Is buying Instagram likes helpful for advertising

Do you already know the Instagram algorithm? If not, you should definitely get to know it as soon as possible - and of course understand it! Because this decides which users see your posts on Instagram and how much reach your posts get. Anyone who has always wondered how they can generate more reach and "likes" with their posts should study this post in detail.

But beware: the Instagram algorithm also changes from time to time. And sometimes even massive! It is not uncommon for influencers, for example, to complain about the lack of reach on the platform. Just as the algorithm of its "big sister" Facebook is constantly changing, there are also constant changes in connection with the Instagram algorithm. Of course also in the future!

However, the changes to the algorithm do not automatically mean disaster. After all, the aim of the changes is to ensure that the respective users of the platform see as much content with added value as possible in their feed. Companies that already hit the "nerve" of their followers with their content can often even benefit from changes in the algorithm, provided that they provide their users with added value through their content.

We take a close look at Instagram's algorithm and reveal the most important information there is to know about the algorithm. Nevertheless, it should be said at this point that you should always keep your eyes open. After all, you never know when Instagram will introduce the next change!

How the Instagram algorithm works in 2020

First of all, the “basics”. The Instagram algorithm controls which content users get to see on the platform and which they don't. If the Instagram algorithm believes that content A has more added value for you than content B or C, it will be displayed to you preferentially. After all, “we” users should get the highest possible “user experience” when using the platform. This is only possible if we are continuously presented with content that offers us added value.

Instagram has continuously developed the algorithm over the past few years. The biggest change came in 2016. Here, the Instagram algorithm was very much aligned with that of Facebook. Posts are no longer displayed chronologically, but based on interests in the feed.

Why? It's easy to explain!

The main goal of Instagram is to keep its users on the platform itself for as long as possible. Time is therefore one of the most important KPIs for the developers behind the platform.

Because it is also clear: The longer users spend time on the platform, the more advertising they can consume. This in turn increases the advertisers' spending on the platform and thus the turnover for Instagram.

That's why accounts are rewarded - directly or indirectly - that help Instagram achieve this goal. The algorithm uses the first hour after the post has been posted as a reference for the “rating” of the post and the ranking in the feed determined by it. What happens here - or not - has a great influence on the later reach of the respective contributions!

Instagram for your own company? These reasons speak for it!

3 decisive “ranking signals” for the Instagram algorithm

In addition to many small ones, there are some large influencing factors with regard to the Instagram algorithm that must be taken into account. As on any other platform, there are some basic rules that need to be observed.

Over time you get - also based on the feedback - a better feeling for which content your target group prefers and which content leads to the corresponding reach. Based on this, your own content strategy can be optimized without any problems, and at the same time supplemented with new content ideas.

Ranking Signal # 1 - Relationships

In the feed, the algorithm always prioritizes content from accounts whose users interact frequently. This is the case when someone has activated notifications for their own company's account, often comments on the posts, or interacts with their own stories. The algorithm then recognizes that both users are "close".

Instagram justifies this with the fact that before the introduction of the non-chronological feed, users missed around 50 percent of the "important" posts and 70 percent of their entire feed. That should change with the new “intelligent feed”.

Ranking signal # 2 - interests

Based on your behavior, the algorithm predicts your own interests in all posts in your own feed. Image recognition software may be used for this, but this is not officially confirmed.

In a way, this approach can be compared to YouTube, where content is filtered and suggested based on the interests of the users. Users who like sports cars will see #sportscar in the upper feed, while users who like food are more likely to see #food.

Ranking signal # 3 - topicalityt

As announced in early 2018, Instagram will first show users newer posts. This is to be assessed as a reaction to the endless complaints of the users going back to the chronological feed.

For brands, the ranking signal means that they should now pay more attention to the behavior of their followers. When is this active and when is most interactive.

Other factors that can positively influence the Instagram algorithm

In addition to relationships, interests, and timeliness, Instagram also takes into account other factors that affect the way Instagram organizes individual feeds. Certainly an extremely large number of factors play a role here - presumably only a fraction of them will be disclosed - but nevertheless the main influencing factors are basically clear.

Instagram tries to be “the” app for the respective user and has to organize the content in the feed accordingly so that the user always sees the most relevant posts first when opening the app. Otherwise, in case of doubt, he will lose the motivation to continue using Instagram in the future.

For this purpose, the individual behavior of each user is analyzed. Because only on the basis of this can the respective feed be customized accordingly.

The period of use

Users who use the platform for a longer period of time scroll back further and see more posts than users who only look in briefly and see the post with the best performance.

The frequency of use

The decisive factor here is how often a user opens the app per day. For the algorithm, it is crucial to display the most popular posts since the app was last opened. It is obvious that the algorithm has to rotate content correspondingly frequently for users who visit Instagram more often every day.

The follower numbers

The more accounts a user follows, the more likely it is that they will not see postings from every single account. It does not matter whether these are "productive" or not. However, the user then gets a larger excerpt from all posts. Conversely, if you only follow a few accounts, you will likely see more posts from your preferred accounts.

Wrong assumptions about the Instagram algorithm

So much for what we know about how the Instagram algorithm works and how it works. However, it is just as important to know how the software is not working. Instagram itself has already dispelled some myths about the algorithm and the platform in recent years. Nevertheless, new myths and assumptions keep coming up that supposedly (negatively) influence the algorithm or limit the reach of the user.

