Instagram marketing: Decoding the Instagram algorithm

(Last Updated On: May 15, 2023)

Are you looking to decode the secret to Instagram marketing?

There are no second thoughts about how important social media marketing is for your business. Every platform works on a different algorithm that ensures popularity and virality of posts. With Instagram, a common myth is that posting regularly and liking other profiles will suffice.

But, that isn’t the case.

There is more to Instagram marketing than what meets the eye.

What is the Instagram algorithm?

The Instagram algorithm is a complex set of rules that the platform uses to decide the order and presentation of content. It is what determines how much reach your content gets and to what audience it reaches.

The main aim of the Instagram algorithm is to show users content that is relevant to them. That’s why we see content that interests us more and each of our feeds and explore page is different from the other.

Why is it important to decode the algorithm?

Understanding the Instagram marketing algorithm can help you rank higher on your followers’ feed, thereby increasing engagement and discovery. It is crucial to not only post regularly but also use the right strategies to make the best out of it.

Ranking factors:

Although the specific details of the algorithm is not disclosed, there are certain characteristics that we can decode from it. Here are some of the factors that influence the algorithm:

  • User relationship: The more the users engage with your content, the more likely for your posts to show up on their feed.
  • Common interests of users: Determined by the hashtags you use, and what your followers engage with, it is more likely your content to show up on their feed.
  • Recency of posts: Depending on when you post and when your followers are online, your posts will show up on their feed.

How to make the Instagram algorithm work for you and get your posts seen

Oftentimes, brands and creators are faced with lesser reach and lower engagement because of the constant algorithm updates. A few changes in your Instagram strategy can help you stay ahead of the algorithm and get your content more reach.

Create good content

There is no way around this: creating original content that is relevant to your target audience is a core part of beating the Instagram algorithm.

On Instagram, the content you create could be either entertaining, informative, or both. It should resonate with your audience and drive engagement. Experiment with different content formats: reels, carousel posts, stories, and long videos.

Here’s a list of 25 Instagram post ideas for businesses to get those creative juices flowing.

Build relationships, not just followers:

Continuous engagement with your followers is great but clicking a genuine connection with them is what matters. This will encourage your users to share their thoughts and opinions about your business.

You can also promote user-generated content on your platform to help leverage your followers to engage with other profiles. You can also push for more engagement by allowing your customers to tag their friends on your posts to drive more engagement.

Respond to comments on your posts:

It is important that you respond to comments almost instantly. This plays a role in social proof for validating your content and its quality. When you reply instantly, it also ensures more people will visit and engage with your profile. Additionally, it allows users to feel a human connection and helps get more follow-up comments.

While responding to comments on your posts will help your users engage with you, you can also comment on other posts. Be sure that your comments are relevant and add value, rather than just spam their profiles. You can also get notified when these profiles post. You can also be the first one to comment on their profiles, to ensure more views.

Instagram Marketing: Decoding the Instagram Algorithm

Leverage the use of relevant hashtags

This is an ideal way of increasing your reach and a chance to show up on relevant searches. Here, you can use niche hashtags to generate leads to your profile, increase engagement and encourage new customers to check out your page.

Additionally, you can engage with posts using the same hashtags. This will go a long way in helping you generate more leads.

Instagram Marketing: Decoding the Instagram Algorithm

Related read: Best Instagram hashtags for business

Leverage the power of Instagram stories

Stories get more attention than you think!

This is because they do not come under the purview of any algorithm scanning. Hence, it’s best you leverage them before they come under the review of the Instagram algorithm.

Instagram Marketing: Decoding the Instagram Algorithm

Some ideal ways of using these stories are:

  • Use hashtag stickers: This can be your brand hashtag and is an ideal way of gaining traction.
  • Share Customer Stories: Instagram allows you to get notified every time someone shares a story, in which you are mentioned. This can be a creative way to incentivize your own followers to share your posts in their stories.
  • Engage your users with stickers: Interactive stickers can be a fun way to engage with your customers. Poll stickers, emoji sliders, and question stickers are some of the ways you can do this.

Have conversations over direct messages:

Instagram is all about conversations. The best way to know this is by checking out their chat features which encourage you to associate and engage with your followers. Direct messages help you hold more detailed conversations in private. This is an ideal way of building and nurturing your relationships.

Instagram Marketing: Decoding the Instagram Algorithm

It is also a mode of finding new leads and converting them into paying customers. Here, you can reach out to potential customers, partners, influencers and more.

Run paid campaigns and Instagram ads

A trending phenomenon seen on all social channels, especially on Instagram is the use of an influencer to acquire new customers. Here, you can either approach either a micro-influencer (less than 10,000 followers) or a macro-influencer (100,000+) followers, to help endorse your brand.

When these influencers share their experiences with your product, it is likely their followers may check your brand out as well. Depending on your budget and stage of business, you can either pick a micro-influencer or a macro-influencer. 

Track and measure your results

While you are putting in a lot of time and effort into your Instagram feed, it is vital for you to also analyze it, as well. Tracking your results in terms of engagement, profile views, website visits, and reach will help you understand what’s working for you and what isn’t. You can access these insights if you have a business profile. This is how it would look:


Instagram Marketing: Decoding the Instagram Algorithm

Create a brand with genuine relationships:

The catch when it comes to Instagram marketing, is, that it is vital to add a human element to your profile. To rank on the top of your users feed, it is essential to engage with your users. Focus on building a relationship with genuine and honest engagement and connections. This can be done via constant replying, liking and commenting on their posts and just treating each other are human beings, instead of mere digital profiles.

Social media algorithms are ever changing. Hence, it is difficult to pin down the exact to-do list to attain business recognition and success via Instagram marketing. But, what will remain a constant is building relationships beyond conversions and monetary gain.

What’s more? If you are an online business looking for an easy fix, use our payment links and free online store links. Add them in your bio like some of our uber-awesome online stores and ease out your payment related problems.

It’s literally that easy!

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  1. Understanding Instagram algorithm is whole new level of task. We get to learn what current algorithm is emphasizing on and what are the possible ways where we can grow out our account in this competitive market. Every year Instagram changes and focus where user can interact more with their followers.

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