So here it is…we now know the 6 key factors that influence the Instagram algorithm for feed posts are:

🗺️ Interest⁠

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Relationship ⁠

⌚ Timeliness⁠

⏳ Frequency⁠

🕵️‍♀‍ Following⁠

🔁 Usage⁠

Thank you Instagram for the inside scoop…

But how do you use this info to level up your Insta game we hear you asking?

From Reels to Hashtags, we’ve explored the key changes you need to make to ensure you’re being seen and engaged with on a regular basis.

So let’s break it down…

🗺️ Interest⁠ & 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Relationship ⁠

These two come hand in hand when it comes to factors which influence the algorithm.

The more people who like and comment on your posts, the more often you will appear at the top of their News Feed. Another way in which your Instagram profile will be ranked by the algorithm is through the relationships you have built with your followers.

Instagram has a real focus on the user and wants to make sure that posts you are seeing are from people or accounts that they know you love. They are constantly watching to see the people you search for, direct message or if you know them in real life.

Our Interest and Relationship beating tips:

  • First things first, it might sound obvious, but you need to be on top of all the latest trends. Whether this is Reels or IGTV, you need to be using them, testing them and finding out what works well with your audience, as well as what attracts new followers. It says it all when Instagram has created an entire new tab just for Reels. Ever wondered why your Reels get more video views than your News Feed videos? Now you know! Instagram loves them, so its algorithm makes sure they are seen.
  • A top tip to make your Reels and IGTV videos even more visible is sharing them to both your News Feed and Story – the more you cross post and share on the channel the better.
  • Not only do you need to make sure that you are replying to everyone who sends you a DM but encourage them too. How? Create an engaging post which encourages your followers to drop you a DM with an answer to a question or if they are interested in learning more about something.
  • Ask your followers what they want to see from you. You can use the question sticker on Insta stories for this and it’s a great way to get feedback and tailor content accordingly.
  • We will probably say this a couple of times throughout this blog but being consistent is key. That includes having a regular posting schedule and being a real presence. You want to be the person people notice in the room! But don’t forget you have can have a presence on Instagram without always being present. Those who follow your account are following for you/ your brand – don’t spend too much time on the endless scroll seeing what everyone else is doing and trying to mimic that.
  • Not all engagements are created equal, well they are, but they’re not. Stay with us…. Instagram has said none of the main 4 metrics are weighted. Saying that, we do believe saves are important. If a user returns to your content and it’s useful, they’re likely to come back to your page in search of more gems. If you’re product based and they save something from your Shop this automatically creates a Wishlist – cool right?! You can even be pretty obvious with it – sometimes we like to add an arrow on our content with a little reminder where the save button is.

Do a combination of the above and it will be a big tick from the Instagram algorithm.

⌚ Timeliness⁠, ⏳ Frequency⁠ & 🔁 Usage

How to make sure your business is there? Hello frequency! Post regularly with quality content that people are going to want to engage with. It’s not just the image or video that needs to stand out either, make sure your post copy encourages engagement and another little tip from us… reply to every comment you receive on a post, the algorithm loves it!

Posting regularly can be daunting to many but keep a close eye on your Facebook Creator Studio account over the next few months, as a new feature rolls out, which would allow you to plan your Instagram Feed well in advance with a new calendar. Exciting times!

Anyway back to the Instagram algorithm.

Once you have that engaging content and copy ready to go, you need to think about when is best to post that content.

There are many tools out there which will tell you when the best time is to post for your business, but we always say do your own research. Test posting early in the morning, lunchtime and in the evening and see when you get the most engagement and on which day of the week.

Our Timeliness and Frequency beating tips:

  • If you are not already, start checking your insights regularly to see when your own unique best time to post is. Then you can schedule your content accordingly, knowing your community will most likely be active and therefore ready to engage (see all points above 🤪)
  • Try out some day specific hashtags too i.e. #breakfastrecipes, #lunchrecipes and #dinnerrecipes and see how much of an impact they have on the time that you post and the engagement it brings.

Did you know that users who only spend a few minutes on the app each day will just be served the day’s highlights, whereas a user who spends a considerable amount of time on Insta may even run out of content so the algorithm will begin to service them ‘suggested content’ from accounts the algorithm has determined they will like.

🕵️‍♀‍ Following⁠

The final way that you can ensure that you are beating that very algorithm is through the people and accounts that you are following. A thorough and well thought out manual follower build will process will make sure that you are following the right kind of people.

Our following beating tips:

  • The number of inactive accounts you see will surprise you… unfollowing them is a super simple way to improve your ranking.
  • Go to ‘following’ and have a look through the categories. Start with ‘least interacted with’ and unfollow accounts you’re just not engaging with.
  • If you find someone here you’ve not seen in ages and miss, get liking their content and saving a few posts.
  • You can also sort who you follow in order of when you started following them – ‘earliest’ or ‘latest’ – so go right back to those who you followed first. Your account might have changed a lot since then and your interests too so don’t be afraid to unfollow those who just aren’t for you anymore.

So there we have it the 6 key factors broken down, but we couldn’t possibly just leave you there could we? Let’s take a look at our favourite feature…Instagram stories.

To put it simply, you need to be using them on a daily basis. Your business or brand stories will be those that show up first on a followers or customers Instagram app, if they are stories which are regularly viewed and engaged with.

How to ensure they are up there? Post regularly and we are talking 5-6 times a day at least. Why? The more views that you get on your stories, the better the Instagram algorithm will rank your stories amongst the thousands of others out there. But that being said, don’t post just for the sake of it. You don’t want to turn your audience off because what you’re posting isn’t interesting and controversially we’ve seen some accounts benefit from NOT posting stories for 24 hours and then the next one they post (boom!) all the views.

From sharing UGC and your own News Feed posts, to behind-the scenes content and going live on your stories, the opportunities are endless and remember, make sure you are using all the interactive and engaging tools which Instagram provides you with. Try a countdown sticker to an announcement alongside regular hashtags and check out those views!

It is those Story views as well as engagements on your News Feed posts, Reels and IGTV posts, which creates interest in your Instagram account.

We’d love to know if you follow these 6 steps and how your feed changes, your content is being engaged with and how you’re influencing the algorithm. Any questions – our DM’s are always open!

 

Charlotte Farringdon 

Huddle Social – Co-Director 

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