Learning how Instagram works will give you the power to grow your Instagram channel with followers, likes, views and comments.
In its earlier days, the Instagram universe looked at the number of likes on a post to indicate its reach and performance. However, as the platform has started pushing out new features with every update, the algorithm has also aligned with these metrics.
Today, brands have to consider everything from likes to shares, comments, saves, DMs, and Instagram story views to confirm a post’s satisfactory performance. That’s why most people, not adapting according to the change, have experienced a decline in user engagement and organic reach recently.
However, if you know how to use the algorithm to your benefit, along with BoostStorms® popular services, your engagement won’t suffer a blow irrespective of the changes Instagram makes.
Let’s discuss this in detail.
How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work?
Over the years, algorithms have gotten better at catering to the audience’s needs. Therefore, if you want to outsmart the Instagram algorithm, your focus should be on pumping out material that your audience wants to see.
At the moment, Instagram uses six metrics to determine the users’ needs and show them the content accordingly.
Instagram monitors the users’ past interactions on the platform to show them the appropriate content. Plus, the algorithm also focuses on the kind of accounts a user follows and the interests they have shown in the past.
Since Instagram wants the users to see the most recent posts, the algorithm shows them the recently posted pictures and videos on the top of the feed.
Brands can leverage this by posting content when users are most active. In doing so, they ensure that their content is the first thing a user sees when they open Instagram.
The algorithm prioritizes posts from family members, friends, and close acquaintances with whom the user interacts most frequently.
An Instagram software engineer, Thomas Dimson, shared that the algorithm can identify who the users care most about by looking at the following things:
- The people they DM or search for
- The accounts whose content they like, such as videos, IGTVs, and posts
- Real-life relatives
The algorithm also sorts the posts according to a user’s frequency of use. If a user is active regularly, their feed will be chronological.
However, a relatively inactive user will most probably see irregularly sorted posts.
Quite logically, if a user spends more time on Instagram, they’ll see more posts and content as compared to someone who’s hardly active on the platform.
Such people will also see content posted a few hours ago as they scroll down their feeds.
People who follow more accounts are less likely to see your post because there’s high competition. So, you have to up your engagement game to ensure that you appear in their feeds and stories.
How to Outsmart the Instagram Algorithm?
Now that you understand how the algorithm works, you can easily leverage the interests and timeline metrics with the help of BoostStorms® popular services, to boost your reach and engagement.
First Impression Is the Last
It might not always be true in real life, but in the Instagram universe, it definitely is. Currently, 90% of the users on Instagram follow a business. Considering this, it’s highly likely for users to follow accounts other than their friends and family.
How can you guarantee it’s your business account they follow? Start by making a good impression. Have an impressionable profile picture and bio.
Your bio tells the visitors what you’re all about. Here you should mention your brand’s niche, location (if any), and any other relevant details. Plus, link your website to give the visitors another medium to learn more about you.
Post At The Busiest Times
Since users typically spend 30 minutes on Instagram per day, your aim should be to appear at the top of their news feed. Remember that Instagram shows the recent posts first.
To ensure that your pictures and videos are up there, you should post when the users are most active. Here are the best times according to different individual surveys:
- Sprout Social: After studying 24,000 Instagram accounts, the results indicated Friday at 10 am to 11 am and Wednesday at 11 am to be the best time to post.
- HubSpot: Thursday is the best day to post. Moreover, content posted between 2 pm and 3 pm has the highest reach.
- Expert Voice: Content posted between 11 am and 3 am on Wednesdays is likely to reach more people.
Furthermore, weekends are also a good time to post, especially if you’re posting on Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to 11 am. As a business account, you can check your Analytics to see what time of the day your audience is most active. With BoostStorms® Instagram services, we help you fill in the time cracks during off-peak hours and propel you even further during the peak posting times.
Post What People Want
Since Instagram’s algorithm is interest-based, showing the audience what they like is a fool-proof way to appear on their news feeds.
Check your Instagram Insights (only for business accounts) to identify the content your audience loves.
Find the posts people interact with the most, such as the ones with the highest likes, shares, and saves. Finally, post more content like this to gain engagement.
Instagram Stories For the Win
Instagram stories are a great way to attract your audience and convert their viewership into action. Half a billion people use Instagram Stories daily not just to interact with their friends but also businesses.
58% of the Instagram users report getting interested in a brand after seeing them on the stories. Story interaction is made even simpler by the number of features Instagram has introduced in the past two years.
Besides increasing engagement, you can also use stories to learn consumer behavior by holding polls and questionnaires.
An easy way to appear on a user’s feed is through hashtags. You can either create a unique hashtag for your brand or use niche or product-relevant ones that people are already searching for.
For instance, if you’re a small business, use the #smallbusiness or #supportsmallbusiness in all your posts. Thus, users who search for small businesses on Instagram will likely come across your account too.
In the newest update, users can also follow hashtags, like Instagram accounts. Thus, if a user isn’t following you but follows the hashtag, they’ll see your posts too.
Instagram success is not that far out-of-reach and with the help of BoostStorms® as your partner, with determination, boost, and this guide, you’ll notice a significant increase in your growth and reach.
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