How to outsmart the Instagram algorithm


The Instagram Algorithm (Or algorithms to be exact) is designed to serve users the content they like and most likely to engage with. These algorithms are like hungry lions. You can either fight them, or you can feed them. Giving the system what it wants is a sure way to make it work for you to your benefit. 

Taking this into consideration, I compiled 6 ways you can keep the Instagram Algorithm happy to help you get your content in front of more people and grow organically.

As a side note, if you’re still new to understanding the Instagram Algorithm I suggest you read this post first before continuing: A breakdown of the Instagram Algorithm

How the Instagram Algorithm works

The first big misconception is that people think there’s only one algorithm linked to Instagram. There isn’t just one algorithm that oversees what people do and don’t do on Instagram. In fact, Instagram has multiple algorithms that monitor the interaction of the Feed, Explore Page, and Reels. These algorithms are tailored to how people use it and their social behavior. 

The Instagram algorithm studies user behavior on the app and uses your previous activity to decide what content you see on your feed and explore page and how others on the platform see your content. Essentially, the algorithm controls your organic reach.

1) Be Consistent

When you post regularly and at similar times, the algorithm can pick up that your account and content is worth showing to people. Why would it show it to people when after one post you disappear for months on end?

By looking at your analytics, you can see on what days and at which times your audience is most active. Based on this information, you can create a posting schedule to help you stay consistent

2) Stay within your niche

Make sure your username, photos, captions, stories, hashtags, and even reels all point in the same direction – Your core interests or niche. When you post about ten thousand different things with no clear direction, it will begin to confuse the algorithm as to who it needs to show your content to. 

If you are a fitness account, ensure all your content is fitness-related. From your username to your posts and stories. If you claim to be a fitness account and suddenly start posting about home decor, it will confuse the algorithm because it won’t know whether to show your account to people interested in the fitness industry or people interested in home decor. The more specific you are, the better. 

3) Post when your audience is most active

If the majority of your audience is from the USA, don’t post at 9 am UK time (GMT +1). Chances are the majority of the USA will be asleep then and your audience won’t see your content. 

By going into your Insights Page and going to “Your Audience” you will find your analytics about your audience’s online behavior. From your overall growth to basic demographics (Location, age, and gender). At the bottom of the page, you’ll find what times and days they’re most active. Using this information, you can create a posting schedule so that you can post at the most ideal times when everyone is online.

4) Encourage engagement through strong Call to Actions

If you want people to save, share and comment on your posts, create a strong Call to Action at the end of every caption. Ask questions. Create posts that are informative which people want to save to go back to later. Create posts that are share-worthy and inspirational. Here’s a post on how to write the best captions with a strong Call to Action!

5) Set up a hashtag strategy

Don’t just post random hashtags in the first comment as the last resort. Before posting, take your time to research keywords and relevant hashtags. Research what other big accounts are using for their hashtags and make a list of the ones you see that seem to be working. When crafting your Hashtag list, ensure that they’re all pointing in the same direction regarding your niche, audience, and goals. Get your hands on the ultimate hashtag strategy here!

6) Post stories that encourage engagement

Your posts are not the only place where people can engage with your content. In fact, your Instagram stories are ideal to encourage engagement and start conversations with your audience. Instagram Stories provides you with a multitude of stickers where your audience can slide a bar, vote, Dm you, or participate in polls. Encouraging engagement in your stories also gives you a good indication of who your loyal following is.

In Conclusion

The Instagram Algorithms sometimes seem complicated and hard to understand, but they don’t have to be. Once you grasp that you simply need to give it what it once, everything will run smoother and your Instagram experience will become easier. By staying consistent, posting quality content that’s focused, posting at the right times, encouraging engagement in your Call To Actions and stories, and using hashtags you can start benefiting from the algorithms in massive ways. 


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