One of the most powerful business tools for brand enthusiasts is Instagram. Whether you’re a fitness guru, aspiring model, musician, chef, or artist, Instagram’s simplicity for the user and extremely large customer base creates the perfect avenue for building popularity. As a user, you follow a variety of pages and content based off of your interests and enjoy simply scrolling looking at posts from moments, hours, and sometimes days ago……wait, what? Why would Instagram show me a post from days ago when I’m following over 3,000 pages?

Ever notice that although you follow so many pages, you really only see about 50-100 pages in your news feed? Well, there is a simple one-word explanation to this: Engagement. Instagram places in your news feed posts from who and what you interact with the most, even if it’s a post from days ago. If your best friend posts a lot of content and you’re always liking and commenting on everything they post, whatever future (and past) posts they create will no doubt be in your feed. Even the stories you view, Instagram will remember and will send notifications whenever people you’ve viewed most upload a new story or Go Live.

Don’t believe us? Go through who you’re following and pick a random page you haven’t seen in a while. Visit the page and see the previous posts. You may notice that they’ve posted over a week’s worth of content and none of it came through your feed. Why? Because you haven’t interacted with it as much as others. The more a user interacts with a page, the more the page is visible on the user’s feed. Many businesses have used this to their advantage to gain more exposure.

For example, some businesses run contests on Instagram and encourage the user to tag multiple users in multiple comments on top of following the page and Liking the post. By having more and more users following the page and commenting multiple times, the business has a better chance of ending up in the user’s feed more consistently. Some pages have even gone as far as encouraging the user to leave a comment letter by letter of a specific word for a prize or DM.

For Instagram stories, the integration of surveys has further helped brands by allowing direct engagement within the story, doubling their chances of ending up in the user’s feed based off of the view itself and interaction. It’s all about knowing how the system and algorithms work and using them to your advantage.