Social media strategy

How Brands Can Master Instagram’s New Relevancy Algorithm

, Mar 29, 2016

CATEGORIES: Social Media
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This month, Instagram announced its plans to apply a relevancy algorithm to its main feed, which would no longer display images or videos in chronological order. Instead, the company explained the algorithm will pull and show posts in an order based on the “likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.” This will factor in the length of time you’ve followed a user and how frequently and recently you’ve engaged with them from liking and commenting on their posts.Social media strategy

So what exactly is the reason behind the switch? Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, explained, “On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed. What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.”

When the news hit, Instagram’s 400 million users didn’t take too kindly to it, since there is still no definite answer if the company will provide an opt-out option. Even more worrisome: how will this new algorithm affect brands and their social media strategies, current and future, on the platform?

The update puts a bigger focus on the quality – rather than quantity – of content businesses publish to Instagram. Since engagement is a big factor in determining how and when your posts appear, you’ll need to understand your followers well to ensure you’re publishing the type of videos and images they find interesting. The more appealing your content, the more likely your followers will comment or engage with your posts, and the more frequently your posts will appear in their feed.

So, what type of content can make a difference? PR News shared four great tips from Kristin Montalbano, director of digital publicity and media relations with National Geographic, to help brands master this algorithm and ensure they’re publishing photos and videos that their followers are interested in and would want to engage with.

  1. Spotlight your followers: Ask users to share photos with a branded hashtag and then repost the favorites to your company’s followers. Not only will you receive fresh, relative content but your fans will receive recognition and visibility – a win-win for both parties!
  2. Partner up: Find new and exciting ways to leverage the existing follower base of like-minded influencers. For instance, ask a group of Instagrammers to document one of your launches or events from their point of view to get a different perspective.
  3. Go beyond the photo: Get creative and instead of just posting tired content you’ve recycled, create and incorporate memes, quotes, and videos that represent your brand.
  4. Go behind the scenes: Humanize your brand by giving followers an inside, exclusive look that they can’t get elsewhere with behind the scenes images and videos.