why you shouldn't panic about the new Instagram changes
I'll admit that when Instagram announced that posts would "soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most", my first thoughts were; uh oh. The majority of my audience are on Instagram, it's where I get the most interactions, and where my results come from. Am I not going to visible any more? I've got a small following compared to other Instagrammers, who will no doubt be at the top of the feed. Obviously, other users felt this, and petitions, letterings, you name it, did the rounds.
I'm evidently sad about this, but I knew this would happen eventually. Any app owned by Facebook is going to do what it does best; get their users used to a certain feed for years, and then suddenly change the algorithm for their benefit. But, there are ways we can come out on top of this. So, just take a deep breath, and read through some of my tips below:
- Get your audience to turn on post notifications. Or don't. It's up to you.
(Believe it or not, this post was written out before the onslaught of 'turn me on's and three little dot images this morning!)
You can ask your followers to click on the three dots by any of your pictures/your profile in the right hand corner, and to turn on their post notifications for you. This will give them an alert whenever you post, so they can't miss out on anything. I know people are in two ways about this. On one hand, it's a sure way to see accounts you don't want to miss in the new algorithm, but on the other, users might get fed up with constant notifications if you're an avid poster. Honestly, it's up to you to choose what you want your audience to do.
- Make your account unmissable.
Host giveaways or daily challenges. Give your audience a reason to turn on their notifications, or for them to regularly search you, so they don't miss today's prompt or an auction sale. Perhaps even offer an Instagram Dooms Day Discount (this is half a joke, and half not, I might actually start that).
- Interact more
Remind your audience that you still care about them, that you're so grateful that they are still looking out for you. Go to the last person who liked your last image and give them a like back. Reply to every comment if you can, and find new people to follow on the explore page.
- Most importantly, don't put all your eggs in one basket.
I always remember Lauren from Elle & Company saying a couple of months ago "If Instagram shut down tomorrow, would you still have a business? What about Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest?". At this time, it completely stopped me in my tracks, as I realised I wouldn't. I would probably no longer have a semi-successful business if Instagram closed. So, that made me get my blogging game up. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest shouldn't be a final result for your audience. Your website or blog should be. This is where your followers should be to lead to and finish for you to get real results and sales. Straight away, I created a high-quality content strategy for my blog, and have started putting more energy into that. Blogging gives people more of a reason to visit your site regularly, meaning your products + services are always under their nose. They'll think of you when a problem of theirs needs solving, as they visit you regularly.
Don't put the success of your business into the owner's of social media platform's hands. They can easily take it away from you with a change of a feed or operation. So, stop panicking, focus on blogging more, and use social media as a funnel to your website.