Instagram has an exceptional way of displaying posts on a users timeline. It is in no way a simple chronological system of posts from the accounts a user may follow. It is, in fact, a revolutionary optimized algorithmic feed that is meant to satisfy the users of the platform. If you are a business, store, or brand, then you will need to pay close attention to this Instagram Feed.

The best part is that the Instagram algorithm based feed is the first thing that each and every one of the 1 billion subscribers sees first when entering the app. Getting to the top of that feed can equate to vast amounts of exposure to your brand and additional business opportunities. Mastering the Instagram algorithm will take time, but first, you need to understand precisely what it is.

Increase brand exposure taking advantage of Instagram algorithm

Source: Unsplash


What is the Instagram Algorithm?

The Instagram algorithm is the order of the posts that a user will experience when scrolling through their feed. The posts in an Instagram users feed is made up of posts from the people that the user has followed. These posts are not chronological, as they do not appear on a timeline according to the time the posts were shared.

Instead, Instagram has chosen to optimize a users timeline to present the user with the best experience possible. Instagram achieves this by prioritizing the most relevant posts in your feed. These posts are placed right at the top to gain more visibility, while posts with less priority end up lower down.


How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work?

By doing this, Instagram will deliver to you the best kind of content based on your likes and other factors. Some of these factors include:-

  • Time of post
  • Interest towards similar posts
  • Relationship with the user

Instagram dealt with a chronological timeline in the past. Many users prefer this. However, if you are not online for a while, you could miss some good posts. Even with the feed being optimized, Instagram still prioritizes newer posts over older ones.

Instagram can pick up on the type of posts and accounts that you show interest to. If you follow three clothing store accounts on Instagram and are in love with one, in particular, Instagram will then recommend the other two. The algorithm will from time to time place-specific posts from the other two accounts near the top of your feed.

This is great if you have an online store similar to other stores. You can capitalize on your similarity by seeking out users that follow your competitor stores. Instagram also favors posts from users that you may have interacted a lot within the past. This helps with continuity, allowing users to keep up with other users on a long-term basis.


Negative Thoughts

This sort of "optimized timeline" approach has come under plenty of scrutinies, especially from advanced users. The negative feedback from various groups of people is directed at any social platform who adopts this optimized timeline, such as twitter, facebook, and youtube.

Advanced users want to be able to log in every time and view posts in their timeline accord to the time the post was uploaded. These users don't appreciate an algorithm recommending posts for them to view. It certainly makes sense to have a chronological feed. However, if you do follow many users, then your feed can become oversaturated.

This is a problem that Facebook suffered. Users were mostly viewing posts from just one or two regular users who posted content hourly. Now the posts on Facebook are spread out evenly across different users. Twitter did not adopt this early on and had to pay the price by losing market share due to an unenhanced timeline experience.


Important To Remember About the Timeline

Instagram has released information regarding the factors taken into account when allocating posts to a timeline. Some of these factors are mentioned above (time, interest, and relationship). The information Instagram released also explained that users who don't spend long periods of time in the app will most likely have lower odds in viewing your content.

Users who follow more accounts will have more competition for the top of their feed. Business accounts are regarded to have a similar organic reach to that of personal accounts. This means that it won't be more difficult for you to interact with Instagram users if you switch to a business account.


Increase brand exposure taking advantage of Instagram algorithm


Getting To the Top

If you have an online store or brand, posting generic pictures of your products isn't going to cut it. The only time your posts will continuously appear at the top of a users feed is if the user is passionate about your brand (unlikely if you just started on Instagram) or if your account is the only account they follow.

You will have to interact more with your users to take things to the next level, literally, because, well you are trying to make it to the top! It's time to focus on relationships and to engage in comments.


Create Relationships

If a user follows a close friend on Instagram and they regularly converse, then that friends posts will most likely always be at the top of their feed. Try to develop similar relationships by chatting more often with users.

An example would be to include posts that encourage users to share their thoughts. This will allow you a chance to respond to people's thoughts giving you the opportunity to converse.


Comment on Relevant Posts

Commenting on other users posts is huge on Instagram. This is a great way to get discovered, as well as build relationships. Mainly if you are commenting on posts that are of a similar niche to you or from a similar user.

Even the biggest influencers on the platform comment on other posts. Look into more significant accounts that your target audience are likely to follow. Follow these accounts and comment on there so that you can get a conversation going.


Post When Your Followers Are Active

Time and recency are considered a factor in the Instagram algorithm. That is why you would want to post at the right time even though there is no chronological factor involved.

Test out for yourself and find out which is the best time to post for to your followers. Is it weekend, weekdays, is Monday morning a good time? Instagram business accounts have access to insights that allow them to view the times when most of their followers are online.


Respond To Comments Quickly

Most high-level business and personal accounts respond to comments as fast as possible. In doing so, it creates social proof for their content. Increasing comment count will encourage more comments.

More and more comments will also increase the value of the post, allowing it to rank higher in searches and hashtags. If you post something, stay online for a while so you will be able to respond quickly.

It's important to remember that the Instagram algorithm is constantly evolving. The platform is always developing new ideas that are aimed towards better user experience. Posting great content is only the beginning. You will have to increase your engagement and relationship with your followers if you wish to succeed on Instagram.


Author's Bio: 

Ecango is the ultimate marketing automation platform of the future. Our easy-to-use and powerful platform allow online store owners to market like pros. Get started in minutes, rather than days. Ecango is a global provider of powerful marketing automation tools for online website owners. With the power of marketing intelligence, you can get started in minutes, rather than days. Our software has been developed from expert marketing strategies that were conceived from years of experience through building effective marketing systems whilst working directly with merchants.