The importance of creating great content and engaging with your audience on a consistent basis on social media is something we constantly advise our clients (and talk about regularly on this blog). This heightened visibility message has even greater meaning in light of Instagram's latest news about their new algorithm (that will turn the tide across most social media), and it's important you know what that means for your business
Instagram has just announced that over the coming months they will be changing their algorithm to show their users, in their words; “the moments we believe you will care about the most.”
Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, many experts have been predicting (and warning us) that Instagram will follow suit with Facebook’s changes by implementing an algorithm that will dictate what their users will see more of (and less of) based on their overall behavior.
How Will Instagram Dictate What Is Seen?
Instagram is making the changes to improve their user’s experience so they get to see more of what they love and care about in their feed. According to Instagram “people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds”. How do Instagram determine this? By using data to inform them of which types of content and which specific accounts they will most interested in and engage with based on past behavior. As a result those accounts and types of content will be rewarded by bringing it to the top of their news feed pile. In the similar way to Facebook. Fear not, your pictures and videos are not totally going away, everyone who follows you will still be able to see the content you post, it will just be in a different order depending on the specific user’s behavior and interests.
What Can you do As a Business?
This news will hopefully encourage more businesses to create greater content that is relevant and of value to their customers so their followers like, comment and share it with others. The news can be viewed with negative connotations or seen as an opportunity to take stock of what you are posting on Instagram and improve it.
Here are some tips on what you can do to keep in front of your followers and top of mind:
- Assess Your Recent Activity - I recently wrote a post entitled How To Use Social media Smarter which explained how important it is to check and assess your Google analytics to see what is working and tweak what isn’t working, to avoid wasting time and budget in the wrong places. I do this for my clients once a month when executing their Social Media Plan, and I advise you to also do this on a regular basis. In fact, now would be a great time to check your analytics and create a more effective social media plan for Q2!
- Evaluate Your Recent Content - Once you have looked at your recent activity and measured engagement it should give you a clearer picture of what your audience wants to see more of (and perhaps see less of). Asking yourself was your content relevant, valuable, and in line with your customers interests and values? Will bring up great questions to ask yourself (and your team) and help improve what you post going forward to improve engagement.
- Set Goals + Measure Success - Now more than ever I would advise measuring your efforts on Instagram (and any other main social media platforms you use for business) if you don’t already do so. At Prim’d Marketing we use Onlypult to pre schedule our Instagram posts without us needing to push posts out in real-time. I am constantly checking our metrics every week and adjusting our editorial calendar according to what's coming up for us, our brand friends, our clients and interesting events and resources going on etc. Iconosquare is also a great program to set goals and measure your success.
- Make It A Two-Way Interaction - I always advise clients and attendees at my Instagram 101 workshops that activity on Instagram (and all social media) should not be a one-way street. Getting engagement is the name of the game and you want your brand to be a prefered account so carving out time in your day to socialize and engage with your community will get you ahead of the game. I always respond to any comments on our posts and I typically use my evenings to find out what everyone's up to and comment on other people's posts by congratulating others successes, ask questions, answer questions etc. I get inspired with new ideas by finding new brands and organisations through my existing community which can feel like falling down a rabbit hole sometimes. But as a natural connector I always do my best research that way. If you see it as research and community building you will see it as less of a time suck - plus it's important to enjoy this part of the process or find someone who does!
How We Do It
Instagram is our primary social media platform and we have been growing our following like crazy recently as a result of nurturing and supporting our community by:
- Sharing relevant content that shows behind the curtain at Prim'd Marketing meeting with clients, developing new ideas, brainstorm sessions,
- Keeping our community up-to-date about upcoming events and resources for creative entrepreneurs
- Hosting local events like workshops and sharing nuggets of information that we will be teaching
- Engaging with like-minded people that we admire, would like to work with in the future and think are interesting and doing interesting work
- Cross promoting with brands we’re in alignment with by tagging each other and using relevant hashtags
As a business our secondary social focus is Facebook as it is a “pay to play” advertising billboard that requires an ad spend to be seen. Which we occasionally do for specific workshops, launches & products pushes as organic posts are seen by such a small percentages of our followers.
Watching how Facebook evolves is the main indicator of how other social media platforms like Instagram will follow in the near future so it is important to be aware of how it affects your business and how you can adjust accordingly to stay ahead of the game.
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