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The Instagram algorithm is like a Rubik’s cube. There are a near-infinite number of possible combinations. And if you don’t have specific instructions you’re going to waste a lot of time trying to solve it. Now, no one completely understands how it works other than Instagram. But from what Instagram and other experts in the field have told us, we put together a guide you can use to unlock the Instagram algorithm for the most possible followers and post engagement. In the following, first, we show you how the Instagram algorithm works in 2021. Then, we discuss 18 practical ways to solve them. Also, you can see some of the best solutions to the Instagram algorithm 2021 from Reddit. So, stay tuned and leverage your information on this topic.
First, here’s a no-nonsense breakdown of how the Instagram algorithm works in 2021:
Actually, there are essentially two layers to the Instagram algorithm behind your feed. The first layer, according to Instagram, is more important than the second layer. This one consists of three factors:
Instagram prioritizes showing you content that is similar to what you have viewed in the past. They use your past interactions with posts and potentially image recognition software to accomplish this.
Example: if you look at posts of arts and illustrations more than anything else, Instagram will prioritize showing you art posts.
Instagram looks at how recently a post was uploaded. So, a post that was uploaded yesterday will be closer to the top of your feed than a post uploaded a week ago.
Instagram prioritizes showing you posts from people you are close to. It determines your relationships with people based on your interactions with them. This means that if you consistently Like and comment on a specific person’s posts, that person’s posts will be closer to the top of your feed. So, if you don’t want to miss someone’s posts, do not hesitate to interact with them on Instagram.
How about the second layer? Well, the second layer of the Instagram algorithm, although not as influential as the first layer, is still significant.
It also consists of three factors:
Instagram prioritizes showing you what it considers to be the best posts since your last visit to Instagram. For instance, a post that was uploaded between you closing the app and reopening it will show higher up in your feed.
The more people you follow, the more Instagram will show you posts from different people. So, if you follow 1,000 people, you will see fewer posts from any specific person that someone following 10 people.
The longer you spend on Instagram, the less relevant posts you will see. It means that if you spend five minutes on Instagram and your friend spends two hours, you will see posts that better fit what you want to see more than your friend will.
When you search for a hashtag on Instagram, you will see two results: Top Posts and Recent Posts.
Top Posts for hashtags are generated based on two factors:
Instagram prioritizes showing posts that have more engagement than other posts using the same hashtag. Hence, a post with 10,000 Likes and 200 comments is more likely to show up as a top post that a post with 500 Likes and 100 comments.
In addition to the amount of engagement, Instagram also looks at how quickly a post receives its engagement. So, a post that gets 10,000 likes and 200 comments within an hour of being uploaded is more likely to show up as a Top Post than a post that gets 10,000 likes and 200 comments within a day of being uploaded.
Actually, the Instagram explore page is one of the best features of it. Today, most of the users try hard to appear on the explore page to get more followers. By the way, the Explore Page algorithm shows you posts based on two factors:
This is one self-explanatory. The Explore Page will show you posts similar to posts you have already Liked. So, if you Like a lot of art-related photos, the Explore Page will show you posts related to the art.
When you like a post, the Explore Page will show you posts liked by the person who uploaded the post you liked. For instance, if you Like Person A’s post, the Explore Page will show you posts liked by Person A.
By understanding how the algorithms behind your feed, search results, and Explore page, you can produce the best possible results with the least amount of energy on Instagram.
Actually, if you search “Instagram Algorithm 2021 Reddit” on Google, the first result you’ll see is the following Reddit page:
On this page, users and experts have shared some useful information that can help you to solve the mentioned algorithms (click on it to view all the comments). By the way, in this article, we have wrapped up all these tricks and hacks in a more convenient way.
So, let’s look at 18 things you can do to use the Instagram algorithm to get more followers and engagement on your posts. Also, we have included some of the best Instagram algorithm solutions in 2021 from Reddit. So, stay tuned.
We learned above that Instagram takes into consideration how recently a post was uploaded when deciding what posts to show to people. The Instagram algorithm will show you a post that was uploaded yesterday sooner than it will a post uploaded three days ago. This is why it’s so important to understand when your audience is online.
