How to work with Instagram algorithm for the best engagement results?
If you’ve spent any time on Instagram, you’ll know that the algorithm can behave in mysterious ways. But once you understand how the elusive algorithm actually works, you can tailor your content strategy to work alongside it.
If you are ready to get up to speed on the Instagram algorithm in 2021 here’s everything you need to know:
- Interest – Your Instagram feed is based on who you follow but also on what you’ve liked in the past all the profiles and posts. The more Instagram thinks you “like” something, the more it will show up in your feed. That is why consistency is so important in posting. You have to give the chance to people to like your posts often and the more they like them the more you will show up in people’s feed. You can also use apps such as “Later” to plan and schedule in advance your posts and when you want to share them.
- Engagements – According to Instagram, the most important engagements for feed ranking are comments, likes, reshares, and views for videos, which is really helpful to know as you plan your content and captions. Also saves by other people contribute a lot.
- Relationships – the Instagram algorithm prioritizes posts from your friends, family, and accounts that you like. Instagram could theoretically figure out who you care about the most, based on how you use the app: people whose content you like, people you direct message, people you search for. They will try to calculate this relationship as soon as you follow someone by serving you their content and monitoring how you engage with it.
- Time – the algorithm also looks at how long ago the photo was posted. It cares about when you have posted, because it always wants to serve you the latest, most interesting posts. By finding your own personalized best time to post on Instagram, you can increase your reach and get more likes and followers.
- Frequency – How often do you open the Instagram app? If you’re a frequent scroller, your feed will look more chronological. If you check the Instagram app less often, your feed will be sorted into what Instagram thinks you’ll like, instead of chronologically.
- Following – If you follow a lot of people, then Instagram has more options to choose from, so you probably won’t see all of the posts. Also, it could be worth removing inactive or “ghost” followers. If a large percentage of your following is inactive, they could be doing more harm than good for your account’s algorithmic ranking.
- Stories – The Instagram Stories algorithm also puts a lot of focus on timeliness, as it wants to make sure it’s always showing you the latest stories from your favorite accounts. If you regularly engage with an account, their new stories will be bumped to the front of your feed every time they post — even if you’ve watched all their stories from the previous day. So with this in mind, it’s a good idea to consistently post to Instagram Stories.
Explore page – Instagram feed will be made up of content from accounts you already follow, but the Explore feed will consist almost entirely of content from new accounts. So this suggests that the Explore page algorithm takes into account way more than just the tags on your posts, such as the actual visual content and words in your caption. So by continually sharing great content with strong captions and niche hashtags, you’re already contributing towards your Explore page ranking.
Whatever tactic you choose to focus on to improve your algorithm ranking in 2021, the most important thing is to keep engaging with your audience at the heart of your strategy. Building a genuine relationship with your followers is the most powerful way to “hack” the algorithm and, most importantly, it will work wonders for your brand too.