Instagram algorithms: ER, ERR and ranking factors

Rohan Mathew

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Instagram is a global social network, an online brand lead generation tool, and a leading platform for increasing company awareness on the Internet. Instagram is used by about 1 billion users worldwide every month, according to a study by social media management platform Hootsuite. The app ranks second among the most downloaded free apps in the AppStore. And the monthly coverage of users, according to the information portal PPC.World, exceeds 59.4 million. Every day, 28.3 million people enter the social network. Of these: 59% are women, 41% are men. Most of them are between the ages of 25-34.

Statistics show that in 2020, Instagram is becoming a necessary platform for promoting your business online. Today we will talk about how social network algorithms work for successful promotion. Get tiktok views is easy with our tips – visit website

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Let’s start with 3 main social media indicators:


The number of times a post or ad was viewed in the feed. Repeat views are also taken into account, regardless of the source.


The number of new unique users who viewed the post.

Involvement. The sum of all interactions with the post: likes, comments, saves.

In order to get statistics on indicators, put your account in business mode. After that, you will be able to collect data both for individual posts and for the account as a whole.

ER: engagement rate by impressions

ER is an indicator of audience activity on your account. The higher the score, the more users the new post will be shown. The coefficient acts as a marker of the popularity of publications for the social network. It is calculated like this: the engagement rate is divided by the number of subscribers and multiplied by 100%. Example: 500 people have subscribed to an account and 20 posts have been published, which scored 1000 likes and 40 comments. We count: (1000 + 40) / 20 = 52 reactions per post. ER = 52 reactions per post / 1000 subscribers * 100% = 5.2%

ER indicator, depending on the age of the audience:

– Up to 18 years old. The younger the audience, the more they interact with posts, but less likely to make purchases. Users under 18 often like posts and wait for new ones, but they are far from always ready to buy a product or order a service. For such an audience, you need to focus on the visual or interactive side of the content. In this case, the normal engagement rate would be 7-10%.

– from 18 to 24 years old. The audience aged 18 to 24 is less likely to like it, but actively read and view new posts, and also purchase inexpensive goods. Normal ER for such an audience is 5-7%

– 24 and older. People 24 and older skimp on likes, preferring to read rather than view posts. The difference from previous audiences is that it is more willing to buy a product. In this regard, their engagement index is about 2-5%.

ERR: Engagement Ratio by Reach

With an increase in the number of subscribers, the ER indicator will decrease – there will be fewer people to whom the post is shown. The fall is due to the emergence of bots and users who rarely use the social network.

In this case, a more accurate indicator would be ERR – the engagement rate by coverage. The ratio of all reactions to coverage, which reflects an objective picture of the success of the post.

It is calculated as follows: the number of all reactions is divided by the number of people who watched the post and multiplied by 100%. The normal indicator is 10-15%. If this indicator is less, then the post “did not reach” the audience.

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ERR calculation formula

Ranking factors

Instagram’s algorithms rely on three main ranking factors:


Interest is determined by the topic of the post. The algorithm adapts to the average subscriber data. This means that the post will not compete with everyone in a row, but only with publications in the same category. The topic of the publication is determined not by the photograph, but by the text in the description.


Relevance depends on the number of impressions within a day after publication. First of all, Instagram algorithms scroll through new posts and move them into the depth of the feed in a day. In this connection, the regular addition of content is one of the ways to increase the popularity of your account.

Relationship with the author

This factor includes:

Stories, live broadcasts – content that subscribers react to on a daily basis.

Personal messaging.

Authors you are looking for through search.

Familiar from real life. Contacts on your phone, Facebook, etc.

Posts that fall into all 3 factors will be shown more often and with higher priority in the feed.

Additional ranking factors

Additional ranking factors depend on the behavior of a particular user. These include:

  • Often that login to Instagram. The algorithm shows more new posts to users who visit Instagram frequently. If the user rarely visits the social network, then he will first of all be shown those posts that Instagram has identified as interesting.
  • The number of user subscriptions. The more accounts in subscriptions, the fewer posts will be shown to the user.
  • Session duration. The longer a user spends on Instagram, the more posts they will see.

