Algorithm changes are forever throwing us marketers a curveball. You think you’ve got your social media plan nailed and then, boom, the old way of working suddenly no longer works. And what’s worse is the fact that it takes a bit of shooting in the dark to eventually figure out what Instagram wants us to do.
Unfortunately for us, with Facebook’s claws in IG, this all too familiar algorithm is designed to make users work harder for the limelight. It can feel like a losing battle when you’re posting top quality content that you think your audience will love, and yet the new algorithm is freezing you out of people’s feeds.
With a little experimentation and a lot of coffee, we think we’ve figured out how your brand can work with the new algorithm and come out with even more interaction.
Spend more time on Insta
We know it seems really obvious! Ideally you want to open your account a least once a day to like and comment on a few posts that are relevant to your audience.
Instagram takes into account how often you log on and will build your newsfeed accordingly. For example, if you log on once a week then Instagram will show you content from a few days ago so you don’t miss anything. If you log on daily, you’re guaranteed to only be interacting with the freshest posts on your feed.
Make people stick around
On the flip side, you also want to encourage people to take their time viewing your posts. The more time spent on your posts, the more the algorithm will boost them for you.
You could try writing longer and more engaging captions that encourage discussion in the comments. Alternatively, posting more videos could help since your followers are inclined to stick around until it’s finished. This is why videos (especially Boomerangs) perform so well.
Post Instagram Stories
With the addition of Instagram Stories, it seems like a no brainer that IG would want to encourage the use of this feature. Of course, the way to convince users to utilise this is by boosting their exposure the more they post Stories.
The Stories panel at the top of the screen is ordered according to accounts that you engage with the most. And yes, simply watching a Story is classes as engagement so be sure to use those captions to direct people to yours.
Push for comments and shares
Give your ranking a boost by trying to get more conversation going on your posts. The new algorithm values comments and shares more than likes. The reasoning for this is that comments and shares are considered to be “real” engagement as it requires more effort, whereas likes can be done mindlessly.
Try adding a call to action for people to respond to a question and keep that conversation going where possible.
Direct people to your website
Your referral traffic comes into your ranking too. The more people click through to your website from Instagram the more you score on this particular metric. This is thought to be a way of showing that your content is relevant to your site and proof that your audience want to see more of you.
Always have a link to your website in your page description and add in CTAs in your captions to ensure people know where to go.