Facebook – Instagram and the Algorithm | Intentional Creating


March 28, 2016


We’ve all seen it – and if you haven’t it’s likely because you don’t use it.  What am I talking about?  The dreaded new algorithm being used by Instagram.  What does that have to do with you?  What does that have to do with my business?  Well I am going to break it down for you so when the changes take place, you understand what’s going on.

There is a term business owners all know in the world of Social Media and it is “Organic Reach”.  That basically means the amount of people that see your posts without any kind payment.  Simply clicking post and letting the pieces fall where they may – or whoever sees them… sees them. A few things influence this.  If the post is “liked” right away or commented on then Facebook says “oh people like this which means more people will want to see it”- so it shows up in more feeds and so on.  Obviously, your privacy settings factor into this, too.  If you are NOT a business owner this may mean very little to you.  You probably just roll with the punches and realize very little about why you see what you see.  When Facebook first started and you scrolled through your feed, it was simple.  People you were friends with or businesses you followed would post something and it would appear on your feed in the order it was posted in… or chronological order.  Over time, business owners saw the potential in free advertising and the power of Facebook…. and in turn, Facebook saw the power of generating income off of the business owners.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg… I don’t know.  What I do know is, Facebook applied an algorithm or a calculation or data processing formula to figure out  what you are viewing most – what you “like” or are commenting on and placed things in your timeline based on that –  not chronological order.  If you think back a couple of years you may remember noticing a change in your feed and tried to figure it out… well that was it. For people on Facebook who only use it to keep up with friends and family, likely what you noticed was the appearance of a certain few people’s posts ALWAYS on your feed, while losing others all together.  It was likely because of two things – they post more often than others, and you “liked” or commented on something they posted.
So what does that mean for the businesses you “liked” and wanted to follow… well they got buried. Simply “liking” the business page was no longer enough to ensure you saw the content they were posting.  Maybe you remember the pleas that would go up – “if you want to see my posts click here to make sure you see them”… It was a nightmare.  I don’t need to explain how marketing works – but the jist is – the fewer people who see your work – the fewer people who know you even exist.  Thus paid ads were born.  It was a way for Facebook – the king of FREE advertising –  to make it’s money off us business owners who were taking advantage of the platform.  After this change Facebook saw a HUGE bump in revenue.  So it’s kept going – despite the rage of it’s users.
So what does this have to do with Instagram?  Well, Facebook owns Instagram.  As Facebook has aged, so has it’s users.  No offense… but the days of Facebook being a “young person’s” thing is long over.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, just about EVERYONE has Facebook.  Younger people don’t use it anymore.  The next generation of “buyers” don’t use one of the largest marketing platforms in the world anymore.  They’ve moved to Twitter and Instagram.  So from a marketing standpoint – you want to engage this next generation.  It made sense to have a facebook and Instagram account.
Instagram was great because it still flowed in the world of posting in Chronological order.  Even though it only showed you 150 posts out of however many people you followed – it was still in order.  Now it has changed.  The same algorithm that changed viewing on Facebook has been applied to IG.  This may not seem like a big deal if you are only on these platforms to keep up with friends – but in a way you’re being manipulated.  I think that word is a bit too intense for what I mean, but it’s the only word I can think of.  In the eyes of these corporations you are a consumer.  That is what they want you to do… buy… buy buy buy.  So, whoever pays the most to be seen, is who will be seen.  It’s rough for your small business owners, who don’t have a hefty advertising budget.
In places like ours, we drive home the importance of local business.  It’s likely that if you don’t own one yourself you work for one.  There is little we can do stop this machine.  It’s easy to get annoyed with the “click here to keep viewing my posts” but it’ all we’ve got!  LOL…
So there it is in a not so small nutshell.  If you use IG things are changing.  If you use it simply to keep up with friends… make sure you engage or “like” their posts if you want to keep seeing them.  Commenting is better – but can take the fun out of that “killing time scroll”… 🙂
And of course… I always appreciate your “like” or comment on my posts!  HA!!  Happy Monday!

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