By Mike Lim – Web Analytics Master
Instagram recently announced that they’ll soon be switching to an algorithm-defined timeline – meaning that users will no longer see all the content posted by the profiles they follow in chronological order. The announcement sent shivers through the spines of many Instagram-focused businesses – their fear is that after having spent years building a following on the platform, Instagram could now restrict the reach of their posts, effectively stopping them from communicating with their audience.
Image Credit: www.instagram.com
There are a couple of things to take into consideration here. One, algorithms are designed to respond to user behaviour. If a person likes your content or comments on a post, that increases the likelihood of that person seeing more of your content. Algorithms take into account the interests of each user based on their on-platform actions, then show them the content they’re most likely to be interested in seeing based on those behaviours. As noted by Instagram, right now, people miss an average of 70% of the content posted by profiles they follow anyway. This is a result of platform growth – more profiles means more profiles to follow, and at some stage, the feed becomes too much and you start to miss posts. Instagram’s now at 400 million users and growing, the need for some kind of filtering system is pretty clear.
Image Credit: www.statista.com
The other aspect to keep in mind is that Instagram’s algorithm will only reduce your reach if your audience isn’t interested in your content. If they’re not interested in what you post, then they’re probably not going to become customers anyway. But if you’re posting content that users engage with, if you’re reaching your audience with material that resonates, then you’ve got nothing to fear from the coming algorithm. And even if only a small portion of your overall following is liking and engaging with your content, reaching those interested users is more important than reaching everyone anyway.
So what should brands do? Post better stuff. Look at what’s working, what’s generating engagement among your Instagram followers and do more of that. Research businesses that are doing well on Instagram and learn from what they do. The coming algorithm doesn’t necessarily mean less reach, so long as your audience is interested in what you have to share.
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