Instagram is not new, but media companies of all shapes and sizes have been rushing to Instagram in 2018. Changes and challenges with Facebook’s algorithm have partly driven the push, but it’s also because IG continues to surge in popularity with audiences.
Instagram has long been known as the “positive” social network and local media companies have done well to leverage a strategy that emphasizes “pride of place.” Audiences will follow you if they look at your account and think to themselves, “this is why I live here.”
Of course, news brands also feel a responsibility for actually covering the news and presenting information that’s more important than a pretty sunset. “The trick is to balance the two,” says Lila King, Instagram’s head of news partnerships. “Do something that is deeply tied to what you stand for, being a pillar, a voice for the community. But also covering what’s happening.”
Yes, breaking news can work in Instagram, but should be done selectively. For example, KABC in LA saw a nice boost in referral traffic from this post. But if you look through the rest of the station’s feed, you will notice that its 220,000 followers receive a mix of content that leans heavily toward “pride of place” with situational breaking news sprinkled throughout.
Instagram has become a more complex platform in recent months, with Live, Stories and the new IGTV confusing what previously was a relatively simple play. Given that, we thought it would be timely to offer an Instagram reset with some recommendations for how best to leverage IG.