With over 700 million users on Instagram, there is now even more opportunity to reach a wider and more engaging audience by using the Instagram algorithm.
If you’re creating great content, then it goes without saying that you want people to see it. And with the Instagram algorithm in place, your content will now reach more people, including non-followers.
How does the Instagram Algorithm work?
It’s not a simple one, in fact there is much to it which can become confusing however here are some highlights which will help you to understand and be able to use it to your advantage.
See the moments you care about first
The basics behind the algorithm is based on finding content that will interest you and drive this to the top of your feed.
There are a number of factors which contribute to this which include:
Engagement: the Instagram algorithm boosts posts that gain more likes and comments. A comment holds more weight than a ‘like’ so obtaining comments is even more important.
To gain more comments, you will need to work out which is the best time to post. This can be easy to test by posting at different times of the day to see which posts gain the most engagement.
Direct sharing: When someone shares your posts via direct messages, although you are unable to monitor this, Instagram is monitoring it in the background. This gives clues to show what interests a user has by the shares that they make.
Creating compelling content that users want to share, will provide more room for your brand to be seen and heard.
Profile searches: This aligns with accounts that you check out often. When a profile is looked at more often, Instagram assumes that this is the type of content you are interested in.
For your branding, if you create content that entices people to check out your profile, it will help your content to show more often in people’s feeds.
Timeliness: Instagram wants you to see posts that are relevant to your interests.
Instagram mentions “The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. We’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”
This also implies that the timing of your posts is still important to catch people at the times that they are most active.
Relationships: Instagram is now analysing the depth of your relationship with a brand/profile. Meaning that if you like or share a specific profile’s posts often, you will see more of their posts in your feed which in turn is great for customer service and satisfaction.
Again for branding purposes, creating compelling content that people want to like and share is key. This will also allow you to build relationships with these people who regularly interact.
Time spent on a post: It has been considered that the Instagram algorithm may be similar to Facebook by assuming that if someone spends more time on a particular post, they are interested in that type of content. Meaning that more of the same type of content will appear in their feed.
Understand your audience
Focus on creating quality posts that relate specifically to your brand’s message. This will enable you to gain more engagement and interaction with a targeted audience and will cause your posts to have a longer life span.
Have you noticed that your posts are still being liked 2-3 days after you’ve posted them? This is great news! In the past, posts met half their engagement after just 72 minutes according to this post by Takumi. However now, relevant and quality posts are lasting much longer and are still showing up in feeds well after they have been posted.
To conclude, as a business if you are creating engaging, relevant, and timely content, the algorithm is an advantage to you. It’s a great way for brands who are creating great content to reach more followers than ever before.