Social media marketing is one of the best strategies for attracting new customers without spending a lot of money. If you’re running a small business, you should consider joining platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Setting up an account is free, and if you post regularly, you can build up a strong following. However, you should keep in mind that the platforms change every year. In 2022, there have been several updates to Instagram.
As a business owner, you have to keep up to date with these changes and understand how they affect the visibility of your content. Which factors make a post appear more often in people’s feeds or the Explore page? How can you build up relationships with followers so they will check your content regularly? Today, we’ll have a closer look at how the Instagram algorithm works and what you can do to appear at the top of people’s feeds.
Updates to Instagram
The new Instagram algorithm is the set of rules that ranks content on this platform. It analyzes everything you post and decides what shows up, and in what order, on people’s feeds, Reels, hashtag pages, and on the Explore page. If you rank highly, your post will be shown to many people, but if you don’t meet the criteria, your post won’t be noticed even if it is excellent.
In 2022, there have been several changes to the platform. Users can once again see content chronologically, and they can also view a curated list of posts from their favorite accounts. AI-driven recommendations have become more important, and video content has been integrated into the platform more fully than before. Despite this, the three most important factors are still your relationship with the user, their interests, and the relevancy of your post.
One of the key algorithm criteria is your relationship with the user. If you follow each other, it’s much more likely that your content will be shown to them. Other factors that might be taken into consideration are whether you’ve messaged each other recently and whether you’ve interacted on the platform several times.
Building up relationships with fans is extremely important for businesses that would like to do well on the platform. You should not only focus on producing wonderful photos and videos but also on interacting with your customers and followers. The more active you are on Instagram, the more visible you will become.
The second factor that is considered by the algorithm is whether your post will interest the user. Is this the type of content they usually interact with? Have they commented on or liked similar posts in the past? If so, your content is much more likely to be shown to them.
To do well, you should research what other businesses in your niche are producing and post similar content to the ones who are doing well. Over time, you can make your posts more unique, but at the start, you should consider sticking to what’s been working well for others. That way, you can build up a following more quickly because your content will be displayed to people who are interested in it.
Finally, the new Instagram algorithm updates also decide how relevant each piece of content is, in relation to what people are interested in at the moment and what the trending topics are. There are two things to keep in mind here. First, recent posts are always considered more relevant than old ones, so you should aim to post new content regularly. Many businesses have found that updating their accounts 1-3 times a day works optimally.
Additionally, you should keep an eye on the trending topics to see if any of them are relevant to your business. If so, you should post something related to the topic. This type of content could rank highly for relevancy, and it might be displayed to many people interested in your industry.
Secondary Algorithm Factors
Relationship, interest, and relevancy are the keys to success on Instagram, but the algorithm also considers other factors. For example, people who only use Instagram once or twice a week are much less likely to see your posts than those who use it every day because your content might be crowded out by posts from their close family and friends. Another factor is the session time, which is how long the user spends on the platform each time they visit.
If they only stay for a few minutes, they might not see your post, but if they browse for half an hour, they will probably stumble upon it. When targeting new followers, you should also think about how many other people they follow. An account that follows 20,000 others is much less likely to see your content than someone who only follows 500 others. The second person is probably interested in your business, while the first is just networking, which is good to know what the Instagram algorithm small business is looking for when planning your social strategy.
The Algorithm for the Feed and Stories
On Instagram, the feed is where users see new content that is posted to the platform by the people they follow. Stories are short-lived photos or videos of up to 15 seconds that disappear after 24 hours, and they are usually used to give updates or celebrate milestones.
To determine what to show each user, the Instagram algorithm sorts through all the posts and ranks them according to the criteria we’ve explored above. It will also consider whether the post has already received a lot of engagement. If a lot of others have liked and commented on it, it’s likely to be interesting to new users, as well.
The Algorithm for the Explore Tab
The Explore tab is where you can find posts based on your interests. You won’t necessarily follow the people whose content you see, but the posts are somehow relevant to those you’ve commented on in the past and the interests you’ve listed. Here, the popularity of the post is even more important. Content that has been liked and shared many times is much more likely to make it to the Explore tab.
The algorithm can also pick up on users’ past activity, so it can check whether they have ever interacted with the poster’s content before and whether they have liked similar posts. Instagram will also take into consideration whether a poster has had a lot of interactions with others in the last few weeks. If so, the algorithm assumes that the person is relevant and that their content is interesting.
The Algorithm for Reels
One of the most controversial updates to Instagram are Reels, which are short films. Some users think that the platform should be reserved for pictures only, while others are happy to share what they are doing via videos as well as pictures. As a brand, you can post video updates about your business, educate users about what you do, and express your brand story.
The aim of the algorithm is to get users to watch videos all the way through, so it will pull ones from accounts the person follows as well as popular ones from people they don’t follow. Users will see Reels that are similar to ones they’ve watched or that come from people they’ve interacted with. Instagram can also analyze the pixels and the soundtrack to find out what kind of content it is and to match it up with the correct users.
Do I Need to Use Instagram?
Instagram is a great platform for anyone who has a visual product. It is often used by businesses related to food, arts and crafts, flowers or plants, and clothes. The social network is very versatile, and you can use it to show off your product, interact with users, explain your production process, and update your customers about your business.
However, it isn’t the only good social network. Before you sign up, you should consider whether it’s your best choice or whether you should go for one of the others, such as Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok. A marketing expert can help you consider your type of business and your target audience and then choose the best network.
Can I Get Help?
As you can see, a lot goes into creating a successful Instagram account. You’ll have to come up with a marketing strategy, decide what kinds of posts you want to create, take pictures and videos of your business, and post them using good keywords. Since you should post at least once a day, this can take up a lot of your time and distract you from other important tasks.
If you want to simplify the process, you should consider hiring professional social media marketers, who can help you build your account. They have the knowledge and experience to rank well, and they will also be the first to know about new updates to the algorithm.
Every year, there are several updates to Instagram that aim to make the platform more user-friendly and successful. For businesses, this means creating interesting content 1-3 times a day, interacting with followers regularly, and using keywords that attract the right users. Call us at Anthem Software to speak to an expert about social media marketing. We can help you set up your account and create awesome posts your followers will love.