Holy moly the world has exploded on IG.
While we’ll have to wait with baited breath to let this change unfold, I’m here to say let’s not worry or spend any more time trying to change it. Change happens – in fact, its the only thing that’s constant in this world and the fast moving world of tech and apps is certainly at the forefront.
Here’s the main reason I don’t think you should be worried – it’s unlikely your followers used to see all your posts anyway. (whaaa?) Instagram shows a limited number in everyone’s feed, so if they don’t check every day or follow a ton of accounts, it’s likely they missed some posts already. Have you ever scrolled through eve.rrry.thing. only to get to the bottom and be like what? I’m not done yet! IG why am I done? Yep. you’ve reach the limit. Turns out it does exist Katy. Also, your posts are not “going away” they just may be shown later on in someone’s scroll.
Here’s What You Can Do Instead of Panic about the Instagram Algorithm Change:
1. SHOW YOUR TOP SUPPORTERS LOTS OF LOVE
Lavish extra attention on those that engage with you. This can be a great way to create relationships with your customers and build trust + loyalty in your business. Simple manners can easily win customers and turn them into fans.
2. ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE WITH OTHERS
The more you engage and get out there, the more likely others will come to your page and do the same. Don’t go out pandering, but if you like something – stop and say it! Pay the compliment. If nothing else, this change is forcing us to wake up and remember why social media started… to connect with others.
3. INCLUDE A CTA (CALL TO ACTION) IN EVERY POST
A simple ask that encourages sharing / tagging / commenting / liking makes a huge difference. Social media is really just a big conversation with others. And isn’t a conversation with someone new really a few questions back + forth to get to know each other?
4. RESPOND TO COMMENTS!
Ohh I see this far too often. (And have occasionally been guilty myself!) If someone takes the time to leave a comment or ask a question, it’s even more important than before – ya know, besides just good manners – to respond. The more YOU interact back with a fan the more likely they’d be to return, leave comments in the future and rave about you. But… be sure you’re doing it the right way by encouraging a conversation, not just saying “thanks!”, you can read more ideas on how to continue the conversation in this post.
To help you manage comments:
You can use Iconosquare if you’re having difficulty keeping up in your feed (yay! which means you must be doing something right!)
Go to Iconosquare > Manage > Comment Tracker. You can mark as read and reply directly to comments from the site.
Not yet with Iconosquare? They’re a fantastic resource for learning more about your followers, finding the best time to post, and reviewing your engagement rates. (think: which image received the most engagement over the past 30 days?) If you’re interested, save 20% off the yearly plan with my affiliate link. Just $43.20 for a yearly Plus plan.
5. GET YOUR IG GAME STRAIGHT
This is the most straightforward answer to addressing the change. Create great content that your audience loves and can’t get enough of. Now is not the time to be lazy and post crappy pictures taken in a dark room. #sorrynotsorry If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out this post on creating a cohesive Instagram feed. or sign up for the Find Your Feed challenge!
Discover your brand's Instagram theme!
Find your Feed with this free, 3-day email challenge.
At the end of 3 days, you'll walk away:
- with a clear vision of your feed's brand colors
- knowing the exact types of images you want to create
- with your own cohesive 9-grid template to follow
6. USE HASHTAGS
I went in depth on this topic here, but hashtags will become increasingly more important to help connect you to your ideal customer. It’s likely some current followers will miss out on a post or two if they haven’t recently been engaging; so by driving additional likes/comments through a new audience, it’ll show Instagram your post is relevant and ‘boost’ it to those followers.
If you want to really step up your game, grab your copy of the Hashtag Discovery Workbook.
7. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO BE MORE SOCIAL
Use scheduling apps like Latergramme to help you schedule out your posts in advance, so your daily time can be spent interacting/liking and responding to comments. That’s just one of the many benefits of scheduling your social media. (grab your first 10 posts free with link here)
8. STEP UP YOUR INTERNAL SITE
Overall, let’s use this “scare” as a lesson to not be left with all our eggs in one basket! (#easterjokes). Social media is a TOOL to drive traffic to your shop to make SALES. You are not in a popularity contest. Brainstorm ways to bring customers back to your site, which means they’re one step closer to clicking that purchase button.
Okay Kate, but how? Well…let’s chat below!
9. BLOG WITH RENEWED INTENTION
Give your audience a reason to click over and read longer content, see more pictures, or get access to blog only features. Here are a few ideas to get started. Also as you develop better blog content, you can direct readers from your blog back to your Instagram! Although there may be some crossover, you’re likely attracting some new + different people on each platform so you’ll be expanding your reach!
10. USE THE LINK IN YOUR INSTAGRAM BIO TO DRIVE EMAIL SIGN UPS
Give away little freebies in exchange for email addresses. It’s said it takes 7 touch points until a customer purchases, so they may not be ready to purchase immediately after finding your Instagram. But a little freebie or a discount code? Sure, they’ll sign up for that. Encouraging more email sign ups leads to a larger list you can talk to directly in their inbox – which is really powerful! Email has proved to be a high converting sales tool and some studies show emails prompt purchases at least 3x more than social media.
If you’re having difficulty converting your Instagram traffic back to your website, I shared a new tool that helps get visitors back to your site in one click. Plus increases your conversion rates and sends customers exactly where you want them to go. (Did I mention you also wouldn’t have to keep updating your “link in bio”?)
11. GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
If you want to be on top of your Instagram game, you need to know your customer so you can create things that will inspire her (or motivate or educate or encourage…). She’s probably checking Instagram during the line at Starbucks, or waiting to board a plane, or maybe in between picking up the kids. Going over an in-depth customer exercise is so important for creating your Instagram foundation and setting yourself up for success and is one of the first areas we tackle in IG90: Creative Instagram Plans. What would excite her? What would help her escape for a few minutes? What would solve a problem (big or small!) that she’s facing?
ONE THING *NOT* TO DO:
Ask for everyone to turn on post notifications. (No worries if you have…just maybe consider the flip side) Can you imagine if you turned notifications on for even 10 of your favorite accounts? That’s probably 10-15 times A DAY you’d be pinged and interrupted. That’s not the point here babes. Also, we all need to remember that most individuals on Instagram aren’t in “business” – they like to follow pretty things, be inspired and stay up to date with their friends. Now imagine if they turn on notifications for 10 favorite businesses, plus their besties, plus their crush, plus their mom. COME ON. That’s too much.
Lastly, I think this is a big lesson for us all that change on platforms will always be there. And ultimately, every change lately has been geared towards the “end user”. Instagram wants us to find what’s most important to us first, Facebook wants to only show those posts you interact with and care about. Google wants long-form, good ass content. Let’s stop trying to game the system. Don’t worry about algorithms and how to out smart it. Sorry, but we all probably won’t be outsmarting Google’s engineers anytime soon.
Instead, focus on what they are – the customer, the end user, your audience. Give them more of what they want and you’ll be rewarded with more views and posts showing up higher on their feeds.