Learn how the new algorithm works and navigate your way from small creator posts to viral content.
With over 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram has evolved the way it filters and indexes content over the years as a way of showing its users what’s truly relevant to them. And the Instagram algorithm is the one responsible for ranking posts according to different specific criteria.
“Ranking” indicates the way posts are hierarchically organized on users’ feeds and the explore and hashtag pages, so a good ranking would mean that the post is at the top of these pages and will be seen by more people. If your post ranks low, then most of your followers won’t ever see it, which proves that understanding how the algorithm works is essential to gather a bigger audience and engagement.
So, what are these “ranking criteria”, you ask? Well, this is where it gets more complicated. Instagram is always on the lookout for improvement and consequently, the algorithm is ever-changing. However, we’ve cracked elements that have been significant for the ranking in the last several months, so just keep reading to find out the 5 key factors you need to look out for in 2023.
#1 Boost All Types of Engagement
Likes, comments and views might look great on your page but don’t forget about the saves, shares and profile visits.
Likes and comments may have been around since the beginning, but Instagram has found new ways for users to engage with their favorite content (saves, amount of profile visits, shares) and has given those more weight when it comes to the ranking scale. In other words: having 100 likes and 80 saves & shares will rank your content higher than 170 likes and 10 saves & shares with the new algorithm, for example.
Considering that, you should always encourage your followers to save and share your posts in order for the algorithm to rank them higher.
Another great way of guaranteeing a boost in all types of engagement is to subscribe to a service that delivers likes, comments, views, saves and shares from a network of real people (please, do NOT buy engagement from bots, as that will definitely damage your page and might even get you banned). We recommend USA Powerlikes, as they have great affordable plans that fit everyone. The Package Deals include powerlikes, comments, views, shares, saves and profile visits (the algorithm doesn’t stand a chance against this).
#2 Focus on Reels
As a response to TikTok’s huge success, Instagram created Reels, and the algorithm has been favoring them ever since. To compete with the other social media platform, Reels are still the best-performing content on Instagram in 2023, with a much higher chance of being at the top of the pages than images.
In fact, Instagram itself tells you to use “popular formats such as Reels”. So if you want to use the algorithm to your advantage, you should focus on making more and better Reels.
#3 Promote your New Post on Your Stories
With the new algorithm, it’s likely that fewer and fewer of your followers will be shown your posts on their feeds. That is mainly because of what we mentioned in step #1 of this article – you’re just focusing on likes and comments and lacking other types of engagement.
A great way of making sure that more of your subscribers see your content is to promote your new posts on your Instagram stories, as it will appear on all of your followers’ pages and the algorithm doesn’t limit it. It’s literally free advertising!
#4 Niche Down Your Page
A common mistake we see often is brands or Influencers that try to cover too much ground and end up with a very generic, busy page.
Niches are important for an obvious reason: they are supposed to showcase the best of a specific topic, which will gather and ultimately retain a lot of people that are interested in that specific matter. Sticking to one subject and exploring it the best you can is almost guaranteed to build strong loyalty from that community to your page.
On the other hand, having a generic page that covers too many niches is like trying to catch five birds with one stone: it’s harder and you’ll probably end up with none.
That being said, we strongly advise you to rethink what you want your page to be about, and stick to one or two niches max. Examples of popular niches are Beauty, Travel, Food and Wellness & Fitness.
#5 Post Frequently & At an Optimized Time
This one has been true for a while now and continues to be extremely relevant. Posting on a regular basis can help you solidify your fan base and equally as important, it will show Instagram that you are an active account that keeps creating content, which will favor your content to rank higher.
However, be careful not to overwhelm your audience with too many posts (do you really need to be posting twice a day?), which can reduce your engagement rate. We would recommend posting between four to six posts per week.
And to take advantage of the 2023 algorithm and maximize your engagement, try to post at times when users are most likely to be online- before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m.- before and after working hours.