Instagram’s news feed has moved away from showing things in chronological order and now shows content based off an algorithm, similar to Facebook. What does this algorithm do you ask? The algorithm will calculate which posts they think you want to see most and put them at the top of your newsfeed. Let me give you an example.
IG Account A: This person is your friend who has a hundred followers and receives roughly 40-50 likes per post. Most of the time when they post, you are almost always engaging with their photo by either liking or commenting on the picture.
IG Account B: This person is either a brand or celebrity that you follow. They have thousands of followers and receive hundreds of likes and comments. However, you never engage with any of their photos, you just follow them.
Between both accounts, Account B published their content 2 hours ago, and Account A published their content 10 hours ago. So next time you open up Instagram, the algorithm will see that you interact with Account A a lot more than Account B and put Account A’s post ahead of “Account B’s” post even though “Account B” posted more recently. The reason they do this is because Instagram wants is prioritizing content to show users information that they are most likely to be interested in. So even though Account B receives a lot more engagement from other users and has more followers, the algorithm only takes into account the things you engage with.
Like the logo, there has been backlash on the algorithm update because most Instagram users usually know the last photo they saw. If they haven’t opened the app in 6 hours, they know they have 6 hours of photos to scroll through. Once they see the photo that they saw the last time they were on Instagram, they know they are all caught up. This algorithm has frustrated some users because they want to see every post in their feed, not just what’s the app thinks is relevant.
So if you are a business using Instagram to build your brand, you will need to be more strategic with the content you post. Your content must make the user engage with your post. How can you do this? Use call to actions. For example, “Double-tap if you agree”, “Let’s hear your story”, etc.
ENGAGEMENT AFFECTS YOUR POST POSITION
Instagram is also allowing you to see how many people viewed the videos you post and will allow you to see how many likes specifically from those who viewed the video. This is a great addition that Instagram added because now you will be able to see the reach the video received versus the engagement. So next time you post a video and see that it received hundreds of views but only 20% of those views liked the video, you will know that you need a more engaging video. This will help with marketers make more strategic decisions and see what videos are working versus which ones are not.
If you are using Instagram to grow your brand, you need to start being more strategic with the content you post. Now it’s not enough to just post once a day when your users are most likely to be there, you must ensure that your content is engaging (which any content you post on any platform should be anyways) since likes and comments are more important than ever on Instagram if you want to be seen.