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10 Pro Tips on How to Get Your Content Seen by a Bigger Audience. Instagram Algorithm Explained

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If you have difficulty getting noticed by more people over time on Instagram, you have probably been advised to get together a marketing strategy that includes content planning, ads, and a growing engagement rate, including a steady increase in likes count, among others. Likes are, after all, a direct engagement metric. But likes are not the only thing you need to work on improving. You aim to get the app algorithms to work in your favor over a sustainable period. Have you been trying to understand why Instagram algorithms give certain users a more extensive reach and exposure than others? You are on the right page. This article will try to break down how IG algorithms work and then look at what you can do to get yourself a bigger audience on the platform. 

IG Algorithm – the ABCs of Instagram Backend

The first thing you need to know is that Instagram is powered by not one but several different algorithms working in sync with one another. Each user gets a personalized social platform experience based on who they frequently interact with, what searches they run, what videos they view, and what posts they save. The feed is also tailored to suit staying online and the usual time of logging in. All of these are what we call “parameters.” The algorithms make complex calculations based on these parameters to give each account holder a unique experience each time they use the app. 

So, what you see is based on calculations different algorithms do for:

  • IG home feed,
  • IG Reels,
  • IG Stories,
  • IG Explore,
  • IGTV. 

What do these calculations do? They take into account:

  • Sponsored ads that aim at you as a target audience.
  • Recent posts by accounts you frequently interact with.
  • Posts by accounts you often search content from.
  • Posts relevant to your hashtag/ keyword search in recent history. 

If you notice carefully, this means that IG collects your online information in the following broad categories to determine your reach and visibility: 

  • When the post was uploaded, what its initial reception was, who interacted with it.
  • What kind of post was put up, and what hashtags or keywords get associated with it?
  • How have users reacted to the position given its views, likes, saves, comments or shares?
  • What is the reach and impression conversion rate of the publication?

1. Don’t Try to Beat It, Work with It: 

Since the algorithms are designed to give you exposure, trying to beat it using short-term procedures should not be your go-to solution. Think instead of a marketing plan that will build brand credibility and make you more popular over the long term. For instance, creating a routine and predictable posting schedule will bring in more audience than an erratic posting routine. Aim to attract more organic and active real followers. Think of ways to increase direct conversions to bring more audience traffic to your account. In other words, look at ways to improve your engagement rate and not just your direct engagement signals. 

2. Use a Marketer’s Approach in Planning Your IG Activities: 

While planning your platform actions, you must think like a seller without forgetting what Instagram works best with. As a marketing expert, keep in mind that this social media platform runs on human interactions. So, you need your group to be mobile and communicative. It would help if you also remembered that soft-selling your brand rather than hard-selling works better on such a site. You can advertise and try to get conversions, but communication will always get you more traction than direct selling tactics on Instagram. 

3. Work with the Latest Trends and Features: 

Instagram is constantly reinventing itself as a social media platform. Although it is primarily visual and user-centric, it has come a long way from a simple photo-sharing app. A lot of the recent changes are oriented towards favoring different forms of long and short videos, going live, and allowing for direct client interactions like selling, booking, making inquiries, etc. Besides, to work for the psychological welfare of its users, Instagram has incorporated certain display autonomy in terms of parameters like the number of likes received. It is a good idea to keep yourself abreast of all these changes. Keep yourself informed about what these changes mean and how they affect the app algorithms. It can help a long way in getting your IG activity finalized. 

4. Create Posts in All Available Formats: 

Experiment and experience. Do not be afraid to explore new ways of getting your brand out there and connecting with your niche audience. If you have been only publishing photos with captions until now, try creating a short video. Consider using inbuilt graphics, music, or gifs. Some things you should consider exploring include:

  • Go Live,
  • IG Story,
  • CTA oriented posts,
  • Reels,
  • IGTV,  
  • Polls, 
  • Surveys,
  • Collaboration posts.

