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Admit it – we’re all addicted to the countless comical dog videos and cooking reels that are displayed front and centre in our feeds these days.

And if you’re a social media marketer or business owner, you know that social media algorithms are the deciding factors behind what shows up as soon as you open the app to snap up your attention in a matter of seconds.

But let’s be honest, it can be difficult to figure out how these elusive systems can work for you, or why your latest reel got 4 views.

The good news? They’re actually more simple than you might think. In this blog, we break down what the new algorithms actually do, and the tips & tricks to master them and get connected with your audience.


By now we all know what algorithms are; they’re the tiny little mice working behind the scenes of each social media platform, pulling the strings to decide what content is shown where and when.

Like your favourite reality TV show, they love keeping you engaged as long as possible, showing you the best, most engaging content to keep you hooked with every swipe and scroll.

But what’s interesting (or frustrating) about algorithms is how they decide content is engaging and shareable, and how they’re able to sky-rocket one post to a large audience, but hide others.


Social media algorithms work like a ranking system, showing you the most engaging content first. So what classifies as most-engaging you ask? Let us explain the key factors below.

A number of ranking factors decide if your content is deemed highly-relevant:

  • Relationship

What’s your relationship status with your audience? If you have some connection with each other across the social platform, whether you follow each other, leave comments or send the occasional DM, your content is most likely to show up on your audience’s feeds. This is why regular community engagement by responding to messages and talking with your audience is important to build relationships and grow your brand’s social media relevance.

  • Interest

Chances are, if you’re a fast-food brand posting content about burgers and amazing take-away options, people who love a good burger and fries combo and engage with similar content will want to follow your feed. The Instagram algorithm identifies key interest areas in your content by analysing metadata (including captions and hashtags), so don’t forget to add those keywords to your hashtags! If people within these interest areas enjoy your content it will be shared to others. Remember to show your audience the most interesting parts of your brand – whether this is a new product, or something that everyone loves – biscoff gelato, anyone? You’ll find your people, people!

  • Relevancy

We all love a trending topic, and so does Instagram’s algorithm! Keeping up with the latest trending sounds, internet trends, public holidays, and even pop culture news are a great way to tell the algorithm that your content is new and noteworthy. With all algorithms, recent or new content is often shown first, so finding the best time to post for your audience is key. We get into the best posting times for your audience below.

  • Frequency

Instagram likes to put highly-relevant content first. Just like competing for ad-space in a newspaper, it is hard to make sure that your business is at the top of your customers’ feed when competing with posts from family and friends. Consistency is key here. If your brand posts regularly and your customers engage with your content, it’s likely that your content will jump up in the ranks. A good rule of thumb is to post 3-5 times a week, and upload regular stories on most days. Think of it as increasing your visibility to your new and local customers.


screen shots of mobile phones playing reels on their screens


Let’s be reel here – pun intended!

Social platforms are a creative space, and people tend to engage more with aesthetically pleasing, educational and high-quality imagery. 

So what we’re trying to say here is that being late on trends, not using features within the app and not having high-quality content probably won’t get you anywhere – sorry not sorry!

What’s the secret then? 

Below are our top 3 tips for keeping that grumpy algorithm happy:

Explore and use the reels feature

Reels, Reels, Reels. It’s all we hear about lately, but that’s what’s hot right now! 

Whether you love them or hate them, video formats are the Instagram and Facebook algorithms’ new love child. The good news is that it’s a great way to reach larger audiences and gather likes and comments, as the format is more informal and easily consumed. Don’t be afraid to change things up! We’re not telling you to scrap every still photo you’ve ever taken – but a good mix of both reels and still posts will take your socials feed to the next level.

The great thing about reels is that it’s a level playing field, as the algorithms are chosen by real people who try to give everyone an equal chance, by selecting a wide range of videos to make it onto the “suggested” or “discovery” pages. Use this to your advantage – it’ll be your superpower.

The Instagram and Facebook algorithms rank reels based on whether you are likely to watch it through, so it’s important to keep in mind that your videos should be short and sweet, or punchy from start to end. There are infinite possibilities with reels, from jumping on trends to creating a montage of your products or services, and they can be as lo-fi or high quality as you like. As confusing as the algorithms get, social platforms always reward the use of new features by accounts by showing their content to more people, so it’s a quick win for businesses who want to get easy traction with their social media platforms.

a screen grab of best posting times on instagram

Post when your audience is online, and post frequently

This is a tried and true message to all social media managers. You can find out when this is by looking at your insights in the Instagram app. Your audience’s most active times are nestled under your following insights. In Facebook, this can be found under insights and then posts.

As we mentioned, consistency is key. Luckily, there are more ways than ever that you can keep your account active. Sharing a great review, responding to a question with its own reel, or simply reacting to a funny DM can help you create content on the go.

Appeal to the engagement metrics

Algorithms love to look at metrics like comments, shares and saves to identify highly-relevant content.

If your content is likely to spark a conversation, get people laughing in the comments, share a story, or is too good not to comment on, you can bet that the algorithm will lap it up. When creating your content, think about what this might be. Whether it’s someone doing something silly in the background of a video, or something unexpected like an April fool’s prank.

You might encourage shares and saves if your content is something your audience wants to share or experience with others, for example an event, collaboration or new product launch. Think about what might appeal to your audience and create value for them.

And that’s it! The algorithms are always changing, but there’s always something new to give your social media channels the boost they need.

At MBP, we are passionate about creating engaging content and keeping up with the latest social media news and trends. If you’re unsatisfied with your business’ social media performance or are looking to grow your account, contact us at MBP today to learn more about how our digital marketing company can support your business!