The shifting sands of Instagram.

Leave yesterday’s strategy where it belongs: in the past.

Remember when Instagram was nothing but pictures and captions in a chronological feed? Those simple days of pre-algorithmic social media feel long, long ago (and in a social network far, far away– anyone else remember a time before you knew what a hashtag was? We’re dating ourselves.). Since day one, Instagram and its ilk have worked tirelessly to develop new product features and behind-the-scenes strategies to keep their users engaged, creating, and scrolling. As soon as you think you’ve cracked the code and see that encouraging boost in engagement, your numbers plummet again, seemingly inexplicably. What gives?

Just three years ago, photography and long-form video by way of IGTV were key to a successful Instagram strategy. Then everyone had to #stayhome and all that #quarantineandchill time led to an explosion in IG Lives. We learned how to stretch, cook, write, and dance with our favorite influencers as they broadcast from their curated kitchens and bedrooms. TikTok went from Gen Z’s app to everyone’s new go-to for short-form content, leading Instagram to follow suit with Reels.

Short-form video reigns supreme… for now.

With each shiny new thing, the game changes. Audiences want to devour content that feels up-to-date. In the feedback loop of the ever-changing algorithm, the platforms prioritize what the people want, and as the people engage with that new trendy content, it continues to get pushed to the top of the stack. Until the next trend.

This constant state of change is why social media strategies must be nimble enough to evolve in real time alongside the platforms. The strategy you learned from a keynote in 2018 or an article last year is not enough to keep pace with what the current trends dictate. There’s no one-and-done plan with social: it requires constant tweaks and adjustments, and above all, it requires actively listening, watching, and engaging with the platforms to feel the shifts as they happen, so you can be on the edge of the next trend.

Sounds like a lot of social media activity you’re not excited to add to your to-do list? We’ve built our business on having our finger on the pulse of what’s now and next for social media. We’re in it every day, doing that consistent listening, watching, and engaging so that our clients can focus on the parts of their business where they create the most value. If you’re not dying to get in the weeds for your business’s social media strategy, you don’t have to: let’s chat.