Instagram tends to be most people's favorite social media app. But that might change with last Tuesday's announcement. Instagram is moving to an algorithm based feed. What does that mean? Well, as this New York Times article states, it basically means posts you regularly like and posts with more engagement get seen first. It will no longer be chronological order, but instead “best posts” (aka posts with more engagement, come first. The algorithm is showing you posts based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content.
Ummm… this is a HUGE change. At first I was kind of mad. I mean, I like that Instagram is a seemingly “untouched” social platform. One where I could scroll through to see and like all my best friends photos. I'll be honest I have Instagram FOMO (fear of missing out), or really Instagram FONL – fear of not liking. I really really like going through my feed and liking photos, especially those I'm close to. I like show them hey, I see what you're up to, and I LIKE that. Maybe this is a weird, irrational thing to do, but it's who I am so deal with it.
Anyway, Instagram is ch-ch-changing. Much like Facebook, they are claiming they just can't show you everything. So, think of it like this, you know when you search Google and the top articles come up first? Think of it like that, plus whoever you engage with most.
Here's my issue, this puts emphasis on those that get the most likes and engagement already. So, basically, Instagram is telling you to step your Instagram game up if you want to be seen.
Oh, and you should probably follow me on Instagram @heleneinbetween. I'm a real riot. No really, I think I am actually fun on Insta.
Now I know you might be worried that no one's going to see your picture of your wine glass filled to the brim, or your precious angel dog who accidentally got on your bed, or your perfect #flatlay of your desk and planner and hand (oh, maybe that's just me) but don't worry. We are in this together!
To help, here are 10 mistakes you're making on Instagram, and how to fix them.
1. You don't use hashtags
You guys, if you aren't using hashtags you're missing out on potential likers and followers. It's just silly not to use them. Quicksprout found that users who use 11 or more get 80% more engagement (GASP!). FYI, The max you can use is 30. Some of my favorites? #photosinbetween #thatsdarling #abmlifeiscolorful. Check out this awesome collection of hashtags and even more hashtags.
2. Your Profile is Private
Do you want to be found online? If you're only using Instagram for personal reasons, sure, a private account makes sense. But if you'd like to use Instagram to gain engagement, take it off private. RIGHT NOW! If I can't see who you are or what you do, why follow you?
3. Over Filtering
You know those pictures you take that have like 25 filters and suddenly green looks orange? Stop doing that. I want to see what you really see. EDIT don't filter.
4. No relevant Bio Info
Your bio is kind of like your about page of your blog. But, it's front and center. It gives potential followers a taste of what you're all about. So fill it out and tell me something of substance.
5. No Call to Action
Not all your pictures need a call to action, but every now and then, tell me what you want from me already! Want me to click the link in your bio? Do you have a sale going on? Let me know!
6. You're always using someone else's content
Oh you didn't take that picture? Yeah, we can tell. Curating a pretty aesthetic for your Instagram is so important and really really hard to do when you're always using other's photos. The whole point of Instagram is to be yourself and showcase YOUR life! P.S. you can run into copyright problems here too.
7. You never post
Consistency is key when it comes to Instagram. Don't forget to post! This is the single best way to gain followers on Instagram. Keep us in the loop of what's going on! Studies show that most brands post an average of 1.5 times a day to get the most engagement. I'm not saying you need to do that, but you do need to post often.
8. You post A LOT
Back to back to back instas are just too much. We get it, you're doing something really cool. If you feel the urge to send multiple pictures, head over to Instagram's best friend, Snapchat.
9. You post low quality pics
Here's the deal, you can post awesome things, what you're doing, where you're going, what you're working on, but we don't wanna see grainy pics. SORRY! I'm not saying everything needs to be perfect, but it should be a pic that I can see what's happening.
10. You don't include ME
No, I don't mean my face. I mean, you're not including your followers in on what's going on. Show me behind the scenes or give me an exclusive! Make me feel like I'm part of YOUR story.
Basically, the point of Instagram isn't just followers. It's about engaging the viewer. My online class, Instagram for Success, does just that. It teaches you how to grow online, and not just gain followers, but gain an engaged Instagram (which means you'll be those top posts!) And yes, even with the grand changes Instagram is making, you have a team backing you up and helping you along the way!
The Ultimate Instagram Checklist
A free 12 step guide to ensure you succeed with Instagram every time you post.