If your audience is online at 4 PM every day but you are uploading at 8 AM, you are allowing seven hours for the other people that your audience follows to upload their posts. As a result, your post gets pushed down the feed by all the other, more recent posts.
While the best time to post on Instagram is going to be different for everyone, Instagram Insights makes it easy to see when your audience is online. Therefore you’ll know when you should be posting.
To find your Insights, just tap the three horizontal lines in the top right corner of your Instagram page, or tap “View Insights” below any one of your posts to view your Insights.
Under the “Audience” tab in Instagram Insights, scroll down to the very bottom. Here you can what days of the week, as well as which hours during each day, your followers are online and active.
Look to see when the majority of your followers are online, both days of the week and specific times, and make sure you are uploading posts on those days and at those times.
While this data only shows when your followers are online, there is a good chance that it also applied to people who aren’t following you but are likely to be interested in your page.
In this sense, by posting when your followers are online, you are also increasing your chances of getting your posts in front of likely new followers.
Whether it’s current followers and potential new followers, the better you can get your posts in front of your audience when they are online, the more potential engagement you can get for your posts.
The more people that engage with your posts, and the more consistently they engage, the more likely the Instagram algorithm will make sure those people continue to see your posts on their feeds.
Getting your posts in front of likely new followers is also related to how targeted your hashtags are. But we’ll talk more about that later.
If you are searching for some general information about when to post on Instagram, this Instagram algorithm 2021 Reddit solution might help. TBH, this answer is for 2019, but it still works right now.
Instagram’s search result algorithm tells us that a lot of engagement quickly on your posts is how you rank as a Top Post for your hashtag. With that in mind, you want to be creating posts that get a lot of views, likes, comments, and shares. It might be hard to know what kinds of posts will get a lot of engagement. Especially when you’re first starting out on Instagram. But the more posts you upload, the easier it becomes to know what posts result in more engagement.
This is once again thanks to Instagram Insights. Under the “Content” tab in Insights, scroll down to “Posts”. Tap “See all”.
Here, among other metrics, you can see which of your posts produced the most:
With this information, ask yourself:
Does a specific kind of post always produce more engagement than any other kind of post? A specific color? A portrait? Lots of edges and angles?
If the answer is “yes”, then prioritize creating that kind of post to get the most engagement possible for your posts. But what if you have no ideas about what to post on Instagram? Lets’ see!
Well, one way to keep up with the best Instagram post ideas is to follow people in your niche or even follow relevant hashtags. This helps you to see which posts are getting more attractions and hence, you’ll better know what to post on your account. However, since Instagram shows you posts from accounts and hashtags you followed heterogeneously, you may need to open each account or hashtag manually to check for the new posts. So, what can you do instead?
Well, I recommend you to use a social listening tool like AiGrow.
In fact, AiGrow is a complete package of professional Instagram growth and management tools letting you:
And more. However, it has also an amazing Instagram listening and monitoring tool that allows you to track Instagram hashtags related to your page, save content to have some great Instagram post ideas, and also monitor Instagram accounts without following them. Using these tools, you can easily get new ideas and perform your best.
So, go ahead, sign up for free and try it right now.
Here is the top Instagram algorithm 2021 Reddit solution to this problem:
This is another way to solve the Instagram algorithm in 2021 by Reddit. Definitely, if you want to win the market, you must attract people who may become your customer. It means that having lots of inactive or fake followers is not enough. So, you should try your best to gain real active followers. But how? Here, AiGrow helps you.
Using the AiGrow growth tool, you can attract people on Instagram. And, let me mention that by doing so, you solve almost all the other problems. But how can you attract people using AiGrow? Easy! Just sign up for free for now.
