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Instagram – was a welcome fresh platform for us all to connect on when we first came across it. It seemed pretty honest and open and a way of connecting with friends and acquaintances on a more personal level without having the TMI judgements that sharing on Facebook may have brought. It was personal.

And it’s come a long way since then. Most people now know what an “influencer” is, Instagram now has a rather frustrating algorithm and decides what you’d like to see, all your favourite brands/local shops have accounts and you are bombarded with automated comments. (The bots surely are the WORST thing about IG 2018).

Instagram is fast following in Facebook’s footsteps, and gearing up for some changes to attract and optimise the platform for revenue generation.  Here’s why….

Instagram has been the “go to” for small businesses and brands to reach customers, and has been for some time. In fact, they have been actively encouraged this – scheduled auto-posting is in BETA (a sure fire thumbs up for any business) and the ability to rank posts in feeds and serve your posts to the most valuable followers. Great and continually improving analytics and ability to save stories as highlights on your profile.

It is safe to assume, that in time, your posts on instagram will see less and less organic reach as more businesses take to the platform. As this happens, only the best performing content will get good levels of reach and engagement. Which brings us back to where we are at with Facebook at the moment. You’ll need to be paying to reach your followers and if you want to obtain new ones.

At the moment there are around 25 million business profiles on Instagram  – as this grows, you will also need to radically rethink your strategy for Instagram. My advice,  make the most of it while you can – and start thinking about quality content and considering a strategy for paid social on the platform. It’s coming. Nothing that good lasts forever……

Instagrams ad revenue is set to double by 2019 and bring almost $11 billion dollars, at which point I am sure the algorithms for Instagram will focus on “meaningful interactions” and rank business pages lower than personal.

What can you do to overcome this? For now I would suggest a few things –

  • Firstly make sure you post on stories frequently, another way to reach people that may miss you in the feed. Keep them short though and don’t have over 8 story posts.
  • Save selected stories as highlights to your page – but keep them as product categories or specific headings. It’s a great way of keeping people sticking to your profile for a bit longer.
  • Switch to a personal profile. Now, this isn’t right for everybody – you may want to keep the analytics – but if not there is lots of evidence to suggest that personal accounts perform better. If Instagram heads the same way as Facebook, you’ll be better off having a personal page. If you still need the analytics – take a look at Iconosquare which can provide the same data and more.

Good luck on the ‘gram for 2018 everybody!

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