Thursday, March 31

Instagram update

my instagram

A while back I wrote about how instagram has helped my small business gain new customers. The formula was pretty straightforward too:
  1. take a great photo
  2. include relevant hashtags
  3. post regularly
These posts had a fair chance of being viewed by hundreds of users and potential customers. Alas, just when everything was running smoothly, big bad Facebook had to come and swallow Instagram. In other words, Facebook owns Instagram, and as of March 29th the feed is no longer chronological. Instagram posted a short announcement to this effect on March 15th. Whether these changes are an improvement as they say remains to be seen. 
I felt that I had to write a follow up post on this issue and offer some advice to other small businesses  who depend on instagram to grow their customer base. This doesn't affect big commercial accounts much, since their budget covers ads, whether on FB or IG. Anyhow, on the day preceding the change there was a bit of a panic as users scrambled to inform their followers to turn notifications on. Yep, I'm guilty of this too. In hindsight this probably isn't feasible as most accounts, including mine, follow hundreds if not thousands of others. Just imagine getting a notification each time...oops.

To get around this some suggested turning the automatic update for instagram off - which probably works indefinitely. Here's what I do instead - I check my feed on iconosquare. This way lets me see all the posts in chronological order. Of course, you'll need to open an account over there, but it really is quite simple and if you choose the basic version it's even free.

Due to the change in algorithm I've noticed I'm getting "likes" from a whole different set of users, mostly artists and photographers. While it's always nice to get to know new people I'm not sure they are my target audience. So I've had to revise my strategy a bit. While I still believe a great photo with relevant hashtags is still important, it's probably a good idea to increase posts to perhaps twice or three times a day (I'm still working on this). I wouldn't post more than that, otherwise it might be confused as spam.  

There are few generic hashtags that I include in almost every post. I know some users frown at adding a lot of hashtags and it does look a bit overloaded, but how else will you be found? I once did an experiment by uploading a photo without any hashtags. I only got likes from followers who happened to see it in their feed at the time. So hashtags it is. Here are a few you might like to try:

#instagood
#igdaily
#colorful
#pinkfriday (be sure to post something pink)
#instamood
#photooftheday

Then add a couple of relevant tags that describe your photo. As always, make sure it's a good quality photo. I'm sticking with this strategy for the time being. I might do another follow up post in a month at which point I can gauge whether and how these changes have affected my sales! Do you use instagram to promote your small business?
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15 comments:

  1. Informative post! I wish the feed did not change. Seeing the most recent posts first makes more sense to me. Thank you for the tip about iconosquare.

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  2. Hi Duni, Thank you for all those helpful hints! I'm not sure how to reach new targets or new followers, but three times daily posts I will try!... only one wish to have a right kind of followers :)

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    1. Lana, search for those who have #homedecor and #whiteliving in their posts :)

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  3. Thank you for such an informative post! I haven't decided yet if I'm gonna use my IG account for marketing but it is always good to be prepared :)

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  4. My IG is actually still showing up in chronological order. I wonder if they're slowly changing it so some are seeing it first?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they seem to be rolling it out slowly. But it is a done deal and you'll notice sooner or later ;-)

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  5. Liebe Duni,
    danke für die beiden sehr informativen Posts über IG.
    Vielen Dank auch für deinen Kommentar bei mir.
    Ich wünsche dir noch eine schöne restliche Woche.
    Liebe Grüße
    Fanny

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  6. Yep, I totally blame FB! They decided to FB-ify IG. I didn't know about the app that lets you still view things chronologically - that's interesting.

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  7. I had no idea that IG was owned by FB. I also didn't know they were making changes. Another thing that I have but don't use often.

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  8. grrrh!
    I haven't been on instagram much in a while.
    Thank you for this information!
    I get more views for posts in which I have included hashtags. I like looking up some things by hashtags as well.

    Pinterest has made (annoying) changes as well. You only see the most popular posts now and can totally miss seeing new pins by people you follow.

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    Replies
    1. I know, totally annoying. I haven't found a way around this yet :-/

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  9. Thank you for another informative post. I didn't know about iconosquare, so will have to keep that in mind for the future.

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  10. Liebste Duni,
    danke für wieder wertvolle INformationen! Noch bin ich nciht bei INsta, aber ich überlege , so sind Deine Zeilen sehr hilfreich!
    Ich wünsche Dir einen fröhlichen Tag und guten Start in ein wunderschönes Wochenende!
    ♥ Allerliebste Grüße, Claudia ♥

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  11. It drives me crazy when any social media platform decides to change their algorithm! Pinterest is the worst, and it sounds like Instagram is going to be the same way. I wish they'd just let me see the people I follow instead of what they "think" I like.

    Glad to have the tip about iconosquare! I'll do that. :-)

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  12. Liebe Duni,
    vielen Dank für die beiden äußerst interessanten Post zu Instagram.
    Du weißt, sie kommend bei mir zur richtigen Zeit! ;-)
    Herzlichen Dank, liebe Duni!
    Alles Liebe
    ANi
    Habe ich Dir schon gesagt, dass ich Dein neues "Blog-Outfit" sehr mag. Auch besonders diese schöne Farbe in den Kästen mit den Überschriften. Ist es ein Aqua-Grau? Es sieht toll aus!

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