Is Instagram Dying?Jul 29, 2022
How do you like those new Instagram updates? If you're like many of the social media influencers, including the Kardashians, you don't.
A headline from CNBC on the afternoon of July 28th reads:
Instagram rolling back changes after Kardashians slammed the app for being like TikTok
That about says it all. People - influencers and regular content consumers - hate the new update.
Abby and Kim both had the most recent update, although it had not yet been rolled out to our clients. And WE ARE NOT FANS. Kim immediately started telling our clients that Instagram was at the beginning of its decline and that it was essential for everyone on IG to have a backup plan.
To be clear, we preach about back up plans All. The. Time. And we also tell our clients that they shouldn't put all their emphasis on any one platform. Social media is fickle. What is popular one minute can be old news next week.
But this felt different. We were seeing the early frustration among Instagram users - regular people who are not business people, and who don't consider themselves content creators. People wanted to see posts from their friends, post from people they've chosen to follow... the content they went to the platform to see in the first place.
A Marketer's Point of View
Marketing people speaking out on this topic tend to point to the stats that say that we are headed into a world where most content is video. Or we're reminded that Instagram says it plans to become "mostly a video" platform eventually. People point to the popularity of TikTok, and YouTube Shorts.
Yes, these are all super valid points.
However... what the marketers are forgetting is that the platforms make money from ad revenue. And there is no revenue if regular users - consumers of content - flee the platform.
If regular users don't like the user experience, they will go somewhere else. They will seek out the type of content they prefer. And that is what everyone is forgetting.
We Must Put the Audience First if We Want to Succeed as Marketers
What type of content does your audience want to consume? What platforms do they use most? What do they expect to see?
- Not all people love video.
- Some people prefer to read their content. (It can be more in-depth, can be skimmed and is generally faster)
- Some people are on social media for pictures of their grandchildren.
- Others want to stay up-to-date on their friends' lives.
- People don't come to social platforms because of the marketing / ad / influencer content.
- They are seeking information, education, and entertainment, as well as life updates and opinions and insights from people they know and care about.
With That in Mind, How Should Marketers Proceed on Social Media?
On one hand, as marketers, we need to be flexible and able to adapt our marketing plans. We have to give the algorithm what it wants. And if Instagram wants video, we need to give it video.
On the other hand, it is foolish to trust the future of our businesses to any one social platform. This should be a wake up call to anyone who isn't already sharing content on multiple platforms.
We often say, "Don't build your business on rented land," meaning that it's smart to put your efforts into the platforms you own. Instagram and TikTok could disappear (or ban you) at any time... and if your livelihood is dependent on your posts showing up in the feeds' of your customers, this is bad news.
- Posting in as many places as you can with the time and resources you have available, tailoring your content to what your audience expects to find on that platform.
- Building an email list (FAST!) if you don't have one yet.
- This can be built with a weekly or monthly newsletter, (subscribe to ours at the bottom of this page)
- Free downloads like checklists, ebooks, guides, checklists
- Private podcasts or audio events
- Webinars, workshops, challenges... and more!
- (Stay tuned for more from us on the topic of building your list!)
- Starting a podcast. Podcasting is one of the best ways to build credibility and connection with your audience. You probably won't get immediate results, but it's a reliable place where your audience can seek you out.
- And thinking of your website as a media channel. Make it robust! Include resources. Make it a destination for your audience.
By doing these things, you take the control back. Your business success isn't dependent on the social media changes of the week. And, you always have a reliable way to reach out to your audience and build connection.
Podcast Episode: Is Instagram Dying?
We recently did a podcast episode called "Is Instagram Dying?" before the latest rounds of Instagram updates were released. You can listen on Apple Podcasts here, and on Spotify here. As well as anywhere you listen to podcasts - and on the embedded player below:
Podcast Episode: Is Instagram Killing Your Business?
In this podcast episode, we talk about Instagram's updates at the end of July, the near-hysteria that took place as the pending social media apocalypse was upon us... and the recommendations we have for creators and business owners.
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