Simply Dakota Uprising » Inspiring a Life of Love + Adventure in the Black Hills

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dakota uprising, instagram

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

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.

  • Kyle Kranz - I use Iconosquare to track my IG analytics. Over the last three months my average likes per image was 570 and my average comments was 10.2. Over the last 30 days, however, my average likes per image was 448 and comments was 9. For reference, I’ve definitely noticed the decline.

    I agree it’s very annoying to see photos from 10 minutes ago next to photos from 10 hours ago…ReplyCancel

rockerville burn, going live

When I found out the Rockville situation was happening on December 31, 2016, I had to go check it out. A few of you saw my snaps, my Instagram post, my Instagram “snaps” (is that what they’re called on Instagram?), and lastly, about 40 of you tuned into my Instagram Live feed and some of you even commented! It was the first time I “went live” on social media so I apologize if it got weird. But man, it was kind of thrilling.

The best suggest of wisdom I got was from local phenom photographer, Nick Hubbard. When I saw him “going live” at the Rockville scene, I said, “Aren’t you nervous?!” And he said, “I was. But then I just did it.” Touché, my friend, touché.

Sometimes the best thing for us is to stop thinking, stop worrying, stop wondering, and just try it, explore it, test it, and experiment with it. And at the end of it all, you learn something, and that’s always a win.

I learned two major things from the first time I “went live” on Instagram (Facebook has the same feature).

  1. It absolutely KILLS your battery. So have your charger handy, one of those speedy charger things on standby, or at the very least, hook up to wi-fi if it’s available.
  2. Don’t obsess about perfection. The beauty of “going live” is the authenticity and real-time of it all. Figure it out as you go, see what happens, and roll with it. Just do it!

Thanks to those of you that tuned in!

dakota uprising coupon code

It’s cold, and I want you to stay warm.

Buy anything from the store through the end of February (like the infamous BLCK HLLS Raglan Sweatshirt below) and get free shipping ($5.00 off) with the coupon code: STAYWARM.




Kyle Kranz is one of those people I immediately recognized as having that extra special drive and passion for what he does. He’s a go-getter, a positive force, and a unique person to get to know in the Black Hills. He is a professional running coach, having been through it all himself, from the beginning stages of never having run a race before to completing multiple ultra-marathons and an Ironman. With the start of the new year, and since so many resolutions revolve around getting healthy and back into shape, get to know more about Kyle below and if you’re interested in getting started with running or simply want to get some pro tips or improve your race times, contact him for some personal, one-on-one coaching.

The Basics

Name: Kyle Kranz

Any nicknames? My mom calls me “Bud”, but that’s about it!

Birthday: September, 1987

Where are you from? Originally from Kranzburg, SD. (named after an ancestor)

Where do you live now? Rapid City, Love it here!

Tell me about your business.

I work with busy working adults all over the world to improve their running. Think of a personal trainer at the gym, but for running, and all the work is done via skype/email/messaging/etc.

What is a typical day like for you?

I love my days, I would have a hard time going back to a 9-5 type job. I wake up with my wife (a Spanish teacher in Rapid) and go into my home office with a yoga mat always in the middle of the floor and do a bit of meditation and/or strength and mobility work. I’ll make breakfast for us and her lunch. Once she leaves I typically work at home or a coffee shop until noon at which time I’ll go for a run. When I come back home I’ll do some more strength & mobility work, clean myself up, eat, and then I typically do a few chores and eventually get started on dinner. Many evenings if my wife needs to do some correcting I’ll work some more when she does, but evenings are typically pretty relaxed for both of us since I’m able to do a bit of house-work in the afternoon.


What is one favorite thing you thoroughly enjoy about your job?

The Dalai Lama said that the purpose of life is to contribute to the happiness of other people, and I look at my job as doing a bit of that. I get to help people achieve goals and improve at something they care enough about to pay me to mentor them in. I’m very grateful for this.

List three random things you use/eat/drink/watch/read/listen/do on a daily basis.

1) I listen to my guinea pig (Gary the Guinea Pig) chirp whenever I open the refrigerator. 2) I use our alarm clock that makes coffee right away in the morning (ok, it’s just an automatic coffee machine in the bedroom. Way better to wake up to than an alarm bell). 3) I’ve been loving overnight oats lately.

Tell me one thing about you that (maybe) no one knows.

I gobble at turkeys when I see them while out running. Sometimes they gobble back.

Black Hills

Where is your favorite spot in the Black Hills region?

