PART TWO AYOO.
Part 1 is HERE if you missed it. This is a mini-series focused on all of the big and little tips I’ve learned in the past 6 months of blogging. Last week had more general advice and this week is more Instagram-specific.
Let’s do it!
The Instagram Algorithm
So we can all agree that the latest Instagram algorithm is the worst, right? If you don’t know – Instagram has a newish algorithm that ranks what you see on your feed by engagement and not by chronological order. Engagement is how people interact with your post – views, likes, and comments. That’s why when you open Instagram you’ll sometimes see posts from 14 hours ago at the top. This is really tough for people who use Instagram to promote a blog or service because your posts can basically disappear. Sometimes you can post something on Instagram, refresh it, and your post is buried underneath 50 posts from the day before. Basically, everyone is suffering. The only way to fight the algorithm is to keep up engagement the best you can and to not get too discouraged – no one is immune. Fun fact: you can turn post notifications on for your favorite accounts. It’s the little flag icon on the bottom right of every Instagram photo.
Timing is Everything
You’re going to hear a lot of different opinions about this, but a pretty common one is that the timing of your post does matter. It’s pretty obvious – post when people aren’t at work. The best times for me are in morning at 7:30 am – people get one last check in before work, noon, 5:00 pm, or after dinner around 8:00 pm. You want to avoid busy work times and dinner time. Remember to use Instagram and Facebook stories to remind people of your new post, too!
quality > quantity
Ahh I’m sort of nervous to mention this one because it’s totally an opinion, but I think it’s better to post a smaller amount of content with high quality than 4 or 5 posts a day that are kinda average. Don’t hate me! I only post once or maybe twice a day on Instagram. TBH it drives me crazy when people post more than that in a day. It’s TOTALLY a preference thing and I get it if you’ve got a lot of exciting content in one day. I would just much rather see really thought out, unique content. It makes you seem more like a real person who posts things themselves instead of scheduling 4 a day. JUST MY OPINION.
don’t put all of your energy into one platform
Honestly, Instagram isn’t going to last forever – no social platform is, except maybe Facebook goodness. The point is that you don’t want to invest ALL of your time and effort into one platform. You want to spend most of your time curating and maintaining your original content. Anything on your website is 100% yours – that’s the stuff that will last forever. This is totally unrelated if you’re only into Instagram and don’t want a website, YouTube channel, or business. Algorithm’s will change, capabilities will change, and audiences change. You want to be smart about how you spend your time.
Truth is, I realllllly don’t like spending a lot of time on social media, but I know it’s necessary and it’s really amazing to connect with people, BUT I do want to be smart about how I use it. The reason I started all of this was to write and connect with women – so I’m going to put the majority of my effort and prayer into my writing. I want to encourage you to not get absorbed into the social media bubble and comparison game. Use it to connect and learn, but don’t ever allow it to give you value. Know yourself and your boundaries. Know when it’s time to take a little break and hibernate from the online world. Definitely try some of these strategies out and don’t be afraid to fail! I’ve learned a lot and I’m sure I’m forgetting things, but if you have questions or more specific help – feel free to email me: email@example.com. I’ll help with any Instagram, YouTube, website, Facebook, or even Twitter questions!
– Caitlin –