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Knowing these Instagram Algorithms will make you a social media genius.

Are you struggling to see your Instagram Page grow? Exploring the 4 different phases of Instagram algorithms can help. With more than 3.5 billion users, Instagram is growing tremendously. Instagram started with being a personal app to connect with your friends but has grown to become a huge online marketing platform for many businesses. 

Do you know why?

  • Over 800 million people actively use Instagram every month
  • 80% of all users follow at least one business account.
  • Instagram gets over 2 million advertisers every month. 
  • 59% of micro-influencers believe they get the best engagement on Instagram.
  • 60% of users visit the Instagram platform daily 

With this massive number of users, do you think it is reasonable not to take advantage of this platform for your business growth? The answer is obviously No!

Apparently, it is a pretty simple platform where you can upload pictures or videos, but its algorithm is quite difficult to crack. It is a platform where you can get organic traction, but getting that traction is not easy. Hacking the algorithm is not as easy as many of us think! So, what must you know about the algorithms?

Exploring Instagram Algorithm in 2021

We must know that the algorithm of Instagram is just like a living organism! Like us humans, it learns and unlearns daily. Not just that, the algorithm changes itself regularly based on those learning. Having conducted multiple experiments, here is what we found –  The Instagram algorithm works in 4 phases. Let’s understand them in detail. 

Phase 1 – Early Stage

The algorithm is intelligent! It doesn’t show your post to everyone. No, not even to your followers! The algorithm wants to know if your post deserves to be shown to everyone who follows you, and basis that, it decides if your post will reach more and more people. In the first phase, your post will be displayed to only 10% of your followers, and basis of that, it will give you an engagement score.  Now, if you are new to Instagram, you must understand the engagement score.  The engagement score is based on the number of Likes, Shares, Comments, and Saves you get on your post. Now, the question is how to score well in the first stage? The first phase judges your post based on popularity in the first few hours. So, you can try these hacks to increase the number of likes and comments – 
  • Post when your followers are active
To get the likes, it is important to know when your followers are online.  You can easily get this information in the professional dashboard provided by Instagram itself. Find out the time and days when the maximum number of your followers were online in this feature. You can also get this detail on Social Baker along with other crucial insights. 
  • Post a teaser on stories

Get creative and use the different story features Instagram provides. Posting a story by adding something conversational or giving an update about the post, or even telling about your post can help.

  • DM the stories

If you DM your post to many people, the post might look spammy! But you can create a story describing your post, and the solution your post offers can grab attention. 

  • Engagement with other accounts

What you give is what you get. Build active engagement on other pages. 

Leave valuable comments, drop likes on the posts, and start building conversations

  • Reply to DMs and Comments

Stay closely connected with your community. Reply to all your DMs and comments immediately to show them you are available. Do not leave any DM or Comments unseen. 

Phase 2 – Quality Check

After you pass the first phase, your post is shown to the next set of followers. In this phase, the algorithm will give your account a quality score. It is a stage where most of the accounts fail! Here, the algorithm gauges the number of Mentions, Tags, and Profile Visits your account gets. It reflects the engagement level of other pages in your content. 

Your account score is crucial as it determines if the post will move to the explore page and hashtags to reach out to as many people as possible. So, you know this is where most of the accounts fail. But you obviously want to know how you can overcome this phase.

Here’s how –

  • Give Shoutouts

Giving a shoutout in return for a shoutout is very common. In the beginning, no one might do that for you. So start giving shoutouts to the pages by posting their best content and tagging them. Do remember, if you are new, then go for pages with relatively less popularity. 

How will this help? They might mention you on their story for a thank you, and you get the mention!

  • Engage with 4-5 posts on a page

Admins love to see the fans leave valuable comments and likes on a page. If you simultaneously engage with about 4-5 posts on a page, their admins would like to show their fans in the story, and you will end up getting a mention

  • Share your post directly to the stories

Sharing directly to your story with a small gif indicating ‘know more’ can be enticing. To learn more about your post, they will click on your post and land up on your profile, and there you go! You got the profile visit. 

  • Promote your posts with ‘Profile Visit’ CTA

Promotions can get profile visits and help you score well! Promotions will help you get more likes and followers, but they will also help you get more profile visits, increasing your account score.  

Phase 3 – Hashtag Strategy 

Now, if your account scores well, you enter Phase – 3. Here on, your post will begin to show up on hashtag pages. To get good traction from hashtags, it is important to have the right hashtag strategy!

Here is how you should plan your hashtags for the posts. Categorize your hashtags into 5 –
  1. Not-So-Popular Hashtags (from 1K to 5K posts)
  2. Moderate Hashtags (from 5K to 10K posts)
  3. Known Hashtags (from 10K to 20K posts)
  4. Popular Hashtags (from 50K to 100K posts)
  5. Trends (100K+ posts)
As you must already know, Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per post. Use all the 30 hashtags in your first comment. How do you decide which ones to choose?
  • If your page is new, take 20 of them from the ‘Not-So-Popular‘ & ‘Moderate’ category and 10 from the other categories. 
  • If your page has 10K+ followers, use most of the hashtags from the ‘Moderate’ & ‘Known category and mix the rest as well. 
  • If your page has 50K+ followers, take most of the hashtags from ‘Known‘ & ‘Popular‘ hashtags. 
  • If you are in the category of Kylie Jenner, then you know what you have to do! Make trends. 

Phase 4 – Reach Explore

The last stage you reach is where you begin to show up on the explore page! Once you reach the hashtag pages, the algorithm allows your post to reach the Explore Page! It is the dream of all Instagrammers! 

Do you understand how complex the Instagram Algorithm is and what you need to do to outsmart it? 

To wrap it up, you must keep in mind that the algorithm is watching you continuously! It favors those who spend time on the app. Show how active you are and create content that will keep your followers actively engaged all along.