Why You Shouldn’t Freak Out About Instagram’s Algorithm Changes
Many bloggers and brands that rely heavily on Instagram for their business thought the world was coming to an end when Instagram announced that it would be changing its chronological feed to an algorithm-based feed.
In a panic, users asked their followers to turn on notifications to ensure they would be notified every time something new was posted. But in an age where we’re already inundated with notifications from multiple social media platforms, do you really think your followers want to be swamped with more notifications?
But you don’t need to freak out over Instagram’s latest update. Your posts might not be at the very top of a user’s feed, but consider this: if you post at noon and one of your followers doesn’t log in until 6 p.m., there’s a good chance they’re not going to see your post anyways. According to Instagram, your posts will still be there, just in a different order.
Many are anticipating that an option may exist to select which accounts’ posts you want to see first, like Facebook offers. Additionally, it’s been reported that once the new Instagram algorithm roles out (which Instagram has put off for the time being) “Turn On Notifications” won’t even be an option.
If you’re still freaking out about the changes potentially damaging your brand, here’s how you can protect your audience and engagement.
CREATE ENGAGING CONTENT
The purpose of this update is to ensure accounts post authentic and engaging content, and that users have a better Instagram experience. Do you already post content that your followers love? Then there is no need to panic. Like Facebook, Instagram will interpret what people are interested in and display content based on those preferences.
Before the update rolls out, take a look at which Instagram posts received the most engagement in terms of likes, comments, and shares. Those will serve as a good indication of what your followers want to see more of, and that will help you plan your content accordingly.
Similarly, relevancy is just as important. Are you buying followers? Well, it’s probably time to stop. Focus on growing an audience that actually cares about your brand. Those followers you paid for aren’t engaging with your content now, and they won’t be seeing your posts following the update.
Continue to use relevant hashtags to attract new followers, but be careful not to go overboard. No more than 10 at a time, otherwise your posts will start to look spammy. Find the hashtags that will bring the right people to your Instagram page. Again, pay attention to your followers’ interests and shape your content around what they respond to.
UTILIZE OTHER PLATFORMS
Depending on your industry (e.g., fashion, outdoors, travel), Instagram may be the social media platform that you rely on the most. With Instagram’s changes coming, take advantage of this time to improve your audience and engagement on other platforms. Consider how you can use these platforms together for cross channel promotion.
CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN
Why does your business utilize Instagram in the first place? It’s most likely to create brand awareness and generate interest in your products and services. You’re also using it to drive traffic to your website and grow your business.
So, when a user clicks through from Instagram to your website, are they staying there? Have you created a space that’s easy to navigate, interesting, and resourceful? Are visitors coming to your website and buying your products? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then maybe it’s time to shift focus from Instagram to your website for the time being.
After all, your website is something that you’ll always be able to control. Social media is important, but you’re creating Instagram posts to drive your followers to your website. Make sure your website does its job too.
Ultimately, Instagram’s changes are still being tested, and the company plans to announce when the new feed will go into effect. And I’m sure there will be more changes to come with further testing. For now, your feed will still be chronological.
The important takeaway is to look at your current content and see if it’s the type of content your followers will want to engage with now and after the algorithm-based feed launches.