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social media agency meath - instagram

Wouldn’t social media marketing be so much easier if each post went to all of our followers and in chronological order of posting?  That would be a dream.  We could then guarantee our numbers and maybe even increase our revenue or conversions.  Unfortunately each social media platform has an (I’m going to say the dreaded A word) algorithm.   Well in this post I’m going to talk you through ways to work alongside the 2021 Instagram algorithm.  We have to attach the year to algorithm because it changes so damn much!

So before we get into how to work with it, I’ll tell you what the algorithm is.  The algorithm for Instagram, and other channels, determines:

  • which posts go to the top of the news feed, and which order the rest follow.
  • Which posts are featured on the Explore tab
  • Which order each of the other features show up on peoples device

The algorithm does this by basically judging how interesting you and your content is.  Of course, there too are other factors.  Which we’ll get into in a minute.

The algorithm determines the placing of your posts on a number of factors:

  • Relationship
  • Interest
  • Timeliness
  • Frequency of use
  • Following
  • Session Time


This one is all about engagement.  The more you engage with your followers, or the more they engage with you, the more likely your posts will be shown to a higher percentage of them.  The algorithm will recognize that you are actively engaging and have a loyal following.


When Instagram mention timeliness what they mean is, “do your research”. While all posts do show up in a persons news feed, more recent posts will take priority.  So to work alongside this aspect of the algorithm, research as to when is the peak time for your brand.  When is your busiest time of day? Find out and post at the peak time.


Think you’re quite interesting?  Don’t worry, Instagram will let you know.  Your content has to be appealing to your audience, the algorithm will know.  That’s what it’s job is, to give people interesting content.  If it wasn’t doing it’s job, people would get bored and move onto a new app.

Frequency of use

This one is an obvious one but anyway.  The more often a person opens the app, the more likely they are to see your content.

Following & Session time

These last 2 more depend on your following than any of the others do.  If a person follows 5,000 people, the algorithm will have it’s work cut out to choose which of those 5,000 accounts posts to show, rather than the person only following 500 people.  Much less choice, meaning less work for the algorithm.  The same can be said for session time,  if a person is only logged in to the app for a few minutes per day, the algorithm will have to choose carefully which posts to show in the little time online.

Want some tips on how to get that little bit extra from your posts?  Of course you do.

  • Try out new features – Instagram favour certain types of posts over others, there’s no secret of that.  In fact carousel posts get 3x the engagement and 1.4x the reach of other post types.  Trying out features this carousel and Reels will bring a boost to your organic reach.
  • Stay consistent – This requires some leg work.  Plan ahead and create a  content calendar to keep you on track.
  • Don’t cheat – buying followers does not work.  Keep your account open, honest and transparent.  This will be rewarded.

Got that? Good.  If not, don’t forget that Socially is always on hand to help you out with anything you need in regards to social media.