If you’re experiencing a change in reach, the Instagram algorithm COULD be the culprit. Don’t sweat!
We can use proven and tested strategies to prepare our content for algorithms, even as influencers.
Content strategy gives our profiles their best shot at reaching the most people and beating the 2022 Instagram algorithm. More reach = more followers, which could help you land more brand deals—especially if you want to pitch to brands!
Anyways, what are these strategies?
We will start by quickly covering how the Instagram algorithm works in 2022. Then we will go into 16 tips on how you can beat it today!
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First, What is the Algorithm?
“Algorithm” is just a fancy term experts use to describe decision-making technology. Or as head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, puts it, “The algorithm just means a process.”
Algorithms make apps we love more enjoyable!
Instead of us sorting though THOUSANDS of content pieces to find what we like, the algorithm does most of the filtering for us.
It’s a process.
It curates content it thinks we’ll like—helpful, right? I need an algorithm to clean my apartment, sheesh!
Recently, Adam Mosseri let everyone know that there is no one god-almighty algorithm, “At Instagram there are actually many, many algorithms that we use to try and predict what you might be interested in at any given moment.”
Now, we don’t need to worry about that, and I’ll explain why. To make things easy in this blog, we’ll continue to say “algorithm.”
How the Instagram Algorithm Works in 2022
The Instagram algorithm works by noting what content you enjoy and aims to show you similar content pieces.
We know this! And the more ya know about the algo, the more you grow!
From my experience, while there are multiple algorithms, the same basic principles can be applied to your overall content strategy.
All you have to understand is how Instagram ranks content.
Knowing how Insta ranks content can help you create photos, videos, etc., that your ideal followers will love, all while nudging the algorithm to show it off. And when you create content your followers love, that helps improve your relationship with your audience—paid Instagram sponsors love that!
*And it’s something you can easily talk about in your influencer media kit.
So let’s talk about the ranking factors below!
Tools You’d Like: The Ultimate Influencer Starter Pack
How Instagram Ranks Content
Four primary ranking factors go into determining what content appears on our newsfeed:
- The Content
- The Poster
- User Activity
- User Interaction
I’m not pullin’ these outta my @$$. These four ranking factors were confirmed by Instagram.
Anyhow, let’s explain these a bit more!
First, “content” refers to when a post is live and what kind of post it is. Is it a video post? A photo?
With features like Instagram Reels, Guides and Instagram Lives, the IG algorithm uses post types to decide who should see this content.
In addition, Instagram is less likely to show users content posted three months ago and more likely to show users content posted three hours ago. Fresher than a LA juice bar—hayyyyy.
“Poster” is who posted the content! Ever notice that when you like someone’s post, you see more of them?
The IG algorithm factors in who and what you engage with. That determines the order of your newsfeed and the content you’ll see.
And there’s more!
If you comment or are even tagged in someone’s posts often, the algorithm assumes you two have some sort of relationship. It’s like saying, “Hey, this person is important to me, and I want to see more of them on my Feed.”
User Activity and Interests
The way you consume content on the app creates your in-app experience.
To see this in action, head to the Menu in the upper righthand corner of the app, then “Manage Interests.” You will see a list of all the post topics Instagram believes you like.
You can add or remove Instagram interests as you see fit. The interests you choose determine what content you see.
User Engagement History
Yes, the Instagram algorithm keeps tabs on your app history. Need proof of this?
Next time you’re on the app, click on the three dots on your newsfeed’s upper righthand corner of the post. Then click “Why you’re seeing this post.” Instagram will tell you why!
For example, it could be how long you follow a person. But, it could also be the likes on a post.
Now let’s talk about 16 tips for beating the Instagram algorithm!
Read Next: How to Become an Instagram Influencer
16 Tips for Beating the 2022 Instagram Algorithm
- Create Reels Frequently & Consistently
- Keep Up with Trends
- Make Stories Fun
- Post Stories Daily
- Use Hashtags Wisely
- Make Your Content Shareable
- Post Carousels Instead of One Photo
- Write Good Captions
- Get Personal with Your Content
- Reply to Your DMs
- Respond to Comments
- Engage with Accounts You Follow
- Collab with Other Creators
- Give Your Feed a “Look”
- Read Up on Insights
- Stop Deleting and Reposting on Instagram
Don’t worry—we will discuss that list in detail! And later, we’ll talk about how to get on the Explore Page!
