So there has been a whole lot of panic surrounding Instagram lately, and I for one absolutely had my own "F**k me" moment about it all given that my blog and my various business I both own and manage rely heavily on instagram for reader & customer engagement.
Heck, I'd even go so far as to say that since Facebook screwed with it's business pages, Instagram (who of course are owned by Facebook) has become our number 1 sales tool.
But do we really need to be panicking like we have been?
Well in my opinion the answer is no - I don't believe so.
Hear me out, because I have spent far too many hours researching this over the past few days to let all this info go to waste in my head.
OK so Instagram recently announced that they would be changing their algorithms so that the photos in our feed no longer appear in chronological order.
They haven't actually said when this will happen, and whilst a huge chunk of the population are under the belief that D day was actually today, instagram is saying otherwise.
That being said, many of us noticed about a month ago that there were some glitches on instagram and likes and engagement decreased. Those who claim to be in the know were saying that this was due to the effect of instagram making some behind the scenes changes to the algorithms.
Now what those algorithms changes are exactly - well only those in the Instagram ivory tower really know, but based on the information that instagram has shared, it will mean that our news feed will be ranked in order of relevancy... ie what instagram thinks we want to see. At least for all the first lot of photos in our feed anyway.
How do they know what we want to see?
It's simple really - they will show you more of the images from the people whose images you regularly like and comment on.
So what about all the 'Turn me on' posts everyone is posting? Man there have been some toe curling sleazy doozies hasn't there?!
Well as the panic spread across the instagram community, more and more people felt that the only way they could guarantee that their followers would see their posts would be by asking them to turn on their notifications for each account they follow.
Sounds good in theory right?
Your follower hits the notification button and then they will be alerted via push notifications when you post something.
But what about when your followers start going bat shit crazy from their phone constantly pushing notifications at them all day and night because you posted (and then times that by all the people they turned the notifications on for) and... I am willing to bet there will be a whole lot of smashed iPhones as people lose their shit with all the binging and beeping going on and they peg their phones at the wall... that is after they unfollow us of course.
At the moment - Instagram does not discriminate between personal and business pages, we are all one so let's not give people reason to complain and Instagram reason to change that.
In other words, perhaps reconsider asking your loyal community to turn on their notifications and instead focus on engaging with them and encourage mutual engagement too.
Now, I'm the first to put my hand up and admit that I've been guilty of insta ghosting lately. You know, life gets really busy and find yourself tapping on instagram and scrolling through your feed having a quick nosey. You may even ooo and ahh over the imagery you see but then you get distracted and leave instagram without leaving a single double tap or comment.
Yeah that's not going to work for us anymore...
We need to be engaging with the people you follow to have any chance of seeing them and you want your followers to do the same too.
This means that not only do we need to have good content on our feed because after all - it's our own responsibility to keep people interested, but we need to talk to people too.
I know what you are probably thinking... heck who has time to do that every day?
My suggestion for that is instead of say checking instagram for a minute or two ten times a day, set aside a little time each day, maybe ten or 15 minutes twice a day (more of course if you are a business) where you can sit down and really give instagram your full attention and engage with your communities through liking and commenting.
Now that's not really such a bad thing when you think about it is it? Because like any social platform where it gets bigger and louder day by day, the personal aspect of engaging with a community often gets lost in the flurry of reaching for more likes and more followers, and then really - what's the point of it all?
Ok so this change does kind of void the insta part of Instagram, but if we look at it a different way - it's kind of about bringing it back to why most of us probably joined Instagram in the first place - to connect with, share with and absorb from other like minded people and businesses.
So please don;t panic about this. Just keep being authentic.
Keep on keeping it real.
Keep on being as personal as you are comfortable with, and keep on sharing the love in your communicates - if you like something you see and you want to see more of it - double tap for a like or leave a comment.
I truly don't believe it will be as many lead us to believe.
If you want to be insta friends you can find me as @LifeLoveHiccups and leave a comment below with your username so we can all find you too.