The Impact of the New Instagram Algorithm

We are already used to Facebook changing its mechanisms every month, and now it looks like we also have to adapt to the new algorithm of Instagram. Social media is clearly an ever-evolving game we have to keep playing. Below you can find everything a social media manager should know about the changes coming to Instagram. Fear not, user views and engagement can still be saved – here is how.

But first… let us see what happened
Long story short, Instagram did the math and realized that users are missing no less than 70% of posts. As a result, Instagram feeds are becoming much more like Facebook timelines: they are moving from a reverse chronological order to a personalized one based on what you would like to see. The new algorithm might mean a certain decline in the engagement rates of your brand, but fortunately there are some tricks to help companies stay on top.

Double-check compatibility
By that I mean reviewing your marketing goals and adjusting your strategy accordingly. The most important thing is that the right message gets to the right people. Could this happen via Instagram? Is it really a useful platform for advertising your brand? If the answer is a definite yes, then Instagramming is the right thing to do! Usually, Instagram is the perfect platform for the most visual brands (corporate or personal). Think about apparel, jewellery, newspapers, restaurants etc. However, based on the right stories, you can create a brilliant Instagram account even for a single-product business. You can take the Coke as an example – although we are talking about only one product, photographing it in the most unusual contexts has won people’s attention and has given the brand the possibility to generate a diversified content.

Focus on photography
The results of the latest studies done in 2016 show that photos have an average engagement rate of 0.88 percent. This is less than the 0.53 percent rate of videos. For the moment, I would advise saving video content for Facebook and relying on photos when it comes to Instagram. However, do not forget an important rule: quality over quantity. Keep analysing old posts and figure out what is resonating with your user base. It is better to post less often, but exclusively with high quality content.

Engage even more
Engagement is key on many social media channels, but it is crucial on Instagram. Commenting and liking photos of followers or potential followers brings an amazing return on investment. Keeping engagement rates high will ensure Instagram takes notice and show your content to followers. Plus, the more time you spend engaging with other users content, the more they will reciprocate. This is definitely a success recipe that will help you cope with the new algorithm.

Invite followers to turn on post notifications
Although some users will not be interested in being notified of a new post, there are some loyal fans that will continue to follow your brand. The main rule is to be specific and tell them exactly what they need to do, so maybe a screen caption would be a good idea. This tactic could work very well if there is also an incentive such as a giveaway or a daily challenge your followers would not want to miss out on.

Thank users
Every time a follower uses one of your hashtags, tags you in a nice photo or reposts your content, this could mean not only enhanced popularity on Instagram, but also new clients and even a higher sales rate. It is therefore crucial to thank users for engaging with your brand and, if possible, even reward them with reposts, mentions or small gifts.