#1 Create Reels Consistently & Frequently
Reels will be your best bet for beating the 2022 Instagram algorithm. So, how do you make good Reels?
We discuss this quite a bit in my Instagram influencer course, but value-driven content is king.
Value can come in many different forms, from entertaining to relatable content.
Above all, think about the value you can bring to the table and how you can deliver that in a 15 second video. And even though Reels are short, your Reels should tell a cohesive story that is engaging.
To beat the Instagram algorithm in 2022, aim to post Reels at least 5 times a week. If that’s hard, find a posting schedule that works for you, and be consistent!
#2 Keep Up with Trends
Additionally, creating trendy content is an EXCELLENT way to get the algorithm on your side! In other words, any time there is a new Instagram trend, you can assume that most IG users are consuming it.
That’s why it’s trending, after all.
When you re-create those trends in your way, the algorithm takes your content and shoots it to users already engaging with said trend.
All you have to do is put your name in the hat! The key with trends is to act FAST on them.
Trends could potentially get thousands of new eyeballs on your content!
#3 Make Stories Fun
Find ways to get your audience involved with your Stories. For example, use polls, funny gifs, and “questions” stickers to engage your audience.
You can also incorporate videos into your Instagram Stories.
#4 Post Stories Day
Post Stories daily, but don’t overdo it. Instagram is currently testing a “preview” Stories feature.
I explain it more in my Instagram Stories blog, but for now, try to aim for 3-5 Stories a day.
Stories are probably the easiest thing you can post! Again, if that is difficult, find a posting schedule that is right for you.
#5 Use Hashtags Wisely
Hashtags are a bit hit or miss for me. I wouldn’t RELY on them, but I still use them.
At the end of the day, if your content is bad, a hashtag will not save you.
Pro Tip: Think of hashtags like a tool. They’re just there to add to your organic Instagram growth strategy!
#6 Make Your Content Shareable
Shareable can mean many things, but for us, it means making your content easy to share on multiple platforms. For example, creating Reels that you post on TikTok. And that right there is great strategy for becoming an Instagram influencer 😉
Aside from Reels, you can also use new features like the “Add Yours” Story sticker to get others to share your content.
Read Next: 6 Reasons You Aren’t Landing Brand Deals
#7 Post Carousels Instead of One Photo
Remember, we want our followers to spend more time looking at what we post, so the Instagram algorithm favors us. When we share a carousel, our followers naturally spend more time looking at it.
And generally speaking, they’re more engaging.
#8 Write Good Captions
Writing captions that people want to read is a great way to get users to spend more time on your posts so you can beat the 2022 Instagram algorithm. I have an easy way to do this. It’s called “microblogging.”
In short, microblog Instagram captions are when you write an Instagram caption that is informative and tells your audience about a specific topic. This makes captions interesting!
#9 Get Personal with Your Content
Your followers want to know you. So, you should form a relationship with them!
This will help you appear on their newsfeeds more often. Also, brands love influencers who have a rock-solid relationship with their audience.
That relationship is something you can easily highlight in your influencer media kit.
And if you’re looking for brand deals, you’ll wanna check out my guide on how to land paid sponsorships!
#10 Reply to DMs
Because the IG algorithm aims to show off the most engaging pages/ content, you should be looking for the best ways to interact with your audience!
You want the Instagram algorithm to sense that your followers care about your page. Replying to DMs is a great way to establish trust with followers and beat the algorithm.
#11 Reply to Comments
See above. If we want to beat the 2022 Instagram algorithm, we need to engage! Your followers want to interact with you.
#12 Engage with Accounts You Follow
Engaging with accounts you follow will not move the needle for you, but it’s good practice to be active in the app and interact with other accounts.
There are no specific amount of accounts you need to comment on, but overdoing it will look spammy. If you like a piece of content, go ahead and leave a comment; otherwise, just move on!
And PSSSSSST: Did you know that even if you have a small following, as long as you have a good relationship with your audience, you can make money as an influencer?
Click here to ready my guide on how to make money as a content creator—even with under 5K followers!