5. Optimize Your Posting Schedule: 

The best time to catch your audience’s attention is when they are online on IG. Posting or scheduling your posts to get published when most of your target audience is active gives your publication a tremendous potential for attracting quality engagement. The more real-time attention you get within minutes of posting, the higher up on feeds your post will feature. It means better visibility and reaches for the posts. Make a consistent and regular posting schedule so your audience builds curiosity and expectations. The app algorithms tend to push up posts that do well in their first few moments of going live. It is especially beneficial when your post appears higher up on searches. For instance, on the explore page, new users who have never connected with your account get to see your content. When such users visit you out of curiosity, your posts begin showing on their feeds (if your posts are public) even if they do not turn into your followers immediately. 

6. Stay on Top of Your Hashtag Usage: 

One can never stress enough the importance of using hashtags on Instagram. Hashtags are your means of giving your post SEO benefits. Use the right ones, and in the right combination, you will soon see your post topping search charts and gaining more engagement. Use too many of them, and you might cause your viewers to be confused about your content’s true nature. It can backfire on your concentration as well as visibility. As long as you remember that not every hashtag enhanced post finds visibility based on the tag alone, you will be able to optimize your publication properly. When using tags:

  • Do your study on what hashtags are trending and which hashtags are stagnant.
  • Which hashtags are too vague or too generic for your post?
  • Which hashtags are used frequently by your peers or competitors? 
  • What are good numbers for engagement rates when it comes to analyzing any hashtag used?

7. Perfect the SEO Game: 

Whether you post a still visual or a long IGTV video, it is essential to get your SEO right. For this, pay attention to:

  • Caption

It is the description that accompanies your post. Whether it is a regular post, reel, or IGTV video, always use your primary keywords in the first sentence if possible. Use as many secondary keywords as necessary to place your content in the correct categories for search optimization. At the same time, ensure that your caption is easy to read by a scrolling IG user. 

  • Hashtags

Like the keywords, hashtags help place your content in front of the right audiences. Use as many hashtags as necessary but keep in mind to not go overboard. Avoid generic hashtags, and create a few unique ones that can be explicitly identified with your brand. 

  • Geotag 

Whenever applicable, use geotags, which help widen your impression and reach localized demographics. It is specifically recommended if your business benefits by targeting local audience groups. 

  • Mentions

It includes tags of other IG users, influencers, companies, or anyone else your post is made in collaboration with. You may be making a post of gratitude or recollection. Mentions widen your post’s target audience to include those tagged, which automatically helps you get seen by a bigger audience. 

8. Be Authentic, Stand Apart: 

It does not require you to work hard at all, and all you need to do is refuse the tendency to do what others are doing. While following the trend is essential to stay on top of IG algorithms, adding your authenticity to it is the trick. You don’t need to create original content for this, and you can use UGC or repost old material. You can put up reminders, teasers, and cliffhangers but ensure that what you post speaks for your brand.

9. Use Ad Features to Your Benefit: 

Many business users are in two minds about using IG Ad features. One of the most budget-friendly means of self-promotion on the platform can help you climb the feeds and gain visibility. When you choose to promote a post or create a new ad for yourself using inbuilt Instagram tools, the platform uses its algorithms to give you a better impression and reach for the duration of the ad period at least. You will find yourself higher up in the search and explore page and on individual feeds. Use the ad feature to your advantage by: 

  • Having a clear understanding of what micro-goals you want to achieve using a particular ad.
  • Promoting posts or content that already has a great engagement rate. Such a post already has established social proof for you and has the natural potential to attract more users. 
  • Clearly defining your target audience. It will enable you to get an increased ambit of reach and impressions in the right circles of app users and bring more potential for conversions. 
  • Identifying your time and budget. It will help you not burn a hole in your pocket and help you keep track of how close you are to achieving your micro-goals. 

In addition, use CTA on your posts as frequently as you can to invite engagement and new audience traffic to your account. 

10. Research, Revise, Reinvent: 

While you must stick to your target goals, it is also essential to adapt to changes as and when needed spontaneously. Instagram as a platform is constantly evolving, and so is user behavior. Hence: 

  • Use tools to keep track of your Analytics and record how your posts are faring.
  • Continually observe your target audience’s online behavior patterns.
  • Have an understanding of when and how to promote your posts if need be.
  • Make use of the latest app features to your advantage whenever you can. 