Tips for promoting Instagram in 2021

Use carousels

Instagram doesn’t prioritize carousels, but it does prioritize posts that generate the most engagement. Carousels, on the other hand, help show your product or work from different angles, generating more interest from your subscribers. Compared to regular posts, carousels tend to get higher reach.

Create posts on a regular basis

Instagram has never announced that the frequency of posts affects promotion. However, the more often your posts appear in the feed, the more likely it is that more people will see them and this will lead to increased reach. If resources permit, it is better to post publications daily or choose a convenient posting schedule. For example, every weekday or every other day. To facilitate this process, write out a content plan at least a week in advance. In it, you can not only plan a publication schedule, but also write out new ideas. Browse the accounts of competitors in your area for analysis and inspiration. This way you will find out which posts are good and which formats are better not to use. You can also analyze accounts outside of your area. Perhaps there are variations of headings in them that will suit you too.

Be honest and transparent when promoting your account

Buying bots or participating in giveaways will not lead to anything good. Instagram algorithms can quickly figure out dishonesty on your part and reduce your reach. Any promotion method will only help in the short term. After growing for a short time, your account will most likely face a sharp and unpleasant drop. Bots as subscribers will not be active, and participation in givs will lead to a sharp increase in the number of subscribers, which will interest Instagram algorithms and negatively affect your account. The best way to promote your account is to focus on the uniqueness of your content, its benefits for your followers, and building trust in yourself and your brand.

Use new features

TikTok set a trend for short videos no longer than 1 minute. Instagram decided not to stand aside and launched a similar format called “Reels”. There is no guarantee that videos posted on Rils will get more reach than regular videos, but their engagement rate is usually slightly higher. Instagram itself gives the following tips for creating videos on Rils:

  • use video without watermark TikTok or other services
  • shoot vertically for easier viewing
  • process video with filters, add effects, background music (available in the Instagram library) and so on.

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Use relevant hashtags

Be careful about putting hashtags under your posts. Analyze what tags your competitors put down, what tags users can use to search for your product or service. Try to use as many targeted hashtags as possible. Add tags in descending order of frequency. The less frequently one or another target tag is asked, the more likely it is that a high-quality post will collect a higher engagement rate among them and increase reach.

Consider posting times

Analyze your account statistics and find the time frames in which your audience is most active. Try to post your posts at this time.

Interact with your audience

Respond politely to comments and private messages from your followers. Contact your subscribers, ask questions, ask their opinion. Use audience pains as topics for your posts. You can find them out on thematic forums and groups on social networks. Encourage subscribers to share and create custom content that mentions your brand or product. For example, through pranks or using the good old “Call to action”.

Misconception about how algorithms work on Instagram

The most popular misconceptions about Instagram algorithms are:

  1. Algorithms Instagram ranks equally, both personal and commercial accounts.
  • Better to promote your account with one type of content. For example, only through stories or exclusively through live broadcasts.
  • Instagram algorithms welcome frequent posting. Let’s say 30 publications a day, that’s it.
  • There is no shadow ban.

Let’s summarize

To make Instagram algorithms work for you, follow these simple tips:

  • The more involvement, the higher the reach and the opportunity to get into the “recommended”.
  • Provide high engagement Most often, posts that evoke emotions help. Share your experience, expertise, and life cases. Use formats: DIY, life hacks, creative ideas and all variations of useful content.
  • Posting time matters if the business is targeting a specific city or country with one time zone. In this case, the post should be published during the period of the greatest audience activity. Often this is the morning time when people go to work or school, as well as the evening when everyone returns home. Experiment and publish content at different times to determine the best time.
  • When choosing which post to show first, Instagram’s algorithms do not analyze the photo, but the text in the description. Image priority should only be given if the business is visual. Otherwise, focus on the correct text and keywords.
  • Write posts within the same topic. Then Instagram’s algorithms will clearly determine which audience to show your posts to. This will have a positive effect on coverage and the ability to get into the “recommended”.