#InstagramAlgorithm: Will the end of Instagram’s organic reach mean more brands flocking to Snapchat?

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The death to Instagram’s organic reach

Instagram has arguably been one of the most celebrated social media networks for brands to reach out their audience. And those who are not on Instagram are often considered as ‘laggard’. When it comes to fashion brands, it is almost imperative to have a solid presence there. So it is hardly an exaggeration to say that Instagram, the best acquisition in technology by Facebook over the past decade, has changed the way brands communicate and promote themselves.

This visual-oriented platform just seems the place where the millennials hang out and interact with brands. The company has recently claimed that ‘it has become an important business tool, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises,’ whose practices, they say, bigger firms can learn from.

Having said that, the popularity of Instagram is beginning to tumble. As Digiday has put it: ‘The heyday of organic reach for brands on Instagram is over’.

In fact, the same can be said to Twitter too. Both platforms are moving to ‘algorithmically sorted feeds’, which is reminiscent of how the current Facebook’s news feed operates – to rank posts against one another over the top, amplifying the competition among brands. As happened on Facebook, the new services will now assess and arbitrarily decides which the most relevant and compelling stories to show.

The end of the freebies.

Perhaps many have expected the algorithmic change, as more and more brands are posting and interacting with users on Instagram. As happened with Facebook before, that meant too much content for too little space in the News Feed. Soon, brands on Instagram and Twitter will experience a huge decline in referral traffic.

Is your post ‘good enough’?

The most common solution for brands would be to pay for ads to get their reach back, says TechCrunch. But from the content’s perspective, businesses will require a more tangible strategy and expertise to create truly engaging and hyper-relevant posts.  

  • Quality (over quantity), more than ever, is the key, making the ‘more-is-more approach’ to Instagram obsolete (from Digiday).
  • Be hyper-relevant to your audience for better engagement, which requires a deeper understanding of your followers.
  • Influencer marketing will continue to help brands promote and reach a wider audience. (From Digiday)

Instagram

Will more brands switch to Snapchat?

While we’re not trying to pit one against another, it’s rather reasonable to question whether the death of Instagram’s organic reach will drive more brands toward Snapchat. Despite that both social platforms are image and video-oriented, each has distinctive strengths and weaknesses. The purposes of using each platform will also differ according to your business. Nonetheless, the changes will likely to incentivise those who used to be reluctant to utilise Snapchat to communicate with the millennials. Despite the differences between these two services,the changes (on Instagram) make Snapchat feel more unique than ever’ says TechCrunch.

Instagram’s organic reach

Brands ‘planting the seed’ for brand royalty

First of all, Snapchat is effective when it comes to marketing to the millennials and Gen Z in particular, the next generation of tech-savvy and brand-conscious consumers. Hilton is one of the good examples who jumped on Snapchat last month to connect with the so-called digital natives. While they may not yet be the core target for Hilton, planting that seed on Snapchat will help Hilton cultivate the brand loyalty over time. According to AdExchanger, ‘right now Hilston is starting the process with special Snapchat access to live events and on-location promotions’.

You can (to some extent) bombard your audience with your posts.

Secondly, brands can go Snapchat-spree without feeling guilty. Whereas the future in Instagram may look grim, brands can post as much as they want without having to worry that their posts won’t get any attention. (Needless to say, the competition over attention among brands is much lower.) It’s the luxury that you can never afford elsewhere without spamming your followers.

The power of real-time interaction

Snapchat may be the single best social tool for real-time marketing. It offers high engagement rates with 100 million daily users and 8 billion video views per day, thanks to the app’s instantaneity, privacy and accessibility. According to Luxury Daily, users are spending about 25 to 30 minutes on the platform each day.  

In summary, while brands are not abandoning Instagram, its algorithmic changes will likely to serve good incentives for many brands to expand its horizon. Given the Snapchat’s advantages listed above, the app offers a powerful and effective alternative way to reach out the young consumers.

What do you think?

Appnova is a digital agency specialising in web design, UX, eCommerce, mobile app development, branding, content marketing and social media.

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