Effectively promoting your business on Instagram and accruing a loyal follower base can feel like a complex puzzle with ever-changing pieces. The critical piece of this puzzle, forming the basis for a successful Instagram growth marketing strategy, is understanding Instagram’s mysterious algorithm. This blog post aims to demystify the Instagram algorithm and give insights into how you can leverage it for your business growth.
The Instagram Algorithm: Decoded
Instagram’s algorithm is a formula that determines which posts will appear in a user’s feed and the order in which they appear. It aims to personalize user feeds, ensuring users see content that interests them the most from the accounts they engage with frequently. While the specifics of Instagram’s algorithm remain a well-kept secret, Instagram stated that it’s based on machine learning and is continually evolving based on user behaviors.
Factors Influencing Instagram’s Algorithm
Instagram evaluates various factors to determine which posts should surface on top. Here’s a deeper look:
Instagram’s algorithm predicts what content you’ll care about most, based on your past behavior. The more a user interacts with similar content, the higher the posts from a particular genre will rank on their feed.
The algorithm prioritizes content from accounts that users have interacted with in the past. This includes interactions like comments, likes, tags, and direct messages. If you frequently engage with certain profiles, their content will rank higher on your feed.
Posts that are recent are more likely to appear higher up in feeds than older posts. Instagram wants to show users the latest exciting happenings within their network.
How often a user opens Instagram also impacts the content they see. Frequent users have their feed sorted more periodically, ensuring fresh content every time they log in.
The algorithm also accommodates the volume of profiles a user follows. If a user follows a large number of accounts, there’s a higher chance they might not see all posts from every account.
The time spent on Instagram influences the diversity of posts shown. Longer sessions result in digging deeper into the catalogue, displaying posts from a wider variety of followed accounts.
Leveraging the Algorithm
Understanding each of these factors is essential in devising strategies to maximize your posts’ reach and engagement. Here’s how to leverage these algorithmic factors for successful growth marketing:
Focus on boosting post engagement. High engagement signals to Instagram that users are finding your content valuable, and hence, promotes your content to a wider audience.
Post Regularly and Consistently
Consistent posting demonstrates your active presence on the platform and helps maintain visibility in followers’ feeds. Mismanaged posting frequencies can negatively impact your engagement rates.
Post When Your Followers Are Active
Remove the guesswork from when to post by looking at your Instagram Insights, giving you data about when your followers are most active.
Creating posts that encourage users to engage can help you in the algorithm game. Asking questions, encouraging followers to tag their friends, or creating sharable content increases the chances of interaction.
Share a Variety of Content
Don’t limit yourself to one type of content; diversify with photos, videos, carousels, and Instagram Stories to keep things interesting and cater to diverse user preferences.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Adding relevant hashtags to your posts expands your content reach beyond your follower base. Ensure the hashtags used match your post and brand.
Engage With Others
Don’t purely focus on your posts’ engagement; also interact with content from your followers and other relevant accounts. It can help build relationships and improve your visibility in the algorithm.
Numerous brands have successfully leveraged Instagram’s algorithm to boost their visibility and growth. Gymshark, an online retailer, for example, fuelled its business growth primarily through its innovative Instagram strategy. A blend of user-generated content, influencer partnerships, and high-engagement content helped them create a huge community of loyal followers.
Similarly, Frank Body, an Australian skincare brand, attributed much of its success to their shrewd use of Instagram. Their creative, cheeky content approach brought about high engagement levels, triggering Instagram’s algorithm in their favor.
While Instagram’s algorithm may seem puzzling, understanding its key determinants gives you a head start in devising compelling growth marketing strategies. The algorithm’s focus on personalization provides opportunities for brands to create highly targeted, engaging content that hits the sweet spot with their audience. By staying consistent, timely, and highly engaging, you can make the algorithm work in your favor and subsequently achieve successful business growth.