When it comes to digital business marketing, Instagram is one among the top five most popular social media channels, trailing WeChat and Facebook. Yet, it has a powerful competitor, TikTok, overgrown over the past few years and inspired it to upgrade and include additional features the previous year.
Instagram has taken up new features during the past years- from aesthetics, logo, branding. The most critical change is where the platform changed from chronological to the algorithmic method of displaying content. Several influencers felt that they were losing their followers sometimes and some even felt laid down in the reach, but ultimately, it was all good and consistent.
By understanding the working of the Instagram Algorithm in 2021, you could explore the mind-blowing opportunities on the platform and create appealing content with more organic traffic. In this article, we shall see how to beat the Instagram Algorithm in 2021.
The algorithm on Instagram displays the posts in some specific order that the followers see while scrolling through their home feeds. Depending on particular criteria, it prioritizes the posts by moving those relevant to the top of the user feed and making them highly visible. In contrast, other posts end up placed beneath it. Hence, create captivating content to get automatic likes for Instagram that elevates engagement rates and hack the algorithm for your advantage.
It is essential to understand that the Instagram algorithm is a live organism that learns each day and changes consistently. The rankings on Instagram are dependent on new data and trends; therefore, you have to stay aware of these changes and adapt accordingly. Know the purpose of an algorithm to understand how it functions.
The fundamental purpose of Instagram algorithms is to showcase the pictures or video content from the audience that you care about the most. With the push-in content production, Instagram developers realized that the audience is missing over 70% of the content from the accounts they follow. And due to this reason, they are continuously working to provide the right experience for their audience.
Their notion here is to display posts that you most value, depending on your previous activity. Wherever you are, they have designed it so that you would know what your buddies, influencers, or favourite profiles are up to. So, everyone has a personalized feed.
The Instagram algorithm takes into account the four factors to rank the feed posts:
Interest – The Instagram feed does not base on the profiles you follow; it also depends on the profiles and the kind of posts you have engaged with recently. The higher the algorithm considers a specific post type, the more it ranks on users’ feeds.
Relationship– The algorithm wants to spotlight content from your close buddies, profiles, and family that you engage the most. So to display the content that you wish to see, the Instagram algorithm utilizes your communications or recent activities to know who is close to you. The Instagram algorithm identifies through the posts you interacted with the most with comments, likes, the profiles you look for, and DM’s.
Timeliness – The Instagram algorithm focuses on the amount of engagement a post receives and sees how long you have shared the content. It also considers the time you posted as it wants to show you the newest and exciting content. When you know the best time to post on Instagram, you could beat the algorithm to maximize the reach and gain more followers and likes. For that, you can check in your account dashboard and learn about your audience insights more closely.
Frequency – How regularly do you check Instagram? If you are a regular user of the app, your home feed will look chronological, as the platform tries to showcase the right post from the last time you checked your profile. If you are irregular in checking your Instagram profile, the home feed will get sorted based on what the app thinks of your interests rather than chronologically.
The Instagram Stories that get displayed at the top of your home feed are the ones from profiles that you engage the most, and it could be through comments, likes, DM’s, story views, or reactions.
The Stories algorithm also focuses on timeliness since it ensures that it displays new stories from your favourite profiles. When you consistently engage with a profile, their latest stories pop up at the top of your feed each time they share – although you have viewed their stories from the past day.
Therefore, it is good to post frequently as possible on Instagram Stories. By sharing stories often, you are highly probable of reaching an audience while they check their stories daily – the higher the views you get, the higher your ranking would be.
Saves on Instagram are a solid indicator that the content interests your audience and they value it. Though the saved posts are not part of the engagement factor, they are the latest “super-like” and can boost the algorithm. There is no definitive evidence to support this; you must continually optimize your posts for saves.
The Explore page algorithm and home feeds are pretty similar- both display the posts that Instagram considers that you are highly interested in, depending on your previous interactions. Anyway, the home feed posts are from profiles you follow, and the explore page content is from profiles you don’t follow.
The Explore page is continuously changing, with new search functionalities and new topic categories introduced now and then. For instance, you could look for keywords and also hashtags to find feeds of related content.
It shows that the search algorithm considers not just the tags on the posts, like the visual content and caption words. The search algorithm wants to serve people the relevant content. Hence share the right content with compelling captions and niche hashtags to get ranked on the Explore page.
For Instagram Reels and IGTV, the algorithm considers content from the profiles you interacted with the most and the kind of posts you engage in. Besides the home feed, the platform suggests IGTV videos and Reels in Explore pages along with a recent Reels tab. It depends on what Instagram considers your interests, depending on artificial intelligence.
So how would you make your Reels and IGTV videos get seen by new and existing followers? The trick here is to put up a 60 seconds tailor of your IGTV video onto your feed, thereby maximizing the exposure and sending a positive indication to the algorithm. With the Reels, always post them in your home feed, and add multiple relevant hashtags to increase their visibility.
Are you looking for a quick way to take advantage of the Instagram algorithm? Ensure you utilize the newest Instagram features. The platform always provides the latest features to attract more engagement, so it is perfect to use the recent trends and favour the Instagram algorithm.
The Stories stickers on Instagram are an exciting way to gain engagement – the higher the engagement your posts receive, the more the algorithm boosts them. There are plenty of stickers, but emoji sliders, the poll, and queries stickers are the ones that drive engagement.
Instagram has stated that comments are a means of boosting engagement about feed rankings. So it is good to encourage comments as much as possible in your posts. One of the right ways for this is to write compelling captions. Ask your audience to post views and opinions on your post, “like” your posts, or tag a buddy in the comments section.
Including hashtags in your posts is one of the powerful ways to acquire additional followers on Instagram. That means a high number of ‘views’ the algorithm takes into consideration. A perfect hashtag strategy would not simply reach a new audience but also get people relevant to your brand and probably would engage with your content.
Cross-promoting your Instagram posts is the right way to start when you want to have a quick and easy engagement to improve your ranking. Instagram has evolved, and so has the number of channels to share your content: stories, Reels, IGTV, and feeds. Use these multiple channels strategically to drive people to your posts.
Similar to likes and comments, direct messages are an effective engagement signal for the algorithms on Instagram. You might have observed that the profile you DM tends to pop up in front of the stories feed- the algorithm does its best to showcase content that it considers you would want to view. The perfect way to take advantage of this is to consistently ask your audience to DM you about their queries or feedback.
Examining and monitoring the content performance on Instagram is a reliable way to beat the Instagram algorithm. You need to understand what works well and what doesn’t to have a tuned marketing strategy. Step ahead to check your analytics to discover the picture, videos, or stories that perform the best.
Bear in mind the most crucial thing with using any social media is to ease our life, do not stress much when your efforts are not successful. Competition is high on Instagram, and the right way to reach your target audience is to humanize and stay polite in every communication possible.