Ever since it was introduced in 2016, how Instagram algorithm works has confused marketers and left them puzzled. The algorithm was introduced to provide users with the most relevant content, each time they log into their accounts. For a long time, many didn’t know how the algorithm worked but Instagram shared a few ranking factors that could help marketers and other digital marketing services providers make the most out of the app.
So through this blog, we will help you understand what some of these ranking factors are and what you can do to use them effectively.
Important Instagram feed ranking factors
Have you ever had days where you interacted with a travel page on Instagram, and the next day you wake up to find dozens of similar pages on your feed? That’s how Instagram algorithm works. The social media platform constantly shows you new content that you are likely to be interested in.
Even the order in which these photos and videos appear have to do with a ranking system. The timeliness, your interaction/relations with the page too play important ranking factors.
But the question still remains. How does Instagram know what I like? The answer is simple. It simply learns about your interests by seeing which pages you interact with the most. It tries to understand which genres come under your preference. They could be travel, food, memes, fashion, sports, photography, etc. It can also learn which hashtags you are interacting with the most.
Another major factor involved is time. A post that was posted a week ago may not be as relevant or interesting as a post that was updated a couple of hours ago. Newer posts are always preferred as they contain more information and are up to date.
Instagram will always push for fresher content even if the older posts have received more engagement.
Interactions and close relations
No matter how many meme pages you follow, you always first see your friends and family posts. This is because Instagram prioritises photos and videos posted by your close relations. After all, that is why you follow them, isn’t it?
In order to understand who your close relations are, Instagram studies who you interact with the most. These close relations are the ones who are liking your posts most often. They are people who constantly engage with you through direct messages and mentions on posts/stories/IGTV/Reels.
These factors help Instagram confirm that you know these people in real life and that is why their content is ranked higher. This way, when your friend tells you to go like their pictures, you don’t have to search for them. They will appear as the first post on your feed.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how Instagram algorithm works, let’s look at some tips that can help you create content while considering the algorithm.
Tips for posting
1. Consistent posting
In order to effectively use algorithms to your advantage, and know how Instagram algorithm works, you must first develop a connection with your audience. The best way to do so is by frequently posting relevant content. Build a scheduled posting system for the same.
With the help of third-party apps, you can upload a series of content that you have already created and post them at regular time intervals.
You can select the time intervals according to the number of resource persons you have. For example, if you are a small team, then you can post creative content every once or twice a week. But if you have access to a large number of resources including creators, studios, and equipment, then you can post more frequently. You can even contact an advertising agency who can take up the responsibility of consistently posting on your Instagram feeds.
2. Collaborations and influencer marketing
One of the best ways to get organic traffic to your posts is with the help of Instagram influencer marketing and collaborations. This tip can help you reach out to a new set of audiences. Exciting collaborations can get an additional boost from the algorithm as well.
3. Use hashtags
Hashtags can make or break your account. Misusing hashtags is the easiest way to end up on the wrong side of the Instagram algorithm. Wrong hashtags annoy users and can lead to your content getting flagged by the algorithm. Use hashtags that fit your content and are relevant to your brand image and industry.
Using the right hashtags is definitely an easy way to get a good amount of traction to your posts. When you get more eyes on your posts, the algorithm will make sure that more and more people see your content.
4. Build authentic relationships
The algorithm has been trying to bring back the human connection and touch to the platform. The need for creating and preserving genuine relationships is definitely something that the algorithm wishes to achieve.
In order to impress the algorithm, try to build authentic relations with the help of the following tips:
- Connect with people by asking for their opinions and concerns
- Answer your Direct Messages because the algorithm sees how you handle these new relations
- Be quick with your replies. Don’t wait for days to answer the user’s concerns because no one likes being left waiting.
- Like and comment on others’ posts to increase your visibility
5. Check your analytics
Using your analytics to your benefit is hands down the easiest way to understand how the algorithm sees your page. With analytics, you can also learn how your audience is viewing the brand. For example, you can learn if they are liking your photos or videos. Or if there was enough engagement on your influencer marketing post. The list goes on.
Analytics will help you learn how to better manage your Instagram page.
How Instagram algorithm works is a complex yet exciting topic. There is a lot that the general public does not know about the algorithm but regardless, it does a good job of showing the users relevant and insightful content. So try and create the best and most creative content to be on the good side of the algorithm!