How To Beat Instagram's New Algorithm - Why You Need To Know
BY SHANA LYNN YAO
Algorithm updates - they happen so often that you almost want to ignore them...that is until you realize that NOT knowing and applying these important updates to your own Instagram marketing will keep you STUCK, NOT growing, and buried in a feed of millions of other posts.
But these updates are hard to ignore as they are stealing your Instagram experience, keep you from your followers, and resulting in feeling unliked and not knowing why.
So as an update on "How To BYPASS the Instagram Algorithm" post, please read this post carefully and apply it as soon as possible. At first glance it will seem as though Instagram is against you and trying to steal your insta-joy - but THANKFULLY - Instagram really wants to create an authentic and more valuable connection for you and your followers. Many of these new changes are to avoid comment bots, Instagram "pod" comment groups, and other previous sneaky tricks used by people to NOT work. (yay!)
Unfortunately, to get them not to work, it involves you having to work a little more. But in all good fun. After all, anything worth the result is worth the work to get there.
INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM UPDATES 2018
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Your presence and attention is required - at least up to an hour after you post. Instagram actually times your response to comments up to 60 minutes after you post. They are now rewarding posts with a lot of like and comments right after posting AND your interaction back with users.
Of note, this means, if your post is at a bad time for your followers or is not eye catching enough so it does not inspire likes and comments, you will drop to the bottom of the feed.
Again, Instagram is trying to make the insta experience enjoyable for everyone. That means writing quality posts and posting quality photos that stay on brand matters. Instagram will be favoring posts that people spend a longer time on (they are watching you!). This means you now need to "train" your audience to READ your instablog in the post.
This is something most inexperienced entrepreneur's miss. Marketing is a creative art - and anything that is new, that isn't a typical behavior that you want your following to do, requires you "training" them on what you want them to do. In actuality, while it sounds demeaning, it's actually the most respectful way to view your marketing. It's the best way to get them to read and view your valuable content, programs, and hard work. You are in it to help people, and helping them understand how they can achieve their own motivations through you is called MEANINGFUL MARKETING.
This requires you to be:
3. Relevant - to what is going on in their lives and minds
One of the best/worst algorithm updates is the new rules on hashtag usage. Due to the sort of "spammy" look of posting up to 30 hashtags in your post and/or in the comments below is now going to work AGAINST YOU. If you do that - post the hashtags in the comments below the post, Instagram will ding you and move you DOWN the algorithm. #WTF
This makes me secretly happy, since everyone does it, don't we kind diminish the use of hashtags overall? Additionally, I THINK in hashtags, so one of the BEST algorithm hashtag changes is Instagram rewarding people that use relevant hashtags in the post. That means you're #ingoodcompany and #givenpriority if you speak "hashtag".
Just don't go overboard. 5-10 in one post, only a few in the caption and then post the rest IN THE POST below it.
Additionally, the hashtags in the post need to be relevant to the post and not the same one used over and over again in all of your other posts.
FOLLOW relevant hashtags - this actually (surprisingly) adds you to a queue to possibly get shown on people's pages that aren't following you as a suggested account to follow.
ALSO - think before you hashtag. Users can now unfollow you based on your HASHTAG!
ENGAGEMENT MEANS ENGAGED
Have you ever seen the spammy "Nice shot!" or emoji comments populating your post? Gone are the days of those things mattering. Thankfully Instagram wants you to actually CARE about your words and will only count engagement that is over 4 words (not emojis either) to weed out these bots.
That means your post should be engagING.
Conversations. Real and genuine. Actually posting because you have something to say.
I know, what a concept. And if you decide to be the authentic person you are - to care more about quality over quantity, Instagram will take note. Don't post just to post. Create a story of your page.
Your brand aesthetic MATTERS. Be sure to know your brand colors. How to make your "insta magazine" look like a story board. You will attract and get more people to follow you if you give them something that is worthy of their follow.
The new Instagram algorithm LOVES people who love Instagram. This means HAVE FUN! Use the features (gifs in stories, different type modes) to create more engaging stories. And use stories! If there is one way to really get your followers engaged, it's through stories. They are a great way to show your true colors, and keep them coming back for more
Who would have guessed - authenticity SELLS. It's the most heartfelt and genuine way to grow and build a brand that makes a difference in your life and the lives of others.
NOTE: I have not tested this yet so be sure to monitor your own analytics
Shana Yao is a Branding & Marketing Strategist, with over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive. She works with high achieving clients to empower them to own their expertise so they can make a bigger impact in the world, with a signature business that reflects their personal style. She is host of the Marketing Made Meaningful podcast on ITunes, dog mom, and lover of life. You can find her at the coolest coffee shops in LA working on her mission, or connect with her on her favorite social media app, Instagram (of course!) @total_genius