Perceive How the Instagram Algorithm Works

When you scroll through Instagram ™ you will certainly see the term “algorithm” a lot. But what does it actually mean? More importantly, how does it affect your engagement with your followers? Keep reading this blog post to find out how the Instagram ™ algorithm works.

In this blog post:

What is the Instagram ™ algorithm?

First, let’s talk about what the Instagram ™ algorithm actually is. In essence, the Instagram ™ algorithm is a set of rules and calculations that Instagram ™ uses to organize the content that Instagram ™ users see.

Often times you will hear from people who promise you tricks and tips to help you “beat” the Instagram ™ algorithm. However, these links often fail to achieve their ultimate goal of reaching more people on Instagram ™. Instead, my goal is that you work with (not against) the Instagram ™ algorithm.

If you create Instagram ™ content and consider the algorithm, you will find that you can actually reach a lot more people. More importantly, it can help you connect with your ideal audience. This is one of the best ways Convert followers into buyers.

4 key factors influencing the Instagram ™ algorithm

Now let’s talk about the key factors that affect the Instagram ™ algorithm. Here are the four things to keep in mind when creating content and engaging with your followers.


That means you need to create Instagram ™ content that is relevant to the interests of your followers. If you create Instagram ™ posts and videos that people like or comment on, they will rank higher on their Instagram ™ feed. How does Instagram ™ know your interests? One way is for Instagram ™ to look at the genres of content (e.g. travel, food, fashion, etc.) that you have interacted with in the past.

Direct search

Instagram ™ tracks your search history. The platform collects data from likes, comments, previous searches, and posting locations to suggest content that is relevant to people’s interests. This affects what people see on their Instagram ™ feed and on the Explorer page.

Save to collections

Do you remember all of the Instagram ™ posts you saved? Well, Instagram ™ collects this data too. When you save a post that tells Instagram ™ that you would like more information about this content in the future. Because of this, encouraging people to save your posts is an effective growth strategy.

Expenditure of time

From the minute you open the app, Instagram ™ carefully tracks what people are doing. That includes the time you spend looking at or swiping past a particular post. This helps Instagram ™ better understand the content that you would like to see more of in the future and would rather skip.

How to work with (not against) the Instagram ™ algorithm

Now that you understand how the Instagram ™ algorithm works, let’s talk about how you can work with it (and not against it). There are many things to consider when creating Instagram ™ content.

But the most important thing is to think about what’s in it for you (WIIFT). Why should your followers care what you share? What you share on Instagram ™ should establish you as a contact in your niche. It should also help make someone feel connected to you.

This doesn’t mean you have to stop sharing personal content. However, it does mean that you should share content that will grab your followers’ interest. When you come from a WIIFT location, you are actually working WITH the Instagram ™ algorithm.

Let’s break it down …

  • If someone gets value from your Instagram ™ content, they’ll SAVE it for future reference.
  • If someone is getting value from your Instagram ™ content … SHARE it with their friends.
  • If someone gets value from your Instagram ™ content … they will INTEREST with comments and likes.
  • If someone gets added value from your content … they will spend more time on your profile and “eat” your posts.

So you’re Convert followers into buyers. Ultimately, people buy from people and brands they trust.

Instead of always trying to make the hard sell that DOESN’T work, start building a relationship with your followers. Once they trust you, they are much more likely to be interested in what you are selling.

For example, look at what my RSG student did Caterina serves your community on Instagram ™. Her business is focused on sharing recipes for family meals and the importance of family meals. More specifically, Caterina knows her followers are busy parents trying to better understand how to make family meals a part of their weekly routine.

For example, in this Instagram ™ post, Caterina shares how to turn leftovers into other dishes during the week. This is content that Caterina knows she wants to save and share so that she can refer to it later. It’s not just about what to cook for dinner, it’s about starting a conversation with your followers.

Caterina's Instagram carousel posts show her followers how to preserve leftovers throughout the week.Bottom line: give people a reason to keep coming back to your Instagram ™ account!

Discover more ways to get more followers and buyers on Instagram ™

A blog banner linking to Sue B Zimmerman's Three Keys Instagram training.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on how to better target your Instagram ™ followers. Secure a place in mine free training to find out how to better interact with your followers without complex content creation.

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