Every time you open the Instagram app you miss 70% of the posts.
Instagram revealed this average exposure rate when it announced the dramatic change in its algorithm. Soon the feed will stop being chronological and more like the Facebook feed, where the content you most care about is shown first.
There are clear motives for Instagram to adopt the Facebook-like algorithm.
It wants to deliver a better experience to its users. People spend more time on an algorithmic feed than in other feeds. According to ComScore, Millennials spend an average of 25.7 monthly hours on Facebook, and only 7 monthly hours on Instagram, and less than 6 hours on Snapchat.
But there’s another motive for this change, and its connected to the brands’ pockets. Till now, every brand could manage an Instagram account and enjoy an equal exposure as any non-paying user. But Instagram wants to convert more brands to paying customers.
The way to win both of these goals, better user experience and monetizing brands, is with changing the feed’s algorithm.
Now, all the photos and videos from the people you follow will be shown at your feed, but in a different order. Instagram described as follows:
“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”
Know Where You Stand
The new feed is still rolling out. Now is a great time to prepare for the change. The first step is to establish a baseline for your Instagram performance and know exactly where you stand.
One way to do so is to look at your own performance over time.
Here’s an example from Tommy Hilfiger’s Instagram performance:
As you can see, Tommy Hilfiger posts one photo almost every day and enjoys an average of 20k engagements per post. This is the benchmark for the brand’s own performance, based on previous achievements.
There’s another way to track the changes, and it’s by comparing yourself to others. So besides the average post performance and audience engagement, you can look at the fan base growth and see how well you’re doing in compare to others:
This comparison on Instagram can tell if you are using the right hashtags, creating appealing content and growing at the right pace like others in the industry.
Hack into Organic Reach
If Instagram is part of your marketing strategy, it’s time for a mindset shift.
Brands will probably get a hit from the new algorithm. To upkeep the previous performance and even take it further, you’ll have to adopt new tactics to reach your audience in their Instagram feed.
Strategy change is inevitable and influencers are the solution.
Here are 3 things you can do to survive the Instagram change:
1. Collaborate with Instagram Influencers
influencers are going to get more attention with the Instagram algorithm. Their interaction and engagement with the audience are what made them influencers in the first place. Now, thanks to that, the new algorithm will probably favor them over the average user’s content.
Find your influencers and plan a mutual activity together. You’ve got something interesting to share, they’ve got a loyal audience. Do something together.
Wondering how to find Instagram influencers? We’ve got you covered. We have recently launched a new Instagram Influencer Search. Now you can find Instagram influencers within the Klear platform and specify your search by location and field of interest.
2. Become an Influencer
Most brands are on social media not to gain popularity, but to provide entertainment for their audience while maintaining brand awareness.
But while brands can be popular, they can’t be influencers. Influencers are people, not entities. For some brands, having an executive in the front line can solve a crucial issue. Think of a chef instead of a restaurant; a self-branded marketer instead of an agency; a charismatic CEO instead of a company.
This approach is not for all companies. If you feel comfortable with it, it’s time to take the front seat. Instead of hiding behind a logo, put your face out there and build your online reputation. Need some inspiration? Check out chef Antonio Bachour, Social Media thought leader Mari Smith, and Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian.
3. Encourage Employee Advocacy
A middle way between the two above is to empower the influencers inside your organization.
Your employees are on Instagram, and a few might even be influential over there. According to Edelman’s research, information about the company is more credible when it comes from a regular employee than the CEO. So when employees share their fun experiences at work, it’s much more credible than the CEO’s images.
The changes in Instagram can be a good initiative to launch a new employee advocacy plan.
Instagram Calls to Take Action
Learning from the Facebook experience, brands can expect a drop in their organic exposure.
Instagram’s change is a loud and clear call for brands to make a marketing change. Adapt or vanish.