Instagram for business – the changes

Published on Aug 13, 2018

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Many small businesses are benefiting from having Instagram in their social media marketing mix.
Instagram is a great platform for sharing images, and bides well for food businesses, the fitness industry, as well as other types of business including design, photography, and tourism; among many others.

Instagram has been changing and testing a few changes of late, testing how they might better monetize the platform and

improve it for users. It has confirmed they are no longer going to be offering users a chronological feed.

The way in which it will continue delivering content to users will be through:

  • interest – how much Instagram thinks a user will like a post based on what they’ve liked previously
  • timeliness – how recently the post was put up
  • engagement and activity – priority to accounts a user frequently comments on and tags photos with
  • usership – the more infrequently the app is checked by a user, the more likely their feed is to be sorted by Instagram’s algorithms; the more frequently they check their app, the more likely it will appear in a chronological list.

This means that simply having a following on your business account does not necessarily imply that your recent post will reach your follower’s feeds.

It has also been confirmed that posting a video will not give you higher priority to appear in Instagram’s feeds nor will using their ‘stories’ feature. Having a personal or a business profile are treated equally by Instagram at this point in time, so it is suggested to switch to a business profile to use the useful metrics functions.

The only way to be certain to reach an audience is to use paid targeting. However, this is only recommended if your business needs to deliver a type of conversion, e.g. sales of a product, ticket sales for an event. A post with an intent that is measureable and timely is what is suggested for paid content on Instagram.

Tips to enhance your business on Instagram:

  • decide whether Instagram is the best platform to engage with your customers
  • do continue to use relevant hashtags and change them up according to the content you are posting
  • ask users to engage with your content, ask them to comment back, use the comments function to gain meaningful feedback to help you grow your business
  • do like and comment on your customer’s posts and follow accounts relevant and interesting to your business
  • do continue to post a variety of content frequently including photos of products and people, repost meaningful follower content, post quality videos, and use the ‘live stories’ function to enhance your presence overall.
  • use the metrics that are available to you as a business account and note engagement, reactions and responses to types and timings of posts.