Whether you’re a business owner, an influencer or just someone who never sees their friend’s posts – we’ve all been affected by Instagram’s algorithm changes at some point!

Instagram’s algorithm is forever changing, and instead of prioritising posts by date, the app narrows down all of the content based on your likes, interactions, following and more.

The algorithm decides what content you see depending on six ranking factors. The factors include relationship, interest, timeliness, usage, following and session time.

Relationship is in regards to how often you interact with the user, whether you like, comment or direct message the user, will increase how often you see their posts.

Interest refers to how often you engage with these types of posts; videos, carousels and so on.

Timeliness refers to how long it has been since a user has posted, if it was in the past hour it is more likely to be shown in user’s feeds rather than a post from two days ago.

How often you actually use Instagram will affect this too, the more often you use the app the more likely you will see your favourite brand’s posts.

Your following will also affect this, the less people you follow, the more likely you are to see their posts.

And finally, your session time – the longer you spend on the app, the more likely you will view posts from the people you follow. And let’s face it, since the pandemic, session times are very high.

But the question is, how do we improve our engagement with the new changes?

Here at Social+ we have searched high and low for the best tips to tackle this year’s algorithm:

Firstly, according to Hootsuite, carousel posts pull x3 more engagement and x1.4 more reach than your standard Instagram post. Three different selfies that look exactly the same? Post them!

Posting consistently at similar times is the key to helping how many users you reach. Posting every day would be perfect, but that’s not always possible. So set yourself a goal, create a monthly plan and post regularly!

This leads us to the dreaded question – when is the best time to post on Instagram? This would have been easily answered, but then the global pandemic hit and everyone’s lives were turned upside down.

Some people were working from home, and some people weren’t working at all, our screen time increased and everything changed.

Evenings on weekdays are typically still the most active times, however, the most efficient way to go about this is by reviewing your analytics! Check your top-performing posts and the time that you posted them. Then if that works for you and your business – keep it up!

It has been suggested that Reels are featured more frequently in user’s feeds so that more users make use of this new feature. This has never been confirmed but we are definitely not against posting a relevant Reel to boost your engagement!

Although hashtags seem so 2008, if you use them wisely they can be extremely effective! Using the correct hashtags can help you and your business attract the right type of audience that you are looking for.

This can make a huge difference as one of the factors that Instagram prioritises is whether the user is genuinely interested in your posts.