Here’s why the algorithm update will be beneficial for brands.
There has been lots of buzz around Instagram’s big announcement earlier this month. The social platform plans to change the organization of user’s feeds to prioritize content they think you’ll like most, instead of serving content in chronological order. Instagram says the update is necessary because “people miss on average 70% of the content in their feed”. The order you see posts will now be “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post”. Some people expected this change, as it falls in line with similar updates done by Facebook and Twitter. And just as the changes on those channels were met with fear, Instagram has been fielding public backlash and even an online petition to stop the change.
For marketers, any algorithmic change means a change in the way we do business. How will this affect organic reach? Will our followers see our brand content? The good news is smart Instagram marketing strategies won’t change. It just becomes more important than ever. By understanding these 3 bases for content distribution, you can ensure that your brand not only navigates the change successfully but also benefits from it.
In an effort to show you the most important moments, Instagram will display content that is relevant to your interests. These interests are based on who you follow and what content you’re interacting with. For users who have built a strong follower base by sharing meaningful content around a central topic or theme, this change will be beneficial.
Example: Sally’s followers are in interested in surfing, Sally shares awesome surfing and beach party photos, Sally’s posts will be served as highly relevant to surfers on Instagram.
Though many content creators have been panicking about these updates and asking followers to turn on notifications, people with strong content themes and high engagement should see a boost from the relevance of their posts. Your brand can borrow relevance from these content creators by engaging them in influencer marketing campaigns. With the Snapfluence Community, we match brands with authentic content creators allowing you to leverage the creators’ high engagement and earned relevancy.
The point of social media is to continue building relationships even when you can’t be face to face. Instagram knows that relationships are important—and reciprocal-- so the algorithm update will emphasize those values. Having an engaged follower base that interacts often with your content will help you appear higher in feeds. The first step to sharing engaging content is understanding your audience. Leveraging tools like SEEN Insights will help you discover themes that are resonating with your target audience and use them to inform your social content. However, relationships are a two-way street, so to be successful you’ll need to talk, listen and respond. Liking and commenting on posts about your brand will not only further cement your connection with your community (which should always be a goal,) it will also increase the likelihood of your content appearing in their feeds. Understanding your audience and building two-way engagement with them will be a vital component to your Instagram marketing success when the update goes live.
An algorithm-based feed doesn’t make the timing of your posts irrelevant. When you share is still an important factor that needs to be considered. Smart marketers recognize that this change will be different because the community is different. Orli LeWinter, 360i’s VP of Social Marketing and Strategy, doesn’t believe that Instagram will go “full-fledge Facebook” with the algorithm change “because the Instagram community is just different and expects a level of authenticity and accessibility that isn’t reflected on Facebook”. This expectation of authenticity and accessibility increases the importance of when you share. Your sharing should be natural – like posting from a live event— because natural sharing is more authentic than sharing only for highest-exposure time slots.
Marketers and influencers alike may be nervous about the impending Instagram change, but if you remember what makes people love the channel (sharing important moments and building authentic connections), then you can benefit from the change.
Get in touch with our team to leverage these 3 factors of content distribution for your brand