How to survive Instagram’s new 2020 changes and algorithm: Get ahead of the game while everyone else is still trying to play catch up.

How to survive Instagram’s new 2020 changes and algorithm: Get ahead of the game while everyone else is still trying to play catch up.

 

Instagram is doing a massive overhaul of its platform. This is why Instagram has been down so much lately. 

 

The platform has become too saturated with inauthenticity. Ghost accounts, bot accounts, bot likes, bot comments, bot followers, fake followers, not to mention every single person on Instagram is now trying to make money off it and every other post we see is a "#ad". 

 

Because of this over-saturation of inauthenticity, Instagram usage is down. Users aren't on it for as long anymore and they have started to place their attention elsewhere ( fun tidbit I learned while surveying users: VSCO app has a posting platform and oddly enough during my research, I found a lot of people saying they are spending more time on VSCOs posting platform rather than Instagram - something to keep in mind, maybe expand your businesses reach there as well, can't hurt!)

 

This is not good for Instagram. Instagram makes its money through its paid advertising platform. The more people that use Instagram and the longer they stay on it the more paid ads they get served with making Instagram more mula. Never forget Instagram IS a business and its ultimate goal is to make money, getting users on the platform and keeping them there for as long as possible seeing as many ads as possible. So having user experience be at its utmost superiority is their top priority. 

 

The one change that is already being made and implemented in some countries is the removal of total likes on a post to the public eye. While the likes are still there in insights, they are not public. You can see how many likes your post gets, but other users cannot. Instagram is saying they are removing the like total because of mental health issues for the younger audience. It's too much vanity and it's taking a toll on them.

 

While influencers who rely on their post likes to make money from brands are saying that this is just Instagram's way of taking brand's money from influencers. Influencers believe Instagram's paid advertising platform has taken a hit because of all the brand's giving their marketing money to influencers rather than to Instagram paid ads. Influencers believe that by removing the likes on their posts it will make it harder for brands to determine if the influencer is profitable, ergo they will go back to putting their marketing money in Instagram paid ads. 

 

Whatever the real case may be, they are ultimately trying to improve user experience. How is Instagram planning on improving overall user experience? They are having a massive shift in their platform and they will be favoring everything organic, authentic, and "in the moment". 

 

So, what can you do for your personal Instagram and what can businesses do to their Instagram’s to stay afloat and survive these massive changes? I’ve listed out very crucial survival tips below! Implementing these tips before the changes are fully rolled out will help get you ahead of the game and have a thriving account while others are still playing catch up.

 

-- Post more stories- And by this, I mean post more stories that are considered: "in the moment." Do not take photos or videos, save them, and upload them later to your stories. Take the photo or video within the app and post it directly to your story. Your static posts on your feed are becoming less valuable (Especially once they remove the total like count on your posts), and stories are becoming more valuable and the "in the moment" stories are being favored. Instagram recognizes when you do this and your account will perform better.

 

-- Use Instagram's engagement tools for your stories - Instagram stories have tools for polls and questions, etc to add to your stories. Make sure you are utilizing these often and appropriately. The more engagement you have in your stories and the more action people take on them, the more Instagram will favor your account. It will recognize that people are interacting with your account and deem it as a valuable account which will rank your stories higher on your audiences feed and enable your account to perform better.

 

-- Go live - Instagram loves when you go live, there is nothing more “in the moment” than going live. If you notice accounts that have gone live for the day their Instagram stories get pushed to the very front. When you open your Instagram at the top where you see everyone’s stories, the people that you follow who went live are always shown first. Instagram also favors live content on their search page, so your stories are more likely to show up on their search pages making it easy for other people to find you and follow you. Just start going live more often, even if it’s just to say hi to your audience for the day. Instagram considers this to be more authentic and organic and is favoring it. 

 

-- Hashtags - Do not use the maximum 30 hashtags that Instagram allows. Use 10 max and do NOT copy and paste the same hashtags to every post. Instagram registers too many hashtags and the same hashtags copy and pasted as spam. Come up with hashtags that are relevant to your actual post and they will perform better.

 

-- Avoid 3rd party apps - If it's an app that you have to give your Instagram login to, Instagram registers this as inauthentic. This includes scheduling apps. Remember, they are favoring in the moment content so if your posts are scheduled out, it isn't as authentic. Definitely steer clear of any bot apps. Accounts are slowly starting to get banned that are using or have currently used bot apps that comment, like, and follow other accounts on their behalf. Get as far away from them as possible. Also, avoid Instagram engagement PODS. They track your insights and know where your likes are coming from and can tell when it's from an engagement POD. And this one should be a given but NEVER buy followers, likes, or comments. Once this overhaul Instagram is doing on their platform is complete I believe accounts who have bought any engagement will be banned or severely punished.