Extra suggestion – Avoid Getting Shadow-Banned: 

It can happen if your posts are not in keeping with IG terms and conditions or there is a sudden stagnancy in your engagement rates. Shadow-banning is a tricky and significant term whose rubric isn’t clear yet. In gist, the algorithms ignore your posts and do not give you visibility favoring other accounts because of some flaggable or suspicious activity (or non-activity) on your account. IG hasn’t yet revealed what makes its algorithms IGNORE certain pages more than sure others, and the platform is working towards making its workings more transparent by the day. Until more is known about shadow-banning, the best you can do is keep all activities legitimate and keep your actions consistent on the platform as you work towards finding a bigger audience for yourself on the network. 

Summing Up

Being continually updated about everything related to Instagram is the key to understanding how best to work the algorithms in your favor. It may be challenging, but it is not impossible to build yourself a trending account and a strong brand image on the platform. Stay focused on your micro-goals and be adaptable to changing your marketing strategy when need be. If your budget permits, it’s never a bad idea to stow some finances away for a legit marketing investment now and then. If you stick to these basic ideas, you are sure to find the desired increase in your audience reach within the time limit you have set for yourself.

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Water in a loop: how to combat water scarcity on remote islands

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waterscarcity

BY SARAH WILD

Every summer, thousands of tourists travel to Greece’s idyllic islands to enjoy their sunny beaches. Even the global pandemic couldn’t keep visitors away, but water scarcity might. Many Greek islands survive on water imports and are struggling to meet residents’ and agriculture’s water needs – let alone those of tourists.

These islands illustrate the difficulties faced in other parts of Europe. Climate change is making extreme weather events such as drought more frequent, while burgeoning population numbers and competing priorities, such as agriculture and tourism, mean that there is not enough fresh water to go around. About one in five people in the Mediterranean region suffer from constant water stress – when demand exceeds availability – according to the European Commission.

To address these issues, the project HYDROUSA is piloting its water technologies at sites on three Greek islands.

‘It’s about tackling water scarcity issues in small and decentralised remote regions in the Mediterranean,’ explained Professor Simos Malamis, a water systems specialist at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece and coordinator of HYDROUSA.

The team, which includes 28 partners in industry, academia and government, develops and integrates different technologies to collect, treat, recycle and reuse water. ‘We want to do this in a sustainable manner, in a loop.’

Sustainable reuse is at the heart of the EU’s circular economy action plan, published in 2020. The bloc aims to ‘double its circular material use rate in the coming decade’, which will involve identifying value in products that have traditionally been considered waste. It has also invested extensively in research projects, such as HYDROUSA, to trial technologies to achieve this circularity and open them up to governments and businesses.

The circular economy includes water loops, in which water is treated and reused, with value being derived from extracted ‘waste’ in the water, such as phosphorus or salts. HYDROUSA is working to create these loops in remote areas to benefit local individuals and industries. It currently has six pilot sites on the three islands, trialling 13 different innovations to show their applicability under different scenarios.

Wastewater

Prof. Malamis’ favourite pilot, on Lesbos, includes the greatest number of integrated technologies, he says. Wastewater from a nearby town arrives at a wastewater treatment plant, where anaerobic bacteria break down the organic matter contained in the wastewater. This step produces biogas, which can be collected and used as energy feedstock. In the second phase, the primary treated wastewater runs through a constructed artificial wetland, which is made up of a number of plant species, which clean the water. The resulting water is then exposed to high-energy ultraviolet light to kill pathogens, after which local farmers can use it to fertilise and irrigate their crops, Prof. Malamis explains.

To show that it is actually safe to use, project researchers are also developing an agroforestry site, irrigated with their treated water.

Meanwhile, on Mykonos, HYDROUSA technologies harvest and store rainwater below ground, so that the water does not evaporate in the sometimes punishing Greek heat, and then disburses the water to households. On the island of Tinos, the project’s technologies help an ecotourist lodge recycle waste water and rainwater, using it to irrigate and fertilise food gardens which in turn feed lodge tourists and residents in the nearby village.

