I’m about to get really, really honest with you guys. I don’t like to play favorites (normally), but Instagram has ALWAYS been my favorite social media platform. I loved how incredibly visual it is, how easily you could reach new followers, how you feel love with the little hearts. Seriously, Instagram was amazing. That is, until now. As the blog post clearly states how I feel: the new Instagram algorithm is garbage.
Instagram, we’re fed up. I’m a social media manager, and I get it. You’re a for-profit company. You need people to spend money so you can make it, via ads and more. I understand that you need to be able to measure the benefit of impressions that advertisements can pay for and why paying for Instagram is beneficial. There’s been talk of shadow-banning (certain hashtags not working), the order that you put your hashtags in, whether or not you can schedule posts, what time you’re posting, and more. There are quite literally hundreds of other ways that you could have done this. You didn’t have to go and mess things up for the small businesses out there. No one wants to learn a new algorithm every 5 days.
I’ve always believed that it’s important to do Facebook and Instagram. Facebook had all the SEO goodness, and Instagram was a great way to reach people. What I think Instagram is failing to understand is that it was the perfect platform for small business growth. If you were an artist working out of your home, a photographer who travels the world, an online publication who showcases amazing things from everywhere – you had an opportunity to use this as a platform to reach new eyes. Facebook was great to give you validity. Instagram was the extra boost that you needed to soar.
Here’s the thing: while I understand that Instagram is going the way of Facebook in the way of impressions and engagement, I can only think that they’re missing out on an incredible opportunity. I can see that they’re appealing to big business (as evidenced in my feed that tends to have H&M and Canon ads scattered through it). What they FAIL to recognize is that they could’ve done a million other things for small business. They’ve completed alienated small businesses with smaller marketing budgets with this new algorithm in an attempt for the larger ad accounts of larger corporations. Ultimately, though, I think all of us REALLY want at this point (and I don’t think it’s too much to ask), is to show up in the feeds of those that follow us (and maybe a few more!).
Now that you’ve read all my complaints about why Instagram has turned into the bane of my existence over the past few weeks, let me tell you why it started to get better. I performed an experiment (on my own account, of course), where I ran TWO specials on Instagram stories. One special was for submissions, the other for styled shoots. I ended up booking a quarter of my business for the month of September when I did. A quarter!
So until they completely mess that up, too, use Instagram stories. See how it goes. Run a special. You don’t have to put your face on there and talk (although I do sometimes), but if people are going through your Insta stories, it almost guarantees that whatever it is you’re trying to put out into the world will be seen. On top of that, keep at your feed. I can’t believe that Instagram will let this go on for much longer. Especially since now they’ve got “Instagram algorithm” + “garbage” with my great Misty Saves the Day SEO popping up on Google.
Let me be crystal clear: Instagram is still extraordinarily important to your business. It’s important to do it, do it well, and keep at it. Social media is the wave of the marketing present and future, and you need to stay on top of it in order to continue to succeed. Organic growth has always been where it’s at, and Instagram was the way to do it. Let’s get back to that. I’m still getting new followers for myself and my clients every day via normal posting (which is only expanding my audience for Instagram stories).
In the meantime, follow me on Instagram. Be on the lookout for my stories. Engage a little bit with my photos when they pop up in your feed. I’ll do the same for you, I promise.