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Instagram’s Algorithm: Beat the System To Boost Visibility


Plixi Team

Sep 12, 2023 13 min read

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Learning how Instagram’s algorithm works is essential to improving the amount of people who see your content. Get it right, and the number of followers, likes, and shares your account receives will go through the roof.

In this article, we’ll share how to understand Instagram’s latest algorithm and use the knowledge to your advantage. I’ll also share the top things to avoid and the advantages of growing your audience on the social media platform.

Instagram’s Algorithm: Beat the System To Boost Visibility

What Is Instagram’s Algorithm?

Are you wondering what Instagram’s algorithm is all about? Instagram’s algorithm is a ruleset that ranks different types of content on the platform. It makes decisions on what content to show to people based on a wide variety of metrics. Including their preferences, what content is popular, and other metadata. This also includes the hashtags that are used and content engagement metrics.

Therefore, to ensure your content has a higher chance of going viral on Instagram, you must create content that users want to engage with. In this article, we’ll share top tips for ensuring the algorithm looks favorably on your content. Hence, it has a higher chance of going viral with your target audience.

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How Does Instagram’s Algorithm Work?

Do you want to find out how Instagram’s algorithm works? The recipe for Instagram’s latest algorithm is a closely guarded secret. After all, the company doesn’t want regular users to find out how they rank content. However, based on a lot of testing and experiences, here are some of the top factors to be aware of:

  • Relevancy: The algorithm determines the relevance of content based on the user’s preferences. They use a formula to determine users’ likes and provide the right content for their interests. Therefore, your content needs to be interesting to the target audience to have a chance of getting in front of them. 
  • Interest: The algorithm pays attention to the engagement and interaction with your content. The type of users who interact with your content will receive more of it and vice-versa. 
  • Creator-viewer relationship: The algorithm also factors in the relationship between the creator and viewer. For example, do both parties follow one another and view each other’s content regularly? Also, how many likes, shares, and other engagement actions were taken between the accounts? Even responding to DMs can improve the visibility of your content for some users. 

This is just an example of the different factors contributing to the algorithm. There are many more factors that play a significant role, but you need to keep them in mind to ensure that you succeed in growing your Instagram account.

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How To Beat Instagram’s Algorithm

In this section of the article, we’ll share the top strategies for how to beat Instagram’s algorithm. Therefore, you can get more followers, likes, and shares for your hard work. This can increase your brand awareness, attract more sponsorship deals, and generate additional sales.

Increase Your Engagement Metrics

Improving the engagement metrics for your Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, or other content types will increase content visibility. That’s because Instagram’s algorithm feels that content with high engagement is what users want. 

Therefore, you’ll need to increase user engagement, and here are a few strategies for how you can achieve this:

  • Ask user opinion: Within your content, you should ask users to leave a comment. However, make sure you deploy a natural way of asking for the comment instead of forcing it upon your audience for no reason. For example, you can ask users to leave comments to ask their opinions about a specific issue. You’ll especially get a lot of comments if the content is controversial. 
  • Leave comments: Take the time out of your day to interact with the audience and leave comments. This increases the chances that future viewers will leave comments on your posts. That’s because users will see the post author responding to comments and feel they have a high chance of getting a response, too. 
  • Thought-provoking or controversial: You can create thought-provoking or controversial content to increase the chances of comments or shares. Users may want to share an interesting video with their community so the engagement metrics go through the roof. Consequently, the algorithm will show your content love by pushing the priority ladder.

Create Original Content

Creating original content may have a positive impact on how Instagram’s algorithm ranks your content. That’s because there are a lot of copycat creators on social media platforms, and audiences get bored of viewing the same type of content. However, if you create original content that’s never been seen before, you may get more attention from your target audience. 

The algorithm will factor in this interest by increasing your visibility across the platform. However, if your content is successful, don’t expect it to stay unique for a long time. Other Instagram creators will notice and decide to copy your new ideas. 

Do you think that every type of content idea has already been done? This is far from the truth, and new types of content are posted every day. You simply need to get your creative juice going and develop original ideas. Perhaps you can look at content on other social media platforms, books, movies, or video games for inspiration.

For Instagram’s New Algorithm: Choose The Right Hashtags

Selecting the right hashtags increases the number of viewers your content receives. This in turn, can boost the score calculated by Instagram’s algorithm. Wondering how to choose the best algorithms for your target audience? Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Research the competition: Look at what hashtags your competitors are using on their posts. This will clue you in on the best hashtags in your niche. Start by paying attention to your niche’s most popular content creators since they understand what hashtags generate the biggest audience size. 
  • Instagram Insights: Look at your Instagram Insights dashboard to determine which hashtags perform best. In future posts, you can use more of the high-traffic hashtags and leave the other ones behind. 
  • Experimentation: Use your experience and knowledge of the niche to try different hashtags you feel might draw a lot of traffic. Perhaps you’ll land upon a few winning combinations to boost the traffic to your content.
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How Does an Instagram Shadowban Affect Your Algorithm Rankings?

Shadowbans basically removes content from considerations by Instagram’s algorithm. This means that no matter how well your content is ranked, it will immediately stop getting shared by the IG algorithm. Followers are the only people who will continue to see your content.

You can get shadowbanned on Instagram for a variety of things. It includes buying followers, using banned hashtags, posting questionable content, and more. Also, a shadowban can last for a few weeks to several months. IG content creators have experienced different lengths, so there’s no exact amount of time they last.

