Oh great, another social media algorithm changed. Here’s what you need to know: In early 2016, Instagram announced that it was planning on rolling out its new algorithm by the end of the year (end of 2016). I can tell with my feed, that it just hit. My likes are down. My comments are down. Even when I hashtag the maximum 30 hashtags, I don’t see much more of an increase. Thanks, Instagram. Maybe you’ve noticed the same thing recently?
According to the announcement Instagram posted on its blog, “the order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.” So in other words, the algorithm now gives more visibility to those that have the highest engagement. Before, the algorithm used to share the most recent photos on your feed first – not the case anymore. Instagram’s new system decides what you want to see, and then orders your feed accordingly.
I think we all remember when Facebook’s newsfeed took a dramatic turn for, in my opinion, the worst. I remember the good ole days when I used to only see my friend’s posts, people I actually know, and now, I see everything and anything under the sun. Facebook is my least favorite social platform, but because it was the first of its kind, honestly, most of my Dakota Uprising traffic still comes from there.
And so, this new Instagram algorithm just hit.
Now, in your feed, you’re likely to see the same posts over and over again throughout the day, photos with timestamps that are out of order (a six-hour old post might come before a 2-hour old post), and the sad thing is, you might start missing the fun, silly, personal posts by your friends.
So I scoured the internet to see what you (and I) can do about it.
The key to staying at the top of your audiences’s feed is to generate a lot of engagement right after posting, which means, get your comments and likes rolling in. Higher engagement = more visibility.
Post at the Right Times
One key to generating more engagement is to post at the right time of day. According to Later’s most recent survey, the best time to post is around lunchtime from 11 am – 1 pm and in the evening from 7 pm – 9 pm. Avoid the 3 pm time of day as this seems to be when most people are busiest with work.
Looking at Dakota Uprising’s most engaging times of the day – 9 pm was always a win for me. The next highest time of engagement was around the 5-6 pm mark. Sunday’s have the lowest engagement for me.
Post Multiple Times Per Day
Find your most popular times of the day to post an then be consistent with posting during those times. But make sure not to annoy your followers though – some brands/grams can pull off posting four times a day and some can only do it once per day before they start losing followers. Instagram stated that people miss 70% of their feeds and so Instagram’s goal is to keep the top 30% of content visible in your feed. The rest falls away into oblivion. So don’t be afraid to post-post-post (with intention).
Don’t Switch to the “Business” Instagram Profile
This might just be my paranoia, but it was also backed up by a couple of other posts I read recently. By moving to a Business Profile for Instagram, yes, you get their behind-the-scenes analytics called Insights (which are weak anyway – VERY limited) with your account, but it also tells Instagram that you are not a personal account. I am suspicious that this affects your algorithm even more because they ultimately want you to start advertising to get more engagement.
What We Can Do For Each Other
Like and comment on each other’s posts. If you’re on Instagram all the time and clicking around our little Black Hills niche (the #blackhills, #hifromsd #blackhillsbadlands #discoverblackhills, and of course, #dakotauprising hashtags) then we can help each other out by liking and commenting on each other’s posts, which we should be doing anyway. If you want to keep seeing your friend’s posts – like and comment. If you want to keep seeing a business’s posts (like Dakota Uprising) then it’s important to like and comment.
What You Can Do Yourself
Besides all of the tips above, here’s what you can do on your own Instagram:
Tell stories. Stories drive more engagement. Personal reflections, funny situations, random thoughts – make your Instagram feed your mini blog. Being vulnerable allows other people to do the same, and people ultimately start commenting and sharing their own insights.
Host a giveaway. People love free stuff. Tell participants to like your page, like your post, and comment to win your freebie.
Be intentional with your posts. Be genuine. Be authentic. Be clever. Be witty. Be you. People like reality, not seeing a superficial, perfect world all the time.
Hope these tips were helpful. Good luck out there!
Follow me on Dakota Uprising’s Instagram page.
If you have a page you’d like me to follow, comment the username (handle) below.