Currently, Instagram photos appear in your feed in chronological order. When you scroll through your app, you are seeing photos in the order they were posted. But, that’s about to change. In coming months, the photo-centric social media site will start using an algorithm to determine the order of user posts in feeds.
What we Know
Instagram’s announcement is very simple and doesn’t offer a lot of detail about the change. According to the site, users miss an average of 70 percent of their feeds simply because they follow so many accounts and so many posts are added on a continual basis.
To solve this problem, Instagram will be using an algorithm to determine what order to display photos in. This means that you may see older photos in your feed before newer photos, if the algorithm determines you would be interested in them.
Instagram hasn’t provided details about how the algorithm will work. The announcement states: “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.”
What to Do Now
Since we don’t know exactly how the algorithm will work, or what kind of impact it will have on business accounts, time will tell exactly how Instagram marketing will change. However, there’s no doubt the site will continue to be a valuable channel for social media marketing.
There are a few things you can do now to increase the chance that your posts will still be seen by your target market, regardless of algorithm changes.
First, Instagram’s announcement hints that “the timeliness of the post” will be taken into account by its new algorithm. By posting to Instagram frequently, you have a higher chance of reaching more people. Your recent posts may also be given priority over others when the algorithm is unrolled.
Keep in mind however, that you want to avoid overwhelming your followers with posts or appearing spammy. Post frequently, but don’t scare followers away by taking over their feeds with too many photos.
Encourage Likes and Comments
While we can’t say for sure whether engagement levels will play a part in the new algorithm, there’s a good chance that likes and comments will indicate that a person is likely to be interested in more content from an account.
Try encouraging followers to like your photos and engage with comments. Request feedback, ask questions, host informal polls and do giveaways to increase follower engagement. More likes and comments will also help you build a relationship with your market, which will benefit your overarching online marketing efforts.
Don’t Skip Ads
As of now, the new algorithm isn’t likely to have an impact on Instagram ads. With this in mind, you can use highly targeted ads to reach your audience regardless of any new algorithms. Instagram ads are a great way to reach your market and visually tell a story. They can also help you establish an online brand and reputation.
Instagram’s announcement does have the potential to influence the way you use the site for online marketing, but businesses should continue to use it strategically to visually attract their target market.