Instagram made some big changes in its algorithm at the beginning of 2018.
On the 26th of February we went to Professional Beauty in London, one of the UK’s biggest beauty trade shows. I attended a seminar about “Tracking your social media success”. We mainly talked about Instagrams newest update, so here is what you need to know about these changes.
One of the biggest changes is the exposure of your post. Broadly speaking, your post will only be shown to 10% of your followers. Instagram is testing and gauging the interest of your audience, if your post gets enough engagement on those 10%, it will be shown to the other 90% of your followers. That’s why some of your posts can do great and others not, it depends on the engagement. But how to get engagement on that small portion of your followers?
First of all, try to add a Call-To-Action to most of your posts. Encourage your followers to comment on your post by asking them to answer a brief question, like or tag a friend in your caption.
Secondly, do not forget hashtags. But be specific. If you put too many hashtags or if you put the same hashtags on all your posts Instagram could classify your account as a “spam”. Keep it around 5 to 8 hashtags per posts, and use hashtags particularly used in your industry (just take a look at your colleagues or competitors). Do not hesitate to use a branded hashtag for your business, it will be easier for people to find you. Also, hashtags that you post in the comments of your post will no longer display under search results so you must now include hashtags in the body of your caption. Finally, follow hashtags linked to your content, your profile might be favoured then.
Another way to get maximum engagement on your pictures is to post at the right times. The best times to post is mostly during off-work hours, between 8AM and 9AM, or between 5PM and 7PM. But you have to adapt these hours to your audience, take a look at your account’s peak hours and test different times to post, you will see which post is working better. Obviously these hours are not necessarily the time when you want to work on your Instagram growth, and scheduling apps are here for that. You can use apps like Hootsuite to create and prepare your post before scheduling it for the time when your audience is the most active.
Another update from Instagram is that you have to like and respond to comments on your posts within 60 minutes, otherwise you will not be seen as “active” and your post exposure will decrease. Be careful about comments: if you want your comments to count as engagement, they should be at least 4 words long. Just a “Thanks!” is now not considered as engagement so make sure to be more talkative in the comment section.
Lastly, do not forget to update your story on a daily basis. It might not always be easy, especially when you don’t have really exciting content to show. But it can boost your exposure if you show your location or use hashtags in your stories, this will increase your exposure. Try your best to get people to come back to your profile everyday to see what you are doing by showing exclusive content. Hosting Q&A, showing tips or discounts, there are a lot of things that you can do on your story.
All these little changes can affect your Instagram growth and your exposure on the platform, so be careful and try to follow this advice if you can!
Written by Sussex Make-up Academy Marketing intern,
Agathe Le Brun