Instagram Algorithm Changes: Everything You Need to Know

The fact that new social media websites and apps are popping up just about everywhere (ahem, Clubhouse) can be overwhelming. Now, throw in “algorithm changes” to your old faithfuls like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and it can be easy to feel defeated. One second your business’ social media is doing great and the next, your engagement disappears.  

Instagram in particular has become infamous for algorithm changes that have affected how thousands of businesses create and position their content on this highly popular platform. What do you need to know to stay up to date with the changes? And how can you continue to create valuable, engaging content? These tips will help. 

Don’t Stress About Instagram Algorithm Changes

A lot of news about social media algorithms is indeed fake news. The truth is, there is no “one true algorithm” that Instagram uses to manage every aspect of the platform. In reality, there are multiple systems, procedures, and programs that go into how users see their Instagram feed. That means you don’t need to memorize a gigantic algorithm to get some kind of advantage, just for it to be changed the next day. This can alleviate any stress you feel when Instagram makes changes.

How Important is Video Content?

In any business field, competitors fight for customer attention. The same goes for social media platforms. In an effort to compete with video-centric social media platforms, such as TikTok and Snapchat, Instagram decided still photo content isn’t enough anymore. Nowadays, the platform has shifted some of its focus to video content with video posts, reels, and stories. Showing more reels to users is simply a way for Instagram to stay relevant. But how does that fact affect your business?

The truth is, Instagram’s push for more video content means you can leverage videos as a part of your social media strategy. Videos can help you engage more authentically with your customers and boost your follower count. Of course, different video features have different uses. Keep this in mind as you plan your content. 

What Kind of Instagram Video Content is Best?

Instagram stories are only available for 24 hours unless you save them to your profile as highlights. One of our clients, a local boxing gym, utilizes stories to share a quick preview of the workouts happening that day. They also drive engagement from their members by featuring them in the stories. Members usually share these stories with their friends and followers, which gives the gym exposure to new, potential followers. You could also save your stories as highlights to give more exposure to special deals or important announcements you don’t want to disappear. 

Reels and video posts are more permanent ways to share video content that are also a great way to drive engagement. They last for as long as you keep them in your feed. Plus, you can easily share them in your stories for double the exposure, without losing them 24 hours later. To help your reels perform better, shoot video in the vertical position and don’t reuse watermarked TikToks. Taking advantage of Instagram’s filters, music, video effects, etc. can help too. 

Choose the kind of content that works best for your business. And no matter what kind of content you choose to focus on, keep your feed balanced. Instead of switching to solely video content (which, let’s be honest, takes a lot more time to create), come up with a variety of posts for your feed that includes single photos, photo carousels, and videos for your feed. It will keep your viewers engaged, your time spent on social media under control, and Instagram happy. And one last thing, when Instagram releases new features, it does historically tend to favor users who experiment with and utilize those new features, so definitely give new features a whirl. 

When Instagram Changes the Algorithm, Stay Engaged

Knowing that there are multiple factors involved in how Instagram’s algorithm changes work is the first step in maintaining engagement with your followers. Algorithm changes aside, engagement should always be your main goal. 

How do you stay engaged? By focusing on the connections you make with your audience. Know who they are and what they want from you, respond to their comments and DMs, and when others mention your business in a post of their own, share it with your followers too! At the end of the day, the best way to win the algorithm is to win over your followers.  

New to Instagram and not sure where to start? Check out our Instagram Guide for Beginners.

Contact Backcourt Marketing today to get your social media presence on the path to success.

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