3 Instagram Updates You Should Know About for Your Business

In response to TikTok quickly taking over as the fastest-growing app, Instagram has been making some changes to its platform; trying to keep up and learn from TikTok's undeniable success.

Instagram started out as a photo-sharing app with filters and moved quickly into curated feeds. We all know those perfect-looking profiles and probably envied them at one time or another. We have experimented with the filters and gotten familiar with hashtags.


From the beginning, Instagram has been a great space for businesses large and small to share their products and services, as well as their spaces, team, brand and values. And it continues to be just as beneficial - if you know how to use it.


That's where we come in. With Instagram making significant changes to the way it functions, it's important for business owners to keep up. But don't worry, we've got you covered for everything you need to know. Staying up to date with Instagram's latest updates will help you know how to stay relevant and to continue to be seen on this important platform.



mobile phone displaying Instagram app and Instagram stories [Text: 3 Instagram Updates and what they mean for your business]
We take you through Instagram's 3 latest updates and how you can use them to your business's advantage.

With that, here's a brief review of the three major changes Instagram is making or has made in 2022:


1. The Instagram Algorithm Update

Instagram has changed its algorithm, and by this we are referring to your feed and the accounts that you are shown. Of course, this can also change what your followers see, and that's the part we want you to pay the most attention to as we go through the options Instagram has made available.

Home


You, and your followers, can continue to use Instagram the way it has been worked for the past few years, where Instagram selects what to put at the top of your feed using information based on what you like and accounts you follow.


This default algorithm is called "Home." Similar to TikTok's For You page, this content will eventually become more saturated with accounts that you don’t follow in order to introduce you to new accounts and creators you might like.

What does this mean for your business?

It is likely that most people will keep their feed in the default settings. After all, many Instagram users will not even know there has been a change to the way that Instagram works.


With Instagram pushing more relevant content in front of users, made by accounts they don't follow, this gives you more opportunity to reach the audience that will most appreciate the value you provide.


This means, firstly, you need to create valuable content that is related to your business. You have to show your products or services, but in a way that doesn't feel like advertising.


The more you show yourself, your team and show what you offer in context, the better you will do.


It's also important to remember to connect with your audience and offer them tips, tricks and advice related to your expertise in your business.


More than ever, it's important that you are using your hashtags correctly. Hashtags are not for fun or entertainment to #seehowlongcanImakethishashtag.


Instagram itself has suggested that businesses use 5-6 hashtags maximum. Think of hashtags as labels for your content. They are no longer about getting to the most people with a wide range of #tgif #spring2022 #rainydays.


You want the hashtags to represent what your post is about. These are not so much about people finding them, as they are about Instagram knowing who your content should be placed in front of.



In addition to the option to keep things the same, you will now have the choice (as will your followers) of whether you want to see just a handful of people or chronological order.

Following


If you were on Instagram in the early days, you probably remember when you saw posts in chronological order. Chronological order is being brought back, which means posts can be seen starting with the most recent posts first, then followed by older posts. This will be called "Following."

This allows you (and your audience) to see the freshest content first, and not have to bother getting bogged down by posts from 3 days ago, which, in social media terms, seems like ancient history.

What does this mean for your business?

This means that the more frequently and consistently you can post, the more likely you are to stay near the top of your followers’ feeds. Don’t worry, you don’t need to post every hour. The more consistently you can post, the better the position of your posts.


If you haven't been managing more than 1-2 posts a week, we recommend getting to 3 at least, consistently, in order to stay relevant and top-of-mind.

The best way to post consistently is to schedule posts ahead of time. It will also allow you to think about the why of your post much more clearly, in order to ensure you're providing value.

Favourites


In the "Favourites" algorithm update for Instagram you can choose up to 50 friends, family and creators that you absolutely do not want to miss. Your followers are also able to make this selection.


These 50 accounts chosen by you or any user will be the only ones you (or your audience) sees.



