5 Tips for the Instagram algorithm…

How to work with the algorithm rather than be the victim of it ?


Seems you liked my last post regarding the notorious but completely obscure shadowban that seems to plague a lot of accounts…

So I thought I would write about the even more obscure and shady Instagram algorithm.

We all know what it is, we all want to understand how it works…

I don’t have a huge following so I can only talk as a small account. Seems I am doing pretty well with the algorithm, my engagement rate being close to 20% so I think I can share my tips on how to keep going and adapting to the changes !!!

I strongly believe the algorithm is a good thing, making our experience on the platform better, by showcasing the best pictures that we are more likely to appreciate based on what we like or with whom we interact.

“Hacking” the algorithm is :

  • To no avail, the guys at Instagram are a step ahead so any hack will only work until the next update.
  • Detrimental to the platform and to other users. Let’s be honest, there are people that deserve more attention that others. By hacking their way to the top, some accounts are stealing the spotlight when their content is far below other users’ that choose to play a fair game.
  • Cheating. Yeah, pretty lame ! You might not really appreciate success when you don’t deserve it, but you cana lso get caught or exposed…Bad reputation tends to stick on the internet…

Here are my 5 tips to help you adapt to the algorithm changes, I have always followed those personal guidelines, and have maintained a relatively stable engagement rate over the last changes made by the app,

1 / Be hard on yourself

Don’t post bad content. Don’t post average content. Don’t even post good content.

Post only the best you can achieve.

If you are like “this shot is ok, I need something to post today, it will do”…Think twice !

I know it sounds cheezy and obvious, but there are lots of fishes in the pond. And the competition is getting really intense !

My advice is : when you have it all (lighting, time, inspiration, no one to bother you), go for it, shoot as many pictures as you can so you always have a back up with something decent to post !!!

Note : A few weeks ago, I had only one pre-shot photo to post and I didn’t think it was good enough. I had no natural light left, and still haven’t found an artificial setup that works well. I showed the photo to the BF, he agreed, “It’s not worthy of your feed” but I ended posting nonetheless…And this pic is one of my most successful ever !!! Cannot explain why, but sometimes this rule can be broken…

2 / Engage a lot

(but don’t go crazy on the like button either)

First, because it’s the whole point of social media !!! Seems like some people around the platform have forgotten about this !

You have to make yourself known out there !

Do like pictures, comment on them (other than an emoji or “that’s nice”) with value, you will stand out more and people will be more likely to visit your profile and follow you !

I have noticed that my posts were doing better if I engaged (liked and commented) with other accounts before and after posting ; mainly accounts that are active at the moment (liked or commented on a photo or posted within the last 10 minutes).

You can explain this by the fact that accounts that I interacted with tend to have look at my feed when they see the notification, but I also think the algorithm is going to favor this type of behavior (and not the planned post that doesn’t have any activity surrounding it)…


3 / Use hashtags the right way

Pay attention to the hashtags you use. Don’t overlook them, they are still relevant but your have to be careful with banned hashtags and irrelevant ones.

Have a strategy, including very popular # that have a lot of results, and smaller ones that you can reach top posts for. But pe of always remain niche specific, only using hashtags that refer to the actual post. You might want to create a few hashtag sets for the different types of posts you create, or to target different audiences.

Be careful with generic attention craving hastags as #like4like that usually attracts bots / spam and unintended users that don’t care about your account.

Don’t use all 30 # ! I am not sure about this but in the recent changes in the algorithm, I noticed that you cannot make a post a sponsored post if you use all available hashtags, this made me think that Instagram is not keen on hashtag clouds anymore, this might seem a bit spammy, so I stick to 10 to 15 at the most. Some people even advice to use less, with a maximum of 5# !!!

One other thing that seems to be a plus is to include a few hashtags in your description, as well as instagram handles you tag, rather than grouping them in the aforementionned cloud at the end of your comment.

4 / Have a targeted audience

Ok, this sounds super cold and marketed, but to be honest, this is is one of the most important things !!! It’s all about your niche !

If you think about it, you usually get the same amount of likes and comments on most pictures, sometimes one does very well and others they are not shown as much love, but in the end, you can kind of guess how well it will perform.

But the other criteria is your number of followers, and the more crappy followers you have the lower your engagement will be…

  • People that follow for follow usually don’t care about your content and don’t like your pics and don’t interact.
  • Bots don’t interact. Don’t buy any.
  • Some of your followers might not be active anymore, and have not logged in months.

Get more engaged followers !

  • Find people that interact with posts in the same niche as yours and engage with their content.
  • From time to time, go through your follower list, and like their last posts / comment so they remember you exist and are more likely to engage back if they haven’t in a long time.
  • Don’t forget that people that often like your content usually get your new posts popping on the top of their feed ; and that if they don’t, your pics will most likely never make it into their feed (especially if they follow a lot of accounts).


5 / Use Instagram Stories

The way you perform on Stories can affect the visibility of your regular posts. I am not 100% that is true or how it works, but it makes total sense…

I really have to work on this, I use Stories too sporadically.

  • Get people to reply to your Stories, or use polls to interact so the algorithm sees your post as interesting/valuable.
  • Avoid crap posts on Stories, you don’t want people leaving or tapping forward.
  • Try to post regularly so you appear at the beginning of the list, but don’t post every single second of your day, people are easily annoyed !
  • Now that you can highlight your past stories, it may be time to start creating good and original content in there too !
  • Livestreams are supposed to be the next big thing, and this is a feature the company wants people to use more…


I hope those tips will help you keep growing and maintain a good engagement rate.

I don’t have to complain about the changes Instagram keeps making, as I don’t feel it affects my account much. I think overall, post good content and be social and the algorithm will be more likely to push your content out there !

Hope this will help lovelies !

Thank you for taking time to read, have a great day !


A Girl From Paris





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