If you have found that story views have dropped significantly, that suddenly your posts aren’t getting as much engagement as usual, and that those brands you follow are constantly asking whether or not their followers can actually see their posts, then you will be no stranger to Instagram’s new features and algorithm shifts.
With a seemingly never-ending rollout of changes to the way Instagram wants businesses and users to engage with the platform, the question of what is going on with Instagram is on pretty much everyone’s lips.
To help you figure it out, navigating the fine line between posting the content that Instagram wants you to post and the content that your followers and customers want to see, we’ve created this guide to the recent updates and changes – and what they mean for you.
Get to know the algorithm
First up is the algorithm itself and how Instagram actually defines and decides which posts users see on their feed – and which of your followers are actually seeing your latest posts and updates.
The algorithm is something that has remained relatively unknown for years now, however the CEO of Instagram recently uploaded a video explaining exactly what brands and profiles need to know in 2022. His advice and information included:
- The popularity indicators of a post will impact how widely it is seen across its follower’s feeds. This includes looking at the length of the post (if a video), its engagement level, and the location relating to the user.
- Brand posts will appear most frequently for those users who regularly interact with that brand, including watching their stories and engaging with their content.
Pinning your top posts
Pinning posts is something that has been rolled out on several social media platforms and forms a way for every user to control and influence what a new follower sees first. It is a bit like the equivalent of framing and designing a first impression for followers, with Instagram allowing users to pin up to three posts at the top of their profile feed.
As a brand, our advice is to use this as an opportunity to spotlight your branding, your bestselling products or services, and perhaps some review or testimonial content.
Instagram HEARTS reels
Seriously, if you haven’t noticed the overwhelming favouritism being shown towards Reels then where have you been?
Instagram Reels are a relatively new form of content, which can range from 15 seconds up to a minute long. As the Reels tool evolves and grows, users are finding themselves able to create more creative and expressive snapshots and video content reels, however the main idea is that a reel allows you to combine a soundtrack with video footage and images, all layered together as a form of visual scrapbook.
These were first introduced by Instagram in 2020 but since then the duration of reel content has doubled, and the preference that the platform shows to this type of content is further bolstered by the features integrated – including the ability to add music, voiceover, text, trending audio, effects, and a timer.
As a brand using Instagram you will be aware of the power of influencer content and customer-driven content. But did you know that you can now create collaborative posts which are labelled as joint posts and boast both yours and your collaborators tag at the top of the post?
These are easy to create but add some extra weight to partnerships that you want to showcase and celebrate – perfect for boosting your reputation and brand presence.
The ‘Places’ map search
A great way for local businesses to nurture and grow their audience, the ‘Places’ tab in the search function of Instagram allows users to find businesses that are local to them – or to find out where specific businesses are located.
If you are active on Instagram through a business profile or are listed as a creator (a relatively new update which sees users with over 10,000 followers given a special creator status), the professional dashboard updates mean that you have even more insight into activity, engagement, your Instagram shopping tools, DMs and customer interaction, and more.
Of course, you still need to onboard the right team to manage all of those touch-points, but with a centralised dashboard it is easier than ever to keep on top of the success and conversion rate of your Instagram profile.
Instagram as a platform is constantly evolving, giving both business and private users more to access and greater control over what they see. Inevitably, this causes some obstacles and challenges for those who are trying to stay ahead of the game, however curating and nurturing a loyal customer and follower base is still the number one way to use Instagram for your gain.
For more information and advice, our team of experts are here to help.