As EVERYONE should know by now, Instagram will “soon” be implementing an update to its algorithm that will change the way you view your feed. No longer will posts be shown in reverse chronological order. Instead, Instagram hopes to improve your feed by ordering it to show the moments they believe you will “care about the most”. I say “soon” because although the change date hasn’t been announced, they’ve already started rolling this out on a few accounts. (The reasoning behind why they’re opting to do it can be read here).
This sucks. This type of algorithm change is one of the many reasons why I hate Facebook, and now, my feed is inundated with people and brands asking their followers to turn on notifications to make sure that they don’t miss a post. Um, WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND IS GOING TO VOLUNTARILY GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS FOR WHEN ALL OF THE PEOPLE THEY FOLLOW POST ON IG??? Like, come on people. Ya’ll have got to be smarter than that. Yes, Instagram is a fantastic platform to grow your business on, but when it’s all said and done, it’s still social media, and it’s a platform that YOU DON’T OWN.
Your organic reach will definitely suffer with this update, but even if you’re able to get a few of your followers to turn on that annoying notification, if you’re not directly engaging with them on a regular basis or sharing great content, your growth will still be affected. So this means 2 things:
1.) figure out how to keep your followers engaged organically
2.) find ways to re-direct traffic back to your site.
Instagram tampering with how we view our feeds is annoying as hell, but instead of me getting up in arms about it or finding the next best SM platform to fly to (some say Snapchat but who knows), I’m making a conscious effort to build up the content on MY blog while re-directing people back to it. Down the line, I plan to launch a newsletter as well. While I love being on social media and have landed some amazing opportunities because of it, it’s still a platform that I don’t own, and I’ve never believed in placing all of your (creative) eggs in one social basket. I like having authentic conversations with my followers + readers and want to continue to do so.
At the end of the day, this algorithm change is about monetization. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’re a small business/brand/blogger that can say that Instagram is the sole reason why your business is currently thriving, instead of spreading that notification post, I would urge you to think about how invested you are in social media vs. your very own site/blog, and to think about ways you can drive them there while you still have time. Similar to Facebook, the option to “boost” your posts to your current followers will be next. Advertising is a necessity, and I have no issue with finding ways to expand your reach to new audiences, but what I do take issue with is having to pay for people that voluntarily opted in to follow me to actually see it. If you have the budget to pay to play, great! If not, it’s time to rethink your social media strategy and how to get people to connect with you on your own turf. Because isn’t that what its really all about?