How to Beat Instagram's Algorithm in 2024
Heard about Instagram’s algorithm but don’t quite understand it? You’ve come to the right place! Instagram - one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, boasting two billion active users a month, constantly eludes influencers and veteran marketers alike with their ever-changing algorithm. Whether you’re just getting started or a well-seasoned influencer, mastering the ins and outs of the algorithm will guarantee the continued success of your content.
What is the Instagram algorithm?
Introduced to the world in 2017, the machine-learning algorithm is a unique set of rules designed to analyse a user’s behaviour to prioritise the right kind of content for a user’s Instagram feed.
The sophisticated process is reliant on “signals”: specific information about recent posts you’ve engaged with such as likes and the time of posting. From this metadata, Instagram makes predictions about the likelihood of your future interactions with these kinds of posts.
How does the algorithm work?
Instagram has multiple algorithms at play, each one for a different part of the app. These different algorithms ranks content based on different factors:
Your Feed page is home to content shared by your friends, family and your passionate interests. Instagram personalises your Feed by introducing posts from pages that you don’t follow but they determine you might be interested in based on content you’ve engaged with recently. The more likely you are to take action (i.e like or share the predicted post), the higher up the feed you’ll see those kinds of posts.
Instagram Stories are a great way to share behind the scenes of your life. Instagram considers your viewing history and engagement history to prioritise stories they don’t think you would want to miss.
Instagram’s Explore page is a special curation of content designed to help you discover new interests. To rank explore, Instagram considers your likes, comments, shares, as well as information on the content and the person who posted it. Your recent engagement on the app will present the best profiles and content.
Instagram Reels are ranked through likes, comments, shares, and saves. Instagram incentivises creators to use Reels by giving them additional exposure on the Explore page and their very own Reels tab.
Key factors affecting the algorithm
As the algorithm prioritises popular posts, it is important to know what “signals” play a part in pushing your posts to the top of your audience’s feed.
Instagram will curate content for your explore page based on posts you have previously liked, shared, saved and commented on. For example, the more you interact with animal-friendly content, the more Instagram will push the visibility of that kind of content on your feed.
Instagram aims to deliver content that aligns with users' interests. It evaluates factors like past interactions, search history, and content preferences to determine relevance.
Content from accounts with which users frequently interact, such as friends, family, or favourite brands, is given priority.
Posting frequency and timing are crucial components of the Instagram algorithm. The timing of your posts significantly impacts their visibility, as sharing content when your followers are most active increases the likelihood of engagement. Consistent posting ensures that your content appears regularly in users' feeds, increasing the chances of reaching a wider audience.
How to beat the Instagram algorithm
Want to know how to make the algorithm work for you? Check out our top-tips on how to beat the Instagram algorithm!
Instagram needs a constant supply of content to keep their ever-growing audience engaged. Create a fool-proof content strategy that includes a consistent posting schedule to help you build a loyal community of followers that eagerly anticipate your content.
Captions are an opportunity to captivate your audience and encourage audience interaction via comments and shares. Engaging captions shows that your content is valuable, leading to an increase in visibility and a higher ranking in Instagram’s algorithm.
Hashtags and keywords
A strategic hashtag strategy can prove an effective tool for maximising your content’s reach. By selecting trendy hashtags that suit your niche and target audience will help improve the discoverability of your content, which means more ‘views’ for the Instagram algorithm to take into account
Interact with your audience
When posting, it is important to actively respond to comments and direct messages. Acknowledging your audience will help increase engagement and foster a sense of community.
Timing your content right can dramatically increase the exposure of your content to different kinds of audiences. By learning and understanding your audience’s behaviour, you can determine the most effective posting times to maintain a steady presence on user’s feeds.
Instagram reels have grown to become a prominent feature on Instagram, often garnering more engagement than any other types of posts. Leveraging this feature is a great way to fast track engagement and humanise your brand in a more creative way.
Instagram provides valuable insights into your audience demographics, engagement metrics, and post performance through its built-in analytics tools. By analysing these data points, you can gain valuable insights into what content resonates best with your audience and tailor your strategy accordingly.
While tackling Instagram's algorithm may feel like a challenging task, it's not impossible. Understanding how the algorithm functions, creating an effective content strategy and staying engaged with your audience will allow you to cultivate genuine connections which is fundamental to beating the algorithm. So why not embrace the challenge today?
Frequently asked questions
How is the Instagram algorithm calculated?
Instagram utilises a blend of algorithms, processes, and classifiers to ascertain the most pertinent content for each user. It takes into account an array of signals including user activity, post details, interaction history, and information regarding the content creator. These elements are meticulously analysed to curate personalised feeds tailored to individual preferences and interests.
How often shall I post to beat the algorithm?
There’s no one-size fits all answer to this question. It’s essential to strike a balance between consistency and quality. Experient with posting frequencies to see what works best for your audience. The behaviour and habits of your audience should inform your content schedule. Posting at the right time will bolster your presence on a user’s feed which in turn increases the ranking of your content.
How do I get my Instagram post to the top of the feed?
A combination of regularly engaging with your audience and posting relevant content for your audience will help keep your Instagram posts at the top of your audience’s feed.