It’s official. Starting tomorrow Instagram is changing its platform and using an algorithm that will affect what appears in your feed. Instead of the latest 150 posts showing up chronologically as they have in the past, images and media will appear in your feed based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post,” according to Instagram. Yes, this sounds a lot like Facebook and yes, you should have expected this since Facebook owns Instagram, but no, this doesn’t mean you should give up on Instagram.
As I’ve been known to say — don’t get bitter, get better.
This change will not only affect what you see in your feed, it also affects how likely your followers are to see your content. This is huge if you’re trying to use Instagram to build a personal brand or to promote your blog, book or business.
For years I used Instagram just for fun, but back in October I started an account for my personal brand and business — @seejavaciawrite — and started posting occasionally. But I will be honest with you, I’m worried I’ve done too little, too late.
But instead of throwing a virtual temper tantrum and organizing a protest and petition against Instagram, I’m going to get my feed in “formation.” Here’s how you can do the same…
Ask your followers to turn on post notifications. This way, they won’t miss your posts even if your images aren’t chosen by Emperor Algorithm. But realize you’re asking A LOT of your followers to ask them to be willing to be notified each time you post. So you’d better make it worth it for them. Explain what they’ll be missing if they miss your posts. When you miss posts from @seejavaciawrite you’re missing daily inspiration. You’re missing blog updates with valuable information to help you build your blog, brand or writing career. And you’re missing announcements about See Jane Write events, e-courses and more. And so I am asking you to turn on post notifications from @seejavaciawrite (You can do so by going to my Instagram page and clicking on the three dots in the top right hand corner of the screen and clicking “Turn on Post Notifications”) and I’m promising you that if you are a female writer or blogger, it will be worth it.
Remember the importance of consistency and creativity. I’m going to post more valuable content more often. But not too often. I don’t want to annoy you if you did turn on post notifications. My plan, starting today, is to post 3 to 4 times a day. Each day I’ll start with something to motivate you for the day. And I’ll post in the afternoon and evening either about a blog post, a See Jane Write update, or a peek into my personal life. I’m also going to work on creating more visually appealing content with better graphics and photos and I may start posting videos too.
Make better use of hashtags. Use hashtags relevant to your blog, book, business or brand. Use hashtags that are popular, but not too popular. You don’t want your images to get lost in the crowd. It’s also a good idea to create a hashtag of your own. I, for example, use #seejanewrite with all of my posts. (Feel free to use #seejanewrite with your posts and I’ll be sure to like and comment on your posts.)
Stay informed. I recently signed up for Iconosquare so I will have a better idea of which of my Instagram posts perform best and so I can keep track of engagement and growth.
See you on Instagram! (I hope.)
What do you plan to do about the Instagram changes? Also, leave a link to your Instagram account in the comments. I’d love to follow you!