Instagram’s algorithm is a nearly unsolvable puzzle and right when we think we’ve solved it, it
changes again. Instagram is about to become even more important to marketers and businesses
than ever before.
So How does the Instagram algorithm work?
Here’s the deal, in a nutshell: when you post something on Instagram, it is only shown to 10% of
your readers. If the post does well with that 10% right off the bat, then it will get shown to the
other 90% which is why some posts do GREAT & others, not so much.
How can you grow your Instagram account with the
algorithm in mind?

1. Captions

Gone are the days where an emoji was a sufficient caption. Captions need to be engaging
and interesting to increase the authentic comments on your account!  Captions that ask
questions or provide a call to action can help start some conversations with your followers.
And good to know that you shouldn’t edit your caption within the first 24 hours as it will
ruin the algorithm.

2. #Hashtags

Instagram’s algorithm has always favored the use of specific and relevant hashtags,
and they now may be more important than ever. Instagram recently rolled out the
ability to follow Instagram hashtags, which means instead of users having to scroll
through a feed to discover your tagged content; your posts could show up automatically
in the feeds of potential new followers. On the flip side, users also have the power to
mark your hashtagged content as something they don’t want to see!
While this new feature was created to tell the Instagram algorithm what type of content
users enjoy, having too many of your posts marked with this “Don’t Show For This
Hashtag” option could potentially raise a red flag on your account and negatively impact
your other content as well.
As we learned from the shadow ban scare, posting the same block of hashtags to your
posts can negatively impact your engagement. Instead, it’s important to switch up your
hashtag blocks and make sure each is a good fit for your post.

3. Instagram stories

Quite possibly the most important part of Instagram is now Instagram stories. Videos are kind
of kings on Instagram and social media. And in the digital age in general. So it’s time to get on
the bandwagon and join Instagram stories. I know it can be hard to think of what to post,
when, and why. But now stories are playing a big role in this algorithm as well. Keep posting,
and when people reply to your stories, try to respond in a timely manner!

Also, be sure to tag locations & use hashtags in stories! All of these small details can give you
a big boost.

4. Analytics

So many people are scared of being a business profile on Instagram. If you want to make
money on Instagram, gain a loyal following, have a brand, etc, you need a business account.
Plus, the analytics are so valuable. I’m able to see how many people read my blog, clicked on
my email, followed me from a specific post, and so much more. It’s so revealing to see if I’m
on the right track for my Instagram.


To get engagement, you have to give it. Comments are the pot of gold at the end of the
Instagram rainbow. Although, if you’re not replying to those comments, not only are you not
showing your readers love- but this will give you an algorithm ding. Think of comments like a
conversation. You wouldn’t ignore a friend if they asked you where you got your sunnies. So
don’t ignore your readers either! If the comment isn’t a question & doesn’t require a
response, heart it. Show the Instagram gods you’re there, you’re aware, & you’re
Also, timeliness matters! Respond within the first hour of posting! The slower response time,
the more exposure will decrease.

6. Active Hours

In 2018, the majority of social media managers said that lunchtime from 11am-1pm was
their best time to post on Instagram, followed by evenings from 7-9pm.
But – that doesn’t mean those are the best times to post for YOU!
You have to discover your account best times. Firstly, it’s essential to think about the time
zones of your Instagram followers. The best thing you can do to find your optimal posting
time for Instagram is to research your audience using Instagram’s native analytics, located on
your Instagram app. In order to get access to this feature; you’ll need to set up an Instagram
business profile

7. Live stories

Quite possibly the most important part of Instagram is now Instagram stories. Simply because
the only way to get around the decrease in post engagement is to expand your posting in
another area. Instagram Stories offer a variety of engagement opportunities, including the
newest Poll feature. The algorithm takes into account all actions of engagement like replying
to a Story or sending a Story to someone. The more engagement, the likelier your posts will
show up in the feed.

8. Consistent Instagram theme

Creating a consistent Instagram theme isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Think of it this way: Nike
has their “Swoosh” symbol. Every time you see it, you think of Nike. The same goes with
your theme. If you can develop your own unique theme or aesthetic then you become more
recognizable. Remember Instagram is an extension of you. Creating your brand in a visual
way is a great way to showcase what you’re all about.