The New Instagram Algorithm, And Why You Shouldn’t Panic
Instagram announced on March 15th that the dreaded “algorithm update” is upon us. According to Instagram, only 30% of an Instragram feed is actually seen from a user. This change is meant to make sure that the 30% you do see is exactly what you want to see (Instragram Blog); meaning a reorganized feed that is no longer fully chronological. That announcement brought widespread panic, even with Instagram’s caution that they’ll be taking the time to make the change and listen to feedback. This panic came mostly from brands.
When Facebook changed their algorithm in early 2015 many brands were burdened by having to pay for exposure. Organically about 2.6% of a brands Facebook posts are seen by their audience (AdWeek). Facebook’s response to a low percentage of engagement? Sponsor your posts to increase the reach of your content. The end-all idea of an algorithm like this is to clear clutter from a user’s NewsFeed – show them what they want, when they want it. Unfortunately, this change severely hurt the reach of brands who weren’t willing or able to pay for increased reach and they’re nervous Instagram is headed in that direction.
What Will The New Instagram Algorithm Change?
The main question weighing on everyone’s mind is – will this change affect brands the same way the Facebook change did? The answer, it seems, is no. At least not yet. Currently there is no way on Instagram to tag your company as a “brand” or “personal” account meaning all accounts hold the same weight. This means whether your post is shown at the top of a feed will come down to engagement rather than the type of account. Your audience that does like all of your posts, comment frequently, and is interested in similar verticals, will still see your posts at the top of their feed. However, if you’ve gained followers through third-party methods (i.e. buying followers) or if you don’t see much interaction on your posts as is, then you might notice even less engagement. Overall, even as a brand, Instagram will make sure your posts are shown to an audience that actually wants to see them.
How To Make Sure Your Instagram Posts Stay Relevant
The best way to make sure your posts aren’t affected by this change is by going back to the root of social: post content your audience wants to see. Instagram is extremely visual so make sure your images are eye-catching, use high quality photography, and use a variety of different content. Make sure you know your audience – post images that relate to their everyday life and ask for feedback and engagement through questions in your captions. If you stay relevant and exciting to your following, they’ll stay engaged with your brand, regardless of how Instagram begins to change.