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The Instagram Algorithmic Feed - What to do?

Instagram Algorithim

Instagram Algorithim

Instagram Algorithim

From time-to-time in the AppToLove Developers Corner we'll break off from our normal course of discussing media distribution and engagement strategies for apps and briefly cover a news item that is top of mind for those of us who live in the app ecosystem - this is one of those times. Recently Twitter and Instagram Algorithmic Feeds have made news for the pending switches to displaying user feeds that are driven by math rather than the traditional chronological feeds we have come to know them through. In theory this will lead to better user engagement, more time on site, a better user experience, and so on and so forth. Users have greeted this switch with anything from apathy to abject terror - the reality for them though is far less scary that what it means for those of us using these platforms to promote our products, engage customers, and drive new users.

App developers, networks that syndicate apps, brands, and social media "stars" are right to fear this shift, as we have seen with Facebook the power to tweak user feeds typically comes at the expense of those of us who treat social media as "earned" media. Assuming the worst case scenario which is today that Isntagram basically becomes Facebook we could see organic reach levels drop to 2-5% of your overall audience as an average. This can and will cut-off easy free access to a large segment of your users, the question is what should you do? Well lets start first with what you shouldn't do, see that header picture from my Instagram feed? Click on it. Don't do that. It is going to trigger a mass of notifications to your users, it is going to slam you with customer service inquiries, and cause people to unfollow you.

What can you do about the Instagram Algorithmic Feed?

Given the corporate relationship I'd take a lot of what we have learned over the years from the Facebook algorithm and apply it to deal with the Instagram Algorithmic Feed.
- Don't post in batches.
- Don't auto post.
- Have an account for campaigns and one for customer service, which is much easier now that you can switch between instagram accounts.
- Have a message and stick to it.
- Engage users personally.
- Measure your post content and see what woks.

If the progression of the Facebook feed is any indicator this process will be less obtrusive at first and generally get more and more intrusive so you need to be prepared for the inevitable: Paying for reach on social media. If you follow the guidelines above you'll have enough data to do this cost-effectively and efficiently. However, if you stick your head in the sand, don't measure, and hope the damage is not too bad one day you'll wake up and you will need to buy a lot of media to get enough data to be successful or you'll get lost in the shuffle.

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