If you want more followers on Instagram, you need to post content that your followers want to see. But how do you know what that is?
You don’t need a crystal ball to see what your followers like. You just need the right strategy.
If you know your audience and what they want to see, your content will get more engagement. The more engaging your content, the greater your chance of landing on the Explore Page.
In this guide, we’ll share the top strategies for discovering what your followers want to see on Instagram.
What are Instagram Insights?
Instagram Insights is one of the most overlooked tools in a creator’s arsenal. It provides detailed information on your content, your reach and more.
Essentially, Instagram Insights is an analytics tool for your account.
💡The Insights tool is only available on business accounts. So, if you haven’t already, take the time to convert your account (it’s free).
Insights will give you a ton of information about your audience, including their:
- Age range
- Most active times
You can also get information about your reach and detailed information about each piece of content you post, too.
All of this data can help you understand what your audience likes based on your existing content. The retention insight is super helpful because if your audience isn’t engaged with your Reel the entire time (or most of the time), this means that they’re losing interest and moving on to the next clip.
Insights will be one of your most useful tools in figuring out what your audience wants to see because it’s based on real data from your actual followers.
Help! Where are My Instagram Insights?
The Insights dashboard is accessible from the settings menu. Here’s how to get there:
Here, you’ll find the main Insights dashboard, which shows you the number of accounts you’ve reached, the number of accounts engaged and your total followers.
You can also see the most recent content you shared to get quick access to their individual Insights.
Spy on Your Followers and See Who They Just Started Following
If you’re very serious about learning what your followers like, you can spy on them manually. We’re going to be upfront and honest: this technique is a lot of work. You’ll need to set aside quite a bit of time to do the following:
- Go to one of your most recent posts.
- View who commented or liked your post.
- Click on the person’s username.
You’ll now be on the person’s profile, and you can tap “Following.” Browse through the people the account is following and see what posts are working well for them based on your niche.
What’s working for the account? What’s not working?
You’ll want to view posts and judge how well they’ve performed based on general engagement, such as likes and comments. Often, you’ll find great ideas that will inspire you and the posts that you make.
If you combine this method with the next one on our list, you’ll be well on your way to a highly engaged following that helps your account grow.
Ask Your Followers What They Want to See
Who knows better than anyone else what your followers want to see? Your followers. You can do a few things to learn the type of content people want to see, such as:
- Create a poll in your Story and ask people the type of posts they like with a few options listed.
- Post a video Story or regular video asking people what type of content they want you to post more of and to leave their recommendations in the comments.
If you don’t know how to create a poll, it’s very easy:
- Create a Story
- Tap on Stickers
- Search for Poll
You’ll now be able to add a poll to your post that people can interact with. If you use polls, you’ll find that engagement for these types of posts is very high, so you’ll get a lot of great feedback.
Test New Ideas and Analyze Them with Insights
You’ve done a lot of great work to get more followers, but you have one more thing to do: test. Instagram has ebbs and flows, and what works today is unlikely to work tomorrow. So, what can you do?
Create your content. Period. After a month of consistent posting, you’ll have a lot of assets that you can now use to judge if people like your content or not. You’ll need to refer back to the first section of this article and be sure to recheck your Insights.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- What posts did well?
- What posts didn’t do well?
- What characteristics are common among the good posts? What about the characteristics of the bad posts?
Being data-centric allows you to really get an understanding of your audience and their behaviors. As you test out new post ideas, see how they perform and the level of engagement that they receive. Then, decide if you need to tweak your post strategy.
You want to look at data over the long-term and see how it performs.
Many factors, such as the time of day you posted, contribute to a post’s success.
Avoid Third-Party Apps That Can Get You Banned
Third-party apps often claim to tell you what your followers like and don’t like. Some apps even claim that they can provide data that no other app in the world can. But Instagram doesn’t allow for its API to be used to see what other people are doing on their own account, such as:
- Commenting on accounts you don’t own
- Liking posts on accounts you don’t own
Many of the apps that let you “spy” on people are gathering your data and are a major privacy concern. Some apps may even be against Instagram’s Terms of Service, which means that your account could be banned.
Our recommendation? Don’t use them!
Once you know how to see what followers like on Instagram, you can begin posting hyper-focused posts that get a lot of engagement and help you build a following. But user behavior does change, so you need to review your engagement and Insights over time to keep a pulse on the likes of your followers.