Social media is rapidly evolving. Recently, Instagram (a Facebook-owned social network) implemented a new algorithm to change what users see on their feeds, causing quite a furore in the community.
Without prior notification, the changes are beginning to roll out in New Zealand, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore and Venezuela and will be rolled out to the global community in the coming months. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)
As someone who used Instagram more than any other social media, I was rather concerned when I learnt of this news.
Historically, brands that uses Instagram has experienced higher level of engagement as compared to Facebook and Twitter. With the new Instagram algorithm, the user experience is more personalised so that you no longer see posts from people you hardly interact with as feeds are no longer arranged in a chronological order, to improve your Instagram experience.
I used to post only in the evening time because I think that is the time when most people will get to see my post, but with this new Instagram algorithm, I can post at 2 am and it won’t make a difference because it will still be on my followers’ feed when they wake up.
Instagram has asked users to stop getting their followers to Turn On Notifications to reduce “noise”. By turning on notifications, this would mean incessant notifications will keep popping up together with your WhatsApp messages that can be rather distracting if you are in a meeting or having a quiet dinner with your family.
This new algorithm may also mean lesser organic reach for business owners just like what happened when Facebook changed its algorithm previously, but this does not spell all doom and gloom for businesses.
The question that is first and foremost on everyone’s mind now is how do we use this to our benefit and advantage whether you are a business owner or an influencer?
So what can we do now?
1. Post less frequently on Instagram
With Instagram, you need to think carefully and select wisely before filling your feed with anything. Impact your followers with your content especially even so now that posting frequently does not guarantee that more people will see your post.
2. Post more Videos If You Can
Instagram has recently surprised its users again by increasing the 15-second limit of its videos to a whopping 60 seconds in another BIG move. According to Instagram, this was because people are watching a lot more video than ever before. In another minor change, Instagram has stopped displaying the video’s likes and only shows the video’s view counts, which explains why I see many influencers asking their followers to watch their video instead of just liking it. Personally, I do not really like making videos as it can be pretty tedious and time consuming, but from the looks of it, I may need to polish up my video editing skills. 🙂
3. Engaging Content Rules
It no longer matter now even if you have 1 million followers in your account as compared to someone who has a lot less followers but are posting engaging photos and receiving massive amounts of likes and comments.
Engagement will determine whether or not you can survive in this game. It will make someone like or comment on your photo. Ultimately, good content engagement will get you ranked higher and ensure that more people get to see your content. For Instagram users, this also means you can follow more accounts without fear of your feed becoming too cluttered.
So the next time you post, think about how relevant your post is to people before hitting the “Share” button. Is your post funny, useful, helpful, informative, inspiring or intriguing?
4. Cross Promote Your Content
One good way to ensure that people see your posts is to promote your Instagram posts on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to help drive traffic to Instagram. Vice versa, you can also use Instagram to drive traffic to your website and other networks. Remember, cross promotion wins.
5. Be More Social
Tell Instagram what you want to receive on your feed by liking and commenting on images posted by your favourite people and brands. Be an active and social member of the community.
Try doing this the next time. For every post you share, try commenting on at least 10 other posts from your favourite instagrammers. The point is to be willing to give as much as you hope to receive in return.
With so many new changes and updates, social media is indeed rapidly evolving which means influencers have to keep digesting new information and change the way they work in order to stay ahead of the game.
Influencers and businesses have to stay adaptable to new changes and consistently be creative to engage their audience.
Therefore, it won’t work in your favour by asking people to turn on post notifications as this won’t help you gain the loyalty of existing or new followers. Instead, providing compelling content and staying social will give followers a reason to return willingly.
What are your thoughts about the new Instagram algorithm? Do share with me in the comments below… 🙂