Louai Nasser, Author at Media Injection

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Instagram Reveals How Its Algorithm Works

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In July 2016, Instagram rolled out a new algorithm-driven feed, replacing the popular reverse chronological feed to the surprise and dismay of many users. Although most users have now adapted and gotten used to this new format, the explanation behind how this algorithm actually works has only just been revealed.

Revealing How The Algorithm Works

So it’s been almost two years since Instagram implemented the switch from a reverse chronological order for its Feed to a newer machine-learning algorithmic software. But what exactly has changed and how did it alter people’s experience on the social media platform?

Well, in order to clarify the clouds of uncertainty surrounding the manner in which Instagram prioritises which posts get seen by users, the Facebook-owned platform organised an information session in San Francisco, California. This managed to clear up some of the confusion amongst Instagram’s loyal users by offering an insight into how the algorithmically driven feed works.

Rather than seeing the newest posts in a reverse-chronological timeline, Instagram now displays content and posts that it thinks you want to see, based on your previous behaviour i.e. likes, comments etc. So, for instance, if you have a history of liking or commenting on football related posts, this type of content will be more likely to appear on the Feed the next time you log into Instagram.

The way Instagram is displaying content nowadays may not be news to you, however revealing insights on how this algorithm works is new. It’s been revealed that there are three main factors which will determine what Instagram users get to see on their Feeds:

  • Interest: As has already been mentioned, Instagram will present you with content that its algorithmic Feed predicts you will enjoy or care about. This information is based on a user’s previous behaviour and history.
  • Recency: This is all about the content was posted. Although it is no longer a chronological feed, it will still prioritise more recent posts over weeks or months old posts.
  • Relationship: This depends on how close you are to the person or account that posted the content. This works on a ranking system, depending on how much you have engaged with them on Instagram i.e. likes, shares, comments.

Julian Gutman, the product lead for the Instagram Feed, also dispelled the notion that Instagram’s algorithmic Feed generally favours videos over photos. However, it may prioritise videos for your feed should your online behaviour indicate that you prefer watching videos and spend more time watching videos than looking at images and vice versa.

Besides these three main elements, there are three more additional supporting factors that can influence the ranking of the way you see certain posts:

  • Frequency: If you are a frequent user of the app, Instagram will refresh your Feed on a more frequent basis. This means that new content will constantly be appearing on your Feed, depending on how often you visit the platform.
  • Following: If you follow a large number of accounts on Instagram, it also means that Instagram has way more accounts to choose from in terms of showing you their content on your Feed. Consequently, Instagram will try to keep changing up the feeds of users that follow more accounts than others.
  • Usage: Here, we determine how time you actually spend on the app. Users that only spend a couple of minutes per visit, will be presented with the most relevant content possible, in order to make sure those few minutes are as satisfactory and effective as need be. People who spend long periods of time at once on the app will have a larger variety of posts and content at their disposal.

According to experts, the reasoning behind these algorithmic calculations is that it is in Instagram’s best interest to show engaging and relevant content to its users, as it will encourage them to spend more time on the platform, meaning they will be exposed to more ads, thus increasing Instagram’s revenue. This also plays to the companies’ advantage who are advertising their products or services on the platform.

The following statistics that were revealed back up these claims:

  • Before switching to algorithmic feeds, on average, Instagram users would never see over 70% of all posts by accounts that they followed.
  • They used to also miss out on over 50% of their friends’ posted content in the Feed.
  • Due to an increase in relevancy in the Feed, users are now seeing over 90% of their friends’ posts, whilst spending a significantly higher amount of time on the app.

Despite all this, some traditional Instagram users remain unhappy. They demand to at least have the option of reverting back to the previous reverse chronological Feed. However, Instagram has made it clear that it has no such plans in mind. Considering the statistics they have revealed, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

What do you make of all of this? Do you like this algorithmically driven feed or do you miss the old school chronological Feed that Instagram used to offer? One thing is for sure, in general, sharing on Instagram is on the increase and people are spending more time on it than ever before. That means Instagram should be an indispensable part of your social media strategy. Want to hear about this from our team of experts? Sign up for our free trial and reap the rewards!

