The Instagram algorithm constantly changes. If you are in the influencer or content creator space (or really anyone trying to grow your Instagram in 2020), you have either complained about the algorithm or seen someone else complain about it – or both. So how do you beat the Instagram algorithm in 2020? Is there a secret formula to increase your Instagram engagement? Is there some secret the big accounts are keeping from you so that you can’t grow on Instagram? Don’t worry, we are about to take a deep dive into what the Instagram algorithm is and how you can beat the algorithm to enjoy using Instagram again.
What Is the Instagram Algorithm?
For anyone who is just getting starting growing their Instagram account or who does not know what the Instagram algorithm is, it is basically a live, constantly updating algorithm that adjusts based on user actions including likes, comments, views, saves, sends, interactions, etc. Instagram wants to figure out what each user likes or what they are spending time viewing. What are they searching? Who do they interact with the most? Instagram takes this information to build a unique set of content specifically designed for each user. The goal? Keep the user engaged on the platform for longer. The longer users are on the app, the more Instagram can show them ads and make money. So how do we keep up with something that is constantly changing based on a user’s actions?
What Do We Know About the Instagram Algorithm?
If you are reading this, you may have already scoured the internet for any and every article or blog post about “beating the Instagram algorithm“. By now you’ve probably realized that most of them say the same things: post more on stories, be consistent, post at the “peak” time, do Instagram Lives, use hashtags, etc.
All of those articles (like this one by Sprout Socials about how to survive and outsmart the Instagram algorithm) give some good advice, but where did they get this information? Instagram RARELY gives anybody a heads up when the algorithm changes, and why would they?
Instagram is in the business of making money and keeping people intrigued. If they just gave you the answer to beating their own algorithm, everyone would be getting 20%+ engagement on all of their posts and stories.
How to Actually Beat the Instagram Algorithm in 2020
I’m sure, if you are an influencer or content creator and are immersed in the industry everyday, you have seen the people who seem to be “beating” the algorithm. They are at least keeping their engagement up.
I think we forget to ask ourselves (ourselves being the influencer industry as a whole) what drives my current followers to (1) follow me and (2) engage with me?
What I have seen in the industry is that influencers start off strong, grow their following, and have high engagement. Then after a decent amount of time goes by, their growth and engagement starts to dwindle.
A lot of people blame the algorithm and Instagram for that, but what we need to do is look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “Am I still giving value to my audience?”
The journey of an influencer should be less about beating the algorithm and more about, “What can I offer my community?”
If you have realized that the style of content you were posting a year ago is maybe getting a bit stale for people, try to think of new ways or a strategy to deliver content. It’s not that the quality has dropped, but rather it is just the same thing over and over.
Since the industry has grown so much in the last three years, everyone and their mom is trying to be the next big thing in the influencer world. People have bought likes and followers instead of taking the time to build a true community.
Let’s stop trying to beat the algorithm and start adapting and growing with it. As humans, we are constantly learning and growing, correct? So shouldn’t every aspect of our lives, including the brand, content, and value we offer, be growing and adapting as well?
I agree with the articles – some of those things can help you grow, but if you have tried it all and it still is not working, maybe it’s time to switch things up.
Try to figure out exactly what your current and new followers are looking for in terms of value add and give it to them. They started following you for a reason, so keep giving them reasons to stay and engage with you.
Be down to earth, be genuine, be you. In the end, if you just communicate with your community, engage with them like they are your best friends and family, and use your passion for beauty/fashion/travel/fitness/etc. to inspire them, that is where the true power of being an influencer comes in. That is where the true growth and engagement lies.
If you can do that, you won’t beat the algorithm, but you will for sure grow and adapt with it. Plus, you and your community will be better off because of it.
So now you know. Beating the algorithm isn’t a trick or a hack. It’s providing value to your audience to give them a reason to engage with you or follow you in the first place.
Comment below what sort of experiences you have had with the Instagram algorithm. Let me know if you have found new ways to adapt!
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