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Stuff The Algorithm! How to Get Back to Enjoying Instagram

This piece of writing started life as a newsletter, but because it’s topical and resonated so much with my audience, I thought that more people might benefit from it as a blog post:

Has anyone else noticed their engagement has plummeted as a result of the recent changes to the Instagram algorithm?

Here’s three positive approaches I’ve employed in response to this change, because I’m determined it’s not going to spoil my enjoyment of this wonderfully creative platform!

Firstly I’ve tried to gain perspective

Katya Willems Instagram Trainer in the Peak District
It’s important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture

When I think about it, perhaps the volume of likes on Instagram was unrealistically high before, especially when I compare it to Twitter or Facebook. I don’t know about you, but I don’t expect 100 people to like a tweet I post, yet I do of Instagram.  But that doesn’t stop me from using Twitter and gaining business from my tweets.

Of all the platforms, Instagram is the most creative and community orientated.  It’s a platform for inspiration, fun and connection. So it’s still the best place to show up and tell the story of your business in a really imaginative and entertaining way – which leads to sales because it allows your audience to get to know you in a meaningful way. That won’t go away because you’re getting less likes. 

Secondly I’ve seen it as a positive challenge to create even better content

I’ve always tried to focus on delighting my audience by documenting my life and my business in a surprising and interesting way.  But the algorithm changes are encouraging me to focus even harder on creating unique content so that my audience keeps coming back.  Even more importantly I have to remember to enjoy the process and not be desperately trying to attract likes.  Because I really believe the more I’m loving what I do, the more my audience will naturally be drawn to me. Whereas if there’s any desperation in the process, audiences can sense it and it’s very off putting! 

Thirdly, I’m going to employ a bit of strategy

Katya Willems Instagram Trainer on IGTV
I’ve been embracing IGTV and had some fantastic engagement

I read a GREAT article by Sprout Social that allowed me to work out how I could have some fun trying to outsmart the algorithm.

The top tips I gained from it were to:

1) do more IGTV (Instagram is actively promoting it at the moment)
2) do more lives because they are not affected by the algorithm
3) improve the quality of your photos because Instagram prioritises better photos
4) ask your audience more questions in your captions to encourage engagement – because that’s good for your algorithm and helps to build a meaningful and loyal community

I don’t want to get too fixated on any of the above, because then I’ll get sucked into a desperation mentality which is definitely not a good idea.  I’ve just tried to take on board those tips, but I’m trying to do it with a sense of curiosity and fun, rather than force myself.

And by the way in a bid to encourage myself and my community to start using IGTV I ran an IGTV challenge in July.  There’s no time limit to when you join in the challenge – so feel free to give it a go.

I’d LOVE to hear how you’ve been feeling about the changes to the algorithm and if you’ve found any positive ways of approaching it.

If you enjoyed reading this, you might like to try My Ten Favourite Instagram Accounts, July 2019.

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  1. We can address your specific goals with my one to one online coaching.
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