Then, purchase the “Pro-Managed Special” package. Using this, you target audience on Instagram by choosing the best hashtags, locations, and influencers. And then, using DMs, likes, and follows, your target audience will be attracted. Just follow the video below and get your active followers out there:
Giveaway contests are one of the easiest ways to generate more engagement for your posts and more followers for your page. The kinds of contests you can host are going to change depending on the kind of page you have. But a basic contest formula could be as follows:
There are a million ways to host a contest on Instagram. But this type of content is optimized to work especially well with the Instagram algorithm.
This is because you are not only getting more engagement on your posts, which increases your chances of showing up as a Top Post for your hashtags. But because people are also tagging their friends, you get the added benefit of more traffic coming to your and potentially converting to followers.
Not to mention that the more people that like your post, the more chances you have of showing up on people’s Explore page. What you can have your participants win can really be anything valuable enough that would make them want to enter your contest. Popular prizes on Instagram include shout outs, spotlight posts, Story features, and free product/service.
For example, if you’re a skincare business selling face masks, you could offer 10 free packages of your product to the winners of your contest. Or, if you’re a repost page sharing posts of dogs, you could offer three guaranteed spotlight posts to the winners of your contest. Here is a real example:
But contests do take a great deal of time. So, what can we do? Stay tuned.
Fortunately, AiGrow can help you here. Using this amazing tool, you can automate your giveaway contests and:
In the following, you can see one of the user’s experiences in solving this Instagram Algorithm on Reddit. This can really help you to win your giveaway contest.
Your typical Instagram post allows the following kinds of engagement:
By using Instagram Stories, you are giving people more ways to engage with your content.
Specifically, when people view your Stories, they can:
Someone might not want to leave an original comment. But they might answer a question that’s already in front of them.
The more ways you give people to engage with your posts, the more possible the engagement you are going to get on your posts.
The more people engage with your posts, and the longer they engage, the more the Instagram algorithm will prioritize showing your posts to them.
Outside of engagement, Instagram Stories are also another way for people to see what you’ve posted.
Someone might have missed that post you uploaded an hour ago. But they might see your Instagram Story instead.
This is why it can be useful to use your Instagram Stories as a sort of “what you missed” from the past few days/weeks.
Even if people miss your posts when you first upload them, if they see them in your Instagram Story, they might go back and check out the original post.
But what if you don’t’ have any story ideas? Well, stay tuned and find the best way to tackle this Instagram algorithm in 2021 from Reddit and also a general way to do so.
Well, if you have no ideas for your Instagram stories, you can easily repost someone else’s Instagram story. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t support a repost feature for stories if you have not been mentioned. However, using AiGrow, you can solve this problem and simply repost content on your stories. To know how to do so, click here.
In the following, you can see 20 story ideas that can help you in solving this Instagram algorithm in 2021 using Reddit ideas.
You should use Instagram Live for the same reason you should use Instagram Stories: it is another way to capture the attention of your followers and provides more ways for your followers to engage with your content.
When you start an Instagram live stream, your followers who are online will receive a notification that says “[Your Username] has started a live video. Watch it before it ends!”
This alone is a great way to capture the attention of your followers who otherwise might have missed you.
You can also invite online followers to join your live stream.
If they join your stream, you have the added benefit of their followers discovering you, contributing more engagement to your stream, and potentially following you.
Even if the people you invite don’t join your stream, just the simple act of inviting them spreads awareness and could make them tune in to your stream.
Along the same lines, you can also DM your live stream to friends and followers who are online.
And don’t forget to engage with the people actually watching your live stream!
Your replies may not count as much towards the overall engagement rate of your stream. But they still help. Not to mention, the more you reply to your viewers, the more likely they’ll continue to engage.
According to Reddit solutions, another solution for the Instagram algorithm in 2021 is to use hashtags. Because of how the Instagram algorithm behind your search results works, it’s crucial that you understand what hashtags that people who are likely to follow you are using.
To quickly recap, to come up as a Top Post for your hashtag, you need to:
Before you worry about any of that, though, you have to know what hashtags to target.
Hashtags are the primary way that people on Instagram show what they’re interested in. People who are interested in skateboarding who likely going to use skateboarding-themed hashtags, people who are interested in the paleo diet are likely to going use paleo diet-themed hashtags, and so on.