Basically, there are now some points that can definitely be ruled out. Therefore you shouldn't waste any further thoughts on them and just ignore the whole thing. In any case, the focus should be on your own content and not on the supposed myths!

There is no "shadowban"

The so-called Shadowban is intended to ensure that Instagram actively hides its own content from followers. However, according to Instagram, it doesn't even exist. Technically, the algorithm is not able to hide its own content without informing it accordingly.

However, it is quite possible to experience a sudden drop in engagement if, for example, your own followers are annoyed by spam or inappropriate postings. They can mark comparable posts that they find “annoying” in their feed, namely as such. If this feedback accumulates in relation to an account, Instagram usually reacts accordingly!

IGTV doesn't make you more popular with the Instagram algorithm

The feed is the feed. According to Instagram, the feed does not differentiate how often your account uses other tools within the app. So if you think that you will get “bonus points” for your Instagram feed just by using IGTV, you are wrong.

However, you should still attach importance to stories, live videos and IGTV, because you will probably be able to generate more engagement from your existing audience and get new followers.

Verified and corporate accounts are prioritized in the feed

Even if it looks like it is, it's just the function of the algorithm to prioritize the popularity of content. Here, too, there is no direct connection between reach and awareness.

Instagram itself says: no specific account type is preferred. The users themselves determine what they want and the algorithm delivers accordingly. The only connection that exists here, too, is the one between good content and what the users want to see accordingly on the platform.

Use the Instagram algorithm for your own benefit

In addition to well-intentioned advice and the exclusion of myths, we also have a few tips & tricks for you, with the help of which you can positively influence the Instagram algorithm.

Some of these tips may sound trivial, but have proven themselves time and again in practice. It can therefore be assumed that the tips - combined with high-quality content - will always lead to success in the long term.

At this point it should also be mentioned: building a community on Instagram is not a sprint, but a marathon! "Overnight Success" is also rarely seen on Instagram. The algorithm alone takes care of that.

But if you stick with it and build a real relationship with your followers and deliver this added value, you will definitely prevail in your niche. Despite restrictions and changes in the algorithm!

Frequent Post - A Time-Tried Advice That Will Help!

With the old chronological feed, posting on Instagram more than once a day was risky. The risk was quickly perceived as annoying. Since the algorithm automatically splits up multiple posts to analyze what people are looking at and like, their own followers don't necessarily have to perceive a higher volume of posts. The posts are distributed in such a way that the volume is as “optimal” as possible for the respective user.

If you want to publish a lot of content on Instagram, you should get help "in house". Our tip: a tool for planning the upload calendar makes managing your own accounts much easier! Here the future contributions can be entered and planned in advance without any problems. They then go online by themselves.

Time your own posts

The old chronological feed is unlikely to come back. Nevertheless, companies have to pay close attention to “when” their audience is online, as the algorithm prefers the most recent posts.

Using an Instagram planner at this point can be very helpful in gaining access to advanced analytics. In addition, you should definitely switch your own Instagram account to a "business account", as this is the only way to access the extended analyzes.

Publish more videos in your own feed

While videos aren't prioritized in the feed (unless your audience prefers videos), statistically, more people stop in the feed to watch videos.

Since 2018, video consumption on Instagram has increased year-on-year. Whether live, as a story or on IGTV - users are consuming videos more and more often. Posting videos also increases the time your audience spends on each post. The Instagram algorithm perceives this and rewards us and our content accordingly.

Skillfully use the hashtags under the posts

Hashtags should make your own posts accessible to people with the same areas of interest. Thanks to the clever use of hashtags, your own content is stored in the “right” drawers on Instagram. Hopefully the right target groups will then become aware of your own contributions.

The wrong use of hashtags can make your brand dubious and anything but authentic. Hashtags should therefore not only fit with your own company, but above all with the post itself. Hashtags are a good way to give your own content appropriate context. The Instagram algorithm thanks you for this!

Personalize your posts

Your posts are preferred to those users with whom you already have a "relationship". The posts themselves should always be structured authentically. This gives your own presence on Instagram a "face" and reflects well what is going on behind the facade of your own presence on Instagram.

Authenticity is ensured by good captions, private chats, an exchange in the comments, and also by “liking” and commenting on posts from other users.

Because there is one thing that you shouldn't forget: a social media channel lives primarily from the social aspect! This should always be maintained.

Run a contest for a quick boost

One of the fastest and best ways to increase one's own "engagement" and to be better rated in the algorithm are competitions and sweepstakes. However, these of course require a certain amount of preparation. In any case, you should first take a look at the guidelines regarding the competitions on Instagram!

Sweepstakes should be well thought out and designed as simply as possible in order to achieve a high participation rate. Since the algorithm pays a lot of attention, there is no better way to improve your own ranking for the algorithm.

Not only the price of the competition should be right.

Further possibilities of influencing the reach on Instagram - less on the algorithm!

What if that doesn't help? Then there is always the option of deleting the original post and uploading it again at a different point in time. Maybe with your “timing” you will get a better time.

Last but not least, there is of course the opportunity to run paid advertising on Instagram. But that's another topic that basically has nothing to do with the Instagram algorithm!

Looking for more Instagram tips & tricks? In this detailed post we give 26 tips for your Instagram marketing!