The Instagram Algorithm Explained: Advice For Brands

December 09, 2022
instagram algorithm

You may be asking, why does Instagram promote only certain content?

Today we try to figure out why some accounts gain millions of followers while others never see much success at all.

We are going to show you some growth hacks that are going to help you explode your reach right now.

If you want to understand the Instagram algorithm and grow your account for your business then just keep on reading.

This article is all what you need. Let’s do this!

What Exactly is the Instagram Algorithm

The Instagram algorithm is a set of rules that rank the content on the platform. It concludes what content appears and at what request on all Instagram feeds, the Explore Page, the Reels feed, hashtag pages, and so forth. 

In other words, the Instagram algorithm analyzes every piece of your content posted to the platform.

How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work?

The new Instagram algorithm dictates the order of the posts that users see when they’re scrolling through their feeds. 

Based on specific signals, it prioritizes the best posts. Instagram pushes the most relevant posts at the top and gives them the most visibility. While, maybe other content ends up being placed further down.

Instagram Algorithm for Reels

Why are Reels that important?

Considering that Instagram used to be a photo-sharing app, this next piece of advice may be a little bit confusing, but you should focus more on the video content.

Because, short video content is the new currency of attention. Instagram prioritizes more video content because that’s what people wanna see.

Also, reels are often compared to TikTok videos. And there’s some tough competition coming from TikTok.

Focus on making reels because are the key to boosting your reach and getting more followers on Instagram.
Also, if you are interested on how to get verified on Instagram, here is an article for you!

instagram algorithm
Source: Slack

Pro Tip: For better engagement, make sure that you are adding captions in order to hook people in.

Instagram Algorithm for Feed Posts and Stories

The Instagram algorithm simply displays your viewer list based on your activity and who it thinks you’re closest to. 

This is possible form your interaction data which comes from the posts you like or comment on. Also the profiles you look for in the search bar, and when you swipe up on an account’s Instagram Story.

Instagram feed posts
Source: Unsplash

Instagram Algorithm for the Explore Page

Instagram offers a massive opportunity to drive traffic to your online store.

If you have an Instagram shop, you can link to your products and this is a really great way to make it easy for your customers to purchase from you.

You can even take advantage of Instagram’s latest feature, shopping on Explore. This makes reaching new customers so much easier than before.

7 Ways to Use the Instagram Algorithm to Your Advantage

Let’s start with the Instagram algorithm hacks to help you with your Instagram strategy and make people double-tap your content!

Include Hashtags and Keywords in Your Posts

When you think about the way that YouTube or Google search function works, you know that when you search for something, you’re going to get the results that you’re looking for.

Instagram is trying to improve that about their platform.

That means you must include keywords you think people will be searching on Instagram in your content and into your profile.

Let’s say you run a business as a photographer, then you have to include the keyword “photographer” in your bio, your captions, your hashtags, and all that.

Speaking of hashtags, are they dead?

Hashtags aren’t dead, but they’re definitely different from what they used to be.

Instagram hashtags

The best way to use hashtags is to create amazing content that people want to see. Then based on your engagement, the Instagram algorithm understands that your content is keeping people on the platform and that’s when it starts to push content on the hashtag pages and the explore pages.

Essentially, your content isn’t going to get more views or more followers just because you’re using hashtags. But if your content is good, then Instagram will start to leverage the hashtags that you’ve used to give you an extra push. 

Take Your Photo Quality to the Next Level

There is no doubt that one of the strongest reasons for liking content are the visuals.

HQ photos for Instagram algorithm

Use your time and energy on that! Use bold colors. Breathtaking landscapes. The sort of stuff that gets people to stop in their tracks and double-tap your content!

Have a Consistent Publishing Schedule

So how often should you be posting?

Well, you should be posting one to two times per day in the current state that Instagram is in.

Being consistent can be time-consuming and no one wants that. But that’s why you have Publer. Use Publer and choose one of the 4 scheduling options for you to choose from:

Post scheduling
  • Schedule: Manually choose a time to share your post.
  • Auto-Schedule: Add new posts to a schedule that you set for each
  • social account.
  • Recycle: Share your post multiple times on a schedule that you choose.
  • Recurring: Share your post periodically over time until you turn it off.

Also, make sure that you’re posting during the times that your audience is on Instagram in order to get that engagement right away.

Go and have a look at your analytics, and see when your audience is on most and then just post during those times.

Create Instagram Carousels

Instagram carousels are posts with multiple images or videos that users swipe (left) to look through. It is another opportunity to engage your audience, provide value, hit the like or comment.

Here is a great example of Publer:

So start now by telling your story through Instagram carousels.

Encourage Followers to Comment and Use Stickers

You need to be engaging frequently in order to grow on Instagram, but you might not be sure exactly how to do it. Make the most out of a short amount of time to engage. 

Here are 5 easy methods you can interact with your followers:

  • Reply to the comments.
  • Comment on tagged photos and videos.
  • Tell a story.
  • Ask questions through Q&A (on Instagram Stories)
  • Use stickers

This is going to take you less than 10 minutes every day and you will see an increase in your engagement and the growth of your followers.

Create Captivating Instagram Reels

If you are trying to create content with added “spice” you don’t have to go into post-production but you can just edit it right within Instagram.

This makes content creation a little bit more scalable if you are trying to post really frequently

and really consistently, so definitely leverage these tools.

Be creative! Maybe you have someone dancing, maybe you have like a really crazy interesting fact you’re sharing right away.

Or maybe you have like creative visuals of like someone skydiving. Whatever suits your brand.

If you get people to continue watching your videos, then Instagram is going to push it out to more people, which means more exposure for you.

Create Contests or Giveaways

If you have read our articles before, one of the strategies to increase your followers and engage with your audience are the giveaways.

Create Contests or Giveaways

How to run a giveaway in simple steps:

  1. Choose the prize.
  2. Decide the entry criteria. 
  3. Decide the giveaway duration.
  4. Create a stunning photo or video.
  5. Spread the news about the winner.

Then use these results for future strategies on your Instagram.

Key Takeaways 

Following these strategies you can beat the Instagram algorithm and grow your Instagram account!

  • Make sure that you’re focusing on relevant keywords.
  • For better engagement, make sure that you are adding captions in order to hook people in.
  • Save time by scheduling and managing your Instagram posts (Reels, Stories) via Publer.
  • Tell your story through Instagram carousels.
  • Take amazing pictures and stand out.
  • Interact with your audience by liking and replying to their comments.

What Instagram algorithm hacks have we missed in this article?

Are you using some hacks that are really helping you with your strategy?

Let us know in the comments below!

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