How to Use Instagram’s New Algorithm to Your Advantage

Social media networking is becoming more prevalent for both individuals and businesses. In fact, in 2018, the average social media user spent 136 minutes everyday networking and fraternizing online. Instagram usage is no exception to this. The social media monster is actually the second most popular app by monthly user, with more than 115 million people sharing videos and photos each month. It is no surprise that almost every business has a presence on Instagram to further engage with prospective customers and build brand awareness. Some Instagram users even make money for posting and can link a profitable return on investment (ROI) through Instagram.

In 2016, Instagram changed it’s newsfeed from sharing posts in reverse-chronological order to now utilizing a complex algorithm that personalizes every user feed. To increase the time that users spend on the application, the app changed the newsfeed to now align with the activity of each account, respectively. In simpler terms, your newsfeed will now reflect posts more similar to other posts that you interact with often. This is very much like how Google will share results based on your saved browser cookies. The goal behind the decision to change this is so that users are seeing posts from accounts that they frequently interact with, or accounts that they would like to see — increasing their satisfaction with the app and thus encouraging them to spend more time on it. What does this mean for your business, and how can you use this to grow brand awareness?

In the age of digital technology and social media networking, it is imperative for a business to not only keep an up-to-date presence online but to interact online to raise brand awareness. Instagram is no exception to this rule of thumb, especially with their new algorithm. The primary goal for businesses should be to facilitate as much interaction on their posts as possible. The more that other users interact with the posts, the more likely the algorithm will promote new posts to show up on the newsfeed of other users. What happens if a user does not follow the Instagram account of a business? Instagram actually offers an “explore” tab that shows photos and videos from accounts that the user may not necessarily follow but is trending or similar to their interests based on previous interactions. The “explore” tab is essentially a free marketing campaign if the business is featured. The easiest way to be featured here is to provide authentic and frequent interaction with other users.

The most straightforward ways to gain interaction among other Instagram users with the new algorithm is to continue authenticity, consider timeliness when posting, and to utilize all of the features that Instagram offers. Authentic content will promote interaction with customers. Customers who comment, share, or like your posts will help with brand reputation. While the newsfeed is no longer in reverse-chronological order, the time of day that the business posts is still important. The company will want to post at a time that most users are online, to increase the chances of live interaction. Instagram is now so much more than just sharing photos from vacation. Users can post videos, a collage of photos, and even share live stories to their accounts. Offering potential customers a wide array of multimedia further authenticates a business and promotes it. Ultimately, a company’s Instagram page should be a full-time commitment. It offers rewarding benefits to those who treat it like such.

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