For Instagram, Change Is Good

Have you heard the news? Earlier this month, Instagram announced a big change to their widely popular social media platform. Instead of a chronological feed, users will now see posts based on their interests and relationships. In an interview with the New York Times, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom stated that “on average, people miss 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed.”

What does this mean for users?

 Instead of seeing the most recent posts in your timeline, Instagram will place the photos and videos it thinks you would be most interested in at the top of your feed - all based on your behavioral patterns (i.e. things you like and/or comment on). Furthermore, your posts will be shown in your followers' feeds based on how much interaction each of your posts receives. While many users will moan and groan, the new algorithmic feed could be a great thing for content creators who strive to create interesting content that their fans will like and comment on.

How can I get my posts in front of my audience?

 At 400 million users, it’s easy to get lost in the visual clutter. In order to gain a better understanding of how to reach your audience, you have to take the time to figure out what type of content they like.

1)     Anybody home?

If you are serious about using Instagram to grow your business, you’re probably already tracking and analyzing the effectiveness of your posts. To ensure your posts are going out to your target audience, you can access powerful analytics through tools such as: Sprout Social, Hootsuite and Iconosquare. Knowing when your audience is online is half the battle!

2)     Get personal.

We’ll never know why a photo of a cute puppy will generate more likes than a package of toilet paper. Well, maybe we do… puppies are adorable! However, cute animals aren’t on brand for many businesses. Take the time to create thoughtful, unique, and interesting posts that are relevant to your brand. Businesses that enjoy high engagement rates know their respective audiences very well and focus on quality content that drives engagement. Take the time to respond to comments and “like” followers photos. The more people like/interact with your posts, the better the new Instagram algorithm will work in your favor.

 3) Hash it up!

Adding hashtags is a great way to turn any word or phrase into a searchable link. Tags allow you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. Even if your hashtag contains multiple words, group them all together and use capitals. Uppercase letters will not alter your search results, so searching for #ThinPigMedia will yield the same results as #thinpigmedia.  As well, numbers are allowed in hashtags. However, spaces and special characters, like $ or %, won't work. Remember, Instagram allows for up to 30 tags on a post, so #gonuts!

We believe the new Instagram algorithm is a good idea for social media consumers. If you post amazing content, it will be waiting for your followers in their newsfeed even if it was posted a few hours ago. Now is the time to bring your “A” game.