16 Mar Instagram is changing it’s feed + 3 things brands need to do NOW to survive!
BIG news from Insta-land today.
In a Facebook-esque move, the news cherubs at Instagram announced (here) that your feed will no longer display in chronological order. Instead,
“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. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”
This move is said to optimise the experience of the platform, so no one misses the content that is most important to them. We anticipate a few people seeing multiple cat photos at the top of their feed every time they open the app.
Naturally, the statement optimising the experience immediately sends our corporate schmooze alarm bells ringing, but if you stop to think about it for a minute, it might ACTUALLY optimise the Instagram experience. I’ve seen users of The Gram scroll through their selfie ridden feed faster than Kim Kardashian can take off her clothes, only to stop at a post that they genuinely appreciate. Theoretically, this update will save a few users from RSI by conveniently locating these at the top of their feed.
Something you might like to see in your newsfeed. Courtesy of @eilxrrr
Before the ‘RIP Instagram’, ‘Instagram has turned into Facebook’ generalisations overtake the interweb landscape, let’s take a step back. Unlike Facebook, every post in Instagram will still display in the feed. Every. Post. There’s really not much to complain about for now.
What does this mean for brands on Instagram?
I’m so glad you asked. Whether you’re selling hair care, real estate, the new Candy Crush, local lawn mowing or your personal brand, this update has implications for you.
1. Focus on growth NOW
It’s going to be 100x harder to get eyeballs on who you are and what you’re doing when established accounts are getting preferential treatment in the feed. Instagram has been kind enough to give you warning with rollouts said to take place over the coming months. Floor the accelerator now to make it easier on yourself later. An effective way to do this is to align your brand with other popular figures in your niche. This is commonly referred to as Influencer Marketing – we know some people that can help you with that 😉 *email us*
2. Dig into your analytics and work on engagement
Instagram’s announcement used the terms ‘timeliness’, ‘likelihood you’ll be interested in the content’ and ‘relationship’. In other words – engagement. Are people engaging with your content? If not, it’s usually one of two things. Firstly, people aren’t seeing your content. Secondly, it’s not the right fit for your audience. It could be both. Make optimising your engagement a priority.
3. Focus on your visual creative
Why do people swoon for puppies, kittens and fluffy ducklings? Because they’re damn cute. They visually grab you’re attention and elicit an emotional response. The essence of Instagram is capturing moments (visually) and sharing them with the world. Your images matter more than your captions. That split second is all you have for a first impression. Make people fall in love with you at first sight.
There are going to be a lot of wild doomsday assumptions about the future of Instagram floating around. Luckily, unlike them, you’re armed with a plan. On top of this, you’ve got us.
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