Breaking Down Instagram's Algorithm
The dreaded algorithm … let’s break it down and talk ways to help a sista out!
The other day I was talking with a friend who was ready to throw her phone against a wall complaining about … you guessed it, the algorithm! Instagram’s algorithm has a bad rep but it’s really very simple.
Here’s how I helped her out.
Let’s take Google for example! With a little SEO work and some killer content, you can begin ranking on Google if you have a blog/website.
Google wants to show people what they want to see!!! If I am searching “How to style a blazer?” Google is going to show me the websites that people like most! What goes into that?
- People have stayed on the website long
- People have clicked around on the website
- People have purchased, saved, or shared something from the website
This tells Google people are loving the site and therefore it will rank high!
If Google showed you websites that you didn’t like… well then, Google wouldn’t be massively amazing now would it?
Don’t get me wrong I know how frustrating it can be to post a photo you’re extremely proud of just to be let down… but YOU have to do the world and it’s hard, time-consuming, and doesn’t happen overnight.
Instagram wants to show you what you want to see (like Google) and honestly, that makes sense…
If Instagram showed me a bunch of car accounts I would get bored easily! Instead, I engage a lot with fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers… hence my feed is flooded with amazing babes who share similar interests with me.
Here’s how to work with the algorithm
Instagram wants you to use their app! - which people often think scrolling/liking random images does the job but it certainly does not.
Instagram bumps up accounts that people are engaging with!
Now, before you hang your head low and say no one can see your photos… that means you work harder because if YOU are engaging and supporting others that will help and people will be able to engage back with you.
If you’re posting a photo and then stepping away and just responding back to your own comments… you will continue to stress out and girl, life's too short! It’s just Instagram.
Strengthen your relationship:
Engage in DMs, on stories, other accounts similar to you, explore the hashtags you use and comment on those, save images, like similar accounts ALL of those actions begin to create a solid relationship.
If users have enjoyed certain types of posts in the past, the algorithm is more likely to show that type of post to them in the future.
For example: if you interact with verified or business accounts more, they might be more likely to see posts from that type of account. If they watch a lot of videos, the same deal.
Posts that are more recent are more likely to be pushed to the top of people’s feeds. This means that posting when your audience is online is crucial! You can track your audience by switching to a business account and frequently looking at your audience insights.
Instagram wants you to use their app… it’s as simple as that! So if you’re posting consistently when your audience is active = you’ll be on the right track. I personally post every day and give myself a break Saturday and Sunday (you don’t have to follow this… as I think posting on the weekend is brilliant - I just need the mental break!)
Use hashtags properly:
I have been using Flick and have fallen in love! Using niched down hashtags that do not have 2.5million posts attached to the hashtags will help. I like to stick between low competition and medium competition (2k - 200k posts on a hashtag)
If you’re using “#FashionBlogger” well guess what - that has 130 MILLION people on that hashtag! So unless you’re Kim Kardashian you will be lost in the shuffle therefore that hashtag won’t be helpful to you.
If you implement these actions into how you view Instagram’s platform you will grow slowly. It’s hard, frustrating and if you’re a mom, have a full-time job it can be hard to dedicate so much time to a platform but this is in fact how to navigate the algorithm.
Are you willing to do the work?
Outfit Details: Knit by Charlotte Russe, Skirt by Amaryllis, Hat by Anthropologie