NAVIGATING THE NEW INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Recently, yet another social media update sent the technological world into an uproar. The new Instagram algorithm, in effect since mid-March, has changed the timeline from chronological order to display posts with high-engagement in order to show the posts that Instagram thinks you want to see the most. “The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.” This update was made years ago on Facebook, so that you now view posts by “News Feed” or “Top Stories” rather than chronologically.
Many businesses with Instagram accounts are upset with the change since it means less organic reach, leading them to urge their followers to “turn on notifications” for their page. The good news is since there is no differentiation between a business Instagram and a personal one, which means that your business page can still get the attention it deserves if you follow these simple steps.
BUMP UP THE CONTENT
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, content is king! Brands can get by with mediocre content on other social networking sites, relying on sheer amount of followers and ads, but Instagram treats your business page no differently than a personal one. Use this opportunity to portray yourself as a person! Instagram is your outlet to be empathetic, relatable, and personable as a brand. Create killer content that engages your audience, addresses the topics they’re interested in, and is high quality and aesthetically pleasing. More people will engage with comments and likes, boosting your posts to the top of others’ feeds.
ALWAYS BE ANALYZING
While Facebook provides us with an easily trackable analytics page, Instagram doesn’t provide such information. But you can still study the daily patterns of your audience and adjust your method accordingly. Schedule posts to go out at times when your audience is most likely online, even if this means a few trial-and-error posts to test various times. One tool that Facebook doesn’t capitalize on as much as Instagram is the use of hashtags. Consistently test which industry-related hashtags improve engagement and play with the use of different phrases and keywords. Monitor trending hashtags and use them to boost impressions. But beware! Don’t become just another spam account, burying boring posts under dozens of hashtags. Couple relevant hashtags with impactful content.
The new algorithm means that now more than ever you need to encourage your audience to engage with your brand. We don’t mean posting requests for followers to turn on their notifications. Urge your fans to engage with your photo by providing amazing content and urging them to “double tap if you agree” or “tag your friends.” Even a humorous meme or relatable quote that doesn’t pertain directly to your company could push new followers to your page organically.
Perhaps the new Instagram algorithm isn’t as scary as it seems. After all, if you’re providing great content you can trust that it will be seen by the right people. If you need help developing a digital strategy for your business’ Instagram (or any other social network) let us show you what we’ve got.