This week Instagram announced a major change to their current newsfeed that has left many brands and users buzzing. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, Instagram will be updating their feed to show people “the moments we believe you care about the most”. According to Instagram, this shift comes as a result of the overwhelming amount of content and videos people are missing — on average, people miss 70% of the content in their feeds through the chronological updates.
The announcement ended with “We’re going to take time to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way. You’ll see this new experience in the coming months.”
However, many social media users have already started to express growing concerns. The hashtag #RIPInstagram not only started trending on Twitter, but reactions to the announcement quickly took over the first page of Google’s search results.
Regardless of whether Instagram takes these concerns and customer feedback into consideration, it’s important to start thinking about how this update will affect your brand and create a new strategy moving forward.
Instagram currently does not have the option to promote an account through the Facebook Advertising dashboard, however, our prediction is that this update will be available shortly.
- What You Can Do: Increase your organic audience building and ongoing engagement efforts. These strategies will become even more important as users will only discover your brand when more people are engaging with your content.
Like the other major social networks, we also anticipate that promoted Instagram posts will be enabled on this channel since it is no longer guaranteed that your content will be seen at a certain time in the newsfeed.
- What You Can Do: Continue engaging with influencers, bloggers, fans and customers in hopes that they will engage with your brand content. These efforts will be imperative to increase the engagement and reach of your posts — similar to Facebook. Also, start thinking about a promoted post budget and how you can target this content to get optimal reach and engagement.
With the chronological feed, brands could use Instagram to tell a story in the exact order of events they happen in. A person could see Victoria’s Secret models getting their hair and makeup done, watch behind the scenes footage of a fashion show, and get a real time look at the actual event. However, if updates are now being viewed based on engagement, brands will have to reconsider how they share their story on this channel.
- What You Can Do: Start thinking about your Instagram content strategy post-algorithm update and identify how the messaging or frequency of your content may change.
Instagram currently does not have a very robust reporting platform. Most brands look at likes, followers, and more recently video views as a way to measure brand growth and engagement on this network. With this new algorithm update, it will become more important for Instagram to further develop their reporting in order to help brands understand standard social metrics like post reach, impressions, engagement rate, etc.
- What You Can Do: Analyze the health of your Instagram account by reviewing current audience growth metrics and typical post engagement rate.
Most social networks are updating to an algorithmic based model in order to properly scale for the growing number of users, regardless of whether users want this update or not. More importantly, we have to think about how these updates will affect current and future strategies and how we as marketers and brands will evolve with the social networks.
What are your thoughts on this Instagram update?