THE BOARD

A Blog To Help The Business Owner Understand Online Marketing

What Is The New Instagram Algorithm?

by | Blog, do it yourself, social media marketing

Earlier this month, you might have realized your Instagram feed didn’t look quite the same. Then later that week you heard people talking about how “Instagram has a new algorithm” and that’s why your feed was out of whack. But, you might have thought to yourself “what is an algorithm and what does that mean for me?”

WHAT IS AN ALGORITHM?

To start off, it’s nothing to be intimidated by. An algorithm is just a word used by mathematicians and programmers for a set of rules to follow while solving a problem.

When settling your bar tab at the end of the night, that’s an algorithm. When Tinder or eHarmony shows you your potential soulmate, it uses an algorithm. Algorithms can be simple like 2 + 2 = 4. On the other hand, they can be overwhelmingly complicated. Algorithms are all over the place.

 

THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM

Instagram changed its news feed algorithm from a chronological order, to show posts that you’re more likely to be interested in. Essentially it factors in the time of the post, how popular it has been, and your relationship with the person posting.

This might seem oddly familiar because Instagram’s boss Facebook has been sorting it’s posts in a similar fashion for a while now. Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom stated. “On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed, and the change is about making sure that the 30 percent you do see is the best 30 percent possible.”

 

WHY THE SWITCH?

It’s been working to increase engagement and revenue for Facebook so it should work for Instagram.

Facebook’s user base and engagement has increased quarter after quarter.  $5.8 billion in Revenue in Q4… That is how much Facebook announced it had accomplished, which is over 50 percent growth over the previous year. To continue on this profitable journey at the same rate, Facebook needs to create an incremental $2 billion in growth next quarter, and $3 billion in growth this same time next year. It is evident that yes, Facebook is about connecting people, but it is really about driving the top line. Growth is being driven by an increase in average revenue per person, not an increase in user growth. Long story short, Facebook cannot expect to continue at its current growth rate without reaching saturation.

 

So comes along monetization on Instagram. Remember when that happened? According to eMarketer, Instagram’s revenue was $600 million in 2015, and is forecasted to grow about 150 percent in 2016.

 

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SMALL BUSINESS?

All brands have a social media presence in one way or another. Some companies focus solely on social media marketing, while others only benefit from it by their clients accounts. To sum it up, through a combination of the new algorithm and monetization on Instagram a business’ organic reach is limited.

This means brands will have to adapt their social media marketing strategies and how they relate to Instagram. It’s created an opportunity to move ahead of the competition.

 

WHAT’S A SMALL BUSINESS TO DO?

While the goliaths of brands with the money to spend on advertising will be able to benefit, there’s also room for small businesses to make the most of it.

Here are some quick tips and advantages of the new algorithm:

Create Valuable Content – Post regularly and take note of what your followers engage with. Pay attention to competitors and see what’s working for them. The new Instagram algorithm will take note of the engagement and push your posts to the top of your audiences feeds.

Average Life Of Posts: Good news, the life of your posts will increase as long as it’s getting attention. If users find your content valuable, it will continue to go to the top of view feeds.

Post Videos: Posts popularity is not just about “likes” and “comments”. Instagram takes note of how long users are engaged with a post. When a viewer pauses to watch a video Instagram notes this as engagement and can be valued as more than quickly scrolling over an image.

Bottom line is you’re already ahead of the curve by knowing about the algorithm. Now it’s time to make it work for you!

If you have any questions or comments or think there’s an opportunity to team up, please reach out. If you would like to learn more about the algorithm changes you can read more about it from the post I based this one on here.

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