Ahhh Social Media. It can be a real love-hate relationship sometimes. It seems to be that just when you get the hang of something, everything changes. The rules are rewritten and you have to learn the game all over again.
Looking ahead to 2023 though, the big theme for Instagram definitely sounds like something I can get around. Yes it will mean a little shift in thinking as to how we approach the app, but in my view it's all for a good cause and I am here for it. The big theme for 2023 is all about...
"Bringing people together over the things that they love."
Underpinning this big idea are three key areas of focus that will define how the app is designed and updated.
Let's dive into each and talk about what they mean for you as a business owner.
ONE. INSPIRE PEOPLE TO BE CREATIVE
Instagram has always been a place of creativity. Even in it's early days when it was just a simple photo-sharing app, there was still a big focus on sharing images that were beautiful and captivating. Although the type of content we share now is a lot more varied - think reels, carousels, graphics, etc - we continue to see a push towards self-expression, individuality, and content that really stands out from the crowd.
As a business owner, think about what makes your brand truly different and use this as the basis for your content. Your brand's quirks, personality, people, language and visual style are what sets it apart, and all of these things should be fed into what you share.
Jump on trends, sure - but do your own thing just as much.
Be bold with your brand and let it shine in every post.
Think outside the box and don't be afraid try new things.
TWO. HELP PEOPLE DISCOVER THE THINGS THEY LOVE
What you see in your feed might change a little due to this very focus point. Instagram wants to connect you with the things you love. As a user, when you engage with certain content types and themes (like them, share them, etc), the algorithm learns from this and will begin to feed you more content of a similar nature. The Reels section for example, is purposefully designed to help you explore and uncover new and different accounts to the ones you already follow - hence why when you're scrolling through this part of the app the majority of the content you see will be from people you don't know.
As a business owner, this is where your content strategy will be more crucial. If you're consistent with your content and create really clear themes and content pillars, this will be majorly to your advantage. The app will learn very quickly what you're about, and share your content with fresh faces who have shown an interest in the same thing.
Secondly, it may mean that those who follow you might not always see what you post because their own feed is full of more "Suggested Content". Don't stress on this though. Use it as a reason to repurpose more, squeezing as much as you can from every great piece of content you create.
Know your brand's key words and content themes, and be really clear and consistent with them.
Be open to engaging with new people.
Think about different ways to stay connected with your followers - and if you're not already, get around email and use it as a way to repurpose content from the 'gram and ensure it gets in front of your biggest fans.
THREE. SPARK CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE
Now this is something I can get around! It goes right to the heart of what social media is actually all about - being SOCIAL!! Instagram have recognised that one of their key points of differentiation is the app's ability to spark connection and conversation. Think about it - how many stories have you heard about people who meet through Instagram and end up being best friends or business partners. Changes in the future will encourage relationship-building even more, so keep an eye out for them.
As a business owner, this is pure GOLD. Instagram is not just a place for churning out content to tick the boxes. It is about sharing ideas that generate conversation. It's about establishing a digital community around your brand, one where you talk to clients, clients talk to each other, and everyone feels like they are part of something.
So when you're feeling the burden of posting, come back to this one. Think about other ways you can show up on the app. Start some DM's, respond to stories, tag your clients in content you think they'll find useful or entertaining.
Stop thinking of Instagram as a life-sucking app that drains all your energy, and start thinking of it as a place to meet and connect with the people who matter to your business.
Share meaningful content that's designed to start conversations.
Focus less on likes and more on community.
As always, if you're looking for a little more support in the social media space - I am here to help! I offer Social Media Strategies designed to help you find your voice on socials, and do them in YOUR way. Check out all the deets here.