These solutions rely on multiple technologies merged together. ‘We have one system coupled together with another, which are from different companies, integrated, to produce the best result,’ Prof. Malamis said.

To combat water scarcity in remote locations, another research initiative, Project O, is blending technologies into water management modules and demonstrating them at four small sites. Importantly, the modules are mobile and can be installed where there are no other facilities.

Two sites are water utilities in Puglia, Italy and Almendralejo, Spain, with another at a saltwater aqua facility in Eilat, Israel, and one with a textile company in Omis, Croatia.

Small scale

Big water treatment plants, such as those common in large cities, are designed to treat large quantities of water, according to Giulia Molinari, a former manager of Project O and now with IRIS, a company commercialising high voltage technology to clean water and working with the project. ‘It is highly inefficient to replicate them locally for a small scale,’ she said. ‘We are trying to use a lot of different technologies on the small- to medium-scale to tailor the quality to the needs (of the site).’

But the various sites and industries have different water requirements. For example, not all treated water needs to be potable, she says. In industry, wastewater treated to drinking quality would be ‘overengineered’ and needlessly expensive.

At the Puglia site, the water is for people to drink. It comes from an aqueduct, Acquedotto Pugliese, and its quality is variable, sometimes salty, sometimes heavily polluted. This means that the solution needs to be flexible, and also able to cope with comparatively small amounts of water (about 20 cubic metres a day). This situation is very different to those in traditional water management, where every day, large quantities of water are treated in the same way. ‘We can adjust treatment so that we do not treat it too much and use too much energy,’ Molinari said.

Project O’s response to the distinct scenarios has been to create four different modules, each containing a cascade of technologies to address the water requirements at each site. At the aqueduct in Puglia, for example, the module integrates a desalinator (which removes salt from the water) and advanced oxidation techniques (which use chemical processes to remove harmful bacteria and organic pollutants from water).

At the textile factory in Croatia, the team developed a module that uses sunlight to break down toxic organic compounds and disinfect the water, while in Spain sunlight powers advanced oxidation processes and contains adsorption technologies that can collect pollutants, while a control system integrates two technologies. The module used in Israel recovers nutrients from salty water.

Molinari works on a form of advanced oxidation technology that uses high-voltage electromagnetic pulses to break down pollutants. Currently used in the modules at the Puglia and Eilat sites, the short, but powerful bursts of energy damage illness-causing microbes and degrade organic pollutants, including many contaminants of emerging concern.

Both Project O and HYDROUSA are looking to address one of the most pressing problems in water management: how to treat water and reuse it in remote places, where there is no one-size-fits-all solution, without breaking the bank.

Given the interest from industry and municipalities, both think that they have numerous viable solutions to offer. And as fresh water becomes increasingly scarce around the world, governments and companies will be looking for technologies to treat and reuse whatever water sources they have, even if it was once considered waste.

The research in this article was funded by the EU. This article was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine in March 2021.

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Optical Gas Imaging – A New and Innovative Imaging Technology

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Optical gas imaging (OGI) is a technique that allows for the detection of leaks in sealed containers of pressurized gases. The way OGI works is by using an infrared camera to visualize the heat given off by the escaping gas. Even though OGI technology is primarily used in a professional setting, it can also be used in homes – especially handheld OGI cameras.

This type of imaging can be used to find and fix leaks in a variety of applications, including pipeline monitoring, refinery monitoring, and environmental surveying. In this article, we will elaborate on how OGI cameras work and what are the benefits of owning such equipment, hopefully helping you decide if this technology is right for your needs.

How Do OGI Cameras Work?

In the vast majority of cases, OGI cameras are used in industrial settings to detect leaks of methane and other gases. Here’s a brief explanation of how they work:

Inside the camera, there is a laser that emits a beam of light. This beam is directed towards the area that needs to be imaged. When the beam hits a gas molecule, it causes the molecule to emit a small amount of light. This light is then detected by a sensitive sensor inside the camera, which is used to create an image.

