Over the last few months, a lot has changed on the beloved social network known as Instagram. Unfortunately for its 400 million users, most changes have been made without the actual experience of said user in mind, or at least that’s how it feels. Instagram likes to say things that sound nice and fancy – things like they’re enhancing the Instagram app, or making things more relevant for people, or a bunch of other things I typically block out. But what’s really happening is very apparent, and it doesn’t bode well for the future of Instagram.
News Flash: It’s no longer 2012. Well, it’s not even still 2013. Oh, wait, we were two years behind?!
When I say it’s no longer 2012 I am referring to the fact that the landscape of social and digital media has been rapidly changing, but brands and industries everywhere are still looking at social media data for success the same way we did a few years back. Last year, 2013, was about a very gradual shift in the way brands analyzed social media data, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it changed.
We’ve been hearing this for a few years now, and it always seems to get progressively more intense and negative with each passing update to Facebook’s algorithms. As brand social media marketers we hear that content needs to be really “high quality” in order to reach more users organically. And that “virality” will play a role in how many unique eyeballs see your brand’s posts. We’ve understood that text posts on Facebook have greater reach but receive lower engagement, and that image posts get the most engagement, but don’t necessarily generate that organic reach every time, and even those ‘rules’ continuously change. It’s been a tough formula to crack and there hasn’t been a perfect answer. And now Facebook is blatantly admitting that organic reach is falling off.
As we approach the New Year we look to the future. And we also look back. What used to be so clearly defined as “social” media and “digital” in their own rights, have converged. There is a large gray area where digital meets online meets social meets content meets devices meets users. It’s all moving closer to a model that’s one in the same. You won’t be able to have one without considering the other. The silos of even just last year are looking more and more like the entire farm, working together.
The fourth of July has come and gone, both the real holiday of America’s Independence Day and the social media extravaganza of brands trying their utmost to participate. Brands everywhere were putting content out, or trying to, in order to be part of the fun. Some were really well done and some were just lazy and/or a complete miss.
I’m being serious.
What do “engagement” and “content” even mean anymore?
These were by far the two biggest buzz words within the digital and social media world over the last two years. For a while we all had a handle on what this all meant.
I am cramming three topics into this quick blog. I wanted to write about all three but didn’t want to spam out three posts back to back. And, as it goes in the social media world – If I waited a week to post one of these it might not be relevant any longer.
Facebook Graph Search is explained like this, from the book of face themselves:
“Graph Search will help you instantly find others, learn more about them and make connections, explore photos, quickly find places like local attractions and restaurants, and learn about common interests like music, movies, books and more. All results are unique based on the strength of relationships and connections.” (source: Facebook Graph Search)