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Best Ways to Utilize the Instagram Algorithm in 2021

Instagram’s algorithms determine how users are presented content, and it’s recently been updated in 2021. This not only impacts user experience, but brand outreach. It’s important for any brand marketing on social media to be aware of how Instagram ranks and displays information, in order to best utilize the platform. If you have been on Instagram for a while, you probably remember that posts used to be displayed solely in reverse chronological order. Instagram has since changed this algorithm to account for more factors. It’s important for brands to understand what types of content will boost your post and help them be seen by more users. There are six major factors Instagram looks at when displaying a user’s feed, and here is a breakdown of each:


Instagram keeps track of the type of post you like and then displays those types of post later on. Ultimately Instagram is looking to give people what they want to see, or at least content that fits their interests. Engagement: This relates to the type of content users typically engage with by commenting, sharing, and saving posts. Instagram also looks at if users follow each other, tag each other, and comment on each other’s posts. Instagram recognizes that brand accounts and larger accounts may not have an extensive relationship with everyone of their followers. In these cases the algorithm still recognizes having a loyal and engaging audience.


Instagram still takes how recently something was posted, it is just no longer the sole factor of the algorithm. What this means for brands is that consistency and frequency are key in showing up on a users feed.


Depending on how frequent a user checks the app, determines the type of content they will see. If a user is on the app multiple times a day, they’ll see more content and their feed is likely to look more chronological. Users who on the app infrequently are more likely to only see popular content recommended by Instagram. Given the different factors Instagram takes into account for its algorithm, there are specific ways to use these to your advantage. One of the biggest tips is to post consistently. This has already been mentioned, but consistency is something that the Instagram algorithm has always rewarded and is one of the most effective ways to show up on the platform.


Carousels are multiple pictures/ videos included in the same post. While Instagram doesn’t necessarily prioritize these posts, research shows they receive better engagement and reach than other types of post. Video content is another great way to show up on Instagram. With the platform’s recent addition of video content in the form of reels and ig tv, they are pushing to compete with other video platforms like TikTok and YouTube. Given this competition, they’re likely to be promoting video content and displaying it to more users.


Another known and great way to show up on Instagram are hashtags. It’s important to take the time to research and use thoughtful hashtags that accurately describe the picture or video you’re posting. Useful hashtags can help target your audience’s location and interests. The timing of your post can also help reach more of your audience. Given the complexity of the Instagram algorithm, posting when your users are online is a good way to increase your chances of reaching them.


Our last tip is to focus on creating a more personal relationship with your followers, rather than a one-way communication model. Post’s should be engaging and appeal to your audience’s identity and interest. Creating a bond with your audience creates better engagement and overall brand loyalty. While always changing and complicated, the Instagram algorithm can be used to help you grow your reach.


By posting consistently, utilizing new features, hashtags, posting timely, and creating a relationship with your followers, you can better utilize this platform and grow your brand’s reach on Instagram!