It seems like every day Instagram changes up its algorithm.
And while it should appear that they’re making these changes to create a better user experience, Instagram is a for-profit business just like any other.
The algorithm is like the HR department of a big company: it’s not there to reward you for your hard work, it’s there to help the business succeed.
But just because the algorithm doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make it work for you.
And the way to do that is by posting for your audience to make real human connections, not to win a race with a computer.
Here are a few things you can expect to see on Instagram as we head into the back half of the year…and a few tips to help you bolster your content strategy, too!
Expect to see more recommendation.
Instagram’s #1 goal is to keep people engaged in the Instagram app. They want us to use the app as much as possible so that they can serve us ads. That’s why Meta is doubling down on recommendations.
The algorithm knows a lot about us and has gathered all of this information from our browsing history, our searches, our hashtag usage, even the keywords in our own posts. For example, it knows when you engage with a post about fashion, so it will show you more posts from fashion bloggers, brands and influencers, even if you don’t follow those accounts.
This is why it’s important to have a really strong engagement strategy on Instagram. It’s also important to interact with local accounts and accounts that fit the demographic of your target/ideal client.
You can do this by DMing friends and clients that you may not have spoken with in a while. Instagram will see this and show those accounts your content more often.
Content that creates familiarity will rise to the top.
You have heard the term, “know, like and trust factor.” The idea behind this philosophy is that when people get to know you, they’ll get to like you and that means they will come to trust you. People are more likely to buy from those they trust.
This applies to Instagram as well and you can curate that factor in a few different ways. First off, you shouldn’t just be selling on your social media feed. So instead of just posting about real estate marketing, you should also be building relationships and making friends.
For every post about your real estate business, post something else that lets prospective clients get to know you like fun facts, what you like to do during your off time, or even a few photos from your latest vacation. Letting your audience in on who you are beyond your business will help them to connect with you.
Reels AND Photo Posts Matter
While Instagram pushed Reels hard in 2021 and 2022, earlier this year the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, shared that the app would be taking a step back from this route.
In one of his weekly Q&As in January 2023, Moserri said, “I think we were overfocused on video in 2022 and pushed ranking too far and basically showed too many videos and not enough photos.”
Now, he said, the app is working to restore a balance between the different kinds of posts.
So while Reels are still important, and Instagram continues to push out new Reel features within the app in the hopes of encouraging its users to create video content, photo posts are back in business.
Views Do Not Equal Value
As real estate marketing coach Chelsea Peitz always says, “views do not equal value.”
The Instagram algorithm does not favor accounts that have the best content, or post the most frequently, or use the most hashtags.
It favors accounts that get the most engagement, because if your content is engaging, people will keep coming back. And if they’re coming back to you, they’re spending more time in the app.
But just because you’re content is getting views and is engaging, it does not mean you’re providing your audience with value. In the end, value should always be your goal because that is also going to contribute to that familiarity you are trying to build with your audience.
Personality-Driven Content is King
This relates back to how your content needs to create familiarity.
Social media is your clients’ window into who you are and what it’s like to work with you.
To do this you will need to develop a consistent content and posting schedule that includes a variety of content topics and in different formats (Reels vs. photo vs. carousel posts, on top of IG stories).
You will also need to strike a balance between business and personal posts. Think of social media as a networking event. Nobody wants to talk to the person who only talks about work or themselves.
When it comes down to it, social media is not a thing you do to advertise your business, it’s a place you go to build relationships, make friends, and business contacts.
You can create relationships by showing your face on your grid and in stories, commenting on other accounts and responding to stories, and returning the favor to the accounts that are liking, sharing and commenting on your posts and stories.
If you want to keep up with your Instagram knowledge this year, go straight to the source for official IG news:
- Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram: @mosseri,
- Instagram for Business: @instagramforbusiness
- Instagram Creators: @creators
Finally, remember that social media is meant to be SOCIAL, so try not to overthink it and have fun!