News broke this week on the Instagram for Business page that pretty soon there will be a new Instagram algorithm.  It’s no surprise, given that Facebook owns Instagram, and Facebook’s feed along with Twitter’s new feed is based on an algorithm curated by content you’re most likely to enjoy or interact with.  Instagram states that “people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds”, and as Instagram has grown and as we follow more and more accounts, it gets harder and harder to see the content produced by the people we follow, unless you’re like me and are on Instagram all day long :D.

Although this change can potentially be a good one, the reactions I’m seeing are “I just started really building my following on IG. Now I will be back down in the bottom again”, and “this does present an issue, one I am not happy to see. My following is small so… There is a large chance nothing will be seen”.  I think this will force people to be even more mindful about what they post, focusing more on quality images, stronger captions, and a better strategy overall.  This is something I’ve been focusing on for a very long time, so I’m ready for the change, but for those who are not, I’ve got some great and actionable recommendations that will help make a difference once these changes are in full force.  For now, Instagram is testing out these changes to less than 10% of the users, so we have some time to prepare before the new Instagram algorithm is rolled out globally.  Here’s what you can do to prepare for the changes.

How to deal with the new Algorithm:

Focus on your Visual Strategy.

Visual marketing is only getting more and more important, as evidenced by the rise of visual platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, and Facebook rolling out Facebook Live.

Photos, graphics, and videos are way easier for the brain to process than text, and we process visual information 60,000 times faster than we do text!  If you weren’t before, you will now really need to focus on the types of images you’re posting to Instagram, to ensure you get engagement (likes and comments) on your posts, because that will be part of the algorithm that determines whether your post will be at the top of people’s feeds.

If you’re wondering what sort of images get the most engagement, I’ve put together a list of impressive statistics from research I’ve read over the last few months that will tell you just that. Click here to get the list.

Post at optimal times.

With the new Instagram algorithm, you want to try to catch people when they’re on the platform. If you’ve converted to a business account, you’ll be able to view your best times to post each day of the week by tapping on the graph icon next to the gear icon, then tapping “see more” on the Followers section, then if you scroll down you’ll see the days of the week when your followers are most active, along with what time each day.  Here’s a post I wrote about figuring out when is the best time for you to post.

Encourage Engagement.

The new Instagram algorithm is based on a variety of factors, namely how important/valuable Instagram deems your post to be, and the more likes and comments you get, the more Instagram will show your post to your followers and other people.  Comments are more important than likes, and the way to get more comments is to include a call to action in every single post.  A call to action can include an open ended question, a suggestion to tag friends in the comments, or have people “fill in the blank _______ in the comments below”.

Use hashtags.

The best way to get more people to see your posts is by using relevant hashtags that apply to your post or your account.  Hashtags are not only a way to categorize your posts, hashtags are used by people to search for posts, or to build community.  The most hashtags you can use is 30, and I suggest you use all of them.  Here is an in-depth blog post that I wrote on how to optimize your hashtags, how to “hide” them so they’re less distracting and spammy, and even how to make it to the top posts section, which will help you outsmart the new Instagram algorithm even further.

Those are just a few ways that you can deal with the new Instagram algorithm and make sure your posts are seen.  What are some other ways you’ve dealt with the algorithm changes? Go to my last Instagram post and let me know in the comments there.

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