We Show you How to Master Instagram for your SME

Updated on 12 June 2018

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By Jandre de Beer, Digital Marketer and Owner of V8 Media.

Instagram is one of the most interactive platforms, so if businesses focus on building their presence around that engagement and interaction then they can build a community that is vested in their business and brand.

The fact that Instagram is a very visual platform also makes it easier for businesses to connect instantly with their audience because a good visual can convey the right message in a split second.

The big change

Now that Instagram has revealed how its algorithm works, businesses can (and should) research ways to get the most out of what it has to offer.

Gone are the days of your Instagram posts being ordered chronologically. Since 2016 Instagram has made some significant changes to what you see on your newsfeed and how your followers see your posts.

According to Instagram, users were missing up to 70 percent of all posts and 50 percent of their friends’ posts, which is what prompted the move from chronological ordering of posts to the use of their new algorithm. Until now though, this new algorithm was a bit of a mystery to everyone. The Facebook owned company has finally opened up about how this algorithm works and where the seemingly confusing ordering of posts actually comes from.

In a nutshell, your past behaviour is essentially what determines what you see on your Instagram feed. This ensures that every user has a unique, personalised feed based on their likes and their past habits and behaviour.

Deciphering – Instagram’s AlgorithmThe Three Deciding Factors

Three main factors are used to determine what you see in your Instagram feed, namely interest, recency and relationship.


In terms of interest, Instagram tries to determine how much you will care about a post by analysing your past interactions with similar posts and will place what it identifies as the most important first.

june, come sooner ✨??

A post shared by ??| SwiitchBeauty® (@swiitchbeauty) on


Recency refers to how recently a post was shared and will prioritise newer posts.


Relationship looks at how close you are to a person by how often you have interacted with that person’s posts in the past. The more you have interacted with someone the more likely you are to see their posts.

The Three Additional Influencers

Over and above these three deciding factors, three other factors also have an influence on the ranking of your Instagram feed – frequency, following and usage.

A post shared by Bathu (@bathu_sa) on


Instagram looks at frequency in terms of how often you open Instagram and will try to show you the best possible posts since your last visit.


Following looks at the amount of people you follow on Instagram, so if you follow a lot of people then you might be shown less from one specific person so that you can see more from other people.

Strike a pose! #SmoothieSquad #KauaiSA ?: @photography_lit

A post shared by Kauai South Africa (@kauaisa) on


Lastly, Instagram looks at your usage and how long you spend on the platform. For shorter sessions you will be seeing the best possible posts, and for longer browsing sessions Instagram will be digging deeper into its catalogue so that you can see more.

Embracing The Change

Instagram has noted that they will not be reverting back to displaying posts chronologically despite the recent backlash they have received over the new algorithm. The new algorithm is working, and the fact that Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media networks around the world is proof of this.

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