Earlier this year, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram would be trialling three new feed options; the home feed, following feed and favourites feed. Users will be able to switch between feeds as they please with the following feed and favourites feed to be shown in chronological order. They are hoping to release this sometime during the first half of 2022.
Why the changes?
No one really knows why these big companies make the decisions that they do, but there were probably a few moving parts behind the decision.
- Pressure from users to bring back the chronological feed has been growing over the last few years. With Instagram pushing more ads and posts from pages they don't follow, people have felt marginalised.
- The Senate hearings in the US have shed light on Facebook/Meta and how they present information to users.
Let’s delve into each feed option and then run through how these changes will impact your business's use of Instagram.
The home feed is essentially how the current Instagram feed looks. This feed is not in chronological order - instead, Instagram shows you posts they think you will be interested in (aka suggested content)
The following feed puts things back into chronological order (something people have wanted for a long time!) and will only show posts from people you actually follow.
You will be able to create a feed of your favourite Instagram accounts or accounts you want to prioritise seeing content from. Like the following feed, this feed also keeps things in chronological order. This feed is huge for businesses and should be something you are aiming to be included in (quality content!)
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What does this mean for your businesses social media strategy?
Now more than ever, quality content is so important. There’s no point posting for the sake of posting!
What classifies as quality content?
- Topics that are currently trending in your field that will draw engagement. This could be industry news, product updates etc.
- Posts that people are more likely to save (remember, followers and likes are not your most important metrics). Things like how-to posts that solve a pain point for your customer or posts that show your customer how your product or service works.
- Posts that are personalised and on-brand. It can be easy to outsource social media posting; however, you don’t want to lose your personality (or your businesses personality)
- Sharing photos that are actually relevant to your business. Stock photos may make your grid look pretty, but the more you can use your own photos, the more on brand and personalised your Instagram will feel.
Posting at the right time
Now that feeds are possibly moving back to chronological order, it’s essential to ensure you are posting at the right time for your audience. If you’ve never looked at your Instagram insights to see when people are most active, now is the time to do so!
To view these insights, you will need a business account (if your account is still a personal account, you need to switch over asap!) Head to the hamburger menu in the top right corner of your screen. You’ll see an insights section that gives you a deeper look at how your posts & other content have been performing.
If you click on total followers and scroll to the very bottom, you’ll see a section called ‘most active times’; this will show you the days and hours your audience is most active.
Remember, social media is just that - social. Make sure you are engaging with your audience especially around the time of posting. This includes replying to comments and DMs and leaving genuine comments on other people’s posts.
There will always be updates being rolled out on Instagram. Whilst this can seem overwhelming, if you are putting out consistent quality content at the right time that’s engaging, you won’t see a significant impact on your social media strategy.