THE ENGAGEMENT HIERARCHY
THE SHORT VERSION:
Better engagement leads to faster growth and going viral
Posts with high engagement are favored by the algorithm. However, the algorithm doesn't see all engagement equally.
Likes, comments, saves etc are all given different importance. A like isn’t as valuable as a comment tag in improving your posts metrics. See below for full details.
By knowing what this 'engagement hierarchy' is (what the engagement is comparatively worth) you can manipulate the algorithm to give you more 'reach' and make yourself go viral.
When Instagram calculates your engagement ratios, to decide whether or not to give you more reach and/or feature you on Explore, it analyzes many different things. It doesn’t look at all engagement equally. Some forms of engagement have more weighting than others.
Here are the most valuable forms of engagement (in order of hierarchy, from most valuable to least):
(1) POST SAVES -
The number of people who save your post ÷ by total reach. This is the most valuable, as people only save posts they really like. If a lot of people save your posts, it indicates that your content has to be good! For this reason, you should save all your own posts and get your influencer network to do the same when you post.
(2) TAG COMMENTS -
The number of people who tag other people in your posts.You won’t tag or mention a friend in a post if it wasn’t high quality (unless you’re a troll - but this is 0.01% of people). As a result, the more tag comments you have in your post, the more valuable it is! NOTE: This is why we run automated tag comment groups. If you want to join this please get in touch with our team.
(3) LONG FORM COMMENTS -
The number of people who comment on your post with > 4 words. Long comments on your post indicate that it’s a high-quality post. This is simply because people spent time writing it, and one of Instagram’s main goals is to keep you on their platform for as long as possible. If you’re posting content that keeps people there writing long comments, that’s good for IG and they’ll want more people to see it and respond to it! This is why you should try to spark conversations in your comment threads by responding to your followers.
(4) SHORT COMMENTS -
The number of people who comment on your post with < 4 words. Short comments are still very valuable! The difference between this and long-form comments are marginal, but still worth noting.
(5) POST LIKES -
The number of people who like your posts ÷ by total reach. Likes are the easiest and most common form of engagement. Most people ‘like’ a lot of stuff, but fewer people comment. Therefore, likes are at the bottom of the engagement hierarchy. Likes still play a big role in indicating what posts are high-quality, but comments are richer and rarer forms of engagement, which is why they’re worth more.
(6) VIDEO COMPLETION RATE -
The number of people who watched your video to >75% completion. For videos specifically, completion rate plays a crucial role. Instagram judges if your video post is high-quality based on how many people finish watching your video to more than 75% completion rate.
TIP: Including subtitles in videos increases video views by 67%. The reasoning for this is simple. Think about when you scroll on Instagram. Often times you’ll be on Instagram scrolling in situations where you either can’t play the audio out loud and/or don’t have headphones, e.g: at school, public transport, while watching TV, on a bad date etc. Adding subtitles ensures that people can consume your content no matter where they are. This increases your video completion rate too… which is a big deal! If you require someone to make captions for your videos please get in touch with our team.