Published on Mar 31st, 2016
by Tania Yuki
Instagram announced a couple of weeks ago that it would implement an algorithmic feed based on the moments consumers care about most. The change will occur slowly and start with tests of small groups of users to replace the chronological feed that Instagram has today. Naturally, this has many social media marketers speculating about how their brands will be affected.
The announcement follows a similar change to the Twitter algorithm , which took effect last month. And Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has long been tinkering with the formula that determines which posts appear in our News Feeds.
If you're already publishing engaging content on social, then worry not. What's good for the consumer is good for brands.
The change to Instagram and Twitter’s feed algorithms are a testament to the premium that both platforms are placing on quality content. They show a respect for the work that goes into crafting great content and enabling this content to be surfaced to more and more people. We can expect user engagement to increase as these platforms allow quality content to have a longer shelf life, providing consumers with more opportunity to discover it.
Know best practices.
It's more important than ever to know what content resonates with your consumers. Understanding how your industry performs and which brands generate the most engagement can provide great insight for building your social strategy. On Instagram, the medium is the message. Content made for mobile consumption, immersive and bursting with color will by definition capture the most interaction.
For example, user-generated content is extremely popular on Instagram, as are tutorials , and #OOTD's . Partnering with celebrities and using emojis are just some of the tactics that drive Twitter engagement.
Instagram overtook Facebook last year as the most-engaged social platform. Instagram engagement grew an impressive 74% year over year, from 23.5 billion actions in 2014 to 40.8 billion actions in 2015.
All of our partners have seen dramatic growth in social engagement in the past year, with some of them reaching their highest levels of engagement to date. But, with more brands joining the platform every day—only 50% of U.S. brands use Instagram—and competition becoming more fierce, Instagram's feed updates will likely be an adjustment. Some of the Wild West-ness of Instagram just got tamed, and has been made more orderly as the platform mainstreams and matures.
As we've seen with Facebook and Twitter, there is a natural leveling out of best practices that happens next. We anticipate more changes to come in 2016 and will closely monitor these developments in partnership with the industry. What has not changed, however, is the supremacy of wonderful content, and the importance of having a content strategy that is backed by quality audience metrics. Knowing your audience and the kind of content that resonates with them will help you craft a strategy that will deliver the most engagement and widest reach for your brand.
And if you’re still struggling to create a social strategy that resonates with your audience, these algorithmic changes should challenge you to think more about the creative ways to capture their attention. You’ll just have to work harder. And remember, data is here to help.
Tania Yuki is Shareablee's founder and CEO.
Want to learn how to create the type of content that your audiences engages with and amplifies on behalf of your brand? Tune in to What Makes Content Shareable, our next webinar April 26 at 3 p.m. EST.