Instagram’s Changing Algorithm and What it Means for Your Business
The following post is from Lucas Lee-Tyson ’20, founder of Gloomy Season. Gloomy Season is a mid-range streetwear and skatewear apparel company that primarily focuses in t-shirts, sweats, and jackets.
After being bought by Facebook, Instagram began to undergo changes to its back-end that radically changed how content was served to it’s users. Previously, pictures would appear chronologically in the ‘feed’, being that whoever posted most recently showed up at the top. However, Facebook implemented changes that began to show more ‘engaging’ content at the top. Instagram, like Facebook, attempts to decide for it’s users what content they would enjoy seeing the most, and places that at the top of their feed.
Instagram decides what content is engaging based on how a small sample of your followers respond to it.
These statistic can be viewed if you convert your Instagram profile to a Business Account, which is free to do for anyone.
As soon as you make a new post, your post is displayed on a selected number of your followers feeds (the ‘reach’ number above). Depending on how the sample responds to it, Instagram rolls it out to more or less of your followers.
The good news for this is you get rewarded for posting good content. Gone are the days of business mindlessly spamming their followers feeds. Instead, content has to be carefully planned and executed upon in order to achieve the best results.
The bad news is that Instagram automatically adapts depending on how your posts perform. If your posts do poorly for a period of time and have bad engagement, it can be very difficult to ‘fix’ your engagement in the eyes of Instagram. Once the system has determined that your content is not engaging, it’s hard to convince it otherwise.
Going forward with this knowledge, you should carefully plan out your posts instead of just posting whenever it is convenient.