In case you missed it – Instagram recently announced that it will be adopting a non-chronological news feed style, similar to Facebook. Now, instead of organising posts in linear order, the new algorithm will take into account a variety of factors including post engagement and content that you have previously liked, in an attempt to organise posts based on relevancy.
Instagram has already concreted itself into the top networks for businesses, thanks to its rapid growth. From humble beginnings, it came from a teen based photo sharing app, that boomed after Facebook purchased it for $1 billion. With an expected revenue of $1.86 billion for this year, its user base grows past general social media usage.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t separate business from personal profiles. So, the new changes to the algorithm are not discriminatory of businesses. So, what do the changes really mean for individuals, brands and marketers?
The chronological news feed was effective based on two factors:
- Businesses were posting every 30 mins or
- Their followers were following a limited amount of accounts
To be honest, this can’t be a common trend, according to Optical Cortex data – based on 20,000+ users – the average number of people follow 822 accounts. This being the case, the majority of users following brands aren’t necessarily going to see brand content first . So, the change in the algorithm doesn’t really matter.
What really makes a difference to brands, is to be one step ahead with a smart social media strategy.
As marketers, we have to continue to focus on quality content that drives engagement.
Instagram was nice enough to inform marketers of coming change, so use this time to jump start your new marketing strategy and take into account the changes. Make the move to boost engagement now. Engage with your followers and strike up a conversation!
Instagram users who follow brands and celebrities will deliberately go to the handle to see what’s news. People follow accounts like Nike, National Geographic, Frank Bod, Kylie Jenner & Kim Kardashian, because they know that each post will be amazing! Strive to make your Instagram account a paradise of visual content. This is the only way to ensure that people won’t stop engaging with your content, no matter the algorithm.
If you are serious about using Instagram to grow your business or brand, you should be tracking and analysing the results.
You should have identified your target audience along with the time they are online. You also need to be aware of the best hashtags to use for your business or brand, so that your amazing content reaches the right people. Constantly monitor rising hashtag trends, to be ahead of the competition Although using hashtags is important, don’t go overboard as it won’t increase your engagement or your chances of being loved.
While being strategic about your visual content, you should also be strategic with your captions. Captions with a call to action are gold when it comes to results – try adding lines such as; “double tag if you agree” or “tag your friends” – this is the easiest way to gain shares, likes and comments.
Businesses and brands that bask in the sunshine and have high engagement levels have one thing in common, they understand their audience. They know what is catchy and what the content has to offer. Successful brands cater to their audience, so that they become the best brand ambassadors.
Final point; don’t shy away from boosting content and utilising Instagram ads, employ the power of Facebook’s advertising capabilities so you can target the right people.The change in the algorithm is actually going to be a good thing.
If you post amazing visual content, it will be waiting for your followers when they log in, even if it was posted hours ago.
An Instagram user survey indicated that 60% of Instagrammers learn about products and services on the network and 75% take action after being inspired by a post – that means investing in products, brands and businesses.
The take-away from all this is that now is the time to bring your marketing A-game, to stay engaged with the constantly changing social media realm.