Earlier this month, photo and video-sharing platform Instagram rolled out a few new updates – one of which involves a change in the way you see posts. Instead of showing posts in the order they were shared on any given day, a Facebook News Feed-style algorithm will show them based on your interests, your relationship and interactions with the person posting it and how recent the post was made. While Instagram’s latest update might not be a huge deal for those who post their latest dining experience for their friends to see, this was a cause for concern for many marketers who use Instagram for the business, as it’s possible for users to miss out on their content. Instagram argues that most users miss out on 70% of their feed either way, but many simply continue to load more posts since the platform has an infinite scroll.
These changes have been on the horizon for a while, and by mid-March, brands were taking the change into their own hands by posting messages asking their followers to turn on account notifications so users are alerted when new content is shared. While this approach is commendable, keep in mind that several brands are requesting this of their followers. A user may become so inundated with notifications and alerts, they’ll simply unfollow the account altogether, which is bad news for brands! So how can a brand ensure that their creative content is seen with this new change?
It may sound obvious or even cliche, but having great engaging content is the first step to ensuring you stay on the feeds of more of your followers. This will be a great time for brands to refine and rework any of their content that was falling flat in terms of engagement, as it will important to only share quality posts with your feed. The more likes and engagement your post receives, the more likely it is to be on more feeds as quality content. Even if some of your posts go unseen on the general feed, create the type of highly shareable content that will make users want to specifically search and visit your page to peruse the posts they may have missed, regardless of what the algorithm is pushing them towards.
There will be a few brands who will take a misguided approach to working around the algorithm by posting more content than they did before. With this new set up, quality will definitely beat out quantity in the end; so it’s important that you seriously consider what it worth sharing. Tell a story with your posts and encourage more involved engagement like comments. Posts with plenty of comments will definitely be winners of this new approach.
Another way to stay on people’s feeds in Instagram is to pay to play. Social media ads are more popular now than ever, especially when they can be fit in with the other content on the platform. Brands and marketers should focus on this type of advertising just as much as display ads on websites. Considering how much time users spend on their mobile devices and subsequently in social media apps, it makes perfect sense to take advantage of an audience who may now have difficulty finding content that’s really relevant to them.