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In 2010, Instagram launched as a photo sharing app, and within two months it gathered one million users. Now with more than 600 million active users, Instagram is more popular than ever. Its initial goal was to make photo sharing easy, but Instagram has come a long way since then. After many ups and downs, including its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram soon plans to make massive changes. What will the Instagram algorithm changes mean for your law firm and many other businesses who use Instagram? Read on to find out more about Instagram algorithm changes and how they will impact your law firm’s marketing.
Why Attorneys Use Instagram
A recent report suggests that hundreds of lawyers and law firms use Instagram as part of a marketing plan. Consider the following facts:
- Around 25% of attorneys use Instagram
- Some law firms have more than 10K followers and see large engagement
- Lawyers are using Instagram to share relevant content that gets liked and shared
- Half of the top twenty U.S. law firms use Instagram
Attorneys are finding it profitable to use Instagram, even while remembering best practices that govern legal professionals who operate on any social media channel. Instagram helps law firms build brand awareness and authority. The platform also facilitates retargeting, which nudges potential clients to remember the name of a law firm. Finally, Instagram can offer big results for a relatively small investment.
Four Key Instagram Algorithm Changes
In the summer of 2021, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, shared plans for changing up Instagram and moving it away from its roots, when he said on video, “We’re no longer a photo-sharing app.” Mosseri plans to propel Instagram into more video sharing and expand its use as a shopping app. Competing with Tik Tok and YouTube and other social media channels has likely prompted some of the four key changes that are just ahead.
Before you completely freak out, it is important to understand that any specific Instagram algorithm changes are still vague and cloudy at best. It is likely that Instagram will still allow photos, but will place a higher priority on videos, which have been popularized by other social media platforms. Here are some possible Instagram algorithm changes we could likely see in the future.
Instagram’s first priority is to help content creators monetize the platform with new and improved features. The goal is to move focus from institutions to individuals across various places throughout the world. At the end of the day, Instagram needs to compete with other visual platforms such as TikTok and YouTube and making these changes will ensure that Instagram remains competitive. Therefore, as the Instagram social media platform moves from a photo sharing app to a video sharing app, they will remain competitive. Remember, at the end of the day, Instagram is attempting to shift the power to individuals as creators and influencers and allow them to monetize their profile on this platform.
Second in line is a focus on growing video use, since video is uber popular on all major social platforms now. Mosseri says that Instagram will be experimenting with how the platform can use video more expansively as content. The increased video content will definitely try to be mobile by default, immersive, and entertaining. The app is also expanding full screen video, where now it only exists on IGTV. Instagram is also adding features that look similar to concepts already seen on Tik Tok videos.
Another area that Instagram will revamp and expand on is shopping. The global pandemic shifted shopping online in huge ways, and Instagram wants to grab onto this trend.
The fourth major area that Instagram will explore is messaging, since this is how people usually connect with friends on the app. The last five years have seen a shift to greater use of DMs on the Instagram platform.
There are even more changes that are occurring with the Instagram algorithm changes including the following:
- Exclusive stories. Instagram is currently testing a new feature called Exclusive Stories, which allows creators to post unique content to their IG stories that only fans and subscribers can view. Users would need to pay a subscription fee to access this content.
- Collectibles. Instagram is exploring the display of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in a feature called Collectibles. This feature showcases NFTs on someone’s Instagram profile, so that others may potentially purchase them.
- Algorithm changes will include video recommendations on users’ feeds — even from people they do not currently follow.
- Greater focus on transparency. Instagram plans to expand transparent communication, keeping the public informed of ongoing plans.
Instagram Algorithm Changes Are Inevitable
Businesses that fall within a competitive industry like social media need to stay competitive. Instagram has flexed with the competition before, such as its Instagram Stories addition in response to Snapchat’s version. Reels, a shopping hub, longer videos, and the testing of exclusive stories are all strangely familiar, as other social platforms like Twitter, Tik Tok and Clubhouse have implemented similar strategies and mimicked one another. Change in social media is inevitable, but that does not mean that everyone will like the new changes. Some will embrace the newness, and some will move on to the next new social media trend.
If you are a personal or business Instagram user you may or may not appreciate the upcoming changes. Those who use the platform for simple photo sharing may find the new Instagram overloaded with obstructing extras. Although some creators may revel in the add-ons, consumers and companies may feel like the platform is trying to be everything to everyone. However, your law firm may find that the changes fit perfectly into your goals and the increased options may offer you a variety of exciting new possibilities.
Your Law Firm and Social Media: A Quick Review
Most law firms see the value of using social media in their marketing strategy. However, those who use it find the greatest success when they have a definite plan in mind. Your law firm’s plan needs to consider its brand, audience, goals, and practice area before choosing the social media platforms that work best and deliver the greatest ROI (return on investment). Here are some basic steps to consider when planning a social media strategy.
Follow the Rules
Confirm that your law firm team members understand the responsibilities that legal professionals have when it comes to marketing, including social media posts. Check out your state regulations and ethics guidelines when it comes to what you can say and what you should avoid saying in your posts.
Zero in on Your Goals
Outline what you hope to achieve by using social media. More clients? Increased website traffic? Brand awareness? Make realistic goals for your social media use.
Remember to Research
Take a peek at what competitors in your practice area are doing with social media. Note what works for them. You can also follow influencers within the legal arena to understand what is working. Share their content and engage with their audience to get your name out there.
While it is tempting to dive in with both feet and join every social media platform, start a podcast and join groups, it is best to start small. Your time is precious, and if you are a solo or small law firm, you most likely do not have a full time social media staffer. Besides the time factor, you may want to test the waters to see what works best for your unique audience. Some lawyers use Tik Tok effectively, but is that where your ideal clients hang out?
Produce Top Content
The content you provide is one of the biggest keys to success, and it takes time to produce it. Consider repurposing your great content or hire a content company that specializes in quality legal content. Scheduling your posts with an online scheduling tool will make social media management easier for everyone involved.
How Law Quill Can Help
If your law firm uses Instagram, you will face massive Instagram algorithm changes in the near future. Depending on your unique brand, practice and business goals, these changes can be great news, or possibly a reason to go elsewhere. Be sure to stay up to date on the latest news with Instagram, and consider how your law firm could possibly utilize the changes to bring greater benefits to your business.
Law Quill now provides content for all social media platforms! We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at [email protected]