage of Instagram's 30 hashtags), don't be surprised that your photos aren't popular and the number of Followers isn't growing. Brands such as Chanel or Dior can afford a few hashtags under the photo, but not the brand that 5 people have heard about. It is hashtags that allow you to reach new people who can become your Follower.

Hashtags can be specified with some kind of information about a given photo or profile (Note! Hashtags can also be added in the Bio profile!). They categorize a given photo or profile, and as you can guess - Instagram likes to know a lot.

Instagram does not like it when the added hashtags under the photo do not apply to it at all. Not only does this reduce the chances of reaching new audiences (imagine a situation that you enter pizza in the search engine and you get a photo of a styling completely unrelated to pizza), but also you may have some unpleasantness. I'm already explaining what's going on. There is an option for reporting photos on Instagram, i.e. if the photo appears under a given hashtag, under which it should not appear (we return to the situation of pizza and styling). The more reports of this type, the more your profile loses its quality. As you can guess - IG will cut your organic reach and stop reaching new audiences. I've even heard that it can lead to account blockage or deletion. However, these are only rumors, so you have to be careful about them.

Using banned hashtags

I have discussed this topic several times both on the blog and on Instagram, but I will repeat once again how careful you have to publish banned hashtags. The use of one banned hashtag causes that all hashtags added to the photo lose their power. I encourage you to check for banned hashtags in IQ Hashtags so that your photo doesn't have zero reach.

Irregular use of the application - adding photos and Insta Stories

There's nothing wrong with wanting to take a break from Instagram sometimes. I myself sometimes take breaks from the blog and Social Media (private, of course). Nevertheless, breaks longer than 2/3 days significantly affect the organic range. With a really long break, you may find you need to build your community anew. And all the work so far has been wasted. So, if you're serious about running a profile, keep that in mind. It is worth having 1 or 2 publications planned in crisis situations.

Two more ways to boost your organic reach on Instagram

The above methods undoubtedly affect the organic range of the profile. However, do not forget about adding photo location and Insta Stories. By adding a location, someone can search for your photo by location and observe your profile, but it also affects the Instagram algorithm. As I mentioned before - Instagram likes to know a lot, and the more information we provide, the more it will repay us with organic reach.

Another way to boost your organic reach is marking of reposting accounts. I'm not exactly a fan of this method, but it had to be here because it works and it has an influence on range. Reposting accounts are profiles that are often a board of inspiration (concerning a certain area, e.g. fashion or a place, e.g. a region of Italy). People often look at such profiles because they mostly feature really beautiful and inspiring photos. If your photo appears on such a profile, there is a chance that someone will come to your profile and see it. Unfortunately, there is also the other side of the coin - such profiles very often break copyrights. More than once I have encountered the fact that someone stole a photo and placed it on this type of profile (of course without the author's identification).


As for whether it is worth setting up an Instagram profile - do not hesitate, just act! Instagram is not only about advertising profiles, but also a really cool place where you can meet fantastic people. And by following the above rules, you will increase your organic reach on Instagram.