Hannah Jantos
October 28, 2021

Hacking the Instagram Algorithm

Do you really know what it means and how to get around it in order to optimise your Instagram strategy? 

The word ‘algorithm’ in the social media world gets thrown around like confetti. But do you really know what it means and how to get around it in order to optimise your Instagram strategy?  🤔

Algorithms on social media dictate the way in which you view content on your socials. Content is curated based on each individual using the application and based on data that is collected through your activity. So what does this mean for Instagram’s algorithm? Let’s break it down. 

Instagram has the ability to control and comb through content posted by creators, and it decides what you first see when you open up the app for the first time. Before changes to Instagram were made in 2016, the application used to show content in reverse chronological order. At the time, we all thought this was more beneficial because we got to see the latest posts, however, Instagram pointed out that our posts are now being seen 50% more than when they previously were using the chronological model. 50% is a massive increase and can significantly up your engagement if you're using Instagram to its full advantage! 

So, with Instagram's new model of content viewing the app itself decides on what content will be shown to you first, based on past behaviours such as likes, saves, comments and shares. All of these interactions impact your experience and can increase or decrease your ability to see certain content in your feed. By collecting this data, Instagram is able to curate a feed that is going to be the most appealing to your interests. 

An important factor to keep in mind when trying to improve your Instagram strategy is that the algorithm rankings fall under a few major categories. These include the relationship you have with other accounts, timeliness of posts and a user's main interests. In hospo terms, this means that if you commonly interact with content posted by local cafes in Melbourne that serve the classic smashed avo, you are more likely to come across similar content at the top of your feed instead of something totally opposite - like a stack of pancakes from a cafe in Perth! 🥞 Do you see the difference in content? 

As we said in the previous blog post, using Instagram’s insights feature can be so advantageous to your business and getting around Insta’s current algorithm, as it provides real data on what works and what doesn't for your account. Insta’s insight guide shows you what time your followers are scrolling through the gram, and you should definitely be using this to your advantage! Post at these times, because it gives you a higher chance of your content being seen at the top of your followers feed! 

To break it down further, here are our top tips for hacking the algorithm and getting your content seen by your audience:

Carousels and videos are your new best friend! 👯

Posting Carousel and video content to your feed make it three times more likely for your content to be seen compared to single-image posts - this includes reels and IGTV too! Not only do they provide this benefit, but if used correctly they can be a great way to tell a visual story and share in-depth content without having to post to your feed multiple times! 

Consistency, consistency, consistency! 📱

Don’t think that you can post and ghost Insta for months and come back thinking that your stats and engagement will remain the same! Instagram’s algorithm doesn't work this way and this technique can hinder your engagement and connection to your followers! That’s why it is SO important to remain consistent in your feed! Posting every day or a few times a week will help to maintain stability and consistency on your account and through your content! 

Don’t be shady by trying to trick the system! 🙅🏼

We all know that it happens, but buying followers and likes won’t get you far. Don’t fall into the trap of putting your hard-earned $$ towards followers because it doesn't do anything for your engagement and can actually be detrimental for your account! Instagram and external sites are able to track any unauthentic engagement on your account, so it’s super easy for them to find out whether you’re purchasing followers and likes for increased engagement. So, just don't do it! Plus, you want to see real growth on your page that came from hard work and commitment - not from fake followers! 

Numbers aren't everything! 💯

Likes, shares, and comments are all positive engagement methods and make you feel like your content is resonating with people. However, the number of likes and comments you receive are not the be-all and end-all of your Instagram strategy! Good content is hard to come by and if you’re working towards curating a feed that is fit for your audience, the rest will fall into place! It just takes time!

Engage with your audience (daily!) 👩🏼‍💻

Replying to a mountain load of comments can sometimes be a daunting task, as can engaging with other accounts' posts too! But doing this shows your consistency on Instagram and can really help to increase your engagement with just a simple comment, like or share! Engaging with your audience shows that you are interested not only in what you are trying to promote but also in your audience's opinions, which can improve your relationships with current and future customers. So basically, it's a win-win situation! 

Reels = Exposure! 😍

Reels are Instagram’s new baby and you need to take them under your wing to keep up to date with what’s trending right now! By utilising the Reels function you are opening up your account to a whole new side of the gram! Posting a good reel with informative captions and relevant, catchy music or voice-over recordings is super interactive for your audience and reels are more likely to receive higher engagement than the average static post. 

There you have it, Instagram's algorithm has been hacked and unpacked right here! Now get out there, start engaging and don’t forget about our top tips! Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog post about hashtag optimisation.