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How to Rock the Instagram Algorithm


It’s an ugly word.

A word that I never paid much attention to, at least not as a writer. Anyone else hear that word and just want to run in the other direction? SEO is the same thing for me—yucky words that I didn’t care to learn about. (To be honest with you, I still need to do my SEO research *face palm*.) HOWEVER, since joining Instagram back in 2018, I’ve picked up a thing or two about algorithms and building the interaction rates. Let’s deep dive into a few tips and tricks I picked up!

  • Posting at certain times can be so helpful! So this only applies if you’ve put your account up as a business account. Business accounts get access to this little tool called “Insights.” It gives you all sorts of information about your audience, information about where they found you and your posts from, and (you guessed it) what times they’re most likely to interact with you! My audience usually interacts most from 12pm-3pm, and least at nighttime and early morning. Now, I don’t always stick to posting between this time frame, but if I have a particular post that I want to reach the most people, that will go between this time!

  • Asking questions in your caption is awesome for interaction! And it’s so helpful to put it in the first line. Most people read a caption’s first line before clicking the “See More” button, wanting to know whether or not reading the whole post is important or not. What I do is put “QUESTION FOR YOU” and then press the return button several times, so they have to click “See More” to read the question. I’ve pulled them in and got them interested, which is good. Asking questions boosts your interaction and engagement as well, which is super awesome.

  • When someone comments, I am sure to always respond I respond to every comment I receive because it’s building that relationship, making that person feel seen. However, I also do it because it boosts my page! If you’ve noticed on Instagram, when you comment on your own posts it counts as a comment. So if you’re responding to someone’s comment on your post, that’s two comments on your picture, which boosts your rank in the algorithm. Always respond to comments (if they’re totally normal and not creepy, of course) if you can. Even if they’re just commenting an emoji, I’ll send an emoji right back.

  • Respond to those comments within the first hour if you can This is actually something that I just learned, but your pictures will get the most boost within the first hour of posting. That’s why knowing your prime interaction time could be important to you, if you’re looking to build your profile. If someone comments on your post within the first hour, make sure to get that reply in ASAP! You can also boost your Instagram post in your Instagram Story if you wanted, to try and capture your followers who haven’t seen your pic but have seen your story.

  • Mix up those hashtags! This is definitely something I need to be better about doing, because I am so stinking lazy. I don’t want to mix up my hashtags. But what I’ve done is I’ve pre-written out my hashtags (remember, you only get 30!) and left them in my phone’s Notes app. When I’m about to post, I’ll go to my Notes, scan for the grouping of hashtags that bests fits that post, and then copy/paste! Super easy. Mixing up hashtags is important because A) Instagram gets irritated if you use the same hashtags all the time and B) it helps you reach new audiences! Which is great!

Instagram is something that I’ve loved experimenting with and learning more about. Though I love posting more pastel-themed posts, I’m not trying to perfectly curate my page. You don’t have to if you don’t want to! You can keep your life real and raw on your page and just enjoy what you’re posting. Hopefully some of these tips help some engagement and growth, if that’s something you’re looking for.

I want to do another post about Twitter, although Twitter is a little bit of a different ballgame. From what I can tell, there isn’t so much a rhyme or reason to Twitter, at least not as much as there is to Instagram. But I will do some more research and compile a post of that info plus the info that I’ve collected. That will be coming soon, so keep an eye out!

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