Connect with us

Social Media

Organic reach on Instagram is dead, brands scurry to figure out the new algorithm

Instagram’s new algorithm-based model is set to cause quite a stir amongst fashion brands that rely on the social platform for free advertising and marketing.

Published

on

instagram

Blame it on the new algorithm

Instagram’s new algorithm-based model (read about it here) is set to cause quite a stir amongst fashion brands that rely on the social platform for free advertising and marketing. According to many, including Digiday, Instagram’s algorithm may very well be the end of organic reach, or the number of unique people who see each unpaid post on a site.

bar
While fashion brands are well known for using Instagram to interact with their fans, the end of organic reach on social media will affect any brand using the platform as a means of free marketing.

High levels of customer engagement

A 2015 Fashion Index report released by L2 showed that the more a company posted on Instagram, the more engagement they saw with their followers.

A perfect example of this is fashion house Valentino, which posted around 40 updates per week, far more than the approximate 8 per week uploaded by other apparel brands. The influx of updates and posts worked, because 10% of Valentino’s 6.3 million followers engaged in conversation, a number higher than any other fashion brand. Seeing Valentino’s success, other fashion houses increased their own social media presence and between October 2014 and October 2015, other fashion brands increased their posts to 10 per week.

Quantity goes out the window

Unfortunately for brands who have learned from Valentino and the fashion set, quality is now much more important than quantity when it comes to uploads.

Kyle Wong, CEO of Pixlee, explains, “Instagram’s new algorithm feed puts an emphasis on quality of content, not quantity of content.

Brands will have to prioritize strategies that maximize their relevance and engagement rates rather than pure following and reach.”

Learn your audience

In other words, brands have to start researching their audiences and planning the perfect posts before they upload anything.

“Understanding who your audience is will be huge,” said Kate Hodes of the agency Huge. “That information is limited right now, so more vendors will come out with the ability to help with that.”

Expect to see more and more companies offering research and insight into brand loyalty and audiences. All brands will need to learn what their particular audience is most responsive to, and what uploads will create the most audience engagement.

Influencers be influencin’

For many, this will mean focusing on the types of posts that rank highest in engagement – product-related uploads, celebrity-generated content, and user-generated content. Brands will need to identify their top Instagram influencers (which you can read more about here), and work with them to pinpoint their shared target audience.

“In theory, the algorithm should be beneficial to influencers because they produce great content that an algorithm should prioritize,” Wong said. “They’re able to attract passionate followings and deliver more personal messages.”

Influencer marketing is going to gain in popularity because it serves as a substitution for in-your-face paid ads. Plus, according to research done by Experticity, influencer recommendations actually carry 22 times the power of suggestion than a recommendation from an everyday customer. To take advantage of the new algorithm, strong relationships with social media accounts with cult followings are going to take the place of multiple brand posts per day.

Instagram’s new algorithm may be the end of organic reach, but brands can easily learn to adapt and continue to gain followers and fans.

#AdaptingToTheAlgorithm

Staff Writer, Abigail White is a wordsmith who hails from the Deep South, having graduated with a degree in Journalism from Auburn University. She is usually reading three books at once, loves history, sarcasm, and arguing over the Oxford comma.

Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.

Published

on

Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

Continue Reading

Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.

Published

on

Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

Continue Reading

Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?

Published

on

Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!