Social Media Marketing 101: How to Crack the Instagram Algorithm

Written by Aycan Demirci: Social Media Manager.
· 4 minute read

Have you ever wondered how the Instagram algorithm works? Do you find your engagement isn’t as high as it could be on this social media channel? Since Instagram moved away from ordering posts from accounts in chronological order, it has been the question on many marketers minds… How do you get your accounts in front of the right people, at the right place at the right time?

There have been rumours flying around the internet for months around how we can beat Instagram’s cryptic algorithm. But, thankfully very recently, Instagram finally set the record straight and cleared up exactly how we can post more effectively on this image-led social media platform.

What matters to Instagram?

Authenticity and transparency have been noted to be key factors when building sustainable engagement on Instagram. Due to Instagram’s feed ranking being powered by machine learning, it means that it is constantly adapting and changing to new patterns that it has picked up when analysing the data. This means that in time, it recognises inauthentic activity and makes adjustments accordingly. Basically, if you try to cheat the system, whilst you might get some short-term benefits, you will not gain long term success.

How often does the Instagram algorithm change?

Due to Instagram being powered by machine learning it is therefore constantly evolving, adapting and improving dependent on the data that has been collected.

Does account type impact ranking?

There have been whispers on the internet that Instagram favours business/verified accounts in the feed, however, Instagram has clarified recently that this isn’t true. If you interact with content more from certain accounts then it is likely that this content will appear at the top of your feed.

Does Instagram favour videos or pictures?

Have you ever wondered what type of content Instagram prefers? With videos becoming more and more popular in recent years it could be assumed that this social platform would favour them over pictures, however, Instagram confirmed that it doesn’t universally favour any over the other. The feed is customised for each and every user so it depends on how an individual uses the platform. If you watch a lot of videos, this will be reflected in your feed!

What is important to Instagram feed ranking?

Instagram revealed earlier last month that there are 4 engagements types that are important to feed ranking:

  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Reshares
  • Views

However, with Instagram rolling out trailing the removal of the Like function, although it hasn’t been listed as a key metric just yet, it could be worthwhile noting that saves could be something that you should think about optimising your content for.

If you need help cracking your social media strategy, get in touch with us today. We’re a social marketing agency in Manchester with who can talk through the best ways to reach out to your audience and drive engagement and conversions.