Instagram and Its Ever-Changing Algorithm.

What is an algorithm?

You have certainly heard this word before, but what exactly does it mean?

What does it have to do with you? And how can you use it for your benefit?

According to the Oxford dictionary, an algorithm is “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.”

And according to the Von Mack dictionary, it is also something that you need to keep an eye on in order to stay ahead of the curve.

When the average engagement rate in 2022 per post is 0.98%, you need to do all that you can to stand out.

And we’re about to share our secrets with you so that you can do just that.

Part One: How the %*!@ does this thing work?

The Instagram algorithm is designed to make us stay on their platform for as long as possible.

It’s important to understand what it looks for.

Let’s break down what exactly Instagram is looking for into 3 easy parts-  who, what, and when.

Who? When you put your content out into the world, who is going to see it? Who is it intended for? Who is going to interact with it, and who won’t?

What? What type of content does your audience normally interact with? Will they interact with what you have created? What will make them press like?

When? When are you posting this content? Is it when most of your audience is online, or are you posting at an unfavorable hour like 3 A.M.? (Unless your audience is a bunch of vampires, you may want to avoid middle of the night posts.)

Part Two: But how does Instagram use it??

So there is good news and bad news.

The bad news is that it’s not just one algorithm we’re dealing with. (That would be too easy!)

The good news is that it’s not just one algorithm we’re dealing with. (This is actually easier.)

We use different features in different ways- so there can’t be just ONE algorithm that rules over ALL of Instagram. Think of it like the many versions of you that come out when you are around other people. They are all YOU, but you are slightly different around your parents than you are around your best friend, your doctor, etc.

Let’s kick things off with the explore page.

The explore page is where you see content that is popular, but also custom tailored to you! It shows you things that you care about based on your previous activity and your who, what, and when. Think of it like a nice custom suit, but one that knows you like cat videos.

Then we have Instagram Stories and your home feed.

This takes into account your who, what, and when, but also your interaction history. For example, if you DM someone, there is a huge chance that they are going to show up in your stories and in your feed.

However, it’s not only for people, it’s for content types as well. Let’s say you love fashion and interact with fashion content. The algorithm is going to continue to give you more of what you love in your feed- fashion.

Finally, we have the reel algorithm.

This algorithm starts off by asking you, “Is this entertaining to you?”

If you like reels with recurring sounds, hashtags, and specific creators, you are going to get more of that coming back to you. It also takes into account popularity, timeliness, and your personal relationships on Instagram as well.

Part Three: How can I use this to my advantage?

 According to Hootsuite, the most important part is creating quality content.

Creating the right content is hard, but not impossible.

We are here to help.

91% of active IG users watch videos weekly, so start by pushing video content.

Every video is being categorized as a reel now, so it is quite easy to get the ball rolling.

If you’re looking for tips on where to start with reels, check out our Instagram Reels Toolkit or find some inspiration from our #tourismreelschallenge.

Make sure you remember to:

  • Know that Instagram will prioritize original content, and will punish others. For example, don’t upload a video with a TikTok or Youtube Shorts watermark. Upload the fresh footage to your account.
  • Use trending sounds! You can find out what’s trending by going to the sounds page on Instagram.
  • Create content that will generate a high watch time. If your video is long and unengaging, it won’t be reshared. Make sure you are getting to the point in a timely manner.
  • Check that your content is high quality and fits the frame of Instagram reels. According to Filip Konecny, your shortest reel should be around 5 seconds long. Aim for around 5-15 seconds long.

If you begin to follow these rules, you will see your engagement go up, but you have to be patient. You can’t grow a village overnight. (As nice as that would be.)

You got this. Go out there and kill it!

While the algorithm can be tricky, it is nothing you can’t handle.

We got through 2020 as the TOURISM INDUSTRY.

We’re pretty sure we can do anything.

So happy posting everyone! And for more resources, be sure to follow our blog and reach out to #TeamVonMack directly for help with social media marketing