Mary Napoleon

Instagram recently announced that they will be leveraging the same Edgerank algorithm as Facebook. This caused marketers familiar with Edgerank to lose their minds. And for good reason.

Edgerank is the formula that determines what content gets shown to you. Rather than seeing the content of every person or brand you follow, you will instead see a curated feed of the content that is the most “relevant” to you.

But Edgerank accomplishes a much more important goal for the platform itself. By moving away from a simple reverse chronological feed of content to a curated one, they are able to manipulate the organic reach for a company’s content.

This is important because the primary way these platforms make money is through ads. Ads are paid for by brands. And the best way to make brands pay for more ads is to decrease the percentage of users they can reach through their organic content efforts.

This playbook has been executed by Facebook, and Instagram is about to go in the same direction.

Above is a chart showing user interactions with brands as a percentage of a brand’s followers, by platform. As you can see, Instagram is making the same descent that the platforms before it have made. It is reasonable to assume that organic reach on Instagram will reach sub-1% within the next 12 months.

Social platforms definitely have their place in your marketing puzzle. But as a tool to reliably and consistently communicate with your audience without paying for it they leave a lot to be desired. You have to pay to get fans, and then you have to pay every time you want to reach them.

There’s a better way. Rather than perpetually renting your audience from these large platforms, you can leverage these platforms and drive them to a community that you own. One that gives you total transparency into engagement, direct access to your customers, and no fear of being nickels and dimed every time you want to say something.

To learn more about how to create a community you own, grab our white paper on Owning the Network below.

Own The Network: Creating the Go-To Online Community For Your Industry

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