With that in mind, you want to know what hashtags that people who would be interested in your page are using and use these hashtags in your posts.
The purpose of this is so that when people search for hashtags that they’re interested in, they see your posts, visit your page, and ultimately follow you.
If you have a skateboarding Instagram page, for example, you are going to want to know what hashtags that people interested in skateboarding are using.
Here’s how you would find useful hashtags related to skateboarding:
If you have a skateboarding Instagram page, these are the hashtags that you want to be targeting and attaching to your posts. By ranking as a top post for any of these hashtags, you’re guaranteed to attract interested people to your page who are likely to give you a follow.
No matter what kind of Instagram page you have, you can use the following steps to find out what hashtags you should be targeting:
Or just watch the GIF below:
You can then go engage with the people using these hashtags one-by-one, or if you want to save hours of energy and time, use a tool like AiGrow to automatically engage with the people using your targeted hashtags.
Studies have shown that simply tagging your posts with your location can get you 79% more engagement on your posts.
While it sometimes makes sense to geotag at specifically as possible (if you are a local business, for example), tagging your posts with more general, popular locations can help get more eyes on your posts.
For example, if you upload a post from Naples, Italy, using the geotag “Italy” instead of “Naples, Italy” might help get you more engagement than the other way around.
Although, popular locations like this can sometimes become over-saturated, making it hard for your post to stand out. Plus, even though fewer people might be searching for the location, it might be easier to rank as a Top Post for a smaller location, resulting in more eyes on your post overall compared to a more popular but more saturated location.
Experiment with popular locations and smaller locations to see what produces the best results for you.
Follow the same steps above describing how to find worthy hashtags to target to find what locations you should be tagging your posts with.
Or follow the steps shown in the GIF below:
Like above, you can also use AiGrow to automatically engage only with people in your targeted locations.
The more people you can get your posts in front of, the more potential engagement you can generate on your posts.
One easy way to get more visibility is through other people’s audiences. But how to get tagged in your followers’ posts? Let’s see.
Businesses take advantage of this through influencer marketing. Influencer marketing consists of businesses giving popular Instagrammers money or free product in exchange for that influencer advertising the business’s product, service, or marketing presentation to their followers.
This form of marketing is so effective because people trust a regular person on Instagram way more than they trust a business.
In addition to the sales these influencers generate for the business, the business also gets the added benefit of being tagged in the influencers’ posts.
While being tagged won’t necessarily bump you up in the Instagram algorithm, because the influencer is vouching for the business and tagging them in their posts, the decision to check out the business’s Instagram page becomes much easier.
Unfortunately, you usually have to have a large following already for businesses to consider using you as an influencer.
Another, easier way to get tagged in other people’s posts is through spotlight pages.
Spotlight pages are pages on Instagram that repost content uploaded by people in a specific community.
For example, some popular forms of spotlight pages are:
To get featured on these spotlight pages, you usually have to follow the page itself and tag the post you want to be featured with their username.
Here’s an example of the rules from a real spotlight Instagram page:
And here’s an example of what a photography spotlight page looks like:
Because the people that follow these pages all have the same interest, if you are featured on a spotlight page, there’s a good chance that some of the audience will see your featured post, check out your page, see that you post similar content, leave a Like and/or comment, and potentially even follow you.
The Instagram algorithm decides what posts to show you first based not just on what you’ve looked at in the past. But also how long you looked at it for.
With that in mind, the longer you can get someone to view your post, the higher your chances of Instagram prioritizing your posts on that person’s feed.
What’s the easiest way to get someone to look at your post longer? Use videos.
Instagram limits the length of videos to one minute. But that’s a heck of a lot longer than the one or two seconds it takes someone to look at an image and keep scrolling.
If you don’t have the time or energy to consistently post one-minute videos, simple Boomerangs are still likely to keep someone’s attention longer than a still image.
According to Instagram, the Instagram algorithm doesn’t necessarily penalize people who post too much.
Combine that with the fact that the algorithm also prioritizes showing you the most recent posts uploaded by people you follow, and you’ve got all the incentive you need to start posting more.