Community Management - Blog

Improving Engagement Through Community Management

Posted by | Engagement, Social CRM | No Comments

The rise of social media marketing has paved the way for something that allows businesses to successfully monitor and engage with their online followers and customer base: community management. The terms social media management and community management go hand in hand together, as they help each other grow and strengthen a brand’s relationship with its customers. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that community management can offer to companies around the world.

What is Community Management?

Many people seem to conflate community management with social media marketing.

Whereas social media marketing focuses on creating and distributing content in order to reach, engage and advertise products and services to current and new customers, community management is all about the way your brand interacts with your community after you have published your content. This can happen on any platform where your brand has a presence, allowing you to engage with the current and potential customers in public online spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. In order to strengthen your brand’s image and reputation, you must try to ensure that your customers always know that their voices are heard and valued.

You may think this will require way too much time and effort. However, at Media Injection, we offer social media management tools that can make life easier, faster and more efficient. Let’s run through some of the benefits that an efficient community management can offer to a business.

You’re Always Listening

By consistently monitoring the Conversation Dashboard, you’re guaranteed not to miss a thing

In the conversation dashboard, you are able to engage with your followers directly. By hovering over a message with your mouse you‘ll see some options appear. You will be able to like, favourite, retweet, or reply directly from the stream.

Amongst the constant stream of replies, there will always be one or two small opportunities that you can seize and turn into something valuable for your brand or campaign. Analyse the possibilities at hand and see if you can engage with your customers in a way that will be considered memorable, humorous, caring or a combination of the three!

Replying to followers and customers can really show them that you care. Think of your favourite brand, and how you would feel if they replied to one of your tweets or comments!

Engage with Your (Potential) Customers

Successful community management can ensure that the brand is represented by a friendly and informed voice that is happy to respond to customer questions and comments. This is especially important, as coming across relatable and genuine will always play to your advantage. Customers prefer to engage in a natural conversation rather than receiving formal, robotic replies. By aligning the tone of voice with the brand’s image and maintaining a form of consistency, you will be able to continue building trust and brand loyalty with your customers on social media.

Save Time and Increase Efficiency

Running an efficient community management will solve many of your problems, and reduce time waste. Using a Conversation Dashboard, like the one available on the Media Injection platform, can help you spot any mentions of your brand or company in no time, allowing you to quickly reply and engage with them.

Customers appreciate quick replies, and rather than searching through each of your social media feeds looking for mentions, the Dashboard can notify you any time your brand, company or product is mentioned on any of the social platforms your business is active on.

Reacting quickly to any questions, queries, jokes, negative feedback that social media users have for your brand is important. They will simply assume that you don’t care if you take ages to reply, or even not reply at all.

Another golden aspect of the Conversation Dashboard is the ability to view your conversation history with users. After receiving a comment or question from one of your fans or followers, clicking reply will allow you to view your entire conversation history with that person. This can save you a considerable amount of time so you can avoid asking questions they have already answered in the past, whilst giving you an insight of your previous interactions with that person.

Increase Conversions and Web Traffic

The holy grail!

I’m sure your company receives plenty of questions about the products or services that your business offers on social media. Replying to each of these manually would represent an unrealistic, tedious, endless job. Yes, you guessed it right again… Conversation Dashboard to the rescue! Rather than letting some questions or comments slip through the cracks, which could cause a loss of impatient customers and eventually a loss of sales opportunities, utilise the Conversation Dashboard so you can easily and efficiently monitor all incoming interactions and engagements on one common dashboard. Never miss a thing! This consistency can lead to an increase in web traffic and conversions on your website.

Measure Your Performances

Community management puts you in the best possible position to provide feedback on how effective your social media campaigns and engagements have been over a certain period of time. With the Dashboard, you will have a clear overview of all interactions, comments, likes, engagements with your brand. By forming an analysis of all social media metrics, with the help of your social media management tools, you will gain a clearer insight of how you can improve and strengthen your overall business strategy. Media Injection will also offer you the tools to configure reports in an easy and efficient manner, giving you the perfect platform to measure the success of your performances.

Over To You

As you can tell, the importance of community management must not be underestimated! With tools such as the Conversation Dashboard, you will be able to run your social media campaigns in a smoother and more efficient manner. And nobody offers a better social media management service than our team at Media Injection! Don’t believe me? Request a free demo and find out for yourself!