How Are OGI Cameras Different?

Unlike traditional cameras, OGI cameras do not require a light source to create an image. This means that they can be used in complete darkness. Moreover, OGI cameras can see through smoky and dusty conditions that would normally obscure a traditional camera’s view.

One of the main benefits of using OGI cameras is that they can detect very small leaks that would otherwise go unnoticed. For example, a traditional camera might not be able to see a methane leak that is only emitting a few molecules of gas per second. However, an OGI camera would be able to detect this leak and allow for it to be fixed before it becomes a larger problem.

Thanks to the benefits they offer, OGI cameras are an essential tool for many industries. However, they can also be very useful as a home improvement tool.  For example, if you have a natural gas line in your home, an OGI camera can help you find any leaks that might be present. This is important because natural gas is highly flammable and can be quite dangerous if it leaks into your home.

While some OGI camera models are extremely expensive, they are used by professionals and there is no reason for you to buy one of them. Instead, you can go for a handheld OGI camera, which is much more affordable and will still do the job just fine.

Benefits of Using OGI Cameras

There are many benefits of using OGI cameras, both for individuals and businesses.

They Incredibly Are Cost-Efficient

Firstly, OGI cameras can save you a lot of money. If you have a business that uses pressurized gases, such as a refinery or a pipeline company, then you know how expensive it can be to repair a gas leak. OGI cameras can help you find these leaks quickly and easily so that you can fix them before they cause too much damage.

OGI cameras can also help you save money on your home improvement projects. As we mentioned before, if you have a natural gas line in your home, an OGI camera can help you find any leaks that might be present – no matter how small they are. This way, you can fix the leaks before they cause any damage to your home.

They Are Safe to Use

Another benefit of OGI cameras is that they are very safe. Unlike other leak detection methods, such as using a combustible gas detector, OGI cameras do not emit any harmful radiation. This makes them much safer to use, both for you and for the environment.

Simplicity of Use

Finally, OGI cameras are very easy to use. Even if you’ve never used one before, you’ll be able to quickly learn how to use an OGI camera. This makes them a great choice for businesses and homeowners alike.

Conclusion

In summary, OGI cameras are a great choice for businesses and homeowners who want to save money and be safe. They are very easy to use and can help you find leaks quickly and easily. If you think an OGI camera might be right for you, then be sure to check out the different models that are available. You’re sure to find one that fits your needs perfectly.

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Why does your startup need an MVP and what is that?

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Any startup starts with an idea, but it’s important to understand that there are a lot of ideas in the world and you have to weed out the unviable ones. If you believe in the necessity of your idea for users — great, but it is logical to check before starting a large-scale work, whether users need it and are they ready to pay for it?

This approach is safer, by checking the demand for your idea, you will save yourself and your company from a wasted effort in developing a product which will bankrupt the company. MVP, on the other hand, is a guarantee that allows you to say with more confidence that your product will be used.

Definition of MVP

MVP development is the creation of a product which has the minimum required set of features. It allows you to get some initial feedback from your users and decide whether to spend more money on its development. Sometimes it helps to understand that the idea is not interesting to the users and either to refuse development or to reconsider the main idea of the product. You can order the creation of MVP in Purrweb — MVP development company.

MVP scheme for startups

MVP can be considered as an alternative or as an addition to the research, which is important to do before you start MVP development. Researching the preferences of your target audience can be very different and is a topic for a separate article.

The purpose of MVP and the research is the same — to get confidence in the necessity of creating a product at the minimum cost, or in the viability of a unique feature if you are developing in an area where there is competition.

How to implement the project?

It’s important to understand that an MVP doesn’t mean a crude and unfinished prototype of your product. It should be quite the independent and full-fledged product, but it should have the minimal set of the necessary functions, allowing your users to satisfy their need for such a product.

