Please, don’t turn on Instagram notifications for us.
Changes to the popular social network were announced Tuesday, March 15, and threw many independent retailers into a frenzy. Instagram will be adopting a non-chronological newsfeed order – similar to Facebook. Instagram will now be paying attention to a variety of user cues, such as likes and comments to determine what you see in your newsfeed. Understandably this has alarmed many business owners since the company’s big brother, Facebook has put in place similar algorithms that seem to discriminate against business pages. However, the two networks should not be put side to side for comparison, one main reason is Instagram doesn’t differentiate between personal and business accounts.
Numerous individuals, retailers, creatives, and even celebrities, signed a change.org petition to keep Instagram in chronological order. Some even took a “day of silence” protest to take a stab at the social media giant. But, all the petitions and protests didn’t stop the Facebook-owned network from rolling out their latest change today.
True or False?
The changes have already happened or will happen immediately.
FALSE: Instagram has plans to roll out the algorithm and its consequential changes within the next few months. While it’s true that you may have already been noticing certain changes, not all changes have been set in place. Nor, do we know what all of those changes will be. Instagram has intentionally been vague regarding what it wants to do.
You’ve never been able to see everyone’s content.
TRUE: You’ve actually never been able to see everyone’s content. Instagram has always had a cap of 150 photos, and will now only be reordering those 150 photos in your feed. For example, if you follow 600 people and each one of them shares a post in the morning, you will only see 150 of those photos. This change with Instagram is only alarming now that they’re publicizing it. Instagram’s recent algorithm change will prioritize the photos that they deem are most important to you (and what you really want to see – based on your previous interactions). In an effort to keep people from cheating the system, they aren’t saying how they will accomplish this.
Turning on Instagram notifications will ensure your followers see your posts.
TRUE, BUT MISLEADING: You may have seen photos that look like this:
These images are posted by users that are urging their followers to turn on post notifications. Regardless of the algorithm changes, this is the most simple (and borderline spammy) way to keep your posts visible to followers.
But before you go wielding this great power, let’s remember one thing: With great power, comes great responsibility. Do you actually know what it means when you recommend your followers turn on post notifications? Basically, it means each time you post something – they will receive a “push notification” to their mobile device. If you post 3-5 times a day, they will receive notifications each time. Great, right? Wrong. Your followers will likely get very annoyed, very quickly. Now from a personal standpoint, would you want to receive a notification like this every time someone you followed posted an image?
Tread carefully in these uncharted waters … before you ask followers to turn on notifications, be sure you have notification-worthy content (and are conscious of how many times you post each day). Side note: You will not be notified when a user turns on notifications for your posts.
No matter how many equations each network comes up with, it shouldn’t matter if you’re posting follow-worthy content. The only reason this change should alarm you is if you don’t focus on social media and now you have to put in a bit more effort. The tried and true way to stay relevant is to post relevant content on social media – and that means posting content that your followers will engage with.
Here are five ways to be “Follow-Worthy”:
- Post swoon-worthy images
a. Get creative with your images – take high quality photos with amazing backdrops
- Host daily challenges and flash sales
a. Engage with your customers for small prizes or giveaways to encourage positive interactions
- Show your personal side with relatable content
a. Followers love to know what’s going on “behind-the-scenes,” so give them some humor and light-hearted content that they will just “get”
- Engage with your followers
a. The best way to know what to post is to know who you’re posting for – so follow, like, and comment on your fan’s content.
- Don’t panic
a. Don’t ask followers to turn on notifications for you account and don’t have a full-on anxiety attack over these changes … we will weather this storm by posting relevant, eye-catching and insightful content.
Don’t let these changes be a reason to keep off of Instagram. We just need to pull ourselves up from our “social media” bootstraps and continue trekking down the path. And just so you all know, Instagram has heard your voices.
BONUS: Download this social post freebie pack to show your support for Team Double-Tap.