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How to hack Instagram’s algorithm

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Australia today. Watch the full first episode with Gretta Van Riel here.

It's the secret formula that can mean the difference between being a successful social media influencer or just another person with an Instagram account.

But it’s a formula that Australian entrepreneur Gretta van Riel has cracked, if her 16 million Instagram followers across her business and personal accounts are anything to go by.

And the answer is simpler than you might expect.

“All of the social media platforms are always going to prioritise engagement,” she told Yahoo Finance’s New Investors show.

Learn more of Gretta van Riel’s secrets to success by watching her full interview with Yahoo Finance for the The New Investors, My Story video series.

In addition, daytime posts are generally favoured too. Both tactics are designed for users to stay on the platform and engage with content for as long as possible.

“That's where the value lies,” van Riel said.

The tips and tricks to skyrocket your social media engagement. (Source: Getty)

“So if you can reverse-engineer your content for engagement, create different call-to-actions, posts, things that are gonna evoke certain emotions, that's always gonna be so much more powerful.

“Engagement is the number one factor will determine how the algorithms sorts your content and how much reach it assigns organically through that content.”

Spot the fakes

Wannabe-influencers wanting a quick fix to fame will try to gain followers inorganically – but this will be found out.

“The thing is with fake followers, there can also be fake engagement.”

Look out for generic comments like "love it!" or "that’s so cool", she said.

Depending on the nature of the content, real engagement will come in the form of actual and specific questions, such as "where did you get that top?" or "what time/day should I feed my baby this specific food?", she told Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief Sarah O’Carroll.

“The commenting and that kind of two-way interaction between the influencer and their audience is a really good way to be able to see that.

“And then also of course, asking for the insights from the influencers, so the behind-the-scenes insights that they are able to screenshot and send across to you,” van Riel said.

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Australia today. Watch the full first episode with Gretta Van Riel here.