April 7, 2016

Instagram Changes Up Their Algorithm…What You Need To Know

instagramIt’s happened, as we all probably knew it would but thought would never actually come to pass.  Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, announced last week that in the coming months they will be applying a new algorithm to pictures posted on the site which will impact how and if your Instagram posts are seen by your followers.   If you are a heavy Instagram user, for business purposes, here are a few things you need to know.

When Instagram came out with this announcement, what was said was: “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.”  Since these algorithms are kept secret, in part to keep people and businesses from gaming them, that leaves us a little unsure of what’s to follow as this gets unrolled but Marketing experts expect it to come down to two main things – Engagement and Relationships.

  1. Engagement Will Run The Show – Instagram is growing and as they do so they want to make sure that what’s showing up in your newsfeed is most relevant to you.  That means that part of what they’re using to dictate the order and lineup of pictures is based the level of engagement that picture gets.  For this reason, you will want to strategically post pictures that you feel will get a lot of comments, emojis, etc.  The more engagement your picture gets, the ‘higher’ up it gets floated in your audience’s newsfeed.
  2. Relationships Matter – the connections that your audience has with you and has with one another is also suspected to play a role in this new algorithm (due in part to the fact that this is what Facebook has used as part of theirs in the past).  Essentially, the more that someone engages with you on Instagram – perhaps by loving your pictures or making comments – the more likely they will be to see your future content.  Similarly, if Person A and Person B are both friends – per Instagram’s data diving being able to see them commenting/engaging on one another’s private pictures – then if Person A makes a comment on one of your pictures it will be more likely to show up in Person B’s newsfeed.

Just a final reminder that while some of you may be frustrated with the ongoing changes to social media platforms, you need to remember that this is the very nature of social media itself.  As I’ve said before, when you engage in social media marketing you are using someone else’s platform – for free – to try to market your business.  Therefore not only do you have to be savvy to the etiquette and expectations of that platform, but you also need to be able to quickly adapt when they make changes and hope that you’re able to stay ahead of the curve.

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