When Facebook behemoth acquired Instagram for a cool $300 mil, it was inevitable that sometime in the near future, the social media giants would swap the chronological feed for a business-savvy algorithm. That day has come.
It was first announced via blog post from IG founder Kevin Systrom. The majority of the web reacted just as expected. It was a lot of, Who Does IG Think They Are? Who Is Instagram To Say What's Important To Me? Give Me Chronological Or Give Me Death! What Do We Want? Chronology! When Do We Want It? Right Now! (get it?)
It's kind of funny, no? That given the rate at which technology changes and advances, we take serious offense to any change within the tech. However, now that we've had a week to calm down, un-bunch our initial hunch, we've assessed the Instagram fiasco of 2016 and have some pointers.
1. DON'T ENCOURAGE FOLLOWERS TO TURN ON PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
It's tempting, but disastrous. Imagine if you turned on Push Notifications for everyone you follow-- that would mean that anytime someone posted anything, you'd get a text. That's crazy. Before long those followers are going to unfollow you out of sheer annoyance. Instead a better approach...
2. START COMMENTING AND LIKING
Instagram is supposed to be a community. One of the biggest voiced complaints about the new model is that IG is making a top-down decision about what your community will look like. What the switch requires is real engagement from brands and users to stay "Top 30." (You had to earn your top 5 spot on MySpace, didn't you?) Comment, like, engage, heart it out-- you have followers because they are interested in your unique perspective. So bring it to the rest of the IG community. If you're simply posting for likes but not sharing the love, think about it: Do you deserve to be in someone's top 30 percent?
THINK ABOUT IT: DO YOU DESERVE TO BE IN SOMEONE'S TOP 30 PERCENT?
3. UP YOUR CONTENT GAME
If what you want is to grow your followers, you need to be continuously evolving and getting better as a brand. You're supposed to grow within your work-- the same is now true to grow and retrain your followers.
Before you post, ask yourself: Do I love this? Would I heart this? Does this ADD to someone's day? Will it bring about new ideas? Spark imaginations? Are you making useful contributions? Sharing important information? Inspire? It's not just the photo either. Your caption is not an afterthought. Refine your words. Do better.
Or prepare to be IG vanquished forever.
*Instagram released a statement today via Twitter, "We're listening and we assure you, nothing is changing with your feed right now. We promise to let you know when the changes roll out broadly."
Arianna Schioldager is Create & Cultivate's editorial director. You can find her on IG @ariannawrotethis and more about her at www.ariannawrotethis.com