Instagram, a platform with 400 million monthly users, began using algorithms on March 15th to personalize users’ feeds based on their interests and relationships, rather than showing photos in chronological order. It’s a move many marketers (including us) say was inevitable as the photo-sharing giant works on growing its advertising business and according to AdWeek “takes a page from sister company Facebook’s playbook, even if it irks Instagram’s core users.”
The reason why? According to Instagram, the average user misses 70 percent of the photos that come into their feeds. They say that using an algorithm could help the company ensure that the few posts a user does actually see are of high interest.
“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post,” reads an Instagram blog post.
According to Justin Rezvani, CEO of TheAmplify, an influencer marketing technology platform, said that the typical Instagram user now follows between 400 and 500 accounts — that number used to be 250 a little more than a year ago. It’s simple physics: As the user base grows, the number of posts people can process declines.
How will this affect your brand? As long as you have great content, great strategy, and an agency or in-house team to help you with PPC and paid social, you will be just fine. While consumers are needing to be pickier than ever on who they follow in order to not be bombarded, there are still ways to reach your target audience.
Late last year Instagram opened advertising to the public via its self-serve platform, allowing brands to be marketed to a massive pool of daily users. It’s a paid social-marketing option that you should seriously consider (we have an award-winning paid media team) as users are two and a half times more likely to click on ads on Instagram than on other social media platforms.
So if your content isn’t deemed important enough or viral by Instagram’s new algorithm, how can you ensure your content is getting seen and engaged with?
It’s now more important than ever to have a quality content strategy focusing on merging your social media with your SEO efforts, relevant keywords, and utilizing the power of hashtags to gain impressions and reach.
Hashtags are like wildfire. They spread at a rapid pace, leading to so-called “trending topics” on Twitter and Instagram. I’ll save my spiel on how important hashtags really are for next time, and if you have questions on how to use them, please reach out to someone who can help you!
There is no doubt that hashtags are extremely effective at increasing online presence. Great content with relevant keywords is certainly a start, but a hashtag can be popularized by anyone at all, whether they have a website or not. A hashtag gives a voice to the people, all the people, and a pretty loud voice at that.
When used properly they can help bring your brand new business, but when used improperly, they can make you want to rip your hair out… or maybe that’s just me.
Lastly, having quality content that is visually stimulating and can stand out amongst the crowd is going to be crucial to a brand’s survival. You are competing with millions of other people for a social voice, and you need to prove you are what they are looking for. Contact us for examples and how we can help you stand out.