The New Instagram Update: What You Need to Know & How to Hack it!
December 28th, 2018 will go down in history as the worst day for Instagram users, inciting anger, frustration, along with comparisons to Apple's pre-loading of U2's album, Songs of Innocence, on the iPhone. Horizontal swiping was not here to stay, and everyone took a deep sigh of relief. Now, users are left with the remains, much of which has changed businesses ability to engage with their audience. Need some advice on how to navigate? We're here to help.
Raise your hand if you have felt personally victimized by Instagram's new algorithm. We feel you. According to multiple sources, experts estimate that Instagram posts reach only 10% of an audience. How are we able to change this? The upside is that as a post quickly gains likes and comments, its exposure percentage will go up. We recommend using relevant hashtags, tagging popular brands, along with using powerful call to actions. Although it may feel disheartening, the good news is that according to Business Insider, posts will continue to appear at the top of user's feeds if the content is relevant to them.
You've seen it. It's been around for a minute, but we wanted to re-emphasize the incredible opportunity following hashtags has created for businesses of all sizes. Not only will it expose your posts to new users, but it makes it easier for your potential target market to find you. Pro tip: encourage your audience to follow your own, personalized hashtag for increased exposure.
Leave your pods.
Yes, Instagram has figured out all of the tricks. Say goodbye to any easy tool that has been utilized to inflate exposure falsely. From what we’ve seen, Instagram is beginning to “punish” those who not only use automated means of increasing engagement, but also those who engage in pods (Instagram users who have agreed to like and comment on each other’s' posts to increase engagement). Meaning, your ranking within the algorithm will be significantly decreased, making it difficult for your content to appear on user’s feeds. Engagement generated through pods is not organic, making it look like you have engaged followers, which will not mesh well with the algorithm.
Sponsored content is here to stay, but Instagram is also encouraging its users to branch out of their current follower's list through pushing recommended content. Instagram continues to roll out these type of posts. This is excellent news for businesses who continually target a singular, target audience. Always, always, always keep your posts and content relevant to your followers. Authenticity is key here.
Moving forward, businesses have big opportunities, along with a few setbacks on Instagram; but becoming aware of the new changes will better prepare your brand for a successful growth period during 2019.