Instagram’s algorithm sucks. We all know that.
A few years ago, the company (Facebook) introduced this change by promising we would see the accounts that we loved first. But, as you can all see now, this was all a lie. Long story short, this was just a way for them to make us work for those likes and those comments. And by “work for” I mean, pay to boost them and actually reach people.
The algorithm was created to benefit brands that spend money on paid media (promotions), in order to penetrate our feeds. Shocking, I know. Being someone who works on, and believes in the power of social media, I was very enraged for a while. But it is what it is. Those golden days when anyone could become an internet star by just existing, being awesome and sharing their awesomeness with the rest of us are long gone. Nowadays, you need to know how the platform really works to be able to reach a decent audience. Which means, if you’re a small business, content creator, influencer or just someone looking to promote your brand on Instagram, you’re gonna need to up your game, and here are a few ways you can do this:
1. Set up your Business Account:
Setting up your business account, in case you haven’t done it yet, is pretty simple. You’ll need to have a Facebook account and connect them both in order to be able to use its features. So, to do this, just go to your profile settings / account / switch to Business Account. Add all your business details, like category and contact information, associate it to your Facebook account, and you’ll be good to go.
2. Understand your audience:
Whether you’re trying to become an influencer or a brand trying to stand out from the crowd, and you’ve defined yourself, your value and your key product, service or message (more on that later), you need to understand who your audience is. Now, I’m sure we’d all love to be seen and admired by our most loved celebrities, and our crushes, but that actually comes after you really cause an impact within your community first. And by “your community”, I mean those who would really benefit from your content, product or services. And so, now is the time to think. Who are those who would really appreciate what you have to offer? Where do they live? What’s their age group? What are their interests? Who do they follow? Who and what influences them? This might take a little time to research, but it’s totally worth it because the whole point of all this is to show it to people who actually care. Not those who don’t.
3. Create meaningful content:
After discovering and understanding your audience, now it’s time to align. Think of what could make these people pay attention to what you have to give. What makes you special. And if your mental answer to this question was “nothing”, think twice. There’s always SOMETHING about each one of us that no one else in the entire world has or can do. So, identify that and find creative ways to deliver your message to them in a meaningful way.
4. Automation is your friend:
This one is a bonus. You’re welcome. So, now that you’re ready to start sharing that wonderful amazing and spectacular content of yours, find a platform that can help you see how your feed is going to look like. This will not only help you stay on strategy but will also save you a lot of time and pain since you won’t have to think on-the-go because it will all be posted on your behalf. Go, technology! One of my favorite platforms for this is Planoly, because it’s pretty easy to use, looks nice, and I like nice. The only thing is that its capabilities are still pretty limited, and it isn’t cheap. But there are many others, like Sprinklr and Hootsuite that can help you as well. Just do your research and find the one that feels more comfortable to use for you.
5. Boosting time:
Once you’ve done the whole process and your first post is live, it’s time to invest in it. This shouldn’t be too hard or painful since we’re now creating content that is meaningful and totally worth that money of yours, remember? Your creation needs to be seen, so think about it as a necessary part of the process. I usually like to test my posts before committing to spending a lot on them, so I put $1 for 1 day behind each one of them to see which have the potential to bring me the results that I’m looking for. This will also help you understand what your public wants and therefore will help you adapt your content strategy the most efficient way.
6. Learn and adapt:
Last but not least, pay close attention to the numbers behind each one of your posts. If your post isn’t working, try to understand if it is because your content is missing something, or because you haven’t been approaching the right audience, or whatever else can come to mind. The key is to not get discouraged when this happens. Keep modifying and trying until you find what works best for you, and reshape your strategy using that.
Making it work in social media can seem a little frustrating for many nowadays. Just understand that probably isn’t you, and if it is, there are many ways to fix it. Keep learning and be flexible. And I promise… it’s totally worth it.
Content courtesy of Samantha Villavicencio, Founder of LlevoTuLuz, a platform that celebrates the beauty of Venezuela and its remarkable women who “take their Venezuelan spark” with wherever they go, and the Founder and CCO of MindfulBrands Creative, a studio focused on helping conscious brands grow.
Contributing Author, Samantha Villavicencio
Hi! My name is Sam, and I’m a creative soul, a music lover, a chocolate addict, a photography enthusiast and a tree drawer, established in Los Angeles, California. I’m also the creator of LlevoTuLuz, a platform that celebrates the beauty of Venezuela and its remarkable women who “take their Venezuelan spark” with wherever they go, and the Founder and CCO of MindfulBrands Creative, a studio focused on helping conscious brands grow.
Professionally speaking, I was trained as a Social Media Creative, a hybrid between an Art Director, a Copywriter, a Producer and a Community Manager for all things Social. I’m involved in all the social media creative process, from coming up with ideas, to bringing them to life. I write copy, take and edit photographs in-house, create cool designs, shoot and edit videos in-house (short videos, time-lapses, stop-motions, GIFs), and supervise and Art-Direct everything social-media-creative-related whenever it involves bigger productions. I’m passionate about branding, advertising and design, about learning new things, visiting new places, taking photographs, finding new adventures, listening to music, attending to concerts, theater plays and exhibitions. I am passionate about art, life and revolution – I’m a big fan of revolution. I plan to become the president of Venezuela one day, but while that time comes, I want to help the world become a more beautiful, harmonious place with the power of visuals and words that promote positive change. I feel lucky and blessed to be where I am, and I want to share all the good karma I receive by doing what I do best; creating beautiful things.