Friday, 13 April 2018

How to tackle the Instagram algorithm in 2018

I think everyone can agree with me, Instagram stresses me out. There is so many things to take into consideration, making sure your feed is cohesive, creating engaging captions, and when you’ve finished all that you have to remember to post insta-stories throughout the day. But to top it all off you are then faced with the nasty little algorithm that’s got everyone tied up in knots. 

As we all know there has been a hell of a lot of changes to the Instagram algorithm in 2018 and I will try and explain this to you in this post. I have been researching about to find as many facts as I can about the changes to Instagram in the last year. 

To put it simply, Instagram posts are no longer getting the amount of exposure they used to. Now, it’s estimated that only 10% of your followers are actually getting to see your posts. I find this extremely frustrating as I sometimes miss my friends and families, but it also impacts businesses hoping to reach new customers, and even worse for influencers who relies on their followers seeing their content.

So, here’s what I have found about how the Instagram algorithm works in 2018:

We all know there has been a shift from the original chronological feed, and instead your feed is now mainly based on engagement. Engagement includes number of likes, comments, saves, shared posts, or any interaction a post gets. When a post receives a load of interaction it signals to Instagram that your post should be seen.

You can’t get without giving

To get engagement you have to give it, simple is that. Comments are number one when it comes to Instagram, make sure to leave the love on your follower’s posts to show you are interested in their content.

When it comes to replying to comments on your own posts this is another ball game, and I must be honest I am really bad at this. In an ideal world, you should reply to all your follower’s comments on your posts, this will not only show your audience love but this will give you an algorithm boost. Think of comments like a conversation. You wouldn’t ignore a friend if they asked you where you got your dress. So, try not to ignore your readers either. Timeliness also matters, try and respond within the first hour of posting! The slower response time, the more exposure will decrease.

Stay on top of stories

I know finding time to post and engage with readers is time consuming enough, but Instagram stories are a real tool that can help increase your engagement. Include locations and hashtags in stories and when your readers respond to them try and respond in a timely manner. Another good tip is to shout out other bloggers when they regularly interact with your posts. This shows Instagram you are automatically engaging with other bloggers and being authentic which the algorithm rewards!

Make sure your captions are on point

I used to be the person who would just post an emoji as an Instagram caption but this is not sufficient anymore. Captions need to be engaging and authentic to make your audience want to view your post. I always find asking your readers a question really increases engagement as they are more likely to leave a meaningful comment. One watch out too is to not edit your caption within 24 hours of posting as this can negatively impact engagement.

When it comes to hashtags you should include these within your caption, not in the first comment of your post. Also, I would try and be super specific with the hashtags you choose, focussing on 10-15 quality ones than 30 less irrelevant ones. This is will increase the exposure of your post and make it more likely that you get shown up on the explore page or top posts.

Not everything should be sponsored

This goes back to authenticity, not everything you post about has to be sponsored as it shows your audience you are just posting for money, not because you actually like the product you’re posting about. This is not me saying you shouldn’t post sponsored content because us bloggers have to make a living right, but I would be picky on what ads you choose to post.

Share things, events, or products you love and the authenticity will work to your advantage as your audience will appreciate finding out what you actually love. Make sure to pop in and thank the people who share your content or tag you in things, the insta-algorithm will thank you!

Don’t post just to post

Now I used to get super anxious if I didn’t post at the same time once or twice a day because I felt like I’d missed my window of opportunity to post. But, instead of freaking out if I miss a post one day or for a couple of days, I just ensure the content when I upload is of high quality so I get the engagement I want. So, if you want to hold off posting because you need a break or don’t have new content that’s ok, the Instagram algorithm wont punish you!

I hope you found this post useful, I think we should all just stop getting so anxious about Instagram. At the end of the day social media is not real life, start focussing on the things that means most to you.

Love Ciandra x



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