How To Cope With Instagram's New Algorithm

Cope With Instagram's New Algorithm
Well not so long ago it was all about the epic battle between SEO people and the almighty Google search engine algorithm. I remember the frenzy surrounding this well-guarded secret and the many ways and false ideas floating out there during the heyday of furtive link building and other grey to black techniques.

Of course it wasn’t too long before Google wised up to those who took advantage of known loopholes and tightened them up. Now Instagram has followed suit with their new algorithm parameters . This constant cat-and-mouse carousel where Big Company adapts to changing SEO practices is one reason why ecommerce owners need to have a dedicated technical support team on their side.

In a perfect world it wouldn’t be this way, and as an ecommerce business owner myself I totally relate to your pain. Keeping abreast of ever evolving trends that affect our sales and conversion rates takes time away from our core expertise—involving the actual product we’re selling.

To help my fellow ecommerce business owners out there, I’ve put some helpful hints together that will hopefully help this latest Instagram development easier to manage.

Instagram marketing for one, is an exciting way to do business. It’s personal. It’s, well, instant. And best of all, it takes over the entire four or five inches worth of space on a mobile that your potential customer is using to view your feed.

You have all their attention pretty much. That says a lot and attention is a scarce commodity when you have the internet at your fingertips. Wasn’t it said that in the last ten years of the internet, humanity generated more data than all the previous of thousands of years combined?

Algorithm changes for the end user, subtly affect which feed gets prioritized and therefore who gets to be seen more often on their screens.

Whether tablet, smart phone, laptop or desk top monitor, you might as well be non-existent if your post doesn’t come up on a feed.

Instagram used to post pictures simply enough, on a chronological basis.

However after it was bought by facebook, alignment to its parent company’s search algorithms wasn’t far off in the horizon.

To date, what boosts a picture going to the top of a feed is the number of likes, comments and other forms of engagement a user gives a particular post.

While it may be tempting to think, “Well, I’ll just take what I know with facebook engagement and apply these to the new Instagram algorithm”—pause for a second. A platform composed of mostly pictures with some captions is way different from a facebook post that has a wider variety of possible content.

This quote from the New York Times sums it up:
“On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed,” Kevin Systrom, co-founder and chief executive of Instagram, said in an interview. “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.”

My take on this is that if 70% of a person’s feed is not seen, then the argument for putting out high quality content is now all the more crucial.

This post will not tell you what the Instagram algorithm is. Nobody can legitimately find that out unless they work at Instagram.

As always, having a picture that gets likes, comments and is shared will ensure a higher chance of your post making it to the 30% that your user sees, instead of the 70% that gets pushed down into oblivion.

Our task as ecommerce business owners, is to take in the latest change and simplify it for our own businesses. Depending on your niche, you might not even have an Instagram account or find it useful to have one. It still is worth bearing in mind that staying in touch with trends like these is useful to all ecommerce business owners in general.

AUTHOR_NAMEAbout the Author:
Catherine is president & executive director of 20four7va, a global eCommerce virtual assistance service provider. She is into strategic planning, product development, brand management, and digital marketing.
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