If you work in social and digital, there is one thing that is certain: Things will change. Whether a new platform emerges or an existing platform implements changes, the rules of the road are never the same as they were a month ago.
The hard part about all the changes is you have you have to rethink your strategy. Forget a yearly social strategy, a quarterly social strategy seems to make more sense.
Instagram is one of the platforms that has undergone tremendous change in the past year. From Stories, to Live and algorithm changes, it’s not quite the simple and beautifully curated feed it used to be. You have to be thoughtful about the content, timing and frequency.
With all these changes to Instagram, it’s time to sit back and reflect. How have you pivoted your strategy to adjust the new landscape? Instagram is no longer about posting pretty photos. Below are a few thoughts to think about as you approach Instagram:
In-feed posts are no longer real time.
Because of the new algorithm, in-feed posts are no longer served to your fans in real-time. This means you have to rethink your content strategy with your regular Instagram posts. Ask, will this be relevant to my fans hours (even 24 hours) after the fact?
@WarJessEagle Yes! No longer a chronological plan, now using it more to highlight important moments that can show up in any order.
— Katie (@katiemucci) April 4, 2017
@WarJessEagle No more in-game score updates. Focus on key highlights & strong visuals that aren't dependent on game chronology.
— Ryan Frankson (@ryanfrankson) April 4, 2017
@WarJessEagle Less play by play/event programming updates & more general captured moments. Stories add help with sharing chronological content.
— Lynnea Phillips (@LynneaPhillips) April 4, 2017
Since the news feed is no longer real time, you have to shift your content strategy. For example, line up graphics, score updates (not final, but end of quarter ones), etc. are probably better served elsewhere.
Maintain high standards for your in-feed posts.
In-feed posts might not be real-time anymore, but they should be held to the highest standards and creative filters. Only your best content should should go on the feed. It’s 100 percent quality over quantity.
With the new algorithm, content reaches fans and consumers differently. There hasn’t been a ton of disclosure (at least from what I’ve seen) about what exactly the algorithm weighs, but one trend that seems clear… if you post too much, you might cannibalize your own reach. The best of the best content goes here or you’ll hurt your engagement and reach.
Think about pivoting your approach to a less is more mentality. In-feed posts should be about the best expression of the team and the brand. It’s about strong photography that tells a story and provides a unique angle… and content that might be a little more evergreen. Remember, content must capture attention, be engaging and not have to rely so much on timing. This line sums it up well:
@WarJessEagle Everything has transformed from being informative and smart to experiential and captivating
— Tyler Moorehead (@TMoorehead627) April 4, 2017
Stories drives real-time + deeper storytelling.
Instagram Stories has so much potential since the real estate is front and center and you can upload pre-existing content. One of the strongest and most interesting opportunity is to find synergies between your in-feed posts and Stories.
As you plan your approach, think about how you can leverage the tool to drive deeper storytelling in a moment. Your in-feed posts and Stories can work together to drive more consumption of your content. For example, maybe at the end of the game you have your final score graphic and leverage Stories to showcase “plays of the game”. Use in-feed post to drive people to Stories (or vice versa) and let the two work together and drive more consumption of your content.
Additionally, Stories is a good place for real-time moments and game updates given the disappearing nature, lack of algorithm and real estate. Consider this as your real-time tool for Instagram versus in-feed posts.
@WarJessEagle I think IG Stories can be a tool for info. Chronological nature can tell the story of an event with graphics/photos.
— Steve Uhlmann (@SteveUhlmann) April 5, 2017
If you need inspiration, here are a few examples of good Instagram Story content:
— Kyle Bruce (@_KyleBruce) April 15, 2017
— Jessica Smith (@WarJessEagle) March 5, 2017
— Jessica Smith (@WarJessEagle) April 16, 2017
— Jeff Mason (@JeffWMason) February 9, 2017
Finally, the last update to Instagram is the ability to upload 10 pieces of content (both photo and video) into one single post. This feature is great because it lets brands and teams tell a story in another way. It’s also a good solve for more content at a time that the algorithm does not favor it.
Take the time to think about how carousels can play into your content approach. And, think differently about it. Below are a view good examples (and, if you want more, here’s a fantastic thread).
What ways have you pivoted your Instagram strategy? I would love to hear in the comments below! Thanks for reading.