being social is vital for the success of your own business on social media.

The way the Instagram algorithm works these days is that it prioritizes posts it thinks people find valuable. They determine this by how much engagement it gets, whether people have engaged with similar content before, and most importantly, by how "close" a person is with whom they are engaging. 

For example, if I am always engaging (read: commenting on, liking, DMing, responding to stories) with Bob but only occasionally engage with Terry, Instagram will show me Bob's posts and stories before it shows me Terry's posts and stories. Make sense?

If you want more people to see and engage with your posts, therefore, it would behoove you to engage with them yourself frequently.

Here are three easy ways you can be more social on social media, increase your engagement, and make the Instagram algorithm work for you, in 15 minutes or less.


Respond to Comments & DMs

Even if it is just an emoji or a reaction to a story, always respond to comments & DMs; people like to be acknowledged and those responses will trigger the algorithm to show more of your content to whoever interacted with your post or story.

Beyond that though, this is purely good customer service. If a customer emailed you or left a voicemail for you, you would respond, right? Just because social media is a fun way of marketing, doesn't mean that it is any less of a customer service medium.

I get especially frustrated when business social media accounts don't respond to questions in their comments or their DMs. It takes less than 5 minutes per day to respond to these, plus makes a huge impact on how trustworthy your brand is, there really is no reason not to.


When your fans tag you in a post, comment on it (and share it on your stories)!

This is an extension of the customer service aspect I mentioned in the previous point. Your fans have gone through the trouble of creating a post and giving you what amounts to free advertising, the very least you can do is acknowledge that!

Here are some examples of posts my clients have been tagged in and the ways they've shown their fans some love:

  • "Birthday Trip!! We took our first real weekend trip to my happy place, Santa Ynez! We had a killer private tasting at [winery]! Their merlot, cab franc, and Rhone blend are reaaaaalllllll nice." "A very happy birthday to you! We are so grateful we were able to be a part of your celebrations and can't wait to host you again!"
  • "We may or may not have joined another wine club this weekend. #sorrynotsorry" "Welcome to the family! We can't wait to see you at the wine club pickup party in March!"
  • *Photo of guest sipping wine, no caption* "Thank you so much for visiting us!"


Comment on the most recent post of at least five people who follow you

You don't need to follow people back to still give them some love. Once a week, I spend about five minutes commenting on the most recent posts of people who follow me. I do my best to put some real meat behind the comments, not just leave an emoji, and I make sure that the comment is genuine and not contrived.

This especially helps with people you notice haven't interacted with your content in a while, because sometimes even when people follow us the algorithm doesn't prioritize our post in their feed. When you interact with them it does two things:

  1. It reminds that person that "Hey, I haven't seen this account's stuff in a while" and will usually trigger that person to reciprocate by engaging with your posts.
  2. This, in turn, will tell Instagram that this person is connected to you in some way and so Instagram will begin prioritizing your posts in their newsfeed again.

It's a win-win.

The tips above really aren't that hard to do; if you were to spend five minutes on each thing, that's only fifteen minutes you need to be engaging on the platform every day!

I like to do each of these things right around the time I make my posts. This way, when the people I am interacting with go to reciprocate, it results in high engagement on what I've just posted, which tells Instagram that my content is valuable. And remember, when Instagram thinks your content is valuable, it will push it out to more people, which means fresh eyes on your content and possibly, new fans.

Remember, if you are social on social media, you will be rewarded!

Now go, my friends, go be social!


Heather Daenitz is the founder and photographer of Craft & Cluster, a wine & beer photography and social media marketing company based in Santa Barbara County, California.

When she isn't photographing and telling you how to be more social, Heather can be found hanging out with her husband, two dogs, and three chickens in their backyard garden, drinking beer made in said garden.