Another day, another social media update, amirite? Except this time, the change was pretty significant.
Just a few weeks ago, Instagram changed its newsfeed so users experience content based on an algorithmic feed, a la Facebook, instead of a chronological one. Now, the app will show you what it thinks you want to see first, even if the content is a few hours old.
So what does this mean for marketers?
First of all, breathe. It’s going to be ok. We get it – change can be hard. But there are so many Instagram users (500 million and counting, to be precise) that it can be difficult to sort through the content. Instagram’s decision to change the way content is displayed is aimed at creating a better user experience. Here’s how you can take advantage.
Adjust your posting strategy
You should already be posting content that’s valuable. But now there’s an even greater focus on what your audience derives from your content, because that’s how they will decide to engage with it. And engagement is something you should really care about since it will establish your position in your followers’ news feeds.
Users are more likely to engage with content if it does one of three things: inspires, entertains or educates. And when a user engages, the algorithm will adjust and filter your photo or video closer to the top of the feed. When we say “engage,” we’re talking specifically about leaving comments or tagging another user – these are the actions that have the greatest positive effect on the algorithm.
Keep your content cohesive. Does your account have a theme? At Borshoff (@borshoffotos), we like to focus on our agency culture on Instagram. On our Instagram, you’ll find pictures of Shoffers working, playing and interacting with the community. We’ll even throw in our latest designs or sneak peeks of projects we’re working on. By giving our audience a behind-the-scenes look at our #shofflife, we’re either entertaining them, giving them insight into our culture or making them think.
CTAs and #hashtags
A great way to grow your brand’s audience (and create that algorithm shift) is to use a call to action and appropriate hashtags in your posts. For a CTA, encourage followers to tag someone they think would like your content. Incorporate hashtags that are related to your content to reach a larger audience (don’t grab for that low-hanging fruit like #fitspo unless you’re posting a workout video). For example, if you’re uploading a photo of a picturesque beach, hashtags such as #travelgram #beachlife or #wanderlust fit with your post. #Foodstagram does not.
Tell a story
Most importantly, tell a story with your content. People are intrigued by a storyline, and if you can tell the story of your brand on a day-to-day (or at least consistent) basis, you’ll can count on engagement. You don’t have to write a whole novel to get the story across – a quote or a few sentences will do. Make it inspiring, make it real and make it worthwhile for your audience.
- Make it authentic
- Inspire, entertain or educate your audience
- Keep it cohesive
- Use calls to action and #hashtags
- Tell a story
Need help adjusting your strategy for Instagram (or Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn)? Give us a ring. Our digital team is ready to make your brand more engaging.