However, don’t go crazy and start posting 100 times a day. Instagram has also said the algorithm may “switch up” content if you post too much.
Posting too much could also start to annoy your followers, which could negatively affect your posts’ engagement rates.
The point is to not be afraid to experiment with how frequently you post.
Here’s an easy experiment to try: upload more daily posts every week for two months and monitor how your engagement rate is affected.
After the eighth week is finished, go back and look at the number of Likes, comments, shares, and/or views your posts received week after week.
Did posting three times a day produce more engagement than posting twice a day? Did posting nine times a day produce less engagement than posting eight times a day?
With a simple experiment like this, you can find out how many times a day/week/month you should be posting for the best possible engagement.
If people are going to take the time to leave a comment on your post, you should respond to them as quickly as possible. This is an Instagram algorithm Reddit solution in 2021.
Not only does responding to comments quickly look good in the eyes of your followers and potential new followers looking at your posts. But it also works with the Instagram algorithm to improve your chances of ranking as a Top Post for your hashtags.
The only problem is that responding to every single comment left on your posts can take a lot of energy and time. But to win the Instagram algorithm in 2021, follow the Reddit instructions and take your time to answer all the comments.
According to Reddit, one way to win Instagram algorithms in 2021 is to engage with your followers. Actually, all forms of engagement are good. But some are worth more than others.
Specifically, comments and shares are reported to carry more weight in the eyes of the Instagram algorithm than other forms of engagement.
It makes sense when you think about it. Liking a post takes a millisecond. Commenting on a post requires some thought. Sharing a post means you resonated with the post so much you want other people to see it.
While it’s virtually impossible to make your general follower-base only comment on your posts, there are some things you can do to get more comments on your posts.
One way to win this Instagram algorithm in 2021, according to Reddit, is to get both comments and shares is through contests.
If you have something of value to offer your followers, you can hold a contest that looks like this:
Tag three of your friends as a comment in my latest post/Share my latest post with three of your friends for a chance to win *whatever you’re offering – spotlight on your page, free product, shoutout, etc.*
What you offer as a prize is going to change depending on the size of your page and what kind of page you have. The smaller your channel and less you have to offer, the harder you’re going to have to think of what you can offer as a prize that would make people want to comment on posts.
In an infinite world of scrolling, you want to know what makes people stop in their tracks.
We looked at how you can measure your own posts with Instagram Insights to see what’s working and what’s not. But to get a better understanding of the kind of posts you should be creating, you need to also be looking at your competitors.
Find a popular influencer in your niche and look at what they’re posting. Specifically, look at what posts on their page produce the most engagement.
Don’t copy them. But incorporate the patterns you find among your competitors into your own content.
For example, if you have a fitness page on Instagram and you notice that your competitor’s posts about post-work shake recipes get a lot of comments, likes, and shares, then try posting your own version of post-work shake recipes.
Another way to find inspiration for your posts is to look at the Top Posts for the hashtags you’re targeting.
These are posts that the Instagram algorithm has determined to be the “best” posts at a specific time for a specific hashtag.
See what kind of posts consistently turn up as Top Posts for your hashtags and use them as inspiration for your own posts.
The better you can create a post that stops people in their tracks, the more the Instagram algorithm will prioritize showing your posts to followers and potential new followers alike.
This is another hack from Reddit to solve the Instagram algorithm in 2021. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. It’s a saying that’s way overused and misattributed (everyone knows Michael Scott said it first). But that’s because it’s true.
What is more likely to produce a Like or comment on your post? Asking to leave a Like or comment on your post. Or not asking to leave a Like or comment on your post?
The first one, obviously. While it isn’t guaranteed to produce any more Likes and comments than you would normally get. But the second option is guaranteed to not produce any additional Likes and/or comments because you’re not even asking in the first place.
And you’re CTA shouldn’t be as plain as “Leave a Like!”. This kind of CTA is completely one-sided and offers no value to the people looking at your posts.
Here are some good examples of CTAs:
Always leave a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your post captions to help get more engagement on your posts.
