What the New Instagram Algorithm Means for Small Businesses

Business

Have you heard the news?  Instagram is changing the way viewers experience updates.  Last week I read this article on TechCrunch about how Instagram will no longer display images in order of chronological order, but, instead, by way of an algorithm.  Basically, Instagram will function like Facebook.

Your Instagram feed will show images it thinks you want to see based on your behavior patterns (things you Like and/or leave comments on).  Furthermore, your posts will be shown in your followers’ feeds based on how much interaction it’s receiving…the more activity your updates receive, the more likely it’ll be shown in your followers’ feeds.

UGH.  Sure, we can collectively groan with this massive change, but instead of wasting time being upset, let’s use this as an opportunity to think of ways we can improve the ways we use Instagram for our businesses.  In fact, let’s make this a homework assignment for a hustlin’ entrepreneur.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 7.02.29 AM

In order to get a better understanding of what your audience enjoys from you, you must take the time to figure out what that is.  So let’s get busy.  Please assess the past 3-4 weeks of your Instagram updates and list the stats associated with each post.  Like so:

Type of Photo               Day of Week                Time of Post                   Likes               Comments

For example, here’s a list of some of my recent posts and their stats

Instagram Algorithm Assessment

Based on this small sampling of Instagram posts (remember, you want to do 3-4 weeks to give you a better idea of what performs well), personal photos (like my outfit of the day or the donut I’m eating) have more interaction than, say, a business/promotional photo update.  So what does this mean?  If I want my business-related posts to be seen by more people, I better find ways to personalize the posts.  When people like/interact more, the new Instagram algorithm will index my post favorably.

Does this seem bleak?  Well, yeah.  Does it appear that Instagram will morph into a pay-to-play platform like Facebook?  Yes.  So it’s time to get creative, produce great visual content, and find ways to create organic interaction so you’re not forced to start promoting posts so they’re seen.

If you have more insight into the changes in store, I’m all ears.  Better yet, if you have tips for entrepreneurs to create stronger visual content, please share in the comment box.

Shine On,

j*

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  1. Karina Bravo

    March 22nd, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I started to try to do your exercise and then realized…Yikes…I need to create categories for my posts?!!! Obviously I need more intention with my posts so I can analyze them and figure out what works.
    Thank you Jasmine, this and your last IG post were really informative! Gotta take it more seriously!

  2. Jamie

    March 23rd, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Jasmine, I’m seriously grateful for you! I can always rely on you to succinctly put together the basics of what I need to know with social media changes, along with a manageable action plan. Thank you thank you!!

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  4. Alice C.

    March 25th, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Great advice, Jasmine! I’m bummed about the changes to Instagram, but it’s a good push to re-evaluate my posts and see how to improve them!

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  6. meredith mcdonald

    March 28th, 2016 at 7:40 am

    question as a person who does not use instagram as a small business…. does this mean that if I don’t “like” any posts, then nothing will change for me??

  7. Jasmine Star

    March 28th, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Not necessarily…if you’re a passive viewer in Instagram, it’ll simply start showing more of what it thinks you want to see. Furthermore, it’ll show you the most active posts of the people you follow, if you choose not to engage at all. Hope this helps!

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  10. Trudi

    March 28th, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks for this Jasmine. I had no idea this was happening and I think if I’d found out some other way I’d have panicked. I don’t get a lot of connection on my Instagram as it is so I’m going to have to totally step up my game!! It’s great to read your article and feel like we’re all in this together and we need to keep positive about it! Thank you!! Namaste! X

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  15. Monika

    April 3rd, 2016 at 9:30 am

    In my opinion every wedding photographers should read this. Well done Jasmine!

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  17. Tim Moore

    April 12th, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Great article. That new algorithm sounded like a panic-news on the instagram microcosm. For the moment I have to say that I didn’t see any change of impact but I do agree with your analysis : it’s a business move (money money money) that will push us to get more creative

    #thinkpositive 😀

    Thank you

    Tim

  18. Matt Selby

    April 13th, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve never really understood instagram, I do use it – but most of the likes I get come from women who want me to sign up to their webcams!

  19. Monika Wedding Photography

    April 15th, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Thanks for this inspirational blog. This article really helps me a lot.

  20. Laurelyn

    April 15th, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this great insight, Jasmine! I love IG, and was wondering how it would be affecting my business, so this is wonderful to know! <3

  21. Kristian

    April 20th, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Great post, thanks for sharing Jasmine!

  22. Mark White

    April 22nd, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    I’ve been searching for some info on this so big thanks for sharing this post.

  23. Ana Gomes

    May 2nd, 2016 at 3:21 am

    I’m going to plan to do this! I love it 🙂

  24. Jess Kornacki

    May 2nd, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you for this advice! It is a little worrying that people will be missing my posts, but I am willing to put in the work to make them see the images.

  25. Jonas Karlsson

    June 14th, 2016 at 9:06 am

    im a fan of the recent change

  26. Nate Messarra

    June 24th, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks so much! This is so helpful!

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