Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn & TikTok’s Algorithm, Here’s What We Learned from Top Users & Experts

From Instagram’s focus on real-time engagement and relevance to Pinterest’s newly updated algorithm that curates based on user interaction and time spent, each platform has its unique way of ranking and promoting content. LinkedIn’s Post Discovery Algorithm uses your social network and geographic location to enhance search results, while TikTok’s content posting guide emphasizes the importance of understanding your audience and using trending hashtags.

However, across all platforms, one thing remains constant: the need for high-quality, engaging content. Whether it’s creating visually appealing pins on Pinterest, leveraging trending hashtags on TikTok, posting consistently on Instagram, or engaging with your network on LinkedIn, the key to increasing reach and engagement lies in understanding and adapting to each platform’s algorithm.

Join us as we unpack these algorithms, provide actionable tips, and share expert advice to help you navigate the dynamic landscape of social media. Whether you’re a marketer, a business owner, or an individual looking to boost your online presence, this article is your guide to understanding and leveraging the algorithms of Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

Understanding Instagram’s Homepage Algorithm

Instagram’s algorithm for the Explore Feed calculates your post’s real-time engagement relative to your follower count to target users, who are chosen based on their recent search queries. The post is then subjected to a 24/7 operating sensitivity control. Despite good performance on the explore page, the algorithm continuously assesses your content’s eligibility to rank on Instagram.

For the Home Feed, Instagram’s ranking system orders posts from the accounts you follow based on factors like engagement, relevance, and freshness. The way you discover and follow a user influences the visibility of their content on your home feed. If a follower doesn’t interact with your posts, your content has a lower chance of appearing on their homepage.

  • Instagram’s algorithm calculates the real-time engagement of your post relative to your follower count.
  • Instagram’s algorithm uses this data to target users with your content, selecting them based on their recent search queries on the explore page.
  • Posts are subjected to a sensitivity control, an algorithm that operates 24/7.
  • Even if your post is performing well on the Explore page, the algorithm continuously filters your content to determine its eligibility to rank on Instagram.
  • The Home Feed Ranking System orders posts from the accounts you follow based on factors such as engagement, relevance, and freshness.
  • The way you discover and follow a user influences the visibility of their content on your home feed.
  • If someone follows you but doesn’t interact with your posts, there’s a lower likelihood of your content appearing on their homepage.

The Instagram Hashtag Algorithm is Nonexistent

Instagram’s reach through hashtags is determined by its old “Write Path Classifier” algorithm, which ranks content based on its relevance to the post image and caption. If your content is relevant and receives enough engagement, it will rank on hashtags. The focus should be on creating content for the explore page rather than on hashtags. According to a 2022 study, using 3-4 hashtags impacts your engagement rate by 3.20%, while using 19-20 hashtags affects it by 3.14%. The number of hashtags used should not be a concern as the difference is minimal, only 0.7%.

  • The reach of your hashtags is due to Instagram’s previous algorithm, the “Write Path Classifier,” which applies to all content formats.
  • Your content’s ranking on hashtags is determined by its relevance to your post image and caption.
  • If your content is relevant and garners enough engagement to rank on hashtag size, it will rank on hashtags.
  • Cracking the hashtag algorithm isn’t difficult. The suggestion is not to focus too much on hashtags, but rather to concentrate on creating content for the explore page.
  • According to a 2022 hashtag research report, your engagement rate is impacted by 3.20% when using 3-4 hashtags
  • While using 19-20 hashtags affects the engagement rate by 3.14%. Don’t worry about the number of hashtags to use. The difference is only 0.7%!

Understanding LinkedIn’s Post-Discovery Algorithm

LinkedIn’s Post Discovery Algorithm improves search results by using your existing social network and geographic location. It verifies that the searched keyword is in the post to provide relevant results. The algorithm analyzes your current network usage and displays content based on two key factors: Content Quality Measurement and Relevance Quality Model. Relevance signals consider how the post’s comments and text relate to the search, and LinkedIn extracts metadata from posts for more relevant results. Content Quality signals are based on the engagement or click-through rate each time your post appears in a search. LinkedIn is still working on optimizing their algorithm for new video formats.

