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The Strategy Room

Tips on Winning with the Instagram Algorithm

By: Hannah Sedgwick

From Instagram Stories to posts and highlights, you can use the social media platform to help tell your clients’ stories and engage with target audiences.

To successfully incorporate Instagram into your next communications plan, here are a few tips on the ever-changing algorithm, the optimal times to post and a few other tricks.

Posting Time

The time you post matters. It has an impact on the visibility and your post’s engagement rate. The optimal times to post on Instagram are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Peak times include Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday between 10 and 11 a.m. If you post on Wednesday at 11 a.m., your post will have more viewers and a higher probability of engagement. Higher engagement leads to your post being flagged as high-quality for a more prominent spot on users’ feeds.

It’s a cycle, and if you use it to your advantage, it can even make your post go viral. Sprout Social breaks this down further by industry, so be sure to research and plan before you post.

Lifespan

When it comes to lifespan, an Instagram Story is available to users for 24 hours. Afterward, you can add Stories to a highlight on your page, making it indefinitely available to users, unless you remove it.

While standard posts are available on your profile indefinitely, there’s an initial window where you have the best chance of being viewed in users’ feeds. Instagram posts receive most of their engagement within 48 hours of posting and the engagement rate peaks at around six hours after posting.

Algorithm

The posts that appear first in users’ feeds are largely tailored to their interests.

According to Instagram, “What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc.”

Essentially, Instagram will feature posts with a high number of likes more prominently, increasing user visibility.

Stories, however, aren’t impacted by the Instagram algorithm, so use them to your advantage. Posting frequent stories will keep your brand at the top of their feed and at the top of your followers’ minds.

Video content, including IGTV and Instagram Live, isn’t prioritized by Instagram’s algorithm but posting video is a smart move. It encourages your followers to spend more time with your content, which can lead to higher engagement rates across the board.

Get posting!

Take these tips into account the next time you post on Instagram for your client. These tricks of the trade may help you get more engagement and get your brand’s message across to the right audiences!




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