Facebook and Instagram have both rolled out new updates that alter the way content reaches users. Facebook’s newest update completely changes a users’ news feed and is expected to decrease overall reach of all business pages’ content on this platform. As we also experience updates to Instagram algorythms, we are focusing on alleviating the positives. Learn more about how to strategise your content to execute a successful social media marketing strategy in 2018 on both of these platforms.
Instagram Shifts the Importance of Hashtags
Instagram recently made a change, giving users the ability to follow specific #hashtags just as they follow users. The new algorithm includes posts and live stories within the users’ news feed from the hashtag.
This new feature provides further opportunities to interact with a wider audience on Instagram, and a whole new level of meaning for integrating hashtags into Instagram strategies!
To follow a tag, users can simply search for a hashtag or click on a hashtag seen on a post. Given the large flow of posts at any given minute on Instagram, and the millions of people that interpret each tag differently, it is easy for things to get messy. For this reason, Instagram has allowed users to filter through content and flag irrelevant posts. This information is used to ensure the user’s feed displays the best posts attributed to their search behaviours. The more they engage with certain posts, the more Instagram will place similar content in their feed.
What NOT to do.
Don’t use hashtags that are unrelated to your posts, the more people who flag this content as dissociated, the more likely your content is to be at the back of Instagram’s algorithms.
Plan hashtags with content.
Hash-tagging your content on Instagram is vital for reach, but you have to make sure your hashtags are actually getting the results! Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags, so utilise all 30 and make sure they are affiliated with your brand/services! You are able to check the feeds associated with each hashtag, and learn more about the users each reach. Create a set of hashtags for each style of content you share, and be sure to check their success, so that you are constantly engaging with new feeds and the right audiences.
How to pick the right hashtags?
To find out which will perform best for your business, simply start typing out the hashtag as you post, and view the numbers associated with that hashtag. Instagram will show you the highest performing hashtags similar to that given word, so you can easily pick 30 that are relevant and have the widest reach!
This new Instagram feature has tremendous potential for brands, to increase brand reputation and significantly expand organic reach.
Facebook Pulls a 360 on News Feed Content
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced one of the focus areas for Facebook in
2018, and it will have a serious impact on Businesses pages.
The team at Facebook will be concentrating on filtering out ‘passive’ content and shifting algorithms to favour content that brings about social interactions between users (comments, likes, tags and shares). Facebook has flagged that News Feed will prioritize posts from friends and family over public content, showing less videos and posts from publishers or businesses. Pages all-round reach, video watch time and referral traffic are estimated to decrease, with posts that people don’t react to or comment seeing the largest decreases.
Now more than ever it is imperative to CREATE ENGAGING CONTENT. This has always been the case, as with every engagement between a user and your post – you are more likely to be favoured in that news feed. However, Facebook will now analyze if the reaction is between a user and a business or page, and two people on Facebook.
Business pages can’t replace the interactive content of a user’s family or friends, though they can provide content that invites interactions between people. Facebook has already identified a number of user-valued content:
- Live Videos – often lead to discussions among viewers
- Events – communities and local businesses connect
- News – creates conversations
4 Tips to Keep Reaching Your Target Audience
Balance your content.
Provide content your audience can relate to and encourages back-and-fourth discussions. It has been proven that users value brands with personalised content and now, users will also only see content they regularly engage with.
Create live videos.
Live videos aren’t adopted by a lot of users and are seen to be favoured most by celebrities and big brands. If your business is hosting an event or function, be sure to start a live video and encourage your employees to introduce themselves! Content needs to be brought back to bringing people closer together, and bringing Facebook to an event like this is doing exactly that.
Utilize the potential of events.
Be sure to create ‘events’ for any functions or sales you are hosting. Events have been suggested by Facebook as opportunities to prove engagement with followers. If your local community is actively viewing your events, Facebook will recognise these users want to see your posts on their news feed.
Using the phrases “Like this post if you need a holiday!” or “Share this post to win a new car!” are called “engagement bait” and have been recognised by Facebook, as content that will be demoted. Keep the content real and keep it valuable.
You can read more about this announcement, here.