  • LinkedIn’s algorithm enhances your search results by utilizing your existing social network and geographic location. It employs a verification tool to ensure that the keyword users are searching for is present in the post, thereby providing relevant results.
  • A simplified explanation of LinkedIn’s search algorithm is that it analyzes your current network/usage and displays content for your search based on two key factors: Content Quality Measurement and Relevance Quality Model.
  • Relevance signals pertain to how the comments and text in the post relate to the search. LinkedIn also extracts metadata from posts to yield more relevant results. Content Quality signals are determined by the engagement rate or click-through rate every time your post appears in a search.
  • This information is gleaned from a report I read. The platform has also stated that they are still refining their algorithm to provide optimal results for new video formats.

Increasing your reach on TikTok can be achieved by following several strategies

TikTok’s official guide suggests that verified Business Accounts should post an average of 2.8 times per week. A content calendar is recommended for a successful marketing strategy. Three posting frequencies are advised: low frequency for major updates and events, medium frequency for behind-the-scenes content and business highlights, and high frequency to engage with niche trends and explore sub-niches for increased reach. Consistency in following these frequencies is encouraged for optimal results.

  • Understand Your Audience: Know who your audience is and what kind of content they enjoy.
  • Use Trending Hashtags and Sounds: TikTok’s algorithm tends to favor content that uses trending hashtags and sounds.
  • Post and Participate Regularly: Consistency is key on TikTok. Post regularly, but only if you have quality content and spend time on TikTok for each post you create. Active accounts receive more engagement, even when your activity is passive.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments on your videos, engage with your followers, and participate in trends and challenges (smart ones).
  • Create High-Quality Content: Avoid videos that are blurry, have poor lighting, or are hard to follow may not perform as well. Great sound quality is essential.
  • Stitch and connect with Other TikTokers: Collaborations can help you reach a wider audience.
  • Analyze Your Performance: Use TikTok’s analytics to understand which of your videos are performing well and why.

Understanding Pinterest’s Recently Updated Algorithm

Pinterest’s updated algorithm curates the Home feed based on the user’s last 100 Pins and their actions like repinning, saving, hiding, and clicking. The algorithm takes into account the time spent on the platform and on individual pins.To prevent a decrease in user engagement, the algorithm is being adjusted to focus more on Repins and saves. These actions, Repins and saves, significantly impact how pins are ranked on the home feed. Marketers are advised to create engaging Call-To-Actions and visuals to encourage users to repin or save their content. This analysis is based on information from Pinterest’s Engineering Blogs and TikTok’s Business Blog.

  • The Home feed for a typical Pinterest user is curated based on the last 100 Pins they interacted with, and actions such as repinning, saving, hiding, and clicking.
  • Pins are promoted to a different section of your home feed based on actions.
  • The algorithm displays content based on the duration of your activity on the platform and the time you spend on a single pin.
  • Pinterest explains that user engagement varies significantly based on time spent.
  • Currently, they are modifying the algorithm to prevent a drop in user engagement.
  • Emphasize the importance of Repins and saves, these two actions will have the most significant impact on pin ranking on the home feed.
  • To counteract a decrease in “in-app engagement,” Pinterest is working to display the best content to users who aren’t as active.
  • For marketers, it’s crucial to ensure that your Call-To-Actions (CTAs) and visuals engage users with your pins.
  • Provide context and compelling reasons for users to repin or save your content.

All these algorithm analyses are derived from Engineering Blogs, official platform sources, analytics testing, and for TikTok, their Business Blog. Additionally, invaluable insights have been gathered from the dedicated Reddit users who live and breathe social media analytics.