May 2, 2016

What Instagram’s new algorithm means for your brand

If you haven’t heard by now, Instagram announced that in the coming months they will launch an algorithm, much like what we see on Facebook. As explained in its blog, the algorithm is being added as a way to improve user experience. “Your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”

But, what does that mean for you as a brand? As a social media agency, we’ll be honest, if you were flooding your profile with professionally staged photos, posts that read like advertisements, and you have never embraced a filter, you’re in trouble. It’s time to evolve and focus on the quality of your posts, not the quantity.

When Instagram first launched in 2010 it was known as a social site for photography. No advertisements or Instagram fitness models making you wish you hadn’t eaten that last donut from the break-room. It was a space for people to showcase their most artistic photos. Fast forward to 2016 and our feeds are filled with every brand we love, store we shop at, and witty account that has us tagging our friends in the comment section, because we too love baby pandas and funny Memes that relate to our lives. Now with the impending update, it’s more important than ever to be among those brands users love to follow.

Although the exact details haven’t been released, it is safe to assume the new algorithm will be engagement based – the more a user engages with your posts, the higher your posts will appear in their feed. So, how do you get users to engage with your content? You create meaningful and valuable content that your followers like so much they hit the tiny heart button. Then, when your content shows up the next time in their feed they hit it again and again. Now, every time they open up the Instagram app, your image is perfectly placed at the top of their feed waiting for them. Sounds easy enough, right?

In a previous post we discussed how to reach millennials through social media and the benefits of using social influencers. Instagram is the king of influencers and with the new algorithm approaching, it may be time for you to make some Instagram friends. Follow back your fans, like their photos, maybe even add a comment every now and then. Engage, and they will engage back.

Creating partnerships with top influencers is another way to increase your brand’s reach. However, influencers with a large following won’t necessarily benefit your brand with the new algorithm. Focus on identifying influencers with high engagement rates, and an audience base that will relate to your brand. Ultimately, shifting your brand’s strategy to deliver quality content and strong engagement will ensure your posts are seen by the users who matter most.


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