5 Minute Creativity: Understand the Instagram Algorithm | Later | Skillshare

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5 Minute Creativity: Understand the Instagram Algorithm

teacher avatar Later, Instagram Scheduler

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Understand the Instagram Algorithm


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About This Class

This bite-sized class is a part of Skillshare’s latest learning experiment, helping you explore your creativity in 5 minutes or less! The full version of this class is available here.

In this short course, learn about how the Instagram algorithm decides which posts to show on which users' feeds. You'll learn how to use consistency, engagement and timeliness to improve your Instagram presence.

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Instagram Scheduler


We're the world's favorite Instagram scheduler, helping you visually plan your social posts, publish automatically, and get tailored insights to help you reach more people.

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1. Understand the Instagram Algorithm: Now what you're really wondering is how does the Instagram algorithm work? When it comes to the algorithm, there's a lot of scary feelings associated with it. People feel like is this really bad, ominous thing that's going to make it so that your posts aren't seen to your followers. But when you know how the algorithm works, that means you can hack it to actually help you instead of hurt you. There are three key factors in the Instagram algorithm that affect how many people are going to see your posts in their feed. The first factor that the Instagram algorithm takes into consideration is how much it thinks you're going to care about this post. What that means is, are people engaging with your account? Are they watching your stories? Are they liking your posts? Are they commenting? Are you connecting with them? How connected are these to people? That's what Instagram will then discover and those are the people it's going to choose to share the post to first. So how can you beat this? One of the easiest ways is to be consistent. For example, if you're posting on your Instagram stories every day and you're being really consistent about that, it's going to become a little bit like a reality TV show that people are excited to tune into every single day. If they're excited to do that, then your stories are going to be near the front of their feed for them to engage with. You also want to be consistent with posting to your feed as well. This doesn't mean that you have to post every single day of the week, but you do want to be consistent and post great content and trying to engage with people in the comments and make sure that you're always commenting back with them. The really good way to do this is to sit down once a week and plan out all of your Instagram content for the week, so then you can be sure that you're consistent and showing up for your followers. The second factor that the Instagram algorithm considers is the relationship to the person who's posting it. This is why you'll often see a photo from, maybe, your parent at the top of your feed, even though they might only have 50 Instagram followers, it's because Instagram has figured out, hey, you really care about this family member and you probably want to see this post, even though it's not some epically gorgeous photo by an extremely popular account. This is because Instagram values relationships. Again, this ties back into why you should be authentic on Instagram, because the algorithm favors authenticity at the end of the day. So if you are trying hard to genuinely connect with people on Instagram, this means in your DMs, replying back to everybody, having them open, creating conversation, starter questions. Maybe you put up a poll in your Instagram story about anything that even gets people invested. For example, with my house, as I'm redecorating it, I'd ask for some advice and put up a poll. Then people became really invested all of a sudden in what my apartment was going to look like. They would tune in back for more and they love being able to give their input on something and actually feel like they are helping me out with a problem. The third thing that the Instagram algorithm factors in is timeliness. How long ago was this photo posted? This is where my number 1 tip for beating the algorithm comes into play. You want to find your best time to post. Finding the best time to post is giving yourself the biggest opportunity for your post to be seen by as many followers right when it's posted. Why does this matter? Because the more followers that engage with your content right after it's posted, what this does is it signals to Instagram that your content is quality content and it's good content, and then they show it to more people. This all happens within the first 30 minutes of your post. So it's really important that you're posting when people are online, when your specific followers are online. This is why you'll also want to hang out in your Instagram for a little bit after you post. You want to answer any questions that come into the comments and just generally see if your post is performing well. There's no overall best time to post on Instagram. This is because every Instagram account has followers made up of totally different demographics, in different cities, and time zones all over the world. If you're wondering how you can find your personal best time to post on Instagram, we do have this feature in later and we'll share it in the class resources, some tips on how you can figure this out for yourself from your Instagram analytics too.