How It Works: Instagram Algorithm

Gone are the days of blaming the algorithm for our poor performing content.

As an Instagram business owner, we are all about growing our account. And the best way to grow is to reach new audiences.

So, how can we get the algorithm to push out our content? We learn how it works and then capitalize on that information.

Lets get into it.

What is it?

Every piece of content posted to Instagram is filtered through classifiers, combing to find the best content for the individual. 

Technology sorts content based on preference to keep users on the app longer. But it isn’t just one algorithm doing the sorting. Instead, it’s multiple, and they all work a little bit differently. 

“We use a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose,” wrote Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri. “We want to make the most of your time, and we believe that using technology to personalize your experience is the best way to do that.”

So the question is, how can we get the algorithm to favor our content, push it out, and supersize our reach to help build our Instagram business?

Read below to get to know the different algorithms and how your content can get pushed to the top.

Instagram Feed Algorithm

Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s address the algorithm myth. ⁠

⁠So many of us blame the algorithm for hating our content or our business. But the truth is that the algorithm likes what we like. So, the more other people like your content, the more it will get pushed out. 

⁠Here is a basic step-by-step breakdown.

⁠Step 1: You post your awesome content, and about 10% of your audience sees it first. ⁠

⁠Step 2: This small portion of followers engages with the post. ⁠

⁠Step 3: Based on this engagement, the algorithm flags your content as quality and pushes it out to more and more people. If your content has not performed well, it will stop pushing it out. ⁠

Step 4: Your post ranks on the explorer page or top hashtag page based on the engagement, which will continue the cycle of increased engagement. ⁠

⁠But the feed is just one piece of the Instagram puzzle.

Instagram Story Algorithm

Stories are super binge-able and super-saturated, making it hard to get more views for your business. ⁠

⁠As you may know, stories are an excellent place for you to be showing up. ⁠

⁠Here you can get to know your audience with the stickers and polls, have your audience get to know you as a person and business owner, and chat/sell your offers often. ⁠

⁠So how can you get more people to view your “pop-ins?”⁠

⁠> When you consistently show up in stories, your audience will start to look for you there! For example, carpool chronicles, morning to-do lists, musical jam of the day. ⁠

⁠> Getting to the front of the line-up will def get you more views, and you get there by having more convos in the DMs with the people you want to check out your stories most. ⁠

⁠> Stories have so many fun stickers that your audience can interact with; the more they do… the higher your stories rank! ⁠

Most of my followers watched IG Stories more than they scrolled on the IG Feed when polled. But once again, this is only a part of the social media puzzle.

Instagram Reels Algorithm

ICYDK: The Instagram Reels feed is entirely made up of suggested content, so knowing how the Instagram Reels algorithm works is key.

Throughout the introduction of Reels, the algorithm and how random the app pushed content has been open to much speculation. 

As the feature has evolved, the formula for success has become clear. 

How to Create Favorable Reels

> High Performing Content Ranks. Create entertaining, inspiring, and educational content your audience will enjoy and engage with. 

> Creative Tool. Using IG’s tools like text, filters, and effects will make your content more accessible, engaging, and eye-catching. 

> Use Sounds. Reels aren’t only for dancing. You can add sound to set the mood or add a fun voiceover for a behind-the-scenes video. 

> Organic Content. Instagram prefers videos explicitly created in the app that doesn’t include the “other apps” watermark.

> Quality Videos. One huge non-negotiable for producing successful reels is using high-resolution shots with good lighting. 

Reels are vital to add to your social media strategy if you haven’t already. 

So, now what?

Knowledge is power. Now that we know what the algorithm likes, we no longer blame the algorithm for our shitty content. 

We are using what we know about the algorithms to our advantage to help grow our Instagram business. 

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