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Instagram Changes their Algorithm and What That Means for your Business

Instagram[1]Algorithms, algorithms, algorithms. Word on the street is that Instagram is shifting its content feed to ensure viewers see the content they’re really interested in. Other social media networks have made this switch; namely Facebook back in 2009 and last month Twitter changed its timeline to show tweets out of order instead of the reverse chronological (newest tweets on top). It seems now Instagram has ventured into this area.

Testing this new algorithm means instead of seeing posts in reverse chronological order, Instagram will place priority on the photos and videos it thinks you most want to view from the people you follow at the top of your feed. It doesn’t matter what time the post was originally shared. For entrepreneurs and small businesses currently leveraging social media to showcase their products and services, news of an algorithm change should not come as a shock. Instagram currently has more than 400 million users and is available to download on iOS, Android, and Windows.

So, what does this move by Instagram mean for you, your business and your brand and how do you prepare for these changes? I’m glad you asked.

  1. Analyze your best and worst performing content. Check out Union Metrics free Instagram tool and determine your most popular post, best performing hashtags, and your top fans.

  1. Create branded social media templates so that when people are scrolling through their timelines your post automatically catches the eye.

  1. Create engaging content with every picture or video post and be sure to use a CTA  (call to action)—ask your followers to tag their friends, repost your post, and to double tap to show some love.

  1. Pay to Play – It might be time to fork over the cash to get right in front of your target audience with Instagram ads. You can choose from a variety of advertisement types including video and carousel ads.

The bottom line for small business owners and entrepreneurs is to get not only creative but also become more meaningful with the types of content you’re sharing. Being overtly sales-y isn’t going to cut it anymore. The content you share via social media should be relatable, engaging, and less obtrusive than ever before.

Black Enterprise

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#SMW Lagos 2016: Africans Claiming Their Piece of the Digital Pie

2016 Social Media Week Lagos kicked off with a bang. The energy was high and the message was clear: Africans will shape and share their own their media. They will bring their stories, culture and influence to the world, and we all just might be better for it. Day one of #SMWLagos had a round of sessions led by entrepreneurs, thought leaders and others, as well as a designated area for impromptu informative discussions. What Social Media Week Lagos did lack on day one was sufficient WiFi–especially for those of us traveling from abroad who didn’t get the memo to purchase an international cell phone.

The subpar WiFi did put a damper on our Google Hangout, ‘Global Social Media Strategies for Your Startups!’ which leads to my next point–contingency plans and the importance of being prepared for the worst. While the tech team was trying to figure out how to make the Black Enterprise Google Hangout go on as planned, I had already created a PowerPoint presentation–you know, just in case something like bad WiFi were to happen. When you stay ready, you’re ahead of the game! You can check out the discussion by following the hashtag #BEGlobal on Twitter.

Despite our Internet challenges, there was a plethora of information shared regarding the state of Africans and their use of technology and social media to push their agendas, content, ideas and image onto the world stage.  At the Reading Culture, Book Publishing and Social Media session, attendees received insights from media entrepreneur and author Joy Bewaji, who shared her thoughts on using social media: “Social media allows us to not be stifled by traditional media; we can say the things we need to say.” Bewaji added: “By owning our voices, we get away from shame and fear. Women can find themselves through social media.”

Later in the day, experts from Pulse Nigeria led a master class at the event. All eyes and ears in the packed room were glued to the stage as Pulse experts went in-depth about their internal strategies and insights they’ve gained as they continue to dive into the digital world. Their session, Leading a Digital Publishing Revolution, offered intel on how they’ve begun monetizing their video content. Rich Tanksley, head of Pulse Nigeria explained: “We talked to a lot of brands and asked them, ‘What would you like?’ There are certain things they’ll say, but all of them will say this–’We want 13 episodes. We want it to be similar, with the same branding.’ Before that, we were just doing this or that, but then we realized that if anyone is going to buy it, it’s going to have to be a series.”

Tanksley also talked through the phenomenal explosion of Pulse Nigeria. In just four years they’ve been getting almost three million unique page views with year-over-year revenue increases of 100%. The master class ended with a Q&A session with the panelists.

The rest of Social Media Week Lagos promises to be just as interesting with sessions dedicated to freelancers and students. And it would not be a social media conference without someone speaking on the importance of data and understanding social media analytics. We can’t wait! And in case you’re wondering about that WiFi,  it was fixed by the end of the day! Stay tuned for more of our coverage, LIVE from Lagos!

Black Enterprise