A Peek Under the Hood

As a regular user on social media, it can sometimes feel like you’re posting in the dark. We’ve all had that experience; the piece of content that we’ve laboured over, wrangled the right copy, marshalled all those tasty hashtags, only for it to post and sink like a lead balloon. Conversely, we’ve all experience of a post that we dashed off on the bus on the way to work, while we were juggling three other things going up on social media and doing serious numbers.

            So, what gives? Well, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but for those in the back who aren’t paying attention, our feeds are populated by algorithms, that reward certain types of content and penalise others. Every social media platform is different in the types of content it will favour, so we must tailor our approach to each platform to fit each algorithm’s preferences. Today, we’ll be looking at the ever-evolving algorithm on Instagram.

The good people over at the Later Blog have put together a fascinating article on the do’s and don’ts of posting to Insta, if you want to send your content into the stratosphere and grow your audience. Their post focuses on the changes to the algorithm that have occurred in 2022. It can be good to keep up to date with these things because often the strategies that worked a month ago will not work today. They have also made a video on the subject, which I will link to below.

Here are the updates for 2022, as per the Later blog

  • The addition of “Following” and “Favorite” Home feed views to provide more customized experiences (with less algorithmically suggested content) – I bet you didn’t even notice these had turned up. It’s a useful way to reduce Ads.
  • Suggested content has come to play a major part in the home feed. Especially for Reels.
  • Instagram will favour original content i.e. stuff that hasn’t been created by someone else that you are sharing on the feed 
  • It will look less favourably on content that contains watermarks from over apps- so less re-posting TikTok vids on Instagram Reels
  • Instagram’s algorithms are getting better at figuring out what a post is about based on keywords and content. Hashtags are less vital for content categorization (but are still valuable for direct search)

The blog also digs into the five main factors that determine where something is ranked in your home feed, these are:

  •  Time spent: Are you going to spend time on the post?
  • Likes: How likely are you to like the post?
  • Comments: How likely are you to comment on the post?
  • Saves: How likely are you to save the post?
  • Taps on Profile: How likely are you to tap on the profile after seeing the post?

So, in today’s blog we’ve popped open the hood of Instagram and had a tinker with the engine that drives it. These are all good points to bear in mind when creating a content plan for your business, if you work at an agency or if you want to grow your personal brand!

            Keep up the scroll-stopping content, but remember to take breaks, and drink water!

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