How to use the Instagram algorithm for growth

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses. It has over 1 billion active monthly users, and it’s growing rapidly.

It has come a long way from when it first started as a simple photo-sharing app, and today there are numerous tools and services associated with it, some more popular than others. Nowadays, you can even run into story viewers for Instagram that allows you to view someone’s Instagram story anonymously.

And with so many people using Instagram every day, there are plenty of opportunities to reach new customers through this platform. But how can you get your business more exposure on Instagram? You need to grow your account.

This is easier said than done and to a new user or business, this might be a very daunting idea. The good news is that Instagram uses algorithms to determine the success of accounts, and where there are algorithms, there are rules that dictate how it works. If you follow the guidelines that form that framework of the algorithm, you will soon see success. Below are a few tips on how to use the Instagram algorithm for growth.

Posts Need to be Timed

The first thing to know about the Instagram algorithm is that different algorithms are being used simultaneously. For example, when it comes to the Home feed, the time something was posted is less important than how much the previous posts from a specific account were engaged with, how often they’re engaged with by a specific user, and how often that user opens the platform.

This means that if your posts aren’t being engaged with by a specific user, it doesn’t matter when you post it because they will see other accounts’ posts before yours.

This doesn’t mean that timing posts aren’t essential, since if users do engage with your content then you should post at the times when they are most active so they can see your content. Posting at least twice a day, at the same time, is also great for being discovered in the Search tab.

Use All the Features

Something that many users of Instagram don’t do, which is to their detriment, is not using all of the features that Instagram offers. There are many methods of posting available on Instagram, such as Stories, Reels, IGTV, Live, and more. Each of these methods of posting, or features, serve a purpose, and understanding what they do is key to growth.

Using Reels for example exposes you to hundreds, if not thousands of users at random, at least until the algorithm figures out what content that user likes. This is great for targeting hundreds of users within your niche. Stories on the other hand are perfect for generating engagement with your followers.

Hashtags are Vital

Another extremely important aspect of the Instagram algorithm is the hashtag. Every social media platform uses hashtags to group content, which in turn makes it much easier to be found by users. This is why you should include hashtags with every post, especially if you are trying to target specific users.

The hashtags you use need to be relevant to what you are posting about, so for example if you are posting within the food niche, you should use hashtags like “#cooking”, “#foodie”, or “#cookwithme”. When users search for hashtags in the Search tab they are more likely to see your content if you are posting with hashtags, which is great for your reach.

You should avoid using hashtags that are irrelevant to your posts, not only will this not help you reach your target audience, you might also get shadowbanned for spamming hashtags.

Generate Engagement

One fact that is unavoidable is that Instagram is a social media platform, so it is of utmost importance that you socialize, or engage when using the platform. Instagram growth can be difficult to achieve, but if you choose the right methods, growing your followers and generating engagement can be a breeze.

You should always look to increase the levels of engagement your account receives. As mentioned throughout, when a post receives engagement from followers, your future posts will appear higher in the Home feed for that follower.

Engagement is one of the key metrics that the algorithm uses to determine the quality of the content of a certain account. The reasoning is quite simple; if an account is receiving a lot of engagement then that probably means that the content is good, so that account will then rank higher.

Instagram wants to keep attracting users, and also wants to make sure that current users stay, and if an account is creating engagement then it is contributing to that goal and will therefore be rewarded with exposure, reach, and as a result even more followers.

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