It’s no secret that the Instagram algorithm has been changing like crazy in 2022 – all thanks to the TikTok takeover. Since the other social media platforms are trying to catch up, it becomes harder for us, marketers, to create a solid strategy that will give us results (and leads!). Apparently, there isn’t one confirmed Instagram algorithm, but rather a set of processes that work together (and get updated separately) – which is why it can be so difficult to predict any changes and adjust your strategy. But trying to understand the algorithm is the first part of the battle.
Don’t worry, Firefish is here to help! We did our research (so you don’t have to) – and whilst you might be already thinking of unwinding for Christmas, now is the best time to review 2022 algorithm changes and create a kick-ass strategy for the upcoming year. Over 80% of Instagram users engage with business accounts, too – and the tendency here is that in 2023, it will be even more. Don’t waste it!
The reels take over – the right way
If you’ve been paying attention for any part of 2022, it won’t shock you to learn that the easiest and quickest way to grow on Instagram right now is through posting reels. Pictures are so 2020 and if you want to be noticed on Instagram these days, short-form engaging video content is the way to go. Make sure you’re utilising them the right way, though. Whilst TikTok is currently moving slowly towards longer-form content and SEO focus, Instagram reels are still performing best when they are around 15-30 seconds. Although reels were not a hit straight off the bat with Instagram users, they are a trend you want to be taking into 2023.
Make use of Instagram’s internal editing
Especially when creating reels, Instagram tends to push out those videos that were created within the app – or at least are using some of the app’s editing features. Add text on the screen (don’t forget your keywords!), a voiceover, or trending sounds in the background.
Don’t use too many hashtags
Whilst it might have been the way to go a few years ago, 2022 changed the game. Using hashtags helps Instagram categorize your content but throwing too many of them will only confuse the algorithm. If Instagram thinks you are trying to get exposure on 20 different topics, it will end up not showing your video to anyone as the app will be confused about your target audience.
Remember to vary your hashtags, too. It’s important to test out different ones, big and small, to determine which work best for your account. Using the exact same 5 hashtags on every single reel or post will quickly stop getting you results!
Remember about stories
Whilst reels might be the form of content that’s getting the most engagement at the moment, the second most important one is Instagram stories. Picture posts have fallen down the ladder, so if you want to grow your account, focus on creating engaging video/story content first. To boost your engagement, throw in polls, questions, and other stories’ features! Using some other options available, such as sounds, locations, GIFs, etc can also encourage engagement.
The Explore algorithm
Another crucial factor for whether your account is being shown to users is Instagram’s Explore feature. Here the algorithm is quite clear – it pushes posts that people are most likely to be interacted with to the top. The more shares, saves, and comments (in that order!) your post gets, the more likely it is to be pushed even further.
To develop a full social media strategy for 2023, download our eBook below!
As Senior Digital Marketer at Firefish, Amy keeps our Firefish customers up to date with the latest news from the Aquarium.