Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms right now, amassing a total of 800 million monthly active users in 2017.
You probably use it, or at least know someone who uses it. But not a lot of people know that users miss 70 percent of the content on their feed on average. How is the content filtered for users?
The answer: Instagram’s algorithm.
Behind a curtain of Instagram content is an algorithm that remains a mystery to many. It’s one of the many strategies the platform has come up with to show us what they think users want to see.
What is the Instagram Algorithm?
Instagram used to have a simple reverse-chronological feed of posts from the people you follow. Put simply, when your followers log in to Instagram, they will see the most recent posts first. However, this was before the platform introduced a new algorithm in 2016.
This algorithm uses a variety of factors to influence the ranking of content on your follower’s feed. The goal is to make sure each user sees a post they’ll most likely care about, increasing overall engagement. These signals are determined by Buffer Social:
Engagement: The popularity of a post according to the number of likes, comments, or views it receives.
Relevancy: The types of content followers are interested in or have repeatedly interacted with.
Relationships: The accounts followers regularly interact with.
Timeliness: The order of photos according to when it was posted.
NOTE:, with the first photo you see on your feed was posted 24 hours ago, it appears that Instagram also takes into consideration how recent the posts are.
Profile Searches: The accounts followers frequently check out.
Direct Shares: The posts from other users shared through direct message.
Time Spent: The time followers spend viewing a post.
How to Deal with Instagram’s Algorithm
When navigated correctly, Instagram’s algorithm can offer a wealth of benefits to your social media marketing strategy. If you know how the system works, you can increase the lifespan of your posts and the chance of them appearing on top. More importantly, you will be able to increase your engagement and generate more leads.
However, your brand should optimize each post to the fullest. Here are tips on how you can traverse your way through the algorithm:
1. Focus on Quality: More than ever, Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes the best content. A quality Instagram post will not only have better reach, but will also make it easy for you to stand out among the crowd.
2. Add a CTA: A call to action (CTA) can go a long way when it comes to boosting your engagement. It’s a great way to invite your audience to engage with your post and spend more time viewing it.
3. Use an Appropriate Strategy: Having an effective hashtag strategy is important for any marketing campaign. It will connect you to existing communities on Instagram and will get you more followers.
4. Partner with Influencers: Working with an influencer will help you draw attention to your content. This is a popular and effective strategy that businesses are including in their campaigns today.
5. Share Videos: Posting a video is another great way to attract your followers. Live videos also take things up a notch. Take note that your followers are alerted every time you start broadcasting a live video.
6. Invest in Paid Ads: Although it’s not an organic strategy, boosting your post is a surefire way to beat Instagram’s algorithm. What’s great about it is that you can set your paid ads to specifically target your audience according to your budget.
Instagram’s algorithm is not at all complex. Contrary to what others believe, your content actually has a higher chance of rising to the top compared to when Instagram had the posts in reverse-chronological order. As long as you come up with engaging and relevant content, you can take advantage of the system.
Need help with your Instagram campaign strategy? A digital marketing company can help you make the most out of your investment. Contact us today!