We have all heard the term ‘Instagram algorithm’ thrown back and forth. We have all blamed the poor performance of our latest #foodgram on ‘the algorithm’. Finally, we have all been told that this ‘algorithm
’ is the reason behind why those stupid kinetic sand videos that we can’t stop watching are quite simply consuming our time and attention everywhere we look.
But, what is the Instagram algorithm, how does it work and how does one go about beating it in 2022?
Essentially, the Instagram algorithm is the brains behind the platform’s decision to prioritise certain content so that users are exposed to personalised, relevant and engaging imagery.
Understanding this algorithm is key if you want to attract followers and improve your visibility. So … how does it work?
Each day as you mindlessly jump on Insta for a quick scroll, someone or something has been employed by the platform to hide behind your screen and ask you a series of questions and although you may not speak a single word during this time, you are answering them!
Each time you view, comment, like or engage with a photo or video on Instagram you are informing the platform as to what you like and what you want to see more of. Instagram then retains this information and processes it to ensure that the next time you jump on the app it is showing you the content that you want to see.
Instagram also analyses your relationships with other users. For example, Instagram monitors when you are constantly liking, commenting or checking out a specific creator’s posts to ensure that they show you more of that individual’s content in the future. So yes… this may explain why that cute boy you are obsessed with secretly stalking is suddenly popping up everywhere without your control!
How often you use the app is also taken into consideration when it comes to the Instagram algorithm. This has relation to the organisation of your posts on your feed. For example, if you are a big-time Insta user your content will tend to be more chronological to offer you the best and latest posts. In comparison to this, someone who spends little time on the app is more likely to be shown a wider variety of posts that have been posted over a longer period of time.
Finally, the more accounts you follow the more choice you give Instagram to choose what content you see and as a result, the more posts you are likely to miss. Like everything on Instagram however it all comes back to engagement and how little or how often you engage with the accounts that you follow.
Now that we have covered the basics of how the algorithm works – let’s find out how you can go about beating the algorithm in 2022!
To ensure you don’t get lost amongst acai bowls and sunset pics, the best thing you can do to improve your brand’s ranking with the Instagram algorithm is to drive as many interactions as possible.
Listed below are some creative ways that you and your brand can ensure you keep are driving everything related to likes, comments, saves and clicks in 2022 …
1. Rotate Those Reels! Sharing reels is an easy way your business’s Insta can ensure you upkeep a sense of relevance on Instagram. As a relatively new content format, reels are heavily promoted by those in charge of the Instagram platform, making them an easy and attractive way to achieve discovery and growth.
2. Say Yes To Story Stickers! Optimising Instagram’s provision of story stickers (these are found in the top right corner when you post a story) is an excellent way you can add that extra bit of flair to your daily story and boost audience engagement. Ultimately, high engagement = first-class treatment by the Insta algorithm. We recommend the use of question stickers, the poll and the emoji slider.
3. Become a Caption and Comment Connoisseur
Comments and likes matter when it comes to the visibility of your posts. This is why it is key that today’s Instagram users aim to drive conversations with engaging captions and comments. So, channel your inner wordsmith, get creative and encourage people to start chatting!
4. Hero the Hashtag!
If you are not using hashtags alongside your Insta content, I am sorry to break it to you but your page can be officially #cancelled. Adding hashtags to your posts is a simple yet effective way that you can improve your visibility and reach. The consensus is that about 11 hashtags is a good number to start with. It has also been confirmed by Instagram themselves that hashtags are effective in both your post caption and the comments section – so it's totally up to you where you want to share them. What are you waiting for? Get hashtagging!
5. Cross-promotion is key
Cross-promotion on Instagram is essentially the sharing of the same piece of your content using a range of different platform features and ultimately, cross-promoting your Instagram content is a simple, easy and effective way to ensure that your content is seen by those who matter. Whether it is via your feed, story, Guides or Instagram Reels, it is time to get sharing so you can strategically drive different audiences to your most recent content.
6. Instagram Analytics = Your new BFF
Consistent tracking and monitoring of your content is undoubtedly the most reliable way to ensure that you beat the algorithm in 2022. Being aware of both your successes and failures on Insta will guide you on what you need to do to ensure you are producing engaging, attractive and #fire content that your followers love every time!
At the end of the day, when it comes to beating the algorithm – Instagram has the ultimate say. Although sending Kevin Systrom (Instagram founder) flowers and some chocolate may help, adopting the above strategies and tips will ensure you put yourself in the best position to consistently engage with your audience to show those in charge at the Instagram HQ that your content deserves to be seen!