The new Instagram update may be a game changer for many Instagram users.
With promises of reduced visibility of up to 90% of your followers, not paying attention to these changes could mean a significant difference in how your brand performs online.
As Instagram shifts their focus, it is essential for its users to shift theirs as well.
Everything You Need to Know About the New Instagram Update
If the idea of an Instagram update has you scared, then you’re on the right track. For many Instagram users, this update may be the end of their digital brand (sorry Instagram models). Failure to understand what the Instagram update is looking to accomplish and what changes it will enact will mean being forgotten by the masses.
To make all the work you went through creating a digital brand on Instagram worth it, you need to know about this update.
SEE ALSO: What Is Digital Branding
Unlock the 90%
This new guideline is a deathblow for many accounts. Your latest posts will only get 10% visibility when you post them. This means that if you have a hundred followers, only ten people will see your new content.
If you have enough early engagement according to Instagram, then they will release it to the remaining 90%. Instagram says that the 10% they initially publish your content to are your most engaged viewers.
This gives you a better chance of having your posts liked and commented on which will then unlock your content to the remaining 90% of your followers.
Consequently, When your followers take a quick break to scroll past your post, it means nothing to Instagram. Your followers need to engage in what you post. This will be important to remember as you begin building a strategy around your Instagram content.
Instagram may give you decreased visibility if you don’t respond to people who have commented within sixty minutes. Lack of responses will slowly decrease the visibility of your posts and even your hashtags if you don’t respond to people within one hour. Essentially, the more engagement you have, the more relevant your post will be on the platform. And as engagement increases, so do the visibility of your post.
Imagine your in a pool treading water and trying to stay afloat. The more you stroke, the more you stay afloat. Right?
This is similar to how engagements will keep your content visible, even on Facebook. The more engagements you have, the more you stay afloat–in the timeline.
Type of Response Engagement
In the old algorithm anything you said back to people counted as engagement, this is not the case anymore. If your response is less than three words than it doesn’t count as engagement.
This means that if someone comments with an emoji or a simple ‘, I like it,’ it won’t count towards your engagement. Your followers will have to write four words or more to ensure that you don’t have decreased visibility for your comment, post, or photo.
Before this most recent change, it was common for people to use fifteen to thirty hashtags on their posts. Now if you do giant blocks of hashtags, Instagram will see it as spam which will cause decreased visibility and even ghost spamming.
This means that your account will remain active but won’t go anywhere or show anyone your posts.
You will now have to have a refined and defined hashtag system. Use only about five hashtags in your posts. Look at just the hashtags revolving around your specific post.
Make sure that your hashtags are very focused and specific to your post if you’re going to use them in your post.
Look at what’s trending under the hashtags you want to use and make sure that they accurately deal with your content before using them.
Instagram Stories Carry More Weight
If you use a lot of Instagram Stories, then you’ll have a better chance at visibility. Instagram sees the use of Instagram Stories as being real people looking for organic growth.
They like people who are continually trying to connect with people, and Instagram has determined that if you’re using Instagram Stories, this is your primary objective.
You’ll want to start using Instagram Stories often because Instagram has stated on their blog that they like Instagram Stories the most.
Instagram feels like Instagram Stories keep people coming back to their platform, so make the most of their bias for your brand.
SEE ALSO: How to Run an Instagram Story Takeover
Using the same hashtag in consecutive posts, multiple posts, or even within the same post may be labeled by Instagram as spam. They want to see a more refined and defined hashtag that will be more relevant to followers of your posts.
So if you have a lot of different posts, you’ll need to start mixing up your tags. For example, if you post a lot of pictures, you can’t just hashtag them with photography anymore.
You’ll have to find something more unique to your posts. When finding your new tags, take a look at what is trending and still relevant to your brand. This will make you more competitive within your hashtags.
For brands who have a branded hashtag (for DBI it’s #digitalbrandin), you can use it, but your objective is simply to mix up your hashtags. Simply put, humans don’t post with consecutive hashtags on every single post, but brands do.
So it’s best for your brand to resemble natural human behaviors if you want to increase organic reach on Instagram.
SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Instagram Ads Cheatsheet
Body Over Content
It used to be common for people to comment on their posts with more hashtags. This won’t work for you anymore. Instagram won’t count your post full of hashtags towards your visibility or expanding your content for that post. Instead, they will just skim over this extra comment.
If you want to put any hashtags (around five) in your post, it will have to be in the body and not in a separate post.
Do Not Make Any Edits
If you make a mistake in any parts of your post, whether in your image or your body, it is better to just delete your post. Do not make any edits.
The new algorithm will see any edits as a bad thing which will lead them to give your post decreased visibility.
Republish new content to your page as opposed to editing or posting a comment with edits in it.
Why the Changes?
Instagram isn’t interested in as much growth as they used to be. They have now chosen to focus on organic growth instead of forced growth.
In theory, this will change their image and make them more attractive to advertisers. All social media platforms are making changes to be monetized in some way, and this is the reason behind the initial modifications Instagram has instituted this year.
Make sure to tell people who are following you on your platform of the changes so that you can get the types of responses that you need to stay competitive on Instagram.
The new Instagram update will create a lot of changes in the amount of visibility that your posts generate. Staying ahead of the changes will make sure that the Instagram update doesn’t destroy your Instagram digital brand. Instead, you can morph with the new guidelines and continue your brand’s Instagram success.
To maintain your same level of visibility, you need to communicate the changes with your followers so that they can give you the right responses, and you’ll need to pay attention to the hashtags that you use. This isn’t an area where you can afford to be lazy.
If you only remember one thing from this article, it should be that being human will increase your organic reach. If you find yourself continuously doing things that resemble an automation tool (i.e., scheduling posts with the same group of hashtags, using the same comments, having a low-level of engagement), you will decrease the amount of reach you have on Instagram. Bottomline, if you want to be successful on the platform: engagement is key.
What are favorite engagement tactics on Instagram?