How to Prepare for the New Instagram Algorithm
Did you hear the news?! Instagram announced it is rolling out a new algorithm and it's all about engagement! Everything is going to be different! EVERYONE PANIC!!!
Ok... Seriously... Don't panic.
Change is the only constant in life, so we shouldn't be surprised that this is happening. When the announcement was made a couple months ago, everyone got all up in arms that Instagram was losing its cool, messing things up, and even becoming irrelevant. Trust me: the change didn't make me happy either; but I learned that if I wanted to keep using IG (which I love and heavily rely on for my business), I would have to learn to adapt and prepare for what's coming.
At the end of the day, Instagram is a business. If they want to change things up, we just have to suck it up, adapt, and move on. Do I like all the (sometimes horrible) changes some social media platforms have made over the years? HELLLLL NO! But I learn and find ways to modify what I'm currently doing in order to be successful for what is to come. That's our job as entrepreneurs!
It's like all the times Facebook has changed things up on us (Why, FB?! Whyyy?). We all effing hate it, but we adjust and proceed. Well, it's time to adjust and proceed, everyone! The New Instagram Algorithm is here and we might as well do what we can to prepare for it. Here are 4 steps you can use to prepare for the "New Instagram."
Step 1: Rebuild Your Foundation
The new IG is all about engagement, right? Well, here's the secret... None of that matters if you're not starting out with a solid foundation to begin with. So the first step is to rebuild your foundation. What do I mean by that? Assess what the heck you're doing with your profile and make sure it is top level.
Check out this post with steps to creating an unforgettable profile, or just see the abridged version here:
- Have an easy-to-find name: Instagram's search capabilities are a lot stronger than we think, so make sure your name is easy to read, easy to find, and easy to type. No crazy characters, emojis, or other jumbled up things like using the number 0 instead of the letter O.
- Use a killer profile picture: This is what everyone will see as a representation of you whenever they open up Instagram. Make it professional, have your face in it, and be cohesive with the rest of your content.
- Create an informational bio: Your bio is like your welcome mat, so make sure you provide good-to-know information in there so people know what you're all about and what to expect from your profile. ALWAYS include a URL or call to action!
- Develop an AMAZING cover story: Make sure your photos are cohesive with your theme, you're using the same editing techniques, and you're not straying off topic. You can read more about how to create a stellar cover story here in this post.
Step 2: Optimize Your Posts
If you want people to engage with your content, you need to give them something to talk about. There are millions of people around the world uploading content to Instagram every day, so how are you standing out? Are you doing simple things within your posts to encourage and enhance engagement? Optimize your posts with everything you can in order to get people talking!
Confused on how to make that happen? Here you go:
- Have f'ing awesome content: If you're not putting out stellar content, why would someone want to engage with you? Make sure you are posting consistent and cohesive content that your audience will enjoy. Evoke emotions whenever possible, or use simple photography techniques like the rule of thirds. Try out new angles of things that people have never seen before.
- Carefully craft your captions: Successful captions get user engagement, so don't overlook your captions! Guide the people into doing what you want them to do. Throw in things or calls to action like "comment below," "tag a friend," "click the link in my bio," or "like this pic" to encourage engagement. Don't have your caption be an afterthought! Use it to your advantage.
- Use targeted add-ons: In my lingo, targeted add-ons are anything that you can add on to the post that doesn't actually include the picture/video itself. Hashtags, geotags, @ mentions, tagging someone in the photo, sharing to other social platforms, etc. It increases your exposure and gets more eyeballs on your content, which is obvi what you want at the end of the day. Use them, and use them often. FYI: Just using 1 hashtag can increase your engagement 12.6%!
- BE CONSISTENT: Listen up! If you only take away 1 thing from this blog post, let it be this. Be. Consistent. Consistency is the key to success. Use the same editing techniques, the same style of photos, and don't stray away from your niche. If you're a food blogger, stick to food blogging content. Don't confuse your audience. ABC: Always be consistent.
Step 3: Take the First Step to Engagement
Did you know that you hold the key to increasing your engagement in your hands? I'm dead serious. A lot of people think that Instagram is all about sitting back and waiting for other people to engage with the awesome content that they are putting out, but really it starts with you. You can't just sit back and wait for people to come and discover your profile. You need to start being proactive about engaging with others in order to get your name out there.
Think of Instagram like a giant networking event. You wouldn't sit back and wait for people to come to you. You get out of your comfort zone and meet others first! Here are some ways to jumpstart your engagement:
- People within your reach: Whether you're an established entrepreneur or just starting out, you already have people within reach that you can start to engage with on Instagram. Do your clients, Facebook friends, or other social media followers know where to find you on IG? Make it apparent. Start by letting them know that the party is over on IG and connect with people who are easy to access--aka get the low hanging fruit.
- Accounts in your niche: This is where people don't want to put in the work to see results. You have to put yourself out there first in order to get the people to come back to you. Find accounts in your niche--whether that is through FB groups, hashtags, the Explore tab, geotags, or other forms of searching--and get involved with them. Like their stuff, comment on their pics, follow them, etc. Take some time to give support to others and they will return the favor to you!
- Your IG audience: What are you doing to maintain the trust and engagement of your current followers? Reward the people who already follow you by showing them that you appreciate the support. Comment back to their comments on your content, like their content, follow them, do a shout out and repost their stuff, etc. Share the love and keep them engaged!
- Practice Daily Habits: None of these things are a one-and-done deal. You have to practice good daily habits every day in order to see results with engagement. Read more about the daily habits you should keep on this post.
Step 4: Don't Give Up On Instagram!
A lot of hearts were breaking across the world when Instagram announced the new algorithm, myself included. I don't think the feed should change at all, but we can't give up on Instagram just because we are frustrated with it! All we need to do is adapt and readjust. I promise we'll all get through this together and come out the other end successful. If you take these steps, you're definitely heading in the right direction to prepare for the New Instagram.
Want more Instagram tips? Sign up for my FREE Instagram workshop with the link below! You'll walk away with:
A better understanding of WHY engagement is so important (it's not all about followers)
3 actionable steps to start boosting your engagement today
Bonus goodies (including a video replay) at the end to refer back to after the training!