PART ONE (how it works)

Algorithms are what determine who actually sees the content you publish and who doesn’t. Algorithms are important to understand because they literally control our social media successes or failures to an extent.

It’s difficult to hack the algorithm and it is definitely not sustainable to bang around trying to find the remedy. We at Heropost believe that rather than chasing some mythical algorithm hack creature it’s better to understand the beast

FIRSTLY YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND ONE MAJOR PRINCIPLE ABOUT INSTAGRAM.

Instagram is a company that exists to maximize profit. They do that by maximizing the time we spend on the app so they can sell our attention to advertisers. Therefore Instagram pushes forward posts that will engage people the most meaning we are on the app for longer. Ultimately meaning that you need to create content that is highly engaging to be algorithm proof so as to speak. Don’t forget that Instagrams algorithm is smart and is always changing to the trends hence you must use Heropost analytics to keep up with the trends.

Julian Gutman, the product lead for Instagram feed, put forward 6 important factors that influence the algorithm.

  • Interest
  • Relationship 
  • Timeliness
  • Frequency 
  • Following 
  • Usage

1. THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM KEEPS TABS ON WHAT YOU LIKE.

You need to understand that the more the Instagram algorithm thinks you will “like” that post, the higher it will appear in your feed. This is why when you like a specific type of post, you seem to see more of them. The Instagram algorithm feature also determines what type of content you will see in the future,based on your current liking patterns. What you see in your Instagram feed is a combination of all of your Instagram behaviours. 

The algorithm will basically craft your feed by based on your: 

  • comments
  • likes (NOT SEEN IN OTHER COUNTRIES HOWEVER THE SAVE BUTTON FEATURE IS KEY AS IT COULD GIVE YOU AN INDICATION ABOUT WHO LIKES YOUR POST) nb knowing how smart Instagrams algorithm is, this is may also play a part in it algorithm
  • reshares
  • video posts
  • views

2. THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM WATCHES ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS.

The Instagram algorithm prioritizes showing you posts from your friends, family, and accounts that you care about. Basically your interactions with people will signal to the algorithm that these people are close to you, therefore, you will see more of them on your feed.

Interactions, in Instagram’s case, refers to likes, comments, shares, DMs, time spent viewing the post, saves, and a few other metrics none of us know Instagram is measuring. What this means is that if you constantly do the above, your feed will reflect those accounts. 

Instagram has determined that we tend to stay on the app for longer when we see posts that cause us to interact with them more, for example, family and friends because we most likely comment and like every time.

3. THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM CONSIDERS TIME

Instagram’s algorithm cares about when you posted, instead of just the content or engagement on the post. This is because it always wants to serve you with the latest posts. 

4. THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM USES FREQUENCY TO SORT YOUR POSTS

This algorithm is great because if you’re a frequent scroller, your feed will look more chronological. If you’re always constantly checking your page Instagram will show you the best posts since your last visit. The Instagram algorithm yearns for fresh stuff therefore the more you check Instagram the more you will be fed fresh content.

5. THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM KEEPS TABS ON YOUR FOLLOWING

The more people you follow the more complicated things may become because you will not be able to catch up with a lot of the different content. Think of it as a deck of cards but now add like 10 more decks. 

6. THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM CALCULATES YOUR APP USAGE

The more you’re on Instagram the more content you will be fed. The less time you spend, the less content. This is the clearest point about How the Instagram Algorithm works.

THE EXPLORE PAGE

The Explore page is a summary of what Instagram thinks you will enjoy. It operates under its own algorithm. Sue Zimmerman states that the “Explore page and the feed are quite similar as they both deliver content that Instagram thinks you’ll be most interested in, based on your interactions.”

The Explore page is great in the sense that you see what others are posting, therefore you can then gauge your content against theirs. Getting your posts onto the Instagram Explore page isn’t difficult you just have to:

I hope you have understood HOW THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM WORKS.

START ORGANIZING, START PLANNING, START SCHEDULING, START AUTOMIZING, START MARKETING, START GROWING YOUR INSTAGRAM CONTENT WITH HEROPOST 

END OF PART ONE OF THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM SERIES.

NEXT UP IS PART TWO OF THREE OF THE INSTAGRAM SERIES ( IS ABOUT TIPS TO BEAT THE ALGORITHM)

 

 

Emily Brown

Emily Brown

Emily Brown, lead content producer at Heropost. I hold a Degree in Communication and Journalism from USC. Family, friends, dogs and sunshine with a bit of surfing in between.