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16 March 2016

An Unfiltered Look at Instagram’s Latest Update

Written by: Cory Sealey, Account Director, Paid and Social Media at Edelman

Consumer Trends & Insight, Innovation, Media

News broke overnight in the States regarding a change in Instagram, which has marketers thinking they are moving towards a #SorryNotSorry approach to monetising the platform.

The popular photo and video-sharing platform announced it’s dropping the old chronological feed for one that it claims will surface content you are more likely to enjoy and engage with.

The social giant has teased that the algorithm-based roll-out is set for the next few months – and that a complete global switch will happen in the near future.

So why should you care?

The marketing community has been crazy this morning with different theories flying around about optimising this change, readjusting goals (organic reach is predicted to decrease) and creating content that will more directly connect with consumers.

As a communications marketing agency – the three big takeaways for us will be insight-driven targeting, content creation and application of paid support.

Insight-Driven Targeting – The Golden Rules: Do your due diligence and dig into research before you even think about creating content. Who is your audience? What are they currently engaging with on this and other platforms? Are there any insight tools you can use to reach both your core and growth audiences?

Content: Now you’ve done your homework – time to create gold. Posts need to have strong storytelling roots. It’s not enough to throw up a funny picture and hope for likes and comments. Approach content through the Fewer, Bigger, Better Filter. Fewer posts ensure you aren’t watering down your brand, bigger posts create buzz and engagement. Better posts provide key learnings you can apply to future messaging. The quality of content is incredibly important. Working from the ground up, ensure you are creating genuinely compelling and well produced content.

Paid Support: I may be biased as I lead our team of paid media specialists here in London, but scalable paid support has never been more important. Not just with Instagram, but across all social platforms, media partners and client activations. As brands move towards becoming publishers, the amount of content being pushed online will only increase. We need to cut through this clutter with smart tactics. Paid has been a proven technique across all platforms to ensure reach, engagement and message penetration. The sooner your brands familiarise themselves with best practices – the better prepped they are for shake-ups like the one from Instagram.

And to think, I thought Selena Gomez (69.6 million followers) being named as the most followed person on Instagram would be the biggest news of the day (sorry Tay Tay).

Image: tulpahn /

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