Instagram is Changing Its Algorithm But it Isn't That Big of a Deal

Change on the internet often creates mass panic, and the latest major change is no different. In case you've been living under a rock, then you may not have heard that Instagram is preparing to roll out a new algorithm which will inevitatbly alter users' feeds, similar to big brother Facebook. We briefly mentioned it in last week's blog post, but we wanted to dive into a little more detail. 

The impending change has brought about a virtual protest amongst avid Instagram marketers and influencers, and all day yesterday popular users asked followers to subscribe to notifications, and continue to engage with their posts. It seems the majority of influencers are seeing the update as a negative change, and they are worried about a decline in post views. However, Instagram itself has promised this will not be the case. In a blogpost by the social media giant, they declare that on average users miss 70% of their feed, simply because of the reverse chronological setup. In order to combat this, Instagram promises to "rank" posts and feed them to users in a way that makes more sense. Basically, the new algorithm will be based on what a user engages with the most. Posts that one normally comments on or likes, will more frequently appear in their feed. So while posts may be shown out of order, the posts that you more than likely care about the most will still be there and will be shown first. The new algorithm hopes to clean up messy feeds in a sense.

So how should we deal with this change?

First off, take a deep breath. It's really not that big of a deal. Your Instagram is not going to self-implode. We've got some advice for how to handle this change with grace. 

1. Continue to post engaging content, and interact with people who interact with you! - This is simple. If someone comments on your post, comment back, let them know you heard them. It more than likely will produce a repeat comment from them in the future, or positive word of mouth which may lead to more followers. People like to feel like brands are real people too, and it makes them feel special when their comments are noticed.

2. Don't flood your feed, but do post regularly. - This should be common sense. No one likes to see 10 posts in one day from one person, though I'm sure we're all guilty of it at one point or another. (New puppy? New baby? Newly engaged?). The new algorithm will supposedly be able to recognize spammy influencers, so posting a ridiculous amount of posts in one day will most likely not do you any good. Continue to post your content regularly, but take it easy, folks. 

3. Hash-tag-it-out. - Consider really "investing" in a few solid hashtags. Hashtags are an easy way for users to find your content, and discover new content. There's also research out there that says posts with so many hashtags perform better than others, etc. Do some digging of your own and try to figure out which posts of yours perform the best and receive the best engagement based on your hashtags. Do your posts do better with hashtags in the main caption? No hashtags at all? One hashtag? Three hashtags? 10 hashtags but in a second comment below the main caption?

4. Content is king, even on Instagram. - Continue to post genuine, visually appealing content, and your followers will take care of the rest. Just be real. Don't over think it. 

5. If your brand lives and dies by Instagram, it's time to get serious. - This isn't to intimidate those who rely heavily on promoting their product or brand through Instagram, but it is to drive home the fact that times are changin'! It's time to embrace the change, bring your A game, and put your best post forward. 

If you would like more information on other changes in the digital world, give us a call! We love staying up to date on the latest digital marketing news and trends, and are here to keep our clients aware. 

Further reading:

Huffington Post
Time Magazine


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