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How To Beat The Instagram Algorithm

Lisa Duran

Posted on February 02 2018

How The Algorithm is Ruining Engagement

It used to be that you would see posts in chronological order. Now, its based off of your most recent interactions. It's biased. That's forsure. But it seems that that's pretty much all we really know about the dreadful "algorithm".

Mind you, before I begin with tips on how to master this years algorithm changes, the research doesn’t necessarily come from Instagram directly (as they don’t spill their secrets).  

Instagram is now thought to be restricting exposure based off of YOUR engagement. Now, you might want to respond to comments left on your posts within 60 minutes. Otherwise, your post's visibility might gradually decrease. 


What's a Shadow Ban?


Shadowbanning is the new problem on Instagram & everyone is freaking out about it. Basically, if you get shadowbanned by Instagram, your photo will be un-discoverable on hashtag pages for people who are not your friends and your post is displayed to only a small percentage of your followers.

Some reasons people get shadowbanned are: using bot services for likes, buying followers, using the same hashtags (why it is so important to keep it relevant!). Mainly though- avoid bot services because Instagram flags your account when they see it being used in different cities w/ different IP addresses!


1. Comment & Interact With Everyone!

It only helps to be more interactive...unless you're out being a troll. Think about this too. A comment, unlike a direct message, is public. Therefore other people can see and weigh in on the conversation. Comments are the cherry on top of some likes.


2. Utilize Your Stories!

How often do you see your friend pop up as the first story every time you check back in to the app ?! Especially stories are still somewhat new, we have a feeling that Instagram is prioritizing stories as a roll-out protocol. Utilize your stories to be seen more!


3. Your Captions Must Be Engaging!

It's tricky. Sometimes a long caption can be enticing and make readers want to read on...most of the times one is clicking "read more". So keep it sweet and direct. Oh yeah. Who doesn't love emojis ?! Use emojis! Not too many (don't be annoying). Same goes for hashtags.


4. HashTag Techniques

Ohhh hashtags. These are incredibly convenient, but also a little tricky. Although you can use up to 30 hashtags in a post, this can now be picked up as spam. Spam = shadow banning. It's been up in the air for a while about what the sweet spot with hashtags are, but people say that they seem to have better luck with about 5 unique hashtags.

Here's the big one: Hashtags that you post in the comments of your post will no longer display under search results. You must now include hashtags in the body of your caption.


5. We Know When it's a Bot!

It's different than a genuine comment. We know when it's a bot. You can just tell. Too many emojis, off-topic, gimmicky. You know how it goes. You know those comments from bots? Well...they can be deceiving. This is good to know for us as well, because too often, we're also the ones that comment with "Love this!". Here's a new rule of thumb: In order to count as engagement, comment with 4 words or more.


6. We Know When You're in a Comment Pod

You know last year when people started forming "pods?" These pods are groups of people who have agreed to boost engagement for the group by liking and commenting when a member of the group announces that they have a new post.