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What is the Instagram Algorithm & How to Use it in 2022

instagram algorithm
Clearwater Staff

Instagram is an incredible tool that allows users to find some incredible content, products, and services from creators and brands across the world. But with tens of millions of photos, videos, stories and Reels generated every day, how does the platform know which exact pieces of content to show us? Surely it can’t be random?

Actuality, Instagram has a series of highly intelligent algorithms that tailors the content users see, based on their level of perceived interest. Once you understand how these algorithms work, you can start to curate a content strategy that will generate the best results for your brand.

Influencing Algorithm Factors & Score of Interest

Instagram wants brands and content creators to share material of best interest to their audiences, and so have confirmed a variety of factors that influence their algorithm. These include:

  • Post Information: Is the format a photo or video? How long ago was it posted? What are the likes and engagement?
  • Poster Information: How interesting is this poster to a specific audience? Are they a known contact? Do they often encounter engagement with their content?
  • User Activity: Does the user prefer videos or photos? What content prompts their engagement?
  • User Interaction History: Does the user comment, share, or like posts?

This information is compiled to calculate the possibility for a user to interact with a post, which is referred to as their ‘score of interest’. It is this that determines what material is displayed in their feed.

Essentially, it is all about the various interactions that content receives. Think about:

  • Time spent reviewing content: How long do people spend on each post(s)?
  • Like Count: How many likes are received?
  • Comment Count: How likely are people to comment on the post?
  • Saves/Shares: Are people saving these posts to review later, or sharing them with their community?
  • Taps on Profile: How likely are audiences to tap on your profile once they see your post?

In summary, content that communities engage with will be prioritised in feeds.

How to Create Content that Receives Algorithm-Winning Engagement?

Nowadays, people are creating content around just about everything. Comedy sketches, product reviews, dance routines, tips and tricks on topics from finance to cooking – there truly is something for everyone. So, pick your niche and ask yourself:

  • Am I doing everything to encourage my community to like, comment or share my post?
  • Will someone want to save this post and come back to it later?
  • Is there a clear call to action to prompt someone to tap on your profile?

Is the Instagram Explore Page Algorithm the Same as the Feed Page?

The feed page is where users will see posts from those they already follow. So, when you are looking for your account to get discovered by new audiences, you have to leverage the power found in Instagram’s Explore page. This is filled with entirely new content, and Instagram has again stated that the most important aspects are engagement-related.

Again, we are looking at the popularity of the post; not only how much engagement it receives, but how quickly it receives it. If there is a lot of buzz around a particular post, and they are from either an account you have interacted with before, or follow themes you like to engage with, then there is more chance of it being shown.

Search functions help to refine this, such as with users entering keywords and hashtags that further target their desired content. Content creators need to consider both the visual and written elements of their posts. Therefore, sharing engaging photos and videos with well-placed, niche hashtags after a strong caption is a winning formula to be found.

Final Tips to Crack the Instagram Algorithm in 2022

  1. Embrace Regular Reels: Reels are receiving twice the real-estate on the Explore page, so include them in your brand awareness strategy as much as possible.
  2. Prompt Interactions with Stories Stickers: With audience engagement being the underlying key to success, include Instagram stickers into your stories to increase user engagement, including polls, emoji sliders, and question stickers.
  3. Convert with Captions & Comments: Don’t focus on the visuals alone; writing terrific copy in your captions and comments can engage visitors in the right way to click through to your profile page.
  4. Content Cross-Promotion: Push your stories, Reels, Guides and more with Instagram Collabs, allowing you to partner with other content creators and reach a new set of followers.
  5. Utilise Analytics: Instagram Analytics platform allows you to assess how your content is performing, and adjust your strategy to provide optimised, high-performing posts that are backed by evidence.

If you would like some further assistance with cracking Instagram’s algorithm in 2022, please contact us at Clearwater today for a free discovery session.

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