What you need to know to get around the Instagram algorithm

CIOReview Team | Wednesday, 01 April 2020, 10:31 IST


Users miss 70% of their news feed. To ensure better user experience for its users, Instagram has adopted the same algorithm as Facebook. The objective is to offer followers priority viewing of content likely to arouse their interest. But then, on what criteria does Instagram determine the interest of a user for a post?

1) Interactions on the post

When a user or a brand publishes content on Instagram, the algorithm first presents the post to a sample of Internet users. Depending on the reaction of the latter, the post is then spread to a wider audience. The higher the number of interactions on the post, the higher the post is displayed in priority in the flow of Instagram users. The algorithm takes into account the following types of commitments:

  • Comments
  • Video views
  • Sharing (via a direct message)
  • Instagram likes
  • The number of views for a story
  • The number of views of a live video
  • Saving posts

2) The centers of interest of the community

Now, the Instagram algorithm takes into account the interest of users for a type of content. Indeed, it is based on data collected by Facebook, which makes it possible to define the centers of interest of different users.

In other words, if a user shows an interest in organic consumption, he will see the posts of organic brands appear in priority in his news feed. A fashion enthusiast will be more exposed to posts that highlight clothing or accessories. As a community manager, you need to know your audience perfectly to be sure of targeting them. Keep an editorial line in line with your activity and the needs of your community.

3) The pace of the post

The Instagram algorithm favors the display of recent content, as it is considered more relevant. Whatever the engagement rate generated by a post, the moment you publish new content, it will "cannibalize" the engagement of the previous one.

This means that the post time and the space between the two posts are among the determining criteria for the new Instagram algorithm. To take advantage of the opportunity offered by the latter, you must first carry out a competitive watch, to find out the time slots used by competitors. In addition, analyze the hours during which your community is connected and active. Based on the data obtained, create an editorial calendar that takes into account the effect of cannibalization.

Do not plan more than one post per day and, if you need to publish several, favor a story or a photo album, as the brands do when they offer a new collection or collaboration. Instead of publishing several photos in the thread, they create an album of 3-4 photos.

4) Account visits

The Instagram algorithm analyzes visits to a profile. If a user regularly visits your Instagram feed without necessarily interacting, the social network knows that it is of interest to your posts. Therefore, it will post your posts in his news feed. To encourage users to visit your profile regularly, post at least 3 to 4 times a week. Do not hesitate to comment or "like" the posts of your IG followers, to encourage them to come and view your posts. Also, mention them in your posts by sharing their content.

5) The time spent on the post

The goal of the Instagram algorithm is to present users with the most relevant content. The factor "duration of reading a post" is therefore considered to be important. Indeed, according to Facebook: “Internet users who spend time on a post must be interested in the posts that appeal to them.”

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