DMs are another place that you should be including a CTA.
The only thing with DMs is that your reach is pretty much limited to your followers.
You can DM people who don’t follow you. But your message won’t go into their regular DM inbox. Non-followers then have to approve you to receive all future DMs in their regular inbox.
For the time being, let’s stick with how you can use DMs to engage your followers.
Start by greeting all new followers with a welcome DM.
Simply thank them for following your page, compliment them on their own page, and point them wherever it is you want their attention.
If you are holding a contest, for example, explain how they can enter, the rules, what they can win. If you want to direct them to your website, link it in your bio and point their attention there.
Here’s an example of a welcoming DM you could use:
Hey @username! Thanks so much for the follow. Really appreciate it. If you’d like to get a free shipment of our healthy fit tea, just comment on my latest post by tagging three of your friends and I’ll randomly choose someone at the end of the month. Hopefully it’s you! Thanks again and let’s keep in touch.
This is an easy way to use DMs to generate more engagement on your posts and get your posts in front of more of your followers.
You can send these DMs manually every time you get a new follower. Or use a tool like AiGrow and send DMs to your target followers.
There’s nothing wrong with posting about you on Instagram. That is what it’s meant for after all.
But here’s why the Instagram algorithm likes instructional and/or educational posts better: they are better at encouraging people to leave comments.
When you’re trying to teach or explain something that isn’t instantly clear just by looking at your post, the chance that someone leaves a comment asking for clarification or a follow-up question is much higher.
For example, recipe posts are relatively easy to make and often require clarification.
This video above is a great example of an instructional post.
Although the video clearly explains each step of the recipe, it does so very quickly. On top of that, there is no caption describing the steps shown in the video.
Those are two opportunities for comments right elaboration on the steps described in the video, as well as the steps to be described in writing.
Plus, not only is the post of a video. But the post also plays at a faster speed than normal.
Both of these things encourage the viewer to stay longer on the post. Which tells the Instagram algorithm to prioritize showing your posts to the viewer in the future.
Another good point mentioned on Reddit that helps you solve the Instagram algorithm in 2021, is to switch to a business account. Instagram business accounts don’t rank better in the eyes of the Instagram algorithm. But they do allow you to better measure your growth. And also provide your posts with more ways to engage with them.
We talked about Instagram Insights and why you should include them in your Instagram strategy. Before you can use them, however, you need to be using a business account.
Insights, for the most part, aren’t available to personal Instagram account.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to turn your page into a business account.
Here’s how to do it in three steps:
Before you create your business account on Instagram, you must already have a business page on Facebook that Instagram can link with.
In addition to getting access to Instagram Insights, by switching to a business account, you give your followers and visitors to your page more ways to engage with you.
Specifically, you can add a “Contact” button to the top of your Instagram page.
When someone clicks on this button, depending on your preference, they can choose to:
A business account can also add a “Call to Action” button to the top of their page.
When someone clicks on this button, depending on your preferences, they can choose to:
Just by switching/creating a business account on Instagram, not only do you gain access to invaluable analytics you can use to smartly grow your Instagram. But you also give followers and visitors to your page 7 additional ways to engage with you.
More ways to engage with you means more time on your page, and more time on your page means a better standing in the eyes of the Instagram algorithm.
If you are interested in making money on Instagram, whether it be through influencer marketing, e-commerce, or other means, then switching to a business account and analyzing your Instagram Insights is essential.
Insights give you key information like the location, gender, and age of your audience, as well as the time of the week and day they are most active.
While you can certainly use this information by itself to more accurately get your business in front of potential customers, you can also use this information to create effective paid Instagram ads.
You’ve got the recipe. You’ve got the ingredients. Now it’s up to you to get out there and cook up more followers and more post engagement than ever before. So, consider all the mentioned hacks and tricks, also the ones from Reddit, to solve the Instagram algorithm in 2021.
Do you have any insider pieces of wisdom concerning the Instagram algorithm? Know another great way to work with the Instagram algorithm? Drop me a comment below with your suggestions.