Understanding Instagram’s Algorithm

In order to showcase your business in the most effective way, there are key elements you should know before you post.

Isabel Hosley

Posted by
Isabel Hosley on

Feb 15, 2021


According to Instagram, there are key elements within determining the algorithm. These include interest, relationship, following, timeliness, frequency, and usage. Even though a lot goes into becoming successful on Instagram, there are some vital things every business can do. Let us guide you through Instagram’s algorithm and help you understand the fundamentals behind your account.

Engagement

  • Always respond to comments received on your posts.
  • Answer all DMs clearly and individually, using indicators such as their name.
  • Engage with accounts: liking and commenting on their posts, participating in their story prompts, following them, and saving their pictures.
  • Build relationships not only with consumers of your brand, but also with competitors and likeminded businesses.

    At Akullian Creative, we have our social media management team practice engagement for our personal and client accounts every day to assure consistent social media involvement

Hashtags – They’re more important than you think

  • Look for hashtags that are popular and within your niche. If you have an idea for a hashtag, type it into your Instagram search bar to see how many posts use the same or similar hashtags.
  • Make your hashtags specific to your brand or the product being promoted in that specific post.
  • Use at least one optimized hashtag that works best for your post.
  • High volume, relevant, hashtags can be used multiple times for your brand over various posts.
  • The “magic” hashtag number is nine.

To learn more about best practices for hashtags, check out this hashtag guide by Plannthat.com

Analytics

  • Always switch to a business account so Instagram can track your analytics.
  • Instagram provides insights regarding the interactions on your posts, products, and profile. These analytics can help you decide what you need to improve on and what is reaching your audience.
  • Use analytics to track which posts your followers respond to the most and see when your followers are most active for optimal posting time frame.

Meaningful Content

  • Post photos that your followers want to see, not just photos to fit an aesthetic.
  • Posting filler pictures is actually hurting your account more than it’s helping.
  • Make your posts interesting and completely authentic to your brand/page. We recommend building a social brand guide before creating your page.
  • Use your content as a way to differentiate yourself from other similar businesses.
  • Tag-a-friend giveaway contests are a great way to get your name out there and grow your audience! Consider implementing a quarterly contest where in order to be entered one must follow and tag a friend in your post.

Consistency and Timeliness

  • If you’re not actively posting and engaging on your account, you can’t expect your followers to be active either.
  • Your account won’t grow unless you’re consistent.
  • The timing of your posts matters.
    • See what times and days your followers are the most active and post accordingly. The scheduling platform, Later, can show you the best time to post to your specific audience on their analytics page.
  • Create a consistent posting schedule that is doable for you.

At Akullian Creative, we create annual social media calendars with content scheduled out a quarter in advance. While these calendars are always subject to change depending on current events, it lays the groundwork for having a successful social media presence.

Other helpful sites:

  1. Later is a scheduling platform that allows you to plan the future of your posts, analyze the audience, post performance, and hashtag analytics. It makes it easy to plan when to post and what to post. The calendar view of future posts provides a monthly overview to see when you need to schedule more content.
  2. Moz is a helpful tool for all things SEO. The keyword search element is extremely helpful in deciding which keywords are most relevant, popular, and effective. Moz is also helpful in providing site audits, rank tracking, and backlink analysis.

Where is Instagram’s Aesthetic Headed in 2021?

Instagram trends are constantly evolving and changing, but what does 2021 hold for your feed?

  • Instagram Reels are one of the hottest, and growing trends on instagram right now. Get creative with it to promote your account!
  • Visual Brand Storytelling is becoming increasingly popular and utilizes Instagram highlights to promote the page.
  • Inclusivity and Accessibility surrounding brands is vital in building communities through your content.
  • The No-Edit Edit is a trend that’s blowing up in 2021. We’re talking tiny edit tweaks, hint of added color, and minimalistic designs.
  • Text-heavy Carousel Posts for Cause Advocacy are used to inform a brand’s community on issues from politics to social justice.

For more tips on future Instagram trends check out this blog from Later.com

Instagram is a great social media platform to advertise and showcase your business. Not only is the platform free, but your business has options to pay for additional promotions to meet a larger target audience. In order to run a successful Instagram account, it is important to understand the basic steps of engagement prior to posting.