Using Instagram For Small Business Marketing in 2021: The algorithm

  • Instagram doesn’t have one algorithm that oversees what people do and don’t see on the app. 

Instagram have have confirmed that themselves in recent months. They use a variety of algorithms, processes and ways of classifying content to decide who sees what content. 

Their goal as a business is to let people enjoy their time on instagram (the more time they spend on their site the better!). Instagram therefore use technology to help them decipher which posts (and other content) will be most relevant, inspiring or engaging to someone who is browising their site. 

Let’s face it – there’s so much content out there that Instagram have to do something to help tailor people’s experiences. Chronological posts just don’t cut it in our content-heavy society. ⁠Each part of the instagram app (the feed, explore, reels, stories etc) uses its own algorithm tailored to how people interact with it. ⁠

Instagram recently defined the most important things they take into account in roughly the order of importance they place upon it in terms of which posts and stories are seen:⁠

– Any evidence that a post is popular such as how many people have liked it or things like when it was posted, how long it is (for video content), or the location that is tagged in a given post. 

– If a person is likely to be interesting to another user (eg have you interacted with that person regularly recently? or do you comment on each others posts?)⁠

– A users activity on instagram such as which posts you tend to like & view or what content you have ‘liked’ for example.

Instagram then use all this useful information to form an educated estimation about who should see which content.

How can small businesses beat the instagram algorithm?

Many small business owners get annoyed that their content isn’t being seen. However, if you keep your content tailored to a niche audience and post only the content they are likely to want to see, it is much more likely that you will be served to the right people. Remember, it’s more important to have a quality, niche following than a large number of followers who aren’t really interested in what you do.