Steps of MVP development:

  • Define and articulate the main purpose of the product (or the main advantages over peers; there shouldn’t be many of them) to be realized during MVP development. In fact, the product can have more benefits and features, but in MVP we check only the core of our product.
  • Determine how you will measure the effectiveness of the MVP (engagement metrics, numerical metrics, direct user surveys, etc.).
  • Develop MVPs for specific capabilities and prepare ways to calculate effectiveness.
  • Determine the effectiveness of MVP development, draw conclusions.

These steps may vary slightly for each product, the main thing is to understand the main purpose of the MVP, and in some cases you may need to iterate through several MVPs before you reach your goal and decide what the product should look like.

The conclusions may also vary. I wouldn’t advise you to drop the idea right away; if the MVP results don’t satisfy you, but it may be worth thinking about what to improve and how.

What are the benefits of MVP development

Based on the main purpose of creating an MVP, you can define the benefits:

  • Gain confidence in the viability of your idea in a real environment and on real users.
  • Saving money and effort by not putting it all into a failed project.
  • Identify the most important features of your product that are important to users.
  • Get the first real users who will be interested in the product.

With each new iteration, we need to improve the result. That is, the interval from the birth of the idea to its validation, should be reduced. It is clear that everything depends on the complexity of the idea, but the typical tasks and key processes should be minimized in time.

The peculiarity of MVP development

The peculiarity is to put one main value into one prototype. Remember what you need an MVP for? That’s right, to test an idea. One idea/single value. There is no sense in testing several ideas in a prototype at once, so you won’t get reliable data and will only spoil the whole experiment.

You need to test an idea, but how do you do that?

  • Create 2-3 single-page (one-page site) where we make your idea of service.
  • In the center put the “order” button.
  • Determine the test budget for the campaign and the time for measuring the results.
  • Set up advertising (context, social networks, or something else) for a pre-selected target audience.
  • We start the flow on the webpage.
  • See how many people click on the button and draw a conclusion.

If you are satisfied with the results, then take the service and make it nice, beautiful, convenient. If not, then just throw out the idea and move on to the next one. This is just one example of an MVP. To test a new feature on an existing product, you can simply hang a banner or a burning button, measure the clicks, and estimate the general interest of users in the new idea.

In practice, it also happens that while doing hypothesis testing, you might not make a prototype at all. You will find the answer in already existing sources of information.

MVP principles to remember

Below is a list of principles without which your MVP is not an MVP.

  • Don’t do it if you can’t do it. Look for ready-made solutions.
  • Cut down. Get rid of everything unnecessary in your prototype; leave only the main value for the user.
  • No beauty. Don’t delve into design, make a working prototype, and don’t waste resources.
  • Accelerate.
  • Know your MVP users. Gather as much information as you can about those who will interact with the MVP.
  • MVP is about to see if you can make money from the idea.
  • Cut back on MVP development, time, and design. Leave only the main thing that will help test the idea.
  • The MVP should work and carry one, core value.
  • No backend. To create an MVP, look for options without heavy and long MVP development.
  • Get it up and running as early as possible. Even if it fails, we’ll have the advantage of first. If the chip is new, the user will be more loyal.

Where do we get users for MVPs?

There’s a checklist for that, too:

  • You can be the first users yourself.
  • Relatives, friends, acquaintances.
  • We write to everyone, visit them, make phone calls.
  • Social networks. We ask for feedback from everyone who responds.
  • Newsletters.
  • Opinion leaders. Those who are listened to by many people.
  • Cold calls.
  • The press.

Do not forget about feedback channels; leave your contacts (mail, phones, messengers, and social networks). Information from first users should come to you freely. The man has already spent his time testing your product.

Feedback

Do not make him look for ways to share his opinion. That’s what we need. Well, about metrics. All the gestures with users, prototypes and so on are used for a purpose. If you have read to this point, you know that this purpose is hypothesis testing. And to test it, you have to actively watch the metrics.

Watching the Metrics

Don’t forget to set up all the necessary counters. Get the data and draw conclusions about where you need to go.

MVP development: let’s sum up

What is MVP development? It is hypothesis testing. It is about speed. It is about the economy of resources. And what is more important, you need to work with it, and you have everything you need.

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