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How Does The Instagram Algorithm Work in Social Media Marketing?

Your Ultimate Guide to Understanding How Instagram Uses Its Algorithm to Deliver Content to Your Followers

Operate Creative's Take on Instagram Algorithm - - - -

Instagram Social Media Marketing

Instagram marketing can be tough…you spent so much time designing the perfect post, used Canva to put the finishing touches, and at the end of the day, it may not get much traction...


The Instagram Algorithm has a lot to do with this. Let’s learn how the Instagram Algorithm works and why it’s important to understand to get social media marketing strategy on the right track.

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What is an Instagram Algorithm?

An algorithm sounds like some complicated math equation that you studied in high school or college. This one isn’t that complicated and doesn’t require you to have a degree in statistics. The Instagram algorithm is a group of rules that is implemented to prioritize and rank users' content on the social platform. It is used to show specific content, when it shows up, and where.

The algorithm will study the content posted to the platform and uses metadata such as hashtags, alt text, captions, and engagement, to be able to prioritize content accordingly. The algorithm will group content and analyze it to show it to the right audience. (it’s like an automatic paid ad that works for you…if set up correctly)

The algorithm was put into place so that users on Instagram do not get random posts that they may or may not be interested in. This improves customer satisfaction and helps the platform keep users engaged and excited. The algorithm is a crucial component to know for any social media manager, influencer, or business owner looking to scale their social media presence on Instagram.

How Does The Instagram Algorithm Work?

Whenever a user opens Instagram it will automatically analyze content and showcase any relevant posts. There are (2) key things that the algorithm will consider when presenting content to specific users:

  1. Engagement: Is the user engaged with the profile currently? Has the user left any comments, likes, or DM’s to the post’s author?

  2. Interest: Is the user someone who is consistently engaging with the relevant content? Based on their past behavior on the platform, Instagram can track and analyze what kind of content could be most interesting.

Some additional factors are frequency, follower count, engagement time on platform, and community management. It’s a simple algorithm with many factors that are considered to deliver the most pleasant and engaging experience possible.

Modern Changes and Trends to the Instagram Algorithm

Instagram has worked tirelessly to include more specified algorithm tactics to deliver content that is most relevant to the user. For example, these (3) factors are newly implemented to deliver that experience.

  1. The details of the post – the nitty gritty such as likes, time it was posted, tags, and length of videos or reels.

  2. Details about the user profile and your previous engagement with their posts/profile. If you’ve interacted with a profile consistently, then lots of their content will be available for you to view on your feed. If you have not, then it’s the latter.

  3. Your current activity and past activity on Instagram. This is a newly implemented feature that will analyze past behaviors to tailor a more enjoyable experience when scrolling through your feeds.

  4. AI (Artificial Intelligence) Recommendations.AI will use all this data to deliver content to your feed and reels.

5 tips for success when using the Instagram Algorithm

Instagram has worked tirelessly to include more specified algorithm tactics to deliver content that is most relevant to the user. For example, these (3) factors are newly implemented to deliver that experience.

  1. Do NOT violate community guidelines. As strict and annoying as they can be, it is crucial to follow Instagram rules so you can keep posting and let the platform work for you in your favor.

  2. Put some elbow grease into creativity: Specifically, for reels that are HOT right now. Make sure you are not copying trends, but rather building on them and implementing your version of it.

  3. Use a social media scheduling tool. Social media tools such as Buffer, are a great way to get content scheduled at peak times each day to drive more engagement.

  4. Maximize Engagement. Run some contests, give something out, whatever it takes to get more likes, comments, DM’s, is crucial to boost the algorithm in your favor.

  5. Hashtags Baby! Instagram has no clue whether the picture of your pizza is actually a pizza… Utilize relevant and trending hashtags to maximize engagement and ultimately improve your algorithm ratio in your favor.

Instagram is one of those platforms where you can showcase your brand, products, services, or yourself with an audience that is exponential!

Need help with using Instagram? Understanding its algorithm? Advertising?

The Team @ Operate Creative is here to help!

Visit our website:

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