• Marketing Agency in Roanoke, VA

The Almighty InstAgram Algorithm Explained (sorta)

150 150 Zack Jackson

A common question most everyone who’s ever posted on Instagram has asked themselves … Who the heck actually sees these posts? What sort of magical robot determines this? Well … that robot (to an extent) was recently explained in more detail by Instagram head Adam Mosseri.

If you’d like to read the whole post, it’s in the Instagram blog section, but I’ll do my best to save you the time and give you the quickest summary possible. In fact, if I had to recap the post in just one sentence it would be this …

“We promise our collection of algorithms strives to show you all the stuff you like the best. Trust us!”

So … do you trust them?

Me? Kinda.

I know that’s a flimsy answer, but I’ll explain. Do I think Instagram strives to show you the content it thinks you like the most? I do. It doesn’t do them any good to inundate you with content you hate because … quite frankly … you’d stop using them.

So what does this mean for a business and reaching customers? The more a person interacts with your page, the more the algorithm thinks they like your content, and the more of your future content it will show them. This is why you seem to have a stable of superfans that like and comment on everything you post. They’re locked in by the algorithm, and it shows them all your posts.

So how do we turn more people into these superfans? That’s the REAL challenge, and I believe the only legit way to do this is to go on offense. You need to take the time to target these customers, and go to their page and interact with THEM. Social media is a two way street, and when you start realizing this, more traffic flows in your direction as well.

Ever go to someone’s page you haven’t seen in your feed in a while and interacted with their page for a couple posts? Well guess who ends up close to the top of your feed the next day? That person! Why? Because the algorithm knows you interacted with them before and figures you’d like to do it again.

So try going on offense and interacting with some of your followers (or even the followers of your competitors). Like one of their posts, throw in a comment, or better yet ask them a QUESTION … because when they reply it carries even more weight with the algorithm. Also … keep this engagement in mind when creating your own posts. Instead of making a statement like “we have happy hour specials,” consider asking a question like “anybody out there excited for happy hour?” Squeezing out just a couple more comments/likes per post makes a difference, and definitely adds up over time. And when somebody comments on one of your posts, do your best to reply to that comment (again ideally with a question), and that interaction may squeeze out even more engagement.

Is this a simple thing to do? Absolutely. Is it a time saver? Absolutely not. But sometimes the best growth for your business takes some effort (but you already knew this).


Zack Jackson

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