This January, Instagram released a bunch of new rules regarding their algorithms. Everyone was up in arms at the strict new rules laid out and marketers were trembling at the idea that they would not be engaging their audience the way they used to. Here is a quick guide to the new Instagram.
Let’s Talk Facts
Instagram is STILL one of the best social platforms as far as engagement. The average engagement rate per Instagram account is about 2-3%. The average engagement rate per Facebook account is <1%.
So, let’s talk about the “new algorithm changes” they released. According to a world-renowned Instagram expert, Jenn Herman, they were a lie!
- The feed is based on personal interactions. For example, if the user is interacting with dog grooming accounts, that user is more likely to see dog grooming pictures.
- More recent images are at the top of the feed. It is still not 100% chronological but you won’t see posts that are 7 days old at the top of your feed anymore.
- Engagement from followers means a lot more in popularity than non-followers. It doesn’t hurt to have engagement from both but if the people that follow you aren’t engaging with you, that’s a bad sign.
- There are no hidden posts. The only thing that can happen to your post is it will be pushed to the very bottom of the feed. Instagram is nothing like Facebook where only a percentage of your followers will have the opportunity to see your post.
- Your account activity impacts your ranking in the algorithm. Accounts that post/comment/like more often get ranked higher in the algorithm.
- Using up to 30 hashtags is still a good idea, and it doesn’t matter if they are in the comments or in the caption.
What is working now?
Less content but, better content
It’s a simple strategy for marketers: less is more. When it comes to content it’s all about the quality over quantity mindset. Create engaging content that your audience is going to love.
Stories are meant to be the fun side of Instagram. The swipe up option can be useful when it comes to driving traffic to your website.
Take advantage of highlights, where you can categorize the stories. It’s an easy way for users just visiting your profile to get a feel for your products and brand identity
Still Photos on the Regular Feed
Creating engaging, vibrant still photos for your audience is still the bread and butter to Instagram marketing.
Organic Lifestyle > Sterile
Depending on where your audience lives or what your product is, there is a certain lifestyle your audience likes. Showcase your product in that lifestyle.
Creating a Hashtag Strategy
Instagram allowing users to follow hashtags is a huge opportunity for brands to reach relevant audiences they never even knew existed. Try out some of these hashtag strategies on your next post.
Before posting your hashtags make sure they are relevant. You can do so by just searching the hashtag and seeing how many posts have used that hashtag.
Combination & Niche Specific Hashtags
These work well for local brands. Finding that niche audience that is relevant to your brand will maximize your content’s reach.
Following & Engaging with Event Hashtags
Engaging with pertinent events and their hashtags can be a great way to get your brand into a community that is relevant to your brand.
Make it Fun!
Instagram is meant to be fun right. Try some of these tactics and start making Instagram as fun as it should be!
More Content of People with your Product
A great way to get to generate via user-generated content. Your audience does not want to just see images of your product, they want to be able to see themselves using your product.
Create Long term Relationships by Engaging with your Audience
Show your audience love by having direct conversations in the comments, direct messages, whatever it may be.
Create Content They Want
Finding out what you audience can be as easy as experimenting lots of different styles of content and seeing which is the most engaging. Then stick to the style of content that has the most success!
Breaking up the Feed with Color
Help your posts stand out by using colors. Look at your current feed and ask yourself, is it engaging?
Contests can be a great way to exponentially push out content and encourage your audience to engage with your brand. Here are some quick tips for hosting contests:
– Create a Custom Contest hashtag
– Make it easy for your audience to enter
– Make sure to use proper contest disclaimers
Captions can almost make or break engagement on a post. With your captions you want to be descriptive. Try having 1-3 shorts paragraphs and think of your Instagram almost as a microblog.
Don’t Forget About Your Bio’s
Maintaining your bio is important as well. Be strategic when building your bio. Make it visually pleasing with structure and emojis! It’s one of the first impressions for a user visiting your page.
Make sure to include your branded hashtag and a link to website since they are both clickable in the bio.
VITAL INFORMATION: You must get permission to use other’s stuff!
Gone are the days of reposting others content. There are laws on the books now that have made taking others content illegal. Do yourself a favor and ALWAYS get permission! If you are simply sharing the person’s post – that is the exception. But taking the content and sharing it as your own is a no no!
COOL NEW FEATURE
Instagram now has Shoppable Posts. You can set up a shop on Facebook and add links to your posts that will take viewers to your shop to buy things directly. This is great showcasing products in fun and engaging posts.