Social Media now has optimization similar to SEO for websites.
Instagram is a tricky beast and if you are looking to tame it, you need the right tools and knowledge. I am not claiming these are all facts, but these are some things about the Instagram algorithm that I noticed.
Algorithmic factors are elements that the algorithm uses to build a profile of your content and your account. Think of it like SEO for social media where you have to optimize and do little things to please the Algorithm gods for free traffic. Including things like:
- -how active your followers are
- -how many likes you get on average
- -how many likes you get within the first few hours
- -how active your comment section is
- -how often your followers watch, replay, skip or share your stories
- -how likely your followers are to engage at all
- -how long your followers watch your videos (Watch time)
- -and more coming
These algorithmic factors change all the time, and it’s all based on Instagram’s priorities. When they released Snapchat 2.0, aka Instagram Stories, they made that a massive factor in the algorithm. Creators that used all the Stories features were rewarded with more organic reach, and that’s what you need to remember.
If you take anything from this article, it needs to be: Whenever new features come out, use them all the time and add them to your existing routine. That will severely impact your algorithmic rankings. Even if it’s small like the Instagram Poll or Question features, there will always be some advantage also if it’s small. If these features don’t work with your audience, AFTER you try them, then you can quickly shut it down and say it didn’t work. But always try them first and try them for at least a month and get some reliable data.
Places Where The Algorithm Displays Similar Content
Instagram specifically has a few select places that the algorithm sneaks content into whatever you are doing. These places make it easier for businesses to get more reach and more accessible for consumers to see more relevant content.
Here are all the places the Instagram algorithm displays content that could get your content seen so far:
- -On the Explore Page
- -In hashtag feeds
- -After DMing someone a post, if you scroll down after the post, they sent you
Note* I will keep this list updated as I go so make sure to bookmark this page or save this link somehow.*
Get in the mind of an average Instagram user. Reverse engineer the ways that people can find you and figure out how to optimize for those places. Let’s pretend you just posted a well-performing post, and a random person ends up seeing it through one of the above areas. You need to make sure that your profile optimization is tailored to help you grow your business in a lane. You should use a CTA and a link that lead to someone discovering more about your business or products to turn them into customers, but make sure to plan that journey out.
I wrote an article on optimizing your social profiles here: Perfectly Crafted Social Media Bios And Captions
The Journey of an Instagram Follower
If the person does not follow you:
-Person sees content from algorithm or recommendation
-If they don’t like it they keep scrolling…sorry next time.
-If it’s good they like it and follow you
-if it’s really good they will probably comment, like and follow
-if it’s excellent they will possibly comment, like, follow and share it with a friend
If they follow you:
-Person sees content
-If they scroll past it without engaging with your post it reduces the likelihood that they will see your content in the future
-If it’s good they like it
-if it’s really good they will possibly share it with a friend or on their stories/feed
-If it’s excellent they will want to comment on and add multiple comments in a conversation
I hope this helps you better target your social media goals. You can say likes are everything, but at the end of the day, there is SEO for social media now, and the best way to optimize is to start treating social media like SEO on your blog. Be purposeful and intention while also adding immense value – whatever that means in your industry. It could be a slider explaining you’re onboarding process, a funny product commercial, or a How-To video. They all are valuable in their particular way and add to the overall strategy.
Better marketing please,