How does the Instagram algorithm work?


Instagram has become one of the most consumed social networks today, and for this reason it has become an indispensable tool in successful digital marketing strategies, with more than 700 million active users per month.

However, it is well known that not only is it enough to publish content and wait for users to interact just for the sake of it, but it is necessary to understand more fully how the technical part of this social network works, in order to ensure that our efforts will have the expected result.

Therefore, in this article we will tell you how the new Instagram algorithm works, so that you increase your reach, and that your quality content reaches the right people every time.

Have you tried to buy Instagram followers? Do you know why it doesn’t work and what you need to do instead? If you’re not sure how to buy Instagram followers, then this article will explain how you can get the most for your money without any risk at all. After reading this article you should know why buying followers doesn’t work and how to go about making the most of the marketing opportunities on Instagram.

What is the Instagram algorithm?

If you are interested in this article, you probably already have a notion about the algorithms of social networks, however, it is worth reviewing these bases:

A computer algorithm is a set of instructions that allows you to process data and solve a problem.This in turn consists of three stages: an input, a processing and an output.

And in social networks, how does the above translate?It means that Instagram – in this case – has specific rules for choosing relevant content, in what order it should be displayed in your followers’ feed, and basically how successful your Instagram post will be.

The Instagram algorithm emerged in 2016 causing annoyance to content generators, since it directly affected the number of views and interactions of their posts.

Why did this happen? It was becausethe main change in the platform was to stop displaying the content in chronological order in the feed. Users can no longer see all of a brand’s posts if it is not relevant.

So the algorithm dictates what users can and cannot see in their feed and Instagram Stories, and this affects both the app and the web through signals that determine which posts appear at the top of the page. beginning.

So that your content is not out of the sight of your followers, you must understand how the algorithm works and the steps you must follow to make your posts relevant to Instagram.

How the Instagram algorithm works in 2020

So how does it work? What are the factors that you should take into account when publishing?

Below we have prepared a list of the 5 main factors that Instagram takes into account, since its last change in the algorithm.

1. Interest

Has it happened to you that you have consumed a specific type of content a lot and then you do not stop seeing it everywhere? It happens with practically all social networks; with suggestions from Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter trending topics , and —of course— Instagram.

In this way, something that determines that certain publications appear above others is that it isthe type of content that the user consumes the most, and also depending on the format, be it videos, images, infographics , drawings, etc.

The Instagram algorithm recognizes what the user appreciates and – based on this – shows posts accordingly, giving priority to quality.

2. Engagement

The engagement marketing is used to refer to the level of commitment that a user has with the brand. On Instagram this means that they interact with your content through likes, comments or by sharing the publication.

It will seem a bit simple and obvious, but itis a fact that Instagram takes into account the publications with a high amount of interactions, since – most of the time – a publication gets that level of attention because it is an attractive and valuable content for the users. users.

3. Relationships with other users

Beyond the preferences that a user may have, another factor that is taken into account when selecting frequent publications isthe relationship that a user has with other people.

Do you frequently visit a profile? Do you always exchange comments with the same people? Do you know some of your contacts in real life? Instagram will take note of it and prioritize your posts.

4. Number of users you follow

As we mentioned in the guide on how to get followers on Instagram, interaction with users is essential, so you must leave your profile and follow your users back and interact with them.

The algorithm values ​​this, in addition to the fact that the same users will share your content and in this way you will gain greater visibility.

Now, in the case of companies, itis important that they follow the audience they are targeting, so that in this way Instagram determines the age range, gender and location, helping you to appear in the search section to users in similar ranges.

5. Temporality

This social network has always stood out for being a generator of content that is consumed at the moment, and this fact took on even more force when the Instagram stories were launched.

This is whycontent that is relatively recent will always take precedence over photos and videos that are a couple of weeks old.

And in the same way, another aspect related to temporality is the frequency of use of the application. The more often you post to your feed and stories, the more relevant your profile will gain and the more likely it is to appear in the explore section.

Steps to take advantage of the algorithm

You already know how the algorithm works, but how can you make it work for you? To achieve this, there are a series of good practices that you must implement in your social media strategy. Here is the list:

1. Prioritize the visual

Although it has been updated over time, Instragram has been a platform focused on images since its inception. It is visual appeal that determines whether the average user will linger long enough on the post to interact.

