How to Not Get Lost In Instagram’s Algorithm

How many times have you opened Instagram today? This week? What kind of content did you see when you logged on? Did you know that Instagram currently has 500 million daily active users, who upload 95 million photos every day? And the network only continues to grow, making it one of the most powerful and influential platforms of our time. 

There’s no doubt that Instagram is an important place for your brand to be seen. But with thousands of accounts added daily, it can be hard to stand out, sustain consistent engagement, and turn your followers into paying customers.

However, there is hope no matter how big or small your brand. One great thing about Instagram is it uses patterns and behavioral trends to determine what the algorithm shows. This means with a bit of smart strategy and effort, you can ensure your content doesn’t get lost in your follower’s feeds. Here is a checklist of quick tips to keep your brand front and center in the minds of your Instagram followers. 

1. Interact, interact, interact

It can be easy as a brand or business to forget Instagram is a social platform. That means if you aren’t being social, you aren’t utilizing it to its greatest potential! Be careful not to make the mistake of scheduling your posts on autopilot, but never actually engaging with your followers or other accounts. The algorithm rewards those who are consistently active, so the more you show up to engage and participate with other posts, the more often your followers will see the content you share. Pro tip: Block out time on your calendar weekly to interact with others on behalf of your brand.

2. Think about your relationship history.

Instagram’s algorithm works to show you content from the accounts most important to you. (This is why you may see every post from your favorite makeup brand, but rarely see the endless photos of your Aunt Sally’s dog.) But if you skip out on engaging with content from the accounts you love, Instagram assumes they’re no longer important to you. That’s why relationships must be followed up with action to make the most of this platform.  

Since the algorithm promotes posts from the accounts we engage with most, make sure you’re regularly asking questions to your followers! Invite them to like, comment, and share. Use polls and other CTA’S throughout your stories. The more engagement you receive, the more your ideal audience will see you in their feed.

3. Keep your post types varied. 

Whether it’s traditional posts, videos, stories, or IGTV, Instagram continues to introduce new ways to share your content. If you want your brand to break through the social media noise, you’ve got to create and share a variety of content. While traditional posts keep your feed fresh, IGTV provides a place for longer-form videos that are easily shareable. Meanwhile, stories are a great way to give quick, digestible touchpoints to your followers. Don’t be afraid to mix up the types of content you share, and when, where, and how you share it. You just might find you have a greater reach or engagement with a different type of content than you’re used to posting!

4. Get consistent!

When it comes to your social presence, consistency always wins! That means it’s better to put out quality content twice a week than to post for seven straight days and then go silent. When you haven’t shared content in awhile, Instagram fills your followers’ timelines with other active accounts to engage with instead of yours. The more consistently you post, the more likely you are to show up in front of your ideal audience. So what is the magic frequency you should post on Instagram each week? The answer might surprise you. The perfect posting schedule is however many posts you can maintain consistently, week after week. 

5. Use a business account.

If you don’t already use an Instagram business account, stop reading this and set one up right now! To switch your profile to a business account, you’ll need to connect it with an active Facebook page. (Those instructions can be found here.) Once you’ve switched to a business account, you have access to helpful insights that let you track when your audience is active on the platform. You’ll also be able to spot which of your posts and stories are receiving the most eyes and engagement on your feed. These free insights are the absolute best way to stay informed on what is and isn’t working, and why. 

6. Repurpose your best performing content.

Which of your past posts received the most comments and engagement? Are there specific blogs or videos you created in the past that have performed well on your site or other socials? Which of your services or products do your customers mention again and again? Take note of your best performing content all over the web, and build an Instagram strategy with those things as the focal point! It’s just plain smart to repurpose content from past posts with fresh insights, new images, or in new formats. Repurposing your most popular content is an easy way to create a winning Instagram strategy that benefits you again, and again. 

At the end of the day, Instagram’s algorithm isn’t actually the enemy! By learning how the algorithm works and how to use it to your advantage, you’ll be able to grow your brand’s account and reach your ideal customers like never before. 

What additional questions or challenges have you faced when it comes to marketing on Instagram? If you’re ready to crack the Instagram code and build a social media presence that makes the difference for your business, our Red Bird Social team can help!