In 2019, along with any other social media platform (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.), Instagram uses an algorithm to evaluate content that is uploaded. What exactly does this mean? Let me break this down into simple terms. Essentially, the average social media user follows more than one person, right? Now, when you open your Instagram app, it will open to its main page as a default. This page is the feed of posts from people you follow (as well as some ad posts). If you’re following a couple of hundred people on Instagram, chances are you won’t have the time to look through your feed to see every picture posted from every account you follow. Also, not every Story or post will be promoted on the Instagram Search Feed. This is where the Instagram algorithm comes into play.
What Are Some Ways to Use the Instagram Algorithm to Your Advantage?
Make Sure Your Account is Public
If your account is private, people will not be able to see your content until you permit them. This seems obvious, but everything else in this article would be useless if you haven’t already done this.
The recommended amount a user should post a week is between one and three times. This means you should be posting on your Story and uploading pictures onto your account at least once a week, if not more.
The more you post and the more active you are on the app, the more Instagram followers you can potentially gain. The Instagram algorithm takes into account how consistently you are posting content.
Posting regularly will lead to:
• Your posts appearing higher up on other user’s feeds
• Higher chances of being featured on the Search Feed
• More people clicking on your profile
• Obviously, the more someone sees something, the more likely they are to begin exploring it further
While using hashtags, in general, will help, it’s not as simple as that. You need to be using the “right hashtags”. What do I mean by this? Let’s use an example. In this example, let’s say your goal is to get more likes on a post promoting your fashion blog. You would want to use hashtags that relate to the content in your photo as well as the content on your blog. Here’s where my term, “right hashtags”, comes into play. On Instagram, while you are adding hashtags to your post, it will show you how many times that hashtag has been recently used. You might look at the hashtags with the largest numbers and think those will be the best for promoting your post, but I would challenge you on that. In our example, we’ll say you live in Boston. Using “#fashionblogger” will be appealing because of how many people use it. Your post will then be lost in the sea of millions of #fashionblogger posts. It will be less likely to be seen. A better hashtag to use would be “#bostonfashionblogger”.
There’s nothing to say that you shouldn’t include both hashtags, but your post would be more easily found amongst 21,000 competitors instead of 105 million.
Upload Your Content at the Optimal Time
Some days and times will instantly give your post a better chance of engagement. If more people are on Instagram at a given time (high-traffic times), that means there are more people available to view your content. Research has been conducted to see when the high-traffic times are for an average week on Instagram. Here are the findings:
So, according to the data, the best days for posting on Instagram are Thursday and Friday. The best times to post are typically early morning, mid-day, and early evening. Many people are accustomed to just posting when the idea or moment hits them, however, waiting awhile could make their post perform better. Make sure to be posting at the high-traffic times on Instagram to ensure that your content can reach the largest number of users.
You now have knowledge about the Instagram Algorithm that not everyone has. These pieces of advice are the easiest pieces of advice I could give someone who is looking to start growing their account and engagement. Keep in mind that growing a following can take time. Not everyone is going to have a Kylie Jenner following, however, most users are capable of growth for their Instagram account once they begin to learn and use the Instagram Algorithm. Even just using a small bit of this knowledge when posting to Instagram is a great place to start. After all, nothing will give you better insight than trying these out and seeing the results for your account!