How To Beat The New Instagram Algorithm (And Why it’s a Good Thing)
The Social Media World is up in arms with the announcment of changes to Instagram that could have an impact on how many people see your content. Claire is here to give you some advice on how to beat the new Instagram Algoritm, and to talk about why it’s actually a good.
“How to beat the new instagram algorithm?” A question on even the most social savvy person’s lips these days. Some say that the Algorithm hasn’t launched yet, however many people are reporting big changes in their timeline, and have noticed a sudden drop in engagement over the past week or so. Whether we like it or not, it seems as though the new instagram algorithm is here.
Essentially, the new Instagram Algorithm is predicting what you will engage with the most, so if you want the best content in your timeline, start liking and commenting. But what about getting your content, how can you get people to see and engage with your pictures? I’ve got some advice on how I think you can stay afloat that I hope is of benefit to business owners and marketers alike.
I may be alone in thinking this, but the algorithm is actually a positive thing. Yes, it requires more work, but that simply means that those who are willing and able to put in the effort will reap the awards. It also means your own Insta-feed will not be riddled with spammy pictures from bot accounts, which will make your experience better, and it also means that your content is more likely to get seen if it’s good quality.
1. Think like a photographer
Speaking of quality, it’s time for you to start thinking like a photographer. Putting up any old photo won’t cut it on Instagram anymore, so if you get into the mindset of a photographer, you’ll learn how to catch people’s eye with high quality shots. Learning little photographry tricks, like placing objects slightly off centre, will make your photos stand out. This is something Intel do incredibly well; each of their photos are expertly shot and easy on the eye.
2. Be creative
The days of sharing regurgitated inspirational quotes will never be over, but those kinds of posts will not be as favoured as something a little more original that pops in peoples’ feeds with these new changes.
Doing something different that really stands out will fall in favour of the new Instagram Algorithm, and most importantly with your followers. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just something unique and eye-catching, even something humourous that might compell people to share.
For inspiration on this one, take a look at the Mailchimp account. Every few images they share is something creative that completely stands out among the others. Notice how it’s all in keeping with the ‘chimp’ branding, as well.
3. Show your face
This has been mentioned tirelessly on the Emarkable blog; faces matter to people. Get your team on Instagram so current and prospective customers know who they are dealing with; this is becoming more and more important in business so it’s no surprise that Algorithms are starting to favour real peoples’ faces.
There is an emphasis on the word real here, stockphotos won’t be good enough, we as internet users can spot them a mile off. American Prescription eyewear retailer Warby Parker are pros at this. They even post pictures of Neil Blumenthal, the company’s founder (again, note the creativity).
4. Use all available features
There are so many features on Instagram that businesses don’t make use of on their accounts. From tagging other relevant accounts (emphasis on relevant; do not spam), to sharing videos, using locations, and tweaking filters, there is so much you can do to make a photo go further, and look better.
It’s not enough to post something with a plain old caption and watch the likes roll in anymore. The new Algorithm is likely to favour engagement, so if you want people to see your posts, you better start enticing people to comment and like your content. How can you do that? Simple, by asking questions or poking at people’s emotional triggerpoints. By that I mean posting things that make people laugh, smile, cry, even, so long as it is relevant to your brand.
5. Engage with others
The biggest error a lot of businesses make on Instagram, and on Social Media in general, is failing to engage with other accounts. By engaging with other businesses and your followers you are informing the algorithm that yes, you are a person behind the account, and yes you do care about other people’s content. Aside from the algorithm though, it’s a simple give and take scenario. Instagram traditionally has an ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ element, something I sincerely hope doesn’t die out with the new algorithm. Typically if you engage with someone’s post, they will visit your profile and do the same if anything catches their eye.
6. Don’t over hashtag
It’s a common misconception that putting an enormous amount of hashtags in your Instagram post is a guaranteed way of being seen and getting engagement. This has never really been true; often people use way oversaturated hashtags which means they would be pushed down to the bottom of the barrell quicker than it took to type all the hashtags. My feeling is that the Algorithm is going to watch for oversaturation of Hashtags; if a post’s text is flooded with them, you’re probably going to risk appearing in less timelines. This is an assumption, however, not a fact, but an assumption based on the fact that most spam accounts will over-use hashtags to get into as many people’s feeds as possible, and you don’t want Instagram to think you are a spam account; that’s the goal here!
7. Don’t use spammy hashtags
Spammy hashtags like #likeforlike #followforfollow are largely favoured by teenage Instagram users, but I have seen plenty of established businesses using them too. Look at any truly quality account and you will notice that they get engagement with the quality and context of their pictures, not by using hashtags asking for more followers and likes. Take Bonobos for example; they mainly use one hashtag, maximum three in each of their posts, and they run a considerably successful account.
Getting unorganic likes and follows through these hashtags will not help you beat the algorithm if the focus is, as it seems to be, on quality and genuine engagement.
8. Be consistent
As with everything when it comes to marketing your brand online, always be consistent. Here, I don’t just refer to ensuring your brand image and message comes through in every post, I mean post consistently – post often. You should really be posting once a day if you want to remain in peoples’ psyche; remember, we start forgetting the things we see and learn within 7 days, so you need to keep posting!
To round things off, I end on what is probably the most important point of this entire blog post. Research, Research, Research; find out what the most successful accounts are doing, do your own research when you see new updates being announced, analyse what your followers are responding to, and read everything you can to stay inline with changes, not just on Instagram, but across digital marketing in general. Yes, it’s hard work, but if you want to survive the ever saturated digital universe, you have to work hard to stay visible.
…Or, you could work with an agency that thrives on keeping updated with the latest developments in Digital Marketing. If you feel that your business needs assistance with remaining visible online, why not get in touch with Emarkable? We have a wide range of programmes to suit varying budgets, and we will find the one that works best for you. Click the button below to get in touch!