There are several factors that play an important role in this appeal. To begin with,on Instagram there are several formats: photos and videos in the feed, Instagram stories, IGTV and reels.

In the first point you can keep the same style that identifies the brand and is recognizable to your followers. This also plays a role in maintaining continuity and harmony on your Instagram profile.

For this you can follow the same design style, photographic quality, editing presets, sticker style, etc.

This does not mean that the text of the post is irrelevant, because that is where you can explain what the image is not enough, as well as encourage interaction to increase engagement.

2. Stories do tell

Instagram is constantly updated to keep up with trends, which is why it developed the story format —which was gaining special relevance on other platforms—, where the algorithm plays an important role.

As our friends at Marca Digital mention in their marketing blog :the algorithm does not discriminate between posts and stories, which means that the interaction generated by brands in their stories can help or hurt their relevance in the feed.

The publications in the feed have some limitations since you can only place some filters, on the other hand, in Instagram stories you have at your disposal a wide variety of options to make them attractive and interesting, with which you can obtain interactions and achieve greater engagement.

Some examples of this is thatyou can use stickers, hashtags, labels, surveys, links to IGTVamong others, even put music to your images or videos.

Make use of these elements to highlight your content from the rest and observe the response that each of your posts has – duration of the visualization, number of visualizations, number of messages received in response – to better understand what they like and what they don’t your audience and create successful posts.

3. Choose the best time to post

This point is crucial if you want to appear in the feed of your followers, since depending on the turn of your business and your buyer persona you will be able to determine when your publications have more visibility.

For example, if your product is aimed at students, the best thing will be to publish outside of school hours, as well as in the case of workers or housewives. What times do you think they have available to check their Instagram account?

But don’t worry,the platform has tools that will help you determine the correct hours to reach the maximum number of users.

To access these you must have your business account configured. In addition, the tool for scheduling publications will be very useful if the frequent hours of your followers are outside your working hours or on weekends.

An important point that you should consider is that not by having many publications you will get more views, nowadays no social network accepts the bombardment of publications that can overwhelm users.

It is enough to create quality content and publish it at the right time to increase the chances of having greater visibility.

Posting at the right time will be reflected in the increase in your followers and interactions, as well as getting more likes on your post .

4. Interact with your feed

As we mentioned in the factors that Instagram takes into account to position content, interaction with other users is crucial, since the accounts that have more activity in general are always prioritized and not only that they publish more frequently.

So what specific actions are rewarded?

  • Respond to commentson your posts in less than 2 hours approximately.
  • Be naturalwith the answers you give; If the conversation does not require words as such, you can leave an emoji that describes the feeling or emotion.
  • Like and leave commentson some posts in your feed, since your followers also have quality content that is worth seeing.
  • Seek that your content encourages participation, since Instagram not only takes into account how much activity there is, but how fast it happens.

5. Use call to action

Instagram is a great platform on its own, but it can also function as a place to post interesting information to redirect users to a website.

This is more advantageous for those brands that handle e-commers, since it is a way of sharing brand content that encourages the purchase, so that users go to the site to complete the purchase.

Instagram has adapted to online stores, as it offers the option of including the link to the store in the profile, as well as being able to indicate the prices directly in the post.

In cases where the profiles have more than 10,000 followers, it is possible to place the links in the stories, which opens the creative possibilities to attract the attention of users.

Use Instagram for your marketing strategy

In conclusion: for an Instagram strategy to be as successful as possible, it requires understanding how its algorithm works, so that you have that little push that makes the difference.

Create eye-catching and quality content, post regularly and at peak times, interact with your followers, follow more people, frequently check your direct messages, and take advantage of stories.

In short: give your brand a more human meaning.

If you want to complement everything you learned in this article, we suggest you read our article on how to storytelling . And we also invite you to take a look at the Marca Digital blog , where you can find the most useful information.

About Kushal Enugula

I’m a Digital marketing enthusiast with more than 6 years of experience in SEO. I’ve worked with various industries and helped them in achieving top ranking for their focused keywords. The proven results are through quality back-linking and on page factors.

View all posts by Kushal Enugula

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