Instagram is the latest social media platform to announce it is adopting an algorithmic timeline, something that many network commentators have said was inevitable given that Instagram is owned by Facebook.
Instagram says it’s focusing on optimising the ordering of posts because, on average, most users miss out on 70% of their feeds.
“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. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimising the order – all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”
While these algorithmic changes roll out, let’s fine-tune your Instagram tactics to increase your chances of being at the top of someone’s list.
Post relevant and interesting content
More than ever people are going to be shown the photos and videos they care about the most. Carefully curate your feed so that it represents your brand and creates a personality around your business that means people are compelled to ‘like’ your posts.
This algorithm reinforces the importance of brands forming relationships with people as this is the key metric on which this feed-matching, or content curation, will be based.
Edit photos like a pro
You don’t need to be a professional photographer anymore. There are a range of useful photo-editing apps like VSCOcam, Snapseed and Afterlight that offer adjustable filters, textures and frames to help give your photos a polished look.
And the best filter is…
Researchers at Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech analysed 7.6 million photos from Flickr and Instagram to figure out which filter is the best.
The effects of five filters were examined – giving a photo a warmer temperature, increasing colour saturation, increasing contrast, increasing exposure and adding an aged effect.
Their white paper – Why we filter our photos and how it impacts engagement – found that filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones.
Use the warmth filter if you want more comments on your posts, and the exposure effect if you’re after more likes.
Use trending and popular hashtags
Images that have hashtags associated with them get more likes than images that don’t, and by experimenting with different keywords and phrases (preceded by a #) you can see which hashtags attract the most interactions.
Think about hashtags that sum up the theme of your photo or video so that other users who are interested in the same things your business’s products and services represent can find you. Tag a friend, or create memes that encourage others to tag their friends.
Inspirational quotes or uplifting material usually receive a lot of likes, while inviting people to tag other followers can lead to comments, try using phrases such as: ‘Tag 5 friends who will succeed in life’ or ‘Who’s the most inspirational person you know?’
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a hairdressers or a bakery, linking emotions to your business and brand is important for creating a bond with your customer.