So Instagram keeps changing its algorithm and everyone is freaking out…
Now what? Well first, let this be proof that you need your own platform (i.e. a blog) because no matter how many times a platform changes, you will always have this space that is owned AND controlled by YOU. That being said, you still need Instagram for engagement, exposure, and promotion because that’s where everyone’s at!
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve seen a downward spiral in growth, likes, and comments (because I have too). But rather than being upset about the changes that keep arising, why not play by the rules? You can’t control what goes on behind the scenes, so change what you can control…
If you’re looking to beat the Instagram algorithm the right way, here are some tips to get you started:
Interact and engage!
Despite the swap from chronological to algorithm back in 2016, Instagram has remained true to one thing: Authentic interaction and engagement. And that doesn’t mean receiving one or two word comments like “so pretty” let alone heart eye emojis. The platform is looking for thoughtful conversations. If you haven’t already started driving conversation with your followers, it’s time you train them to interact with you. It could be through your visuals or how you present your caption… When you reply to a comment, do so in a way that stimulates a response. Maybe you ask a question or make an effort to know who your audience is by visiting their page and commenting on their photos. The sooner you respond to comments (like within the first 30 minutes), the more likely your content will be exposed.
Be more thoughtful about what you post.
Since my work and business don’t heavily rely on Instagram, my feelings are pretty neutral whenever there’s a change. But I always encourage my clients to look on the bright side. The algorithm change is an opportunity for the best to stand out! And if you’re one of the best, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s not just about a pretty photo, but a caption that provokes action whether that’s visiting your blog, sharing an opinion, or tagging a friend. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new features such as the carousel or video content!
Use your analytics.
What I love about the recent Instagram changes is the ability to see insights on every post. If my reach was 1500 versus 700 on another image, it’s time to make some changes! I don’t encourage you to obsess over the analytics on every posts but it’s probably good to check in once a month and compare your top performing ones to the bottom. Saves are another KPI to gauge whether the content you’ve posted is working or not.
Make the most of stories.
Stories is a great way to engage an audience and let them tell you what’s working or not. My favorite way of doing this is through polls! It’s so fun, interactive, and if used correctly, can tell you a lot about your audience. You can ask probing questions to determine what you need to post more and less of. Or you can take them on a journey through your day and find out what they’re interested in (i.e. workout videos or healthy recipes)!
Eva Chen said it, so you better believe it… Hashtags DO still work! I am a proponent of hashtags but make sure you steer away from copying and pasting the same ones over and over again. We all know about the infamous shadow ban – and whether or not that was real, no one really knows, but just switch it up. Also, put some research into the hashtags you use… For instance, if you only have 4k followers, you don’t want to use hashtags with 5 million posts. Stick with those under the 1 million mark and be sure that it’s been used recently. Also, create your own hashtags so that others can follow your journey.
Has the algorithm change been frustrating for you? I’ve you’ve found anything that works, be sure to share them below!