Understanding the Instagram Algorithm
Instagram can be a pain in the ass. Understanding the algorithm can be downright frustrating. If you were coming here to get some hidden knowledge, you have come to the wrong place. However, what you will find is our attempt to document the process that we are currently going through with Instagram to see if we experience success.
First things first, Design Cypher’s Instagram handle is @thedesigncypher. You can find us at https://www.instagram.com/thedesigncypher. If you feel so inclined to “follow” us on there, please do so. You will see the process as it unfolds and any insight that we may have.
Current # of Posts: 66
Current Followers: 442
Number We Are Following: 257
81% Men / 19% Women
Days of the Week Followers are on IG: Wed/Thurs
Best Hours For Posting: 12PM / 3PM
Up to this point:
For the last 30 days, Brenden Goodcuff and Andre Pope set out to do one Instagram icon post per day for the entire month of September. They used graphics that they had created for various clients that were never used. The posts were single posts, solid backgrounds, with a simple thick line vector image. The images were connected with the hashtag #30DaysOfIcons, and were usually posted around 3:00PM everyday. At the end of the 30 day period, Goodcuff created one single black and white image with all 30 icons, making it look like a poster collection.
For the first 15 or so posts, we experimented with hashtags related to icon and logo design. For the second half of the postings, we opted to go without the use of hashtags and compare levels of engagement. For the final post we included hashtags, but we also included tags of “featured” Instagram handles. These featured IG handles typically repost interesting work they feel will resonate with their followers.
During this phase of our Instagram experiment, we noticed little to no engagement or benefit. We put out a barrage of quality content with no real upswing in traffic. The first two posts of the series gained the most traction with likes and engagement (117/93, respectively), but things quickly tapered off. On average, we received between 30-40 likes per post. During the 30 days our number of followers went up by about 10-15 followers. (We didn’t realize we wanted to look at the statistics until it was too late to see exactly where we started out at. Sorry.)
However, all of that changed with the final recap post. That post alone has over 207 likes, has garnered 100+ new followers in 24 hours, and has drawn interest and likes to our other posts! The recap post has 2,922 impressions. If we combine the 6 highest posts during the month, we still don’t have the same impression reach as that one post. So what changed?
The post itself went live around 1:00PM on Saturday, October 1, 2017. We saw a huge upswing right away as likes started flowing in along with new followers. At first we thought it was the “social media influencers” reposting our content. But after we looked into it, that wasn’t the case. Not one on the companies picked up our post.
Soon after, Goodcuff posted the same image on his Instagram account and tagged Design Cypher in the post. Goodcuff is a small to mid-level social media influencer with around 45K followers. The likes on his account for the same post are around 900! By tagging Design Cypher in the post, we saw the like and follows continue to increase.
What does this all mean? You’ve got us. But we are starting to see the needle budge with our Instagram push. The legit route with good quality content maybe a long road, but we feel as it best represents the brand of Design Cypher.
We have another Instagram experiment in the works with the release of “Wuiku: Enter The 36th Chamber.” Stay tuned as we document the process of that as well.