In a move mimicking Facebook and rival Twitter, Instagram, the world’s eighth largest social media platform that boasts over 400 million active monthly users very recently dropped a bomb to its users with the news that the photo-sharing app will be adapting a new algorithm that will show newsfeeds in a non-linear, non-chronological order.
In its incontrovertible wisdom, photo-sharing app Instagram, in its newest algorithmic change, may have had an epiphany that what it is currently doing – arranging users’ posts from the most recent to the oldest – may mean that users might be missing out on certain posts that really matters most to them or that are of more import to the casual app user. According to Instagram, as much as 70% of users’ feeds are being missed by people simply because newer feeds shove older posts down. This is specially the case for people that follows a lot of people or brands.
With this new development, Instagram users more familiar with the chronological and linear view of their newsfeeds will instead see post that have a lot of engagement which would be based on the perceived preferences of the user. This could very well mean that the algorithmic update will weigh using a wide range of social signals, such as post engagements, your affiliation with the post’s owner or creator and how timely the post is. The update will also regard as indicator the contents you have liked before in sorting images and posts that will show on your newsfeed.
Instagram’s Update: What It Means To Brands And What To Do About It?
Instagram has already made a name for itself among online advertisers, marketers and also with top networks for businesses, mainly due to its nearly explosive growth over the years. From a start-up, teen-based photo-sharing social media app acquired by Facebook in April 9, 2012 in a $1 billion US dollar cash plus stocks deal, the network is promising a lot in terms of projected revenues as the app’s user base continues to grow.
Instagram’s algorithmic update has caused quite a storm in users, though. There was even an online petition that run through Change.org orchestrated by the app’s users in a bid to persuade Instagram to just continue with the traditional, chronological feed as it is. The said online petition, up until this writing has 329,329 supporters across the globe and still needs 170,671 to reach the targeted 500,000 petition signers. Instagram answered those contemporary critics and tries to salve users by sending a tweet (of all places, they’ve used their rival’s platform!) assuring that app users will be duly informed when the algorithmic change finally rolls out.
The apparent uproar was mostly caused by comparing this change to Instagram’s parent, social media platform giant Facebook’s algorithmic update which was made infamous for allegedly selectively targeting the contents of businesses’ pages contributing to the alleged plunging of organic post reach by many business page owners in historic lows. When Facebook implemented this change, many gravitated and focused on Instagram as their platform of choice because any new updates they post would certainly be on top of their target viewers’ newsfeeds.
What To Do To Adapt With Instagram’s Latest Update?
This announced change that Instagram would be implementing in the coming days was a gracious gesture for online advertisers and marketers to adapt with the said algorithm update before it even kicks in.
Here are some things you can do to adapt with the latest change in Instagram’s newsfeeds:
1. Use vivid, captivating imagery. People respond to visual content and Instagram can be an exciting tool for brands to experiment and produce thought-provoking, stimulating, and engaging visual content that will strike users as something to talk about, share, comment on or liked. By doing this, people will continually talk about your brand hence whatever changes Instagram or any social media platform introduce, you would always be ready to face it head-on.
2. Study, analyze and Instagram’s analytics. Built-in metrics and insights can also be used to track and analyze viewer trends. Metrics offer invaluable data that can tell you when, what time and where people are coming from. By analyzing these data you can then set your posts to go out at the right time to engage your target audience and serve the right content at them thus increasing your visibility. Instagrams analytics would also tell you which hashtags you use gets the best result result. By employing hashtags and testing which are better you also improve the chances of new groups of people discovering you and your brand.
3. Use call-to-actions in your captions. We’ve mentioned earlier about using visually enticing contents as something very crucial in your posts. At this point, we want to add that captions are also important so you need to really think what you should use on your images especially those call to actions you would bring into play. Call to action captions is proven to be beyond effective in getting desired results. Who wouldn’t want more engagements? Not you of course! Then ask for it from people viewing you ending your captions with a call to action “share if you agree”, “tag your friends” or “tap if you support”.
4. Know your audience. Brands that have a lot of people following them and are successful on Instagram knows that it is imperative that they have a deep knowledge of the preferences of their respective audiences. By this we mean that they have a clear understanding of which image best suits their audience and what they like the best, what type of content gets engaged and the like.
What amount of time, no matter how little, should be used to retune a brand’s marketing strategy to utilize this change to increase ones brand engagement now. Businesses can start adapting by taking notice of those comments viewers leave on images posted by brands and duly respond or better yet, strike a conversation for those posts to remain on newsfeeds.