If you have a personal or commercial Instagram account, you’ll be aware that changes are afoot. On 15th March, Instagram announced that updates were being made to its format; instead of displaying posts in chronological order, it would now use a sophisticated algorithm to display posts according to the preferences of each individual user, and there are lots of them. Since its launch in 2010, Instagram (bought by Facebook in 2012) has cultivated a global following of more than 400 million users and the initial response to these changes has not been altogether positive. However, whilst the rejection of this new algorithm is understandable, given the impact it had on businesses when Facebook implemented a similar update in 2014, these changes could actually prove to be very positive for you and your business. The purpose of this Instagram update is to improve the user experience, in other words, the way your followers experience your digital persona and although Instagram say they’re listening to your views on these changes, petition or not, it’s unlikely that they’ll abandon them. Our advice is this: embrace the Instagram update and use it to your commercial advantage.The new algorithm will organise posts based on a combination of user preferences, post popularity and generated interactions and you may have already noticed a change in your page appearance. To benefit from these changes, it’s time to explore, in-depth, your Instagram analytics and develop a true, detailed insight into what makes your audience tick.Review your posts for the last few months and see which images and hashtags generated the strongest response – what do your audience really engage with? By understanding what genuinely interests your followers, you can tailor future posts to satisfy the new algorithmic requirements and secure a prominent display position in user feeds, resulting in a streamlined marketing strategy that is more effective and efficient. Up until now, any image shared could become lost within minutes in the feed of a user who follows hundreds of accounts; Instagram confirm that up to 70 percent of content gets missed and this makes many businesses feel obligated to upload new images several times a day in a bid to secure visibility. With the new algorithm, a new post will be prominent in a user feed as long as it’s deemed to be relevant and interesting to them. This means that you can invest your time and resources in creating fewer pieces of top-notch visual content to achieve the same, if not better, results. One of the main issues raised with the new format regards push notifications. If posts are no longer chronological, do you need to get your audience to turn on notifications to ensure they see new posts? It’s certainly an option but one that should be considered carefully. If you add new content to Instagram several times a day, your users could quickly become irritated by constant notifications and turn them off or worse yet, unfollow you altogether so this approach should be handled with caution. Whilst this update places greater emphasis on you, or the digital marketing agency you use to upload and curate the right mix of high-quality, purposeful and engaging visual content, it also creates a real opportunity to better understand your audience and develop your marketing to build relationships and increase your reach. For help navigating through these specific changes or advice on successfully managing any other social media marketing activities, simply contact the friendly and experienced team here at Yoma.