It will be a nice way to not feel inundated with endless posts from a large variety of accounts. It simplifies the feed and prioritizes what the user cares most about. And you can bet that businesses that seem to only advertise will be the first to go, to eliminate temptation as well as posts that feel more like ads than valuable content.

What does this mean for your business?

This gives you more incentive to create valuable content. If your followers are choosing their favourite accounts, what can you do to try to make sure you’re one of them?


Offering value that your audience needs is a great place to start. Offer your expertise, and entertain as best you can.

Create videos, rather than static Canva images and infographics, which are much more all-consuming than photos and hold attention longer.

And for Pete's sake, don't sell, sell, sell - people don't like being constantly sold to and they won't choose to have you in their feed if that's all you do.

2. The Instagram Updating to an Immersive Feed

Instagram has been testing out an immersive feed which will change the look of the app and its content. Again, this follows on the heels of TikTok’s success, where the social media giant has eliminated distractions to keep its users on the app longer.

With this 2022 update, content on Instagram will take up your whole screen, and it also means that Reels, Stories and Posts will all be in the feed as you scroll, not laid out in separate sections as they are now. There won’t be as many options to click links to take you to different pages or out of the app.

What does this mean for your business?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, what this latest Instagram update means is that you need to create more video.

With content taking up the whole screen, the size will no longer be optimized for photos as it has been in the past. The feed will be optimized for videos, and they will perform best.


When you think about your own feed and what you spend time on, photos can be digested quickly as you scroll on by. Video, on the other hand, capturing both your visual and auditory senses, is more captivating and people stay on video longer and watch more of it.


Length of watch-time, or time spent looking at a post, matters. It’s important that you create content that will capture and keep people’s attention.

It will also become more important than ever to create more than just posts. With Stories and Reels being added to the main feed, the more methods you use to post your content, the more exposure you will have for your content.


Make sure you're meeting your customers and your audience where they want to be met.

3. An Update for Instagram Shopping


This may be the biggest change to affect your business, so you need to make sure you’re ready for it. Instagram has been testing a new feature for tagging products in the app.


As of now, you as the business owner can tag products that have added to your Instagram Shop. It's been this way for a while, and we hope you're using it to it's full advantage.


Currently in the U.S., Instagram is trying out user-generated content when it comes to shopping. This means if someone buys a vase from you, they can tag the product in their own post so that their followers can simply click on the tag and buy one of their own.

Let me tell you: this works so well with selling. Marketing and psychology show that we are more likely to buy something that’s endorsed by people we trust because it reduces the level of uncertainty.


This well-documented strategy is often used by large companies, most notably Amazon. One of the first things you see featured next to the name of the product is the number of stars it has as well as the number of reviews it has. Top-rated products are ranked at the top of the options and this feature heavily influences what we choose.

What does this mean for your business?

If you haven’t already, you need to integrate your products into Instagram to allow people to buy them or access your website to purchase through your social media account. If you have already added items to your shop, make sure you have all of them, or add as many as you can.

People will love feeling like an influencer by tagging products in their posts, and getting engagement from you. And the benefit for your business goes without saying. Free advertising never looked so good!


The only thing better than you saying why your product is great is someone completely unconnected to you telling their friends, family and loyal followers that it’s great.

The Bottom Line

It's important to understand Instagram's latest updates so you, as a business owner, can follow the direction of the app as it follows users' changing habits and needs. These updates give insight into how the app is best used and what content Instagram is prioritizing.


As a recap, here are our recommendations:


  • Post to Instagram as frequently as you can.


  • Even more important than mastering frequency is mastering the art of consistency in posting.


  • Whatever you do post, make it engaging for your audience, and make it valuable to them.


  • Post more videos rather than static images


Create posts that your audience won’t want to miss and you'll ride these new Instagram changes into a brighter future for your business. Want more tips and tricks on how to run your social media? Check out this other blog post: Want to Create More Social Media Content?

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