How to master the new Instagram algorithm as a small business

Image by Solen Feyissa from Pixabay

By Noah Rue

What’s the worst thing about social media platforms? From a business perspective, it’s got to be the algorithms. Their ever-changing nature makes them that much more annoying. It’s also difficult to pinpoint exact actions to take to beat them.

Instagram, in particular, recently changed its algorithm. It’s now all about video content. This update might scare you if you’ve been accustomed to strictly posting images and written content.

However, you’ll be happy to know simple adjustments to your strategy can have you adapting to and thriving under Instagram’s new algorithm in no time.

Here’s how to master the new Instagram algorithm as a small business.

Create a comprehensive social media strategy

Creating a comprehensive social media strategy is crucial to leveraging Instagram effectively. Of course, you must address how Instagram fits into your overarching social media strategy, but you must also document how you will use Instagram specifically.

Write out your social media strategy. Map out the details about:

-Your target audience

-How you’re going to diversify your content

-Your plan for measuring performance

-Your hashtag strategy

-Your social media goals

-When you’ll consider paid ads

-How you’re going to handle positive and negative engagement

Having a comprehensive social media strategy to reference makes it easier for you to grow and adapt to Instagram changes.

Next, do some thorough target audience research specific to Instagram.

Lean into target audience research specific to Instagram

Researching your audience is integral to converting followers into customers. The more you know your customers, the easier it is to create content they love, incentives they can’t pass up, and calls-to-action that convert.

To master Instagram’s new algorithm, it’s critical to conduct target audience research specific to Instagram. For instance, find out the following about your target audience’s Instagram use:

-How often they’re on this platform

-Whether they engage with short or long videos more often

-The features and functions they use the most

-The amount of time they spend on this platform daily

-How they engage with small businesses on this platform

Mastering the new Instagram algorithm relies on the quality of your content also.

Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to content

Honestly, the best way to master the new Instagram algorithm is engagement. Getting ample engagement on every post will trigger Instagram to enable your content to show up more and more often on your audience’s timeline.

What’s the best way to garner engagement? Quality content. Of course, you want to post often. However, it’s much more productive to post quality content that consistently generates massive engagement, even if it is only twice a week.

Focus on creating quality video content more than anything. Pick up a few best practices for creating Instagram videos and experiment with long and short-form content. Be sure your brand personality is front and center in every video to capture your audience with your unique voice and presence.

Additionally, create a content calendar for your Instagram posts.

Create a content calendar for your Instagram posts 

As stated above, engagement is the secret weapon in mastering the new algorithm. Quality content makes engagement more effortless, but so does consistency.

A content calendar for your Instagram posts can help ensure you consistently publish content, which betters your chances of getting genuine engagement.

Your content calendar should detail the following about your Instagram posts:


-Media type

-Publish time and date

-CTA you’re using

-Goals for the post

-How you’re going to track performance

-Hashtags and links you’re using

-KPIs and metrics attached to the post

-Additional notes about the post

Lastly, be sure to monitor your Instagram page’s performance.

Monitor your Instagram page’s performance

Be sure to track how your customers engage on your Instagram page and monitor content performance. When you know what isn’t working, you can make adjustments. And when you know what it is working, you can optimize it.

So, learn the built-in data analytics tools on Instagram to ensure you know what you’re looking at and why it’s essential to your small business marketing efforts. In addition, implement 3rd party data analytics tools to gather additional information about how your Instagram page performs against the new algorithm.

Ultimately, tracking your content and customers eases the process of making adjustments that further your efforts to master the new algorithm.


Mastering the new Instagram algorithm as a small business comes down to strategy, how well you know your target audience, quality content, consistency, and leveraging data. Implement some of the advice above to do all of these effectively and get ahead of another annoying algorithm update.


Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.

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