Once you’re shadowbanned, there are several things you can do to increase the chances of returning your account to normal. Firstly, you can contact customer support to fire out the problem. They might give you insight into the specific problem that is causing the shadowbanning of your account.

You can also look at the hashtags for your post to find ones that are questionable. You can complete this audit from the Instagram Insights console. Finally, consider the topics you post about and figure out if there are any sensitivity issues. 

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Advantages Of Beating Instagram’s Algorithm

There are multiple reasons why you may want to beat Instagram’s algorithm and increase the rankings for your content. Taking the time to appreciate these benefits will help you understand the value of putting in resources to make it a reality. Here are the top reasons you should work on beating the algorithm.

Receive More Sponsorship Deals

Get the algorithm to send you an avalanche of attention, and your follower count will rapidly increase. Afterward, brands will take notice of your account and offer your deals to share their products and services. 

Typically, the size of an Instagram account relates to the quality of the deals you’re offered. That’s because brands want a return on investment and are ready to increase their budget when choosing higher-traffic marketing channels.

IG’s Algorithm Will Increase Sales

Do you have a website where you want to sell your products and services? Then Instagram is an excellent source of referral traffic that can lead to a large volume of extra sales. However, you need to generate that referral traffic and discover how to beat Instagram’s algorithm for more sales. 

Therefore, the time and resources you spend figuring out how to beat the algorithm is worth the hassle because of the commercial implications. However, you need to target the right audience on Instagram. This ensures the incoming traffic to your website converts at a higher rate.

Will Give You More Authority

Beating Instagram’s algorithm provides more visibility and traffic to your posts. Therefore, the authority of your Instagram account will also get bigger. However, you’ll need to have a consistent content calendar to keep the audience engaged. 

After building your authority on the platform, your messages and ideas may have more weight. It’s great for those users who are passionate about the topic they usually share their accounts on. For example, if you love to share cooking recipes, more of them will be shared as you improve your rankings in the IG algorithm.

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How To Reset IG Algorithm

Are you wondering how to reset the IG algorithm? This refers to the act of wiping the slate clean so that your Instagram search results and suggestions start from scratch. You can complete this action in several ways, and we’ll share them in this section of the article.

Reset It by Unfollowing People

Some suggestions you’re receiving from Instagram’s algorithm are because of the people you’re following. Therefore, if you want to reset the algorithm, you’ll need to unfollow every single person on your account. This might take a long time, depending on how many followers you already subscribe to.

Once you begin following other accounts, you’ll find that the suggestions for content that you’re receiving are completely different. Therefore, be careful about what type of IG accounts you follow since it impacts the algorithm’s message.

Tell Instagram What To Avoid

You can actually tell Instagram what content you want to see less of in the future. Simply click on the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and click “Not Interested”. You may note a quick change in the type of content you’re receiving, or it might take a bit more time for the algorithm to reset.

Note that the algorithm isn’t perfect, and you may continue to receive suggestions you don’t want to see if the content is popular. However, the algorithm constantly improves, so you can expect your suggestions to improve.

Reset By Deleting Search History

You should consider deleting your search history to reset Instagram’s algorithm. This is an easy step to take and good practice to increase the speed of your device. However, you’ll lose the autocomplete function since that’s also reset. Therefore, you want to avoid deleting your search results too often.

Reset By Clearing the Cache

The caching system of the Instagram app stores data about your search history and how you interact with the app. Instagram’s algorithm uses this data to serve up more content suggestions. Therefore, you’ll need to open your Instagram app and clear the chance to remove the data that’s contributing to the suggestions. 

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Top Things To Avoid When Beating Instagram’s Algorithm

This section will share some of the more important things you shouldn’t do when trying to beat the algorithm. In fact, some of these steps might undo all the hard work you’ve done thus far, which means you’ll waste time and resources.

Don’t Target the Wrong Audience

It’s essential to target the correct audience when trying to beat Instagram’s algorithm. That’s because if you target the wrong audience, it can take a long time to modify your account so that the algorithm sends a different audience.

For example, do you have an Instagram account targeting gym enthusiasts in the United States? Generating traffic from users in Europe might take a lot of extra work. This scenario would be problematic for a brand trying to generate interest in its gyms based in the United States.

Don’t Get Shadowbanned

To avoid grinding your account to a halt by getting removed from consideration by Instagram’s algorithm, you must avoid getting shadowbanned. This may not always be in your control since you can get banned by enough people reporting your account. You can avoid shady actions like getting caught buying followers or using banned hashtags. 

However, if you do receive an Instagram shadowban, you can get the effect reversed. You can contact customer support or simply wait a few weeks, and your account may return to normal. 

Don’t Leave The Account Idle

Momentum is an important aspect of succeeding with social media, and the same is true on Instagram. Therefore, you need to have a consistent content calendar to have the best chance of beating Instagram’s algorithm. This ensures that your audience continues to consume your continent and boost engagement metrics.

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Instagram Algorithm: Is It Worth The Focus?

There are many reasons to beat Instagram’s algorithm, which include increasing your referral traffic, getting more views, acquiring authority, and much more. Understand how to win on Instagram, and you can gather a big community that engages with your content.

However, make sure you don’t go down the wrong road by getting shadowbanned since that would negatively affect your account. Ensure you know the different factors that can lead an Instagram account into trouble.

Do you want a surefire way to improve your Instagram account? Then check out our service here at Plixi for a mixture of an in-house algorithm and an influencer network. The combination allows you to grow your IG account by targeting a specific audience. So what are you waiting for? Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today.

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