I got 99 problems but the algorithm ain't one
The Instagram Algorithm is something you will most definitely be aware of if you are using social media and the gram for business and exposure. Perhaps you aren't and therefore wondering why your engagement has plummeted over the past weeks or months. We introduce you to, the latest change to Instagram's Algorithm. Always a pleasure.
Contrary to popular belief, the Algorithm serves a purpose which is heavily focused on "giving the people what they want". Content that receives a considerable amount of engagement will be favored because the engagement on the posts indicates that the audience wants to see it (obviously).
When the news dropped of a new Algorithm, Instagram stated “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.”
It is currently estimated that just 10% of your audience sees your content. Not good odds, especially if you are relying heavily on social media for exposure and to reach new potential clients.
And despite the backlash, there’s no sign of a return to the chronological feed, and there’s a whole new set of rules to play by.
Here is our TOP TIPS for staying ahead of the Algorithm Game and ensuring your reach is optimised in 2018!
1. Story Time! Get savvy with your Stories!
Instagram stories get a whopping 300million views per day which is double that of Snap Chat (Pause for reaction). With the algorithm favouring high engagement, we should be tapping into every avenue we can to increase it which is where stories come in.
Add to your engagement by incorporating IG Stories to your strategy. There are cute and quirky features available such as "polling" or "Swipe Up" which directly invites your audience to engage. It is also a Fab way to sort the bots from the genuine interaction.
The more your audience interact with your stories, the more likely it will be that your content will show up more frequently in their feed. WIN!
2. Hashtags, Hashtags, HASHTAGS!
We talk about this one all the time. Developing and redeveloping your hashtag strategy is crucial to improving your visibility on Instagram. We are allowed 30 tags per post. That is 30 opportunities to reach your audience.
This year, Instagram dropped another bomb by allowing users to follow hashtags as well as Instagram accounts. If you are using your hashtags correctly and effectively, your content may be popping up all over the place based on a hashtag you incorporate.
Do we post just any old hashtag? The answer is hell NO!
They must be relevant to your content. Over-using trending hashtags that do not represent the content may result in a Shadow-Ban and believe me, that is worse then any algorithm ever.
3. Caption this.
The Algorithm takes into account the time a user spends looking at a piece of content! (Stalkers!). So give them something to read!
To cut through the sea of beautiful imagery, your content should be not only consist of attention grabbing snaps but should be complimented with a caption that either educates, entertains or invites response. In this day and age, we have access to tonnes of beautiful imagery so a pretty picture is not going to cut it.
Carefully plan out your captions. Think about what it is that you can contribute to your audience and what it is they need to know. Do you have the capacity to give away some tricks of the trade? Do you have clients asking the same questions? Did something hilarious happen to you this morning? - Share it!
4. Timing is EVERYTHING!
As we said before, Instagram favours content with high engagement but it also takes into account how QUICKLY your content in generating said engagement. With that in mind, the timing of your posting strategy is now a fundamental part of digital game!
If the double taps flood in as soon as your content is published, it is a good indication that the time you have posted is in line with your audiences online activity. It goes without saying that posting past our bedtimes is not going to result in a whole heap of Instagram brownie points.
There are endless applications available providing insights to your audiences online behaviour. Get familiar!
5. Get CHATTY
It's time to dig deeper than the "Great Post" Post and work on building relationships online. Treat comments like mini conversations and get to chatting. Instagram takes into consideration accounts that you interact with regularly and from there there content will appear in your feed and vise vera.
Communication is the perfect way to ensure that your content is seen by that person. Think about who you want to see your content and start working on social media interactions!
So there you have it!
Share stories, stay on brand, use thoughtful captions and hashtags, communicate and stop posting content at midnight!