Instagram’s New Algorithm
Have you heard the news? Last month, Instagram announced some big changes to its news feed algorithm. Images will no longer appear in chronological order—instead Instagram will function similar to Facebook. Your Instagram feed will now be prioritized to show images that it thinks you want to see based on your interests, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.
Why the change? It’s been noted that the average Instagram user misses roughly 70% of the posts in their feed. This new algorithm is intended to make sure the 30% of posts you do see are the best. Another contributing factor is that Instagram has seen a drastically higher engagement rate than other social platforms, and engagement so good is too good to last (for free).
Sure, we can collectively complain about this massive change to the Insta game, but instead of wasting time being upset, let’s take a second to explore how businesses and social media marketing gurus can take advantage of and thrive in Instagram’s new algorithm era!
Here are 4 important things to remember that will help you make the most of your strategy as the aggregated Instagram feed replaces the chronological one.
Engaging content is king and quality trumps quantity.
Brands, internet marketing companies, and influencers will all need to create more engaging content. Without the luxury of guaranteed reach—the pressure is on. And if you want to compete—engagement is key to unlocking reach.
This means that posting generic content could bring down your overall reach. Posts have to be good enough, strong enough and engaging enough to stand out from the rest. Where do you start? Clearly define your audience and their likes, dislikes, preferences and values—understanding your target market is the first step to creating engaging content.
Building relationships is important.
As it becomes more difficult for brands to reach consumers organically, the emphasis on relationships will matter even more, and the demand for influencers will grow significantly. How come? Building relationships with other brands and personalities will help increase your visibility, grow your rapport with consumers and reach new audiences. Whether you’re promoting a partnership, celebrating a milestone, joining together to support a cause, or simply creating a buzz, utilizing established personalities will help you generate incredible brand awareness and revenue.
Timing is everything.
Timing is delicate in business and in life, and the same goes for social media marketing and Instagram. Being in the right place at the right time can result in fame, magic, happiness—whatever you want to call it, it’s good. Well-timed posts will offer a significant boost in reach. So what’s the best time to post? There isn’t one definitive answer. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and try to post accordingly. What part of the country do they live? Do they work full-time? Defining your target and establishing goals will help you discover when the timing is right for your brand.
You have to pay to play.
One of the best ways to get the visibility you’re looking for is through online advertising. We’ve come to terms with the fact that you have to support your organic Facebook marketing strategy with social advertising—and the same goes for Instagram. The integration of Instagram ads with Facebook’s ad platform makes delivering high-quality, targeted advertisements simple, and as the algorithm replaces the chronological feed, we can expect Instagram ad offerings to become more refined and effective.
At this point, we don’t know exactly how this change will impact brands. Only time will tell. Instead of worrying about the changes, focus on the bigger picture—create impactful content, build your network, know you audience, and plan your social advertising budget accordingly. The changes won’t threaten brands that have a solid social media marketing strategy and an engaged audience.
About the Author
Michaela Meehan is a Social Media Specialist at OMNI Online Solutions. Using her skills of creativity and writing, she creates social media and email marketing strategies for clients.