What the New Instagram Algorithm Means for Small Businesses

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.

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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,