Facebook-owned Instagram has announced that they will be implementing an algorithm on their platform that will re-order photos and videos in a users feed based on their interests.
Don’t worry just yet. This is going to take a while.
If Instagram’s history tells us anything, it’s that this will be rolled out over a significant amount of time.
When Instagram first started allowing advertising on their platform, they launched with a select group of brands and every ad was reviewed personally by Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom.
We also don’t expect Instagram to go ‘full Facebook’ by putting a stranglehold on organic reach. Instagram users are different than Facebook and will not accept such a sacrifice of authenticity and timeliness in their content feeds.
Let’s not kid ourselves. This change was inevitable.
This is part of the slow demise of organic social reach. We tell our clients that unless you are putting dollars behind paid distribution of your social content, it’s tough to produce content that consistently performs with the audience you are trying to reach.
As Instagram users have followed more and more of their friends and brands, we are actually seeing less and less of that content. Instagram estimates that users are seeing only 30% of the content produced by the users they follow.
The best defense against an algorithm? Know what your audience wants and deliver better content than before.
If you’re consistently posting amazing content that connects with your target audience, don’t rest on your laurels.
Step up your game because your reach is about to go down. There is no better time to start than now.
Also, take a hard look at whether Instagram plays into your business and marketing goals. If it doesn’t, maybe it’s not worth the extra resources it will take to sustain your strategy on the new playing field.
Plan to pay for reach in the near future.
It’s a hard truth that brands sometimes forget that our social audiences are not ‘ours’.
Our fans and all their data and scale belong to the social platform. Always consider this in your overall strategy and plan accordingly.