Social Media Tips for Working with the Instagram Algorithm

Thanks to the Instagram algorithm that was implemented in 2016, users see 90 percent of the posts from their friends and family, compared to only 50 percent before the Instagram feed algorithm was introduced. This year, Instagram shared the six key ranking factors publicly. Now that we know these factors, mastering the infamous algorithm has become more manageable.

Included below are a few tips to help you better engage with your audiences and make sure your content is seen. These six main factors determine what users will see in their Instagram feed:

1) Interest

The algorithm predicts how interesting your followers will find your post and ranks it in others’ feed based on this standard.

Tip: Conduct a social media audit and look at your business’ Instagram posts from the past six months. Which posts have had the best engagement? Identify the top 10 to determine key themes and trends. Recognize which content has performed best and replicate it in creative ways to better engage.

2) Timeliness

The algorithm prioritizes 1-2-day old posts, which rank higher in Instagram feeds.

Tip: It still stands true, post when your followers are most active and post regularly. That way you are continually popping up in your followers’ feed!

3) Frequency 

How often someone opens the Instagram app, determines how many posts and which type of posts they will see. The algorithm shows the user the best posts since their last visit.

Tip: Be consistent with your followers and share content that you know they will find engaging, so you can encourage them to open up the app even more! Also, engage through Instagram Stories. With over 300 million daily active users, utilize the platform’s new features to stay relevant with your audiences. Although engagement in Insta Stories does not count towards your post ranking, it is a great way to interact and stay top of mind.

There are also three additional factors that play a role in your rankings:

4) Relationship

The algorithm prioritizes your posts the more you interact with others on the platform.

Tip: In order to gain or attain your follower’s interest, ask a simple question within your caption and have followers answer in the comment section. Hosting quick and easy to execute giveaway’s is another great way to build a relationship. It gets your product in the hands of others and is a fun and interactive way to engage with your followers!

5) Following

The less Instagram profiles people follow, the more likely they are able to see more content from feeds that they care about.

Tip: Here is another tough one to “control” but attaining an engaging community is helpful! Be sure to engage in conversation through comments, likes, and direct messages, and look at who has been utilizing your company hashtag each day. Checking these throughout the day will assure that you maintain an engaging feed.

By the way, do you have a company hashtag? If you don’t, create one now! Be sure that it is strategic, applicable and unique.

6) Usage

Whether someone prefers to browse Instagram in short spurts or longer sessions may also affect what the algorithm is feeding them.

Tip: The Instagram algorithm is based on user habits and general public habits towards your account. Therefore, focus on keeping followers engaged with quality content!

Like anything, social engagement takes time, dedication and quality content. If you’d like social media strategy and content support, Seed would be happy to further discuss. You can give us a call at 404-996-4041 or shoot us an old-fashioned email at In the meantime, check us out on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

We would also like to stress that like all media channels, Instagram and Facebook (same company) should have a paid sponsorship component. We can help budget, set-up, and manage paid social efforts as well.

Let's Chat
Let's Chat

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.