June has been a big month for Instagram! Coming off a recent local training for business owners, I feel like there's always more Insta knowledge and learning that can be shared week up on week. There have been several clarifications, new announcements and upcoming ideas announced by Instagram that are really important and small business owners need to know.
Instagram knows they threw a wholllllleeee lotta people off with the algorithm change. No longer do we see posts in the order in which they were posted, but now the way we see these posts is determined by many different factors.
1. Relevancy Sorting
Basically, Instagram is giving people what they want to see by showing posts in feeds based on how relevant it is to the person viewing. Here's how it works. Instagram relies on your past behavior to create a customized feed JUST FOR THE VIEWER. This means the feed is literally customized based on how the user interacts with different accounts. Crazy, right?.
Instagram will rank posts higher by the user's past behavior. This means, their little machines will actually analyze the content of the post. Here is an example: If Joe and Tom both follow ABC Shoe Store, and Joe shops and searches for shoes all the time on Instagram, Joe will see content more often from ABC Shoe Store than Tom does. Tom may never see some of the posts by ABC Shoe Store.
How recent the post was shared is definitely a factor when it comes to what people see. More timely posts generally come first, BUT Instagram does push out older posts if the user interacts with that account a lot (see point #1 above). The more a user comments, tags and engages with other accounts will determine how much they see the content from those accounts.
How often you are in Instagram and how many people follow can impact what you're seeing. For example, if you follow thousands of accounts, you may see fewer posts from any one account.
How long people are spending on Instagram is also factored into the equation. Not only things like total time browsing but also the length of time a user spends on the app determines how what content they see. Instagram will prioritize the most popular content if they know a user is only going to be on the app for a few seconds each day. Whereas, they may show more/different content if you're on the app all day long.
Why This Matters for Your Business
Here is the kicker. With all of these changes, the most important thing for your business to do is focus on quality content and engagement. Don't worry bout posting every day if your content isn't good quality. Posting things that will get people talking means more people will see it, which is what we want.
Also, if you post a sale, event or special every day, it may never make it in front of your customer. Or, they may see it two days after the sale ends. So, think before you post, "Could I use my story for this?" Stories are a great way to post content relevant to that day, since they are seen by anyone (not just your followers).
What's Coming - Long-Form Video
Instagram is introducing long-form video to the app (woo hoo!!!). This means, party people, that basically Instagram is becoming You Tube. I personally have a love/hate with YouTube (ever used it to save your toddler from a meltdown and a commercial come on????) So, I'm going to put in my request to Instagram to do without the five second commercials. Please and thank you.
With long-form video, you can post videos for up to an hour. Further proof that Instagram is taking over the world. So, get your cameras ready and prepare to use this tool for your business to show off anything you want without getting cut off after 15 seconds. Read about it here.
That's a wrap on the Instagram updates. Keep up that good content, and I'll do my best to keep you posted as more new updates arise.