5 Ways to Make the Instagram Algorithm Work for You
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by the Instagram algorithm. If you’re reading this, it’s more than likely you have an Instagram account that has been affected by the algorithm. It’s hard to go one day without seeing someone complain about how the algorithm is hiding their post and causing their engagement rate to go down. The truth is, the Instagram algorithm affects us all—but it’s not something you should allow to defeat you.
Yes, it can be a tricky subject to navigate and understand—but Instagram isn’t trying to sabotage your hard work. In reality, they are actually trying to help you and your users have a more personalized experience on their platform. The best thing you can do for yourself and your platform is to adapt and adjust to the algorithm. In order to help you achieve this new “social mantra,” we’ve researched and tested a few techniques—and we even reached out to some of our content partners to learn how they are able to combat the Instagram algorithm. Keep reading to check out our top five tips!
Dayna Bolden, a Lifestyle and Beauty Blogger and Entrepreneur based in Baltimore, Maryland says, “Build a community and engage back with your audience. It is extremely important to keep the conversation going and talk back and respond to your audience. I dedicate at least 25 minutes after I post to respond back to comments and ask questions. Getting a large number of comments fast will help show IG that the content is engaging, and the algorithm will open it up to more people. I also build community by responding to all DM's. This shows your audience that they can talk to you, and they are more likely to comment and engage with your content.”
Dayna says it best when she suggests to talk with and respond to your audience! This seems so simple but when you do this, Instagram takes notice and will boost your post to those currently engaged followers feeds. I love how Dayna puts aside at least 25 minutes a day to engage with her followers and build more brand loyalty which, in turn, positively affects the algorithm on her account. This is an easy solution to not only grow your audience but also help you show up in the feeds of those who already follow you.
BONUS TIPS: If you want to engage with people who don’t follow you and don’t know where to start, here are a couple tips I have found useful for my personal profile.
Find similar accounts to yours and engage with people who commented on those posts. They are likely to engage back and follow you.
Search and or follow hashtags that you use on your posts. Engage with the people who use those hashtags and create conversation with them.
Post when your followers are online.
Instagram now puts the newest posts at the top of feeds and if you’re proactive and post when your followers are online, they will be more likely to see it! If you have an Instagram Business account, this is where you’re able to put it to great use. Rely on your post insights to see when your followers are most active on Instagram and then post during those times. If you post an hour before or after the majority of your followers are most active, your post will be hidden by other people who posted at a better time. If you haven’t made the switch to a business account, we highly recommend doing so. There are so many great features you’re able to utilize, such as the swipe up feature and follower insights. If you want to learn more about setting up a business account, click here.
Stay true to yourself and your personal brand.
Jessica, the writer, photographer, and recipe developer behind Choosing Chia, shared with me, “I don't believe there is a way to ‘beat’ the Instagram algorithm, as it's constantly changing. The best way to deal with it is to stay true to yourself and create content that you love to share. For myself, as long as I maintain integrity with my content, I'm happy with my Instagram feed—no matter the likes or growth.”
I couldn’t agree more with Jessica! Especially here at Ahalogy, where we don’t focus on the numbers, we love to see content creators focusing on quality content they are proud to share with the world. She truly focuses on maintaining integrity with her personal brand.
People on Instagram can easily spot when an influencer is being fake and promoting items that don’t reflect their brand. This causes trust issues between the influencer and followers and will likely result in an unfollow or low engagement. As silly as it sounds, stay true to yourself and your brand—people who enjoy your content will engage with you more.
Turn on post notifications.
Remind your followers to turn on their post notifications! This one is so important because every time you post to your feed or story, your followers will have direct access to your post. This feature can help get more eyes on your content and hopefully encourage your followers to engage more on your posts. Don’t overshare with your followers to turn on post notifications because that can be annoying, too. My recommendation is to share twice a month and explain the value and importance of why your followers should turn on their post notifications. Give them a reason to turn on notifications. Maybe host a monthly giveaway or give weekly hints about an exciting project or blog post you’ve been working on.
You’re allowed to be disappointed and upset about the ever-changing algorithm, but that won’t change Instagram HQ’s mind. The best way to deal with the Instagram algorithm is to be adaptable and open-minded. Shift the amount of time spent worrying and dwelling on the algorithm to adapting and changing. In all honesty, the algorithm isn’t going anywhere and news flash: it will probably continue changing over the years.
With the ever-growing changes and updates to Instagram and other social media outlets, we can no longer rely on them to cater to all our needs. If you’re worried about the direction Instagram is going, then use your Instagram account to drive followers to platforms you own—like your blog. Encourage followers to sign up for your email list and invest in building quality content that will keep them coming back for more.
We’d love to hear how you’re being successful on Instagram, so let us know if you have any tips on how to deal with the algorithm down below! If you’re not already part of the Ahalogy Sponsored Content Program, follow this link to register. Or, if you’re looking for more guidance or advice on how to deal with the Instagram algorithm, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
About the Author | Hannah Hardin, Influencer Relations Specialist
As an Influencer Relations Specialist at Ahalogy, Hannah builds, manages, and maintains relationships with digital content creators.