There has been so much talk about Instagram since… well since 2 years actually, ever since the algorithm changed and we haven’t been seeing posts in chronological order anymore the blogger community has been going mad about it.
I wasn’t even in the blogging community when the algorithm changed, I thought it was a pain because I preferred chronological order but it didn’t do anything to directly affect my business. Because I didn’t have one.
Little did I know that there was a whole side of the internet with exactly the same annoyances as me only they had worries to be added as well, because many of the people I follow now already had huge Instagram accounts when I didn’t even really know what blogging was. You can make money from Instagram? Well that was a revelation.
But if that’s your business and your income which pays your rent and allows you to put food on the table – aka order take outs – then obviously it’s totally justified to worry about what’s going to happen to the platform we all love to hate and hate to love.
But is the algorithm really that bad?
Of course, the first thing I did when entering the magical visual world of Instagram and the blogging community within it was hear complaints about the algorithm everywhere. Stories telling me to go like someone’s photo because the algorithm was being annoying. A caption talking about how the previous photo hasn’t gotten as much reach and if I could pls pls pls like my previous 3 photos so the algorithm knows you like me thx bae xx.
Obviously I started to believe this too. One photo wasn’t doing as good as the previous one? Blame it on the algorithm! Got 3 comments on one photo and none on the next? The algorithm!
I started believing all those tips and tricks you had to follow so that Instagram wouldn’t punish you for using it’s own platform.
Use no more than 7 hashtags per photo
Never send a post to a group
Don’t you dare edit a photo after publishing it if you don’t just want your stalker and your sister to see it.
But the reality is, this is all utter bullshit. Why would Instagram make something – which is not just something they thought about on the spot and deciding to include in the app on a whim on Sunday night. No, someone had the idea, put it forward in a meeting, it had be approved, thought out, tested and then included in the app. All that trouble, just so Instagram could punish you if you actually used the damn feature? Seems a little far fetched to me
So what to do?
Obviously the worries you have, especially if you’re a business owner relying on Instagram for certain things are totally justifiable. But instead of complaining about the algorithm or finding a way round the algorithm (what even?), let’s embrace it!
Let’s stop complaining that our posts haven’t been seen by many people or haven’t been commented on, and first try to find other people’s posts and comment on theirs! Instagram is about engaging and creating engaging content!
I have set myself the challenge to comment on 20 posts every day this week. And I did – I think, I didn’t actually count how many comments I was leaving per day but I was leaving a hell of a lot so I’m sure I’ve managed it.
I have always loved reading people’s captions, fair enough I don’t always engage with every single one of them and usually that is my laziness or lack of time, but sometimes it’s the caption, there’s nothing there to engage with!
If I don’t see a question or any other way I could interact with someone I’m not going to go out of my way to do it. I want to believe that the person posting that photo and writing that caption actually wants to start a conversation about something, not just post some emojis under a photo and hope for the best.
The best thing is though, that the conversation can be about absolutely anything! That’s the beauty of Instagram, it’s completely your own to craft, and tell whatever story you want to tell that day, visually and in written form!
You can even choose to tell two different stories – which is what I ALWAYS do – one through the image and one through your caption. The #unrelatedcaption hashtag is definitely one to follow for that.
Some last words and Instagram tips
So the most important thing to do when you’re feeling like you’re not getting anywhere with Instagram is engage!
Engage, engage, ENGAGE!
I have been stuck at around 600 followers since I don’t even remember when but right now I am enjoying the platform more than I ever have before because I am creating content that I am super proud of, which I find so fun to make, I am talking about the things I want to talk about and most importantly, I am engaging with my community and getting involved with other people’s posts as well!
My tip for if you want to engage with accounts that you don’t follow but don’t like going through the explore page – I don’t actually like the explore page ’cause accounts featured on there most of the time have over 20k followers and I love finding small accounts – is to follow specific hashtags! Currently I’m following all the hashtags started by different bloggers I follow, that way they come up on my feed and I discover new accounts without me even having to dig deeper than I want to and I get slightly out of the bubble I’ve created.
Another tip, if you don’t have loads of time, pick out one day that you do have some time or you just wanna have a slow day to really dive deep into the realms of Instagram. Go all out. Comment on every single engaging photo you see, go out of your way to find new accounts by looking through different hashtags, follow some new people or at least comment and like on their photos!
But most importantly, since we are talking about Instagram which is first and foremost a VISUAL platform. Make sure that whatever you create and upload is the best that you can create. If you have to hurry a photo which you never really liked in the first place just to have something up for the day, it’s not worth it. Of course a photo can be taken in the moment and you can love it, but that’s the thing, you have to love it. The first thing to do when a photo is flopping is to truly look at it and ask yourself if it’s your best work.
If you’re into Instagram and want to learn more about it from an insider’s perspective definitely visit Sara Tasker’s website me and orla. She is an expert in all things Instagram and also occasionally visits with the makers themselves to find out all the juicy gossip (okay lol maybe not the juicy gossip but she does get some really good insider information).
Oh btw, whilst you’re at it, my instagram is Sarahaurorax if you want to follow!
What do you think of the Instagram algorithm? Are you a worrier or do you think we should just let it go?
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