Instagram’s 2023 resurgence
Should IG be a pillar of your brand’s content strategy?
Social media management is just a constant cycle between “it’s so over” and “we’re so back.”
Platforms come and go. Algorithms crank and crash. The only constant is change.
And after a period of proclaiming “Instagram is dead” (especially for B2B)… I think we’re starting to see the tide shift, both objectively (in the numbers) and subjectively (how people feel).
Organic reach is back?
I’m hearing rumblings that organic reach is getting cranked up again in the Instagram algorithm.
I’m seeing accounts start to blow up seemingly overnight.
Now. To be clear. This piece isn’t a promise of immediate success on the platform. It will still take time and lots of effort to grow on Instagram, as it does on every other social platform.
But… generally speaking… IG is so back.
Ok… but why?
TikTok is on the verge of getting banned. I know it’s a polarizing topic. But a decent chunk of the marketers I’ve talked to about this topic over the past 2-3 weeks seem to think that a ban will happen.
And even if a ban is not TikTok’s destiny, there’s still a bit of hysteria on the platform. Creators and brands who have relied on the platform to build a community are scrambling to find their next move.
Instagram is the obvious next destination.
Sure. YouTube Shorts also exists. And smart creators will also give that a go (if you can crack YouTube, you win at life).
But a take I’ve see thrown around a lot recently is that the user behavior on the creator side on Instagram is much more similar to TikTok than that of YouTube.
I’d have to agree.
It’s pretty easy to spin up an Instagram page and start posting. YouTube is much more intimidating.
All that to say, my hunch is that the resurgence in organic reach is one of Instagram’s plays to capture the attention of brands and creators that are trying to find a safe haven from the TikTok apocalypse.
Now the question is…
Should Instagram be a priority for your brand?
Well, it depends. You know we like nuanced takes here.
I’m going to look at this from 2 angles:
- DTC / consumer
If you’re running social for a consumer brand…
Instagram feels like a no-brainer right now.
Odds are you’re already active on the platform and have a community there that existed priority to the TikTok hype. Now is a good time to lean back into the platform.
If your brand’s inception occurred on TikTok, and you’ve yet to tap into IG, now is a good time to spin up a page and start to siphon as much of your TT audience over there as you can (and reach new people on IG).
If you’re a TikTok-first social media manager or founder who is freaking out right now… breathe. You’re good.
You already have all the ammo you need to launch an Instagram presence. Just start by repurposing your existing TikTok videos. Be sure to remove the TikTok watermark (this gets you in trouble with the algorithm), and you’re all set.
Someone who’s done a fantastic job of this is Oren John. He posts videos on product design and building brands, and recently started to blow up on TikTok.
Amidst the TikTok ban discussion, he started to go harder on IG and has racked up almost 60K followers (and is growing rapidly). Great account to study.
Also, check out Sophie from Pretty Little Marketer for an example of an account that’s growing primarily with static content (carousels) over video (Reels).
Reels are no longer the only way to run up an IG following — though they are still powerful and should be used if you or your team is comfortable on camera.
If you’re running social for a B2B company…
Twitter and LinkedIn should still be your primary platforms. The organic reach on both is still good, and your target audience spends a ton of time over there.
They’re also in the right frame of mind while on the platform. Someone is going to be more open to hearing about your software or agency while scrolling LinkedIn than they are on Instagram.
That said. If you have Twitter and LinkedIn on lock, and you have the resources on your team to layer in a 3rd platform, Instagram could be a play.
During my time at Triple Whale, we saw IG emerge as a dark horse 3rd platform behind Twitter and LinkedIn.
Pro tip here. Even if IG is not a main platform for your company, still have it up to date with a proper bio, profile pic, and a few pieces of content — especially if you’re running ads.
You want to look ‘legit’ when people land on your page from a FB or IG ad.
TLDR? As a B2B company, Instagram is worth considering, but don’t rush into it.
I’m happy to see the Instagram resurgence underway — and you should be, too.
The path from Instagram → sales is more much straightforward than the path from TikTok → sales.
This shift is also a great reminder of why you need to have your finger on the pulse as a marketer or founder.
To reiterate: the only constant is change.
Be open to new platforms (or old ones making a comeback).
I’ll be taking my own advice and funneling some more time and effort into the Social Files Instagram account in the coming weeks.
Follow along here to see how I’m approaching it.