How To Utilize The Algorithm In Your Instagram Strategy
I’ve heard this comment one too many times - “I’m doing everything right, but I can’t get past the algorithm!” And this could not be farther from the truth. I hate to break it to you, but the algorithm isn’t a scary sea monster that wants your business to fail on the ‘Gram. The Instagram algorithm is the “brain” behind Instagram, and it’s primary goal is to show you what it thinks you’ll like - quite literally and figuratively.
The latest Instagram algorithm update has taken into account the feedback they received after nixing the chronological order by reverting back to a semi-chronological algorithm. Three factors play a role into how the algorithm interacts with your account with other followers: timeliness, relationship, and interest. In summary, the time you’re posting, the relationship the algorithm calculates that you have with the accounts you’re following, and the type of accounts you interact with play a role into what your followers are seeing. Not only can you beat the not-so scary algorithm, you can actually use it for your advantage when it comes to crafting a strategy by following these best practices.
Engaging… I mean actually engaging.
The algorithm haters often claim that even the algorithm is ruining their Instagram strategy. FALSE.
While engaging in any capacity is great, there are a few techniques people often forget to implement when it comes to their engagement strategy. Commenting and liking posts of similar accounts in your industry is great, but it’s not enough to ensure the algorithm is working in your favor. I created a free guide going over all of my favorite strategies for engaging within the Instagram app, but here are a few of the tactics that I find to be the most effective:
Direct Messages - Have you ever sent someone in your target audience a direct message just saying hello? This is one of my favorite engagement tactics when it comes to welcoming new followers or connecting with perspective ones. Simply say hello, make a comment that makes them know you gave their account a look, and be authentic.
Authentic Comments - Avoid the “Great post”, “Nice feed”, and “Thanks for sharing” spam comments. Take a few seconds to read their caption, check out their profile, and make a connection through your comment.
Encouraging Feedback - While engaging with your followers is a great start, you also want to encourage them to leave a comment, send a message, or participate in a poll. Be creative with this CTA to nurture that relationship with your followers.
Using the Instagram tools for your advantage.
The instagram algorithm cracks a huge smile when they see you spending a lot of time within the app, and this includes utilizing the various tools they offer. For example, Instagram stories are one of the best ways to use the algorithm to your advantage . The more often you’re posting on your stories, the more likely your followers are to engage with those stories and be shown your feed posts. Instagram Stories also offer stickers like the questions sticker or poll option to allow you to hear from your followers. Simply by giving your followers a way to communicate what they like, you’ll be able to create content that they like and will want to engage with. Features like IGTV, Instagram Stories, and Instagram Lives have been rumored to help the algorithm favor your account.
Consistency and Timeliness.
The time you’re posting your content each week plays a role into if your followers are actually seeing the content you’re creating. Since the algorithm is semi-chronological, the time schedule content will make a difference on if your followers see your content. The best way to ensure you’re optimizing your posting time is by hopping on the analytics in your Instagram app and checking the Audience tab for information about when your followers are most active.
Consistency is key when implementing an Instagram strategy. The more often you’re consistently posting content and engaging with you followers, Instagram will favor your account when it comes to the algorithm. So no longer is it how much engagement a post receives, but how quickly the post receives engagement from followers is key towards organically reaching your ideal followers.
While there’s no perfect formula to tricking the algorithm, the Instagram algorithm can actually be used to your advantage. Engagement is a major factor when it comes to the Instagram algorithm. I’ve created a free guide all about how to organically increase engagement on Instagram. Download your copy!