Ah yes, the damn Instagram algorithm that we hear so much about.
To summarize: The posts you see were once placed chronically on your feed—now they aren’t. It’s a point of contention for its users—mostly creators trying to get their name out there. The rest of us just kind of accept it the way we mindless accept the information the app itself is already feeding us. We are like, “oh man, that’s kind of annoying,” but then we see a picture of a brunch and forget that we are annoyed and then just want brunch.
A few months back social media collectively held its breath when a Twitter user trolled everyone into believing that the chronicle feed was coming back. That was kind of mean, man. We were kind of pissed, but then we got over it after seeing a picture of brunch.
The point is, even though people aren’t happy about Instagram, it ain’t going to change anytime soon. So as Facebook once made clear about Instagram, if you can’t beat them, buy them.
Wait—If you can’t beat them, join them! That’s what I meant.
Here are a few ways to keep up with Instagram’s algorithm:
Firstly, no one except Instagram knows exactly how the algorithm works. So nothing is going to be exactly straightforward. That being said, Instagram has revealed some key determinants of the order:
- How much love you get on your post–likes, comments, screenshots that you don’t even know about
- How long viewers actually look at your post–do they really gotta examine that brunch shot to see the intricacy of your avocado toast? Are teenage boys looking at your shot on holiday in the tropics?
- Who engages with your account–for example, if you visit an account often, Instagram will eventually catch on and show you more of their content on your feed. It works the same for people following you.
- When your photo is posted–it’s gonna show photos that are a few days old, not a month.
- Is your content relevant?–your content will show up on someone else’s feed who are views other content in a similar genre. So being too niche might not be beneficial.
- The amount your account is searched via the search bar
- How often your post are shown through DM’s
So those are some of the factors coming into play. But what can you do about it?
Well, you can kind of figure that out by the list I just wrote. But for those who don’t want to think about it too much, here are a few ways to not get submerged and potentially drowned by the system:
Post Quality, Not Quantity, But Also A Decent About Of Quantity
People want consistency in quality from the profiles they follow—only post the good shit. There are just too many profiles to have to keep following someone who isn’t at the top of their game. But you also have to post a decent amount so you aren’t forgotten by both your followers and the algorithm.
Test New Content, Study the Results, Drop The Shit That Doesn’t Work
I don’t need to explain that!
Post When Your Audience Is Most Active
Don’t post at 3 am. Post when people are on the app so it’s more likely for people to see your content, which will get that engagement, which will boost you into the stratosphere. There are other apps that can help you determine when people are most active.
Oh, and scheduling apps that, when you actually find the right time, will post the app for you and a the specific time.
Hashtag Like A Boss
According to Adweek, at least one hashtag will get you an average of 12.6 percent engagement. There is a reason those influencer post like 18 thousand hashtags on one post. Yeah, that Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake skit is silly, but they were on to something.
Put A Call To Action In Your Caption
Invite your audiences to comment, like, share, whatever it takes! Not only is it good for engagement, but it will get people stay on your post longer (see #2 above).
That’s it! That wasn’t go bad. Now go out there and stick it to the computer! We can’t won’t let them beat us that easily!
Photo 1 by Jakob Owens
Just Do It by George Pagan III