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Instagram AlgorithmIt’s here: the end of times.

Or so you would think if you have an Instagram account. The photo sharing platform has announced a change to it’s algorithm that will reorder the feed to show images that you are most likely to enjoy seeing near the top. This follows a recent change to Twitter’s newsfeed that took effect earlier this year.

Brands and Bloggers/Influencers are in full-blown panic mode over this change, and they are filling followers feeds with messages begging them to “turn on post notifications” so as not to miss their content in the future.

Here’s why this is the wrong approach.

The new Instagram algorithm is based off the algorithm used on Facebook (IG’s parent company). It creates a feed that is personalized to the user based on that content that he/she has responded to in the past. Do you like every photo posted by your best friend? You’ll continue to see her photos in your feed. Do you comment on every post by a celebrity chef asking other #Instacooks for their advice on the recipe? You’ll continue to see the chef’s posts as well as posts from other who commonly interact with that same chef. Are 50% of the people you follow fashion bloggers? Guess what? You’ll continue to see posts from fashion bloggers. Hashtags will work the same way. You will see other images that use the hashtags that you commonly use in your post captions and comments.

The Instagram algorithm is meant to work for you, not against you. It takes into consideration your deliberate actions. It’s not someone sitting in a room in Palo Alto arbitrarily deciding what content they want you to see, contrary to what some brands and bloggers/influencers will lead you to believe.

If you’re an Instagram user, turning on post notifications will send you an Instagram push notification every time that user posts an image. Most brands and bloggers post multiple times a day. If you turn on the post notifications for all of them, your phone will literally be blowing up all day. No one needs that kind of life.

If you’re a brand, don’t annoy your followers into unfollowing you completely. Create great content that people want to engage with. The higher the engagement, the more the algorithm will work in your favor. Determine which content and hashtags your target audience is engaging

with and align your images accordingly. This is what you should have been doing since day one. Working with the algorithm, instead of against it, will give brands that truly know how to connect with their audiences the upper hand.

Instagram, like all other social media platforms, requires a strategy. If you want your content to succeed, give your audience the value that they are looking for. 

To learn more about how to create social media content that will engage followers of your brand on Instagram and other platforms, contact us.