Let’s Break Down the Instagram Algorithm

September 22, 2019

Hi guys! I have a quick & easy blog post for you today breaking down the Instagram algorithm. I see a lot of people struggling to grow on Instagram and often blame changes in the algorithm for it when sadly, that’s just not the case. My hopes are that by breaking the algorithm down, I’ll be able to reframe people’s mindsets on it.

1. Relationship

Relationships play a huge factor in the Instagram algorithm. That being said, this is why crucial to have a strong relationship with your community. A user who has interacted with your content in the past is likely to see your content in the future. If your community is highly engaged with your content, leaves you comments, have notifications enabled for your account, privately DM you, etc., then the algorithm will recognize this and prioritize your content to be shown because people interact with it.

2. Interest

If an Instagram user has an expressed interest in a specific topic or niche and your Instagram account aligns with those same interests, the likelihood of your content showing up in their feed is increased. For example, if someone has expressed an interest in clean skincare and beauty and your account posts reviews of clean skincare and beauty products, then it’s going to increase the chances of your content showing up because that person has indicated to Instagram (based on past behavior) that they are interested in clean skincare and beauty. This is why your account needs to be focused and have a defined niche. You have to be consistent with the topics you are posting about and using targeted hashtags, otherwise Instagram will get confused and not be able to recommend your content to people with those expressed interests.

3. Timeliness/Recency

With over 500+ million active daily users (as cited by omnicoreagency.com), Instagram is only showing the latest and the greatest content. That means that if you are not consistently showing up and posting on your feed, IGTV, or on stories, then Instagram will not push your content to your audience. It’s important to be consistent on Instagram and pushing out new content on a frequent basis if you want to be top of your audience’s mind.

Final Thoughts

Now that you understand how the algorithm works, it’s time to stop blaming it for your lack of growth and start focusing on the audience you presently have. Ask them what kind of content they want from you (you can do this with a simple story poll) and deliver it to them. Constantly be gathering their feedback and modifying your processes. If you’re blaming your lack of growth on the algorithm, chances are you’re not engaging with your audience enough.

When I work with clients to plan their social strategies, I always have the mindset that the algorithm does not exist. Because when you have a REAL audience that engages with your content because they genuinely love your work, you’ll never worry about the algorithm again.

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