By: Nicole Woods, President
Instagram has been teasing the release of their new algorithm for a while now, but it's finally here! So the questions that we social marketers are wanting answers to are: what does the new algorithm mean for business and will this change how content and strategy is developed? The short answer is that it'll bring good things.
So what is the new algorithm? Basically - the platform has moved back to a chronological feed with a twist - the more you engage with a type of content (based on hashtags or accounts), the higher that type of content falls within in your feed. The good news for businesses is that Instagram isn't giving priorities to friend accounts, but rather the content itself. This will allow companies and small businesses with quality creative even more access to their target audience making Instagram an even stronger marketing tool.
The second part of the algorithm I'm most excited about is that the platform gives priority to those who use it for its original intention - connection. Channels that interact with their followers, comment and like throughout the community, will be rewarded with more people seeing their content. Community management has always been something I've pitched to clients as a very important piece of the strategy - the more you engage with potential consumers, the more they are likely to engage back.
The third piece of the algorithm that will benefit businesses is around hashtag usage. Previously the more hashtags you use and the type of hashtags you use within your post will be flagged as spam, which doesn't help much when you're trying to get your content seen by a variety of people that may not follow you. However, this has now changed and there's no more spam filter for hashtag usage. Granted, bulk hashtagging may not be the best strategic plan of attack, but this piece of the algorithm helps relieve some of the stress bulk hashtagging had on brand pages.
While there are other pieces to the new algorithm that continue to make Instagram a solid marketing tool, the above three pieces are the most applicable to social marketing leaving us with three key takeaways:
- Content is still king. Quality creative that people actually want to see in their feed will help grow your engagement and followers.
- Community management is more important than ever. Sometimes this portion of strategy gets limited or left behind for whatever reasons, but it’s more important than ever now that it has priority.
- Hashtag strategy - don’t worry about using all those hashtags, but use them intelligently. Develop a hashtag strategy that is authentic to you and the content your posting to better reach the specific audience you’re aiming for.
If you or your business need any help navigating these changes, don’t hesitate to reach out!