#13 Collab with Other Creators
One of the fastest ways to beat the new Instagram algorithm, and get exposure to new followers, is to connect with others. Instagram is a social network, so you’ll benefit from being social.
Most importantly, with how 2020 went, people are craving connection through a screen. Try to collab with other creators and find ways to share your audiences!
This is even easier with the new Instagram Collab Post feature.
#14 Give Your Feed a “Look”
I do think a color-graded Feed helps with engagement.
You want your followers to recognize your work and love it, which is what having an overall Instagram aesthetic can help you do!
Also, there are plenty of aesthetic photo editing apps out there you can use!
#15 Read Up on Insights
To beat the Instagram algorithm, you need to post quality content and note what your followers enjoy. Part of posting quality content uses Instagram Insights to get into how followers interact with your page.
And of course, when you have good insights, you’ll want to highlight that on your media kit (for brand deals).
Not sure wtf a media kit is? Click here to read my guide on influencer media kits.
#16 Stop Deleting and Reposting on Instagram
Finally, while deleting and reposting on Instagram will not do any long-term damage to your account, it’s a waste of time. In short, if a piece of content doesn’t do well for you, move on!
You can maybe archive it and repost it at a later date, but you’re better off just posting fresh content consistently.
So, What Content Should You Create in 2022?
To beat the 2022 Instagram algorithm, you need to post:
- Photos (Bonus)
Now, let’s discuss why these are the only 3 content types you need to worry about.
Reels—Users share Reels more often. So, if your Reels are relatable or entertaining and give people something to talk about, they are more likely to generate shares. That means more engagement with your content!
Stories—Above all, Stories are the easiest thing to post for busy influencers like us. They’re mainly there to help you stay top of mind with your audience. Treat Stories like an easy way to get more engagement.
Photos (Bonus)—Photo posts are otherwise known as static content. Static means the post doesn’t move like a video! But, Instagram has repeatedly said that they’re shifting to focus more on video. In other words, photos are becoming less important on Instagram. So, think of posting photos as “bonus” content.
If you ONLY post photos, you can expect your reach to drop. So photos should NOT be your entire strategy.
That’s why Reels are a great go-to right now.
“But Dani, I share Reels and they get NO views!”
You’ll want to grab my Influencer Toolkit!
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What Happens When You Hit “Post”
Here’s the very very diluted process your content goes through once you hit “post.”
- Once a new piece of content is shared, to a tiny group of users
- The algo thinks these users will enjoy the content
- If they do, and post receives likes, comments, shares, the Instagram algorithm will send the content to a larger group
- Along the way, the ranking factors are applied!
Phew! Talk about a process.
In addition, Instagram makes money from ads. To make more money, they need your followers to see ads.
The longer they’re on the app, the more money Instagram gets! So, we can assume that the algorithm “rewards” influencers who keep people on longer.
But Isn’t Reach Still Down?
Maybe you’ve been posting Reels, photos, and Stories but you still find yourself asking, “Why is my reach so low on Instagram?” or “Is Instagram reach down in 2022?” If that’s you, then listen up:
Reach is not down!
Reach has simply shifted to accommodate creators posting what Instagram users want to see. Remember, the 2022 Instagram algorithm wants to show people what they like!
So, to increase your reach on Instagram, you have to make your content more engaging. In addition, your content needs to be timely and specific to your audience.
This will help the Instagram algorithm push your content to the right people.
And more people seeing your content can result in a more engaged audience—that can help you charge more for sponsored posts!
PSSST: Need help finding your rates for posts? You’ll like this:
How to Get on The Explore Page
The Explore Page algorithm works by showing you a summary of what Instagram thinks you will enjoy.
Your Explore Page and your friends’ might look entirely different for this reason! Believe it or not, the Explore Page also operates under its algorithm.
It shows you photos, videos, and content categories hand-picked for you! However, getting on the Explore Page isn’t hard!
An easy way to get on the Instagram Explore page is to start using Reels. Reels have their section on the Explore page, which can be massive growth for you in 2022.
Your Next Steps
The key takeaway I want you to get from this guide is that beating the Instagram algorithm isn’t impossible, but it isn’t easy!
As an influencer, if you apply these strategies to your profile, you’ll create a solid foundation to beat any new algorithms to come.
So what’s next if you want to up your influencer game? Read these posts: