Without question, Instagram has become a must-use platform for any business wanting to reach a wider audience. But Instagram marketing goes beyond posting high-quality photos. To fully take advantage of its marketing potential, it’s imperative to understand how the Instagram algorithm works.
In 2016, Instagram put an end to its reverse-chronological feed, much to the dismay of many users. To this day, many people are imploring Instagram to bring back the old feed, but the company stands firm on implementing its new algorithm, which they say proves more effective in showing the exact content each user wants to see.
Interestingly, the Instagram algorithm shares many parallels with the Google algorithm. It also uses ranking signals, and Instagram even goes into detail about the most influential factors that decide how each user’s feed is arranged.
Content that users interact with a lot enjoys the highest priority. This means that the best way to boost your Instagram account in 2019 is to develop a solid relationship with your followers. If your content gets plenty of likes and comments, then you have a better chance of getting seen by people that show an interest in your niche. Even DMs play a crucial role in increasing engagement, as Instagram considers accounts that exchange messages to be “close.”
The power of the new algorithm lies in its use of the past behavior of users. This involves “machine vision,” a relatively new technology that assesses the content of a photo. Facebook and YouTube use a similar process for determining what content to recommend to users. As a marketer, this allows you to focus on creating high-quality content and letting the algorithm do its job of finding people who are genuinely interested in your content.
The algorithm now prioritizes newer posts. This requires developing a more aggressive content calendar, but not to the point that you’re sharing content just for the sake of it. You need to pay attention to the behavior of your audience, cater to their needs, and post when they’re online.
While it may sound cliché, it’s best to focus most of your time and effort into creating great content that both existing and potential followers will like. Note that there’s nothing wrong with going for both quality and quantity. Just be sure to plan out your content calendar to manage any increase in posting volume.
It’s also beneficial to try different forms of content on Instagram. Your followers may like interacting with your photos, but there’s no reason not to try posting videos, creating stories, or even going live. According to Instagram, Stories and Live videos don’t affect the feed. But as a marketer, these can prove to be powerful tools for increasing user engagement.
Lastly, it pays to encourage people to turn on their notifications. Obviously, this means more people will see your content, but this can also do wonders for getting more engagement in each of your posts. A casual reminder now and then wouldn’t hurt, especially if you’re sharing valuable content in the first place. This is one of the most underutilized ways of impressing the Instagram algorithm.