Skyline Drive in Rapid City. I know, not terribly exotic or out there but having such a scenic drive right here in town and have it surrounded my so many trails is such a special treat for the people of Rapid City. I can run for 5 minutes from my front door and be at the closest trail and be up at the top in about 10 minutes. The view of the city at night is spectacular and the view of the hills during the day is enough to get me to stop running and just take it in.

What inspires you most about the Black Hills area?

That there is so much left to explore!

Tell me one little, favorite story from your adventures in the Black Hills.

I was out running in the hills west of Black Hawk with my wife mountain biking a little behind me. I was a bit ahead of her, turned a corner and a mountain lion was sitting on the path less than a block distance away from me. We both remained still and watched each other for a few moments and then she wandered off.

Name one amazing place to eat in the Black Hills and why you love it.

The Katmandu & Everest restaurants in Rapid City! My wife and I love the Nepalese food and the workers are so nice. One of them even sat with us once to show us how to properly eat the food:)

What’s your favorite trail and why?

The Flume Trail starting near Rockerville. The still visible history of the trail is so interesting, you can see where they built the route, and you can even view Rapid City from the top!

What’s one lesson you’ve learned about adventuring in the Black Hills?

Don’t think that just because there’s little or no snow in some areas the same is true for others.

What is one impression you wish you could change about the Black Hills?

That we all ride Harleys?

kyle kranz, running coach

How does living in the Black Hills impact your life (or creativity or business)?

I had never really gone camping, trail running, or hiking before I lived here. There’s just not that much of these activities where I lived for the first 23 or so years of my life. These activities have really changed me as a person.

Tell me one thing about the Black Hills that (maybe) no one knows.

You can still see old railroad spikes on the Mickelson Trail from when it was a railroad. You have to be watching, but they’re there!

Being Creative / Leaving a Legacy

Is there anyone in the community that you turn to for inspiration, advice, or creative collaboration?

Being an active member of the Black Hills Running Club gives me so so many people that I can turn to. It’s incredible to me the variety of people you’ll find on group run or at the meal afterwards. Doctors, students, people with advanced degrees, school dropouts, military, and people who run in kilts. I know that if I have a question or problem there will be someone I know through running who can help. In regards to my running and coaching this group certainly gives me ideas, experience, and thoughts to ponder.

Have you had any mentors along the way?

I’m a running coach who has been coached in the past, not only were they improving my running but they were examples for my own business. I’m also a part of an online trainers support group with thousands of members and we’re constantly giving and receiving advice.

Have you ever taken a big risk for yourself or your life or your business? Was it worth it?

Being an entrepreneur is always a bit risky. I figure if it does not work out I’m still young and if it does, then hell yeah it’s worth it.


What’s your best advice?

Figure out what you would do for fun if you won a billion dollars and didn’t have to work another day in your life, then figure out how to get paid to do that.

Are you creatively satisfied?

I’m growing creatively, so I’m satisfied in that aspect 😉 I spent two months filming, editing, and publishing a Youtube video almost every weekday. That was a huge learning experience and a great way to improve my skills in that aspect.

What could the Black Hills use more of?

Vegetarian restaurants! My wife and I house-sat / pig-sat in Seattle for a few weeks last summer and took advantage of a few great vegetarian eating locations. Oh, and more advanced / widespread recycling programs.

Do you feel an obligation to contribute to something greater than yourself?

What could that possibly be? I try my best to contribute to the heath of the planet, every little bit counts. I pick up garbage while running on Skyline Drive, recycle what I can, try not to waste water. I hope that in the future I can do more. I’d love to have a more eco-friendly house.

What type of legacy do you hope to leave?

I hope that people look at me as inspiration for what can be. In high school, I was obese and depressed. Now I’m a sub-elite athlete who is successfully working for myself at a job I consider a hobby. If you work hard, do it right, and have patience, you can do just about anything!

Show Kyle some love:

About this Series
I’ve started the In Good Company portion of the Dakota Uprising initiative because I think it’s important to highlight the creative and good souls of our area. I love putting the spotlight on other people, hearing their stories, and learning from their experiences. If you’d like to know about these souls too, read on my friends.

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It was too beautiful not to go outside on Monday, January 3, 2017. We went up a road a dirt road in Summerset, skirted along the trees and stopped to snap a few shots. We then went to Piedmont and found the entrance to Piedmont Trail and walked that road in the 12-degree weather.

The Black Hills are beautiful.

All photos shot on my iPhone 5s and edited with the VSCO app.