 

-- Engagement - The more active you are on your Instagram, leaving authentic quality comments on other accounts, the more Instagram favors you. It sees you as an active and authentic engaging member of their community and your account, in turn, will perform better. Do not copy and paste the same emoji and comment to every post you see. Be active and leave quality comments. Quality AND quantity. 

 

-- Build an authentic following - The best strategy to get genuine followers that are interested in your brand/company/personal account: Follow 10 hashtags relevant to you/your business. Go to the top 9 posts for each of these 10 hashtags and like each post and leave QUALITY comments on each one. Read the posts and leave lengthy quality comments as well as interact with other users who have also commented with quality comments. Do this every day to all 10 hashtag's top 9 posts. This is extremely time-consuming, but it is the best method to build a real authentic and engaged audience. 

 

-- Use engagement provoking captions - Get your audience to interact with your posts so you garner more engagement. Use captions that ask questions or ask suggestions or encourage interaction. I.e Instead of a caption that simply says: "Fun in the sun", use a caption more along the lines of:  "Fun in the sun, one of the best ways for me to relax is to enjoy some time outdoors. Whether it be at the beach or on a hike. Are you the type of person that likes to relax in the outdoors or a snuggle up in bed and watch Netflix kind of relax person??" Having more in-depth captions that provoke engagement will get you more interaction which is very important once Instagram removes the total like count. And remember to keep it authentic, these should not be forced sounding. They should be natural to you/your business and be real. And the more comments you get the more Instagram registers your account as something users like and the better it will perform.

 

-- Use IGTV- This is still Instagram's newest feature and it's off to a slow start. They want IGTV to reign supreme over youtube. So they want users to use it as well as interact with other users who have it, they will favor accounts utilizing IGTV. And IGTV posts are always featured on Instagram’s search pages. So get on it!

 

-- Bring personality & provide value - Your static feed’s aesthetic isn’t as important anymore. Your page doesn’t have to necessarily look “pretty” like it used to, because stories are becoming more important it is crucial to provide your audience with valuable content on their feeds that is genuine to your personality and relatable.

And for businesses/brands Instagram is NOT an extension of your website. Instagram is the social community around your brand and it should be treated as such. Do not use your Instagram to sell sell sell. Bring your audience value, provide genuine content that they can relate to and will appreciate. Give your brand a voice and give your audience a place to interact with your brand. Your Instagram should never be less than 90% value and no more than 10% sales. 

 

Hope these tips are helpful!

*And one more little food for thought.*

 

So now you may be thinking……

 

If total likes are removed worldwide what does this mean for influencer marketing? How will brands know if an Influencer is profitable if they no longer have visible likes??

Influencer marketing certainly isn't going anywhere any time soon and with the saturation of fake likes and fake followers these metrics no longer translate to profitability for brands anymore. The only real metric that matters for a brand is ROI. I believe the removal of these likes will force Influencers to provide case studies to brands and prove their ROI. A legit Influencer will have case studies that show results they've previously garnered for other brands they’ve previously worked with. Therefore, I think this is a GOOD change. Brands will no longer be sold on fluff metrics such as likes and followers but rather on REAL results.

 

A tool I feel will really help during this change and impact the Influencer marketing world for the better is an Influencer review platform. A place where brands can go and leave a review of an Influencer as well as read reviews of Influencers. “Did this Influencer get you the results you wanted?” - Leave a review! “Are you interested in working with an Influencer but are unsure if you will get ROI?” - Read their reviews and find out!

Influencer marketing is still so new and completely unstructured. A review platform will help structure and neutralize the playing field while also building leading industry standards in this new market. It will help brands find Influencers that are beneficial to them by eliminating a lot of risk and it will also provide Influencers with the credibility they deserve. 

I have launched this review platform and you can feel free to utilize it! Its functionality is the same as Yelp. Identify Influencers is a free platform where you can create a login and leave reviews. You can also search and read reviews of Influencers without a login at all. This is a brand-new launch so by leaving any Influencer reviews, you will help other brands by providing valuable feedback and in turn, will be able to utilize it in the very near future to read reviews for when you yourself are looking for Influencers. If you have any questions or feedback please feel free to reach out! I hope all of this information was helpful and I hope you find the Identify Influencer’s review platform helpful as well! J

https://www.identifyinfluencers.com/

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