Ah, the Instagram algorithm. As a social media manager, it is my job to stay on top of the trends and, most importantly, the ever-changing algorithm. Luckily, Instagram finally cleared the air and busted some rumors about its system. I've gathered what I think are the most current, important facts about the 2020 algorithm, as well as tips to help you achieve the grid you have always wanted. 


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The Feed

Sidenote: The Instagram algorithm could change at any time, but here's what we know now.

1. Interest: This means Instagram learns what you like. Literally. If they think you will "like" a post, you are more likely to see that post on your feed over other content. 

2. Relationships: The algorithm pays attention to who you direct message, search for, how much you comment on another user's post, etc. Who you engage with is who you will see on your feed.

3. Timeliness: Make sure your content is relevant! It is also important to pay attention to your analytics for critical posting times. The best time to post is when your analytics say most of your followers are online and engaging with you.

TIP: If you can not see your analytics, you need to turn your page into a business account. Click here to learn how to set up your Instagram Business Account. 

4. Frequency: According to the gurus at Later, "If you’re a frequent scroller, your feed will look more 'chronological' since Instagram tries to show you the best posts since your last visit. If you check the Instagram app less often, then your feed will be sorted more to what Instagram thinks you’ll like, instead of chronologically." 


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Best Practices

There are also good social media practices to commit to no matter how the algorithm changes. If you can’t hire a social media manager to do it for you, here are three tips to help a sister out.

1. Plan Ahead: Planning ahead means you never miss an opportunity to be relevant. This allows you to create an archive of content so you are never in a bind. When working with longtime friend and client @dancedynamicsar, it was a struggle for me to create content when regular classes were on break and the dance competition season was over. This year, the studio hired a professional photographer for the dance company and it changed our social media game. By having excellent photos in excess, I was able to garner enough content for the entire year and everything else is just the cherry on top.

TIP: We made a tangible social media calendar to help. 

2. Schedule Posts: Scheduling out the content you have gathered allows you to get it done and not have to worry about it for the month or next three months. I use Hootsuite to schedule out all my content, but other platforms that are not crazy expensive are Later and Planoly. Bonus: Planoly allows you to schedule your Instagram Stories. How cool! 

3. Change Up Your Hashtags: I recently posted a video for a client (@acqbeauty) that was actually a #repost from another account. It wasn’t our original content, but it was a super cool video. After using new hashtags, the video has received 1,065 likes, 247 bookmarks, 1,383 profile visits and reached 101,429 people. The kicker is that she only had 900 followers at the time! Can I get an amen for #hashtags? 

TIP: Make sure your hashtags have more than 5,000 followers for optimal exposure. 

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Bailey Moses is the founder of Social Grid Media. She works with businesses in a variety of sectors, teaches organizations across the U.S. about social media and provides one-on-one media training, all while doing what she loves everyday. For more social media tips and insights, follow @socialgridmediallc on Instagram.


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