To be Insta or not to be?
That’s the question that I being making for some months.
Also some close friends that used to trust in Instagram as a way to show their work are having the same questioning.
On September I had a revelation.
Actually was something that I was seeing happening on Instagram and with the change of their algorithm happened sooner that I thought.
I made my homework and read some things on the Instagram press releases over the changes and they are insulting.
But they directly have confirmed my worst nightmares.
So my plan began!
On September 19th I started to visit profiles that have more than 150K followers.
Just visiting the pages I receive 6 new followers.
I went and made my first test post.
Photo 1 – 19/09/2018 – 19h
Description: Detail of a flower from Cappadocia! A picture gift from @rosuitaroso with my edition!
Basically hashtags from nature, well living and positive mood.
This is the list: #nature #plants #crazyplantlady #plantsgram #instaplant #natureperfection #slowliving #huaweip9lite #bnw #photography #nationalgeographic #impulsatucreatividad #snapseed
I also tagged accounts well living.
The numbers of followers grow by 2.
And I receive 63 likes
On the other day I started to follow 5 accounts with more than 150K followers.
My numbers of followers grow by 10.
And the testing posts continued with:
Photo 3 – 21/09/2018 – 19h05in
Description: The beautiful texture of the flowers in Cappadocia! Picture by @rosuitaroso Edition by me.
Hashtags from black and white communities or photography in general.
The list: #photography #huawei #huaweip9lite #snapseed #simply_noir_blanc #monochromatic #monochrome #passion_for_bnw #igersbnw #bnw #bnw_life #vivocolective #somewheremagazine #burnmagazine #photovogue #picoftheday #instagood #moodygrams #lensculture #apfmagazine #anywheremagazine #vogueitaly #bnw_drama #bnw_souls #bnwmood #bnw_rose #visuals
Tagged accounts from black and white communities photography.
The numbers of followers grow by 5.
So if the number of everything started to grow.
I started to read what could help me to break the algorithm and receive more followers and likes.
The changes that Instagram made were just tools to make easier the work for brands!
The online states just come to show who is there and when – a handful to stalkers – but especially to know when attack clients.
The time management tools are just a: let’s play nice as others are doing!
They let you know how many time you are wasting on the app.
You can set alerts of the time spend but basically we already know that we spend too much time on social media.
The add solutions for gaming brands are the next step to transform the app more like Facebook and soon we will see more games and surveys.
The new recommended posts that appear once you have seeing all your feed.
The order content goes by 3 basic rules.
1 Content from users you follow and you didn’t gave likes.
2 Content from hashtags that you use or follow.
3 And this is the magical one that Instagram doesn’t speaks that are the likes from your most visit profiles. So if you are a stalker you will receive directly the post you victim are giving. And if you are a brand you will give them what they need to sell you more.
In resume you lost control of what you see on Instagram.
Just what happened on Facebook.
So the timing on Instagram, if you are a brand or not, is for engagement building strategies. To be up on the order of content you should stay on the app being active.
Giving likes and giving content to receive likes.
The best times to post depends on your public.
And what they do in their free time on the app.
Remember to learn how to read your insights metrics.
But in generic here goes:
The best timing of the day is from 2AM to 5 PM
Thursdays is the perfect day to post.
Wednesday is good.
And Sundays are shitty. But remember #sundayfunday is always popular.
What I learn from my 3 test posts is that you post just after peak time you will get some positive results as growing followers that will stay with you. Not just the typical follow and unfollow.
If you have a diverse audience you must share posts in different times of the day, more than once a day but always focusing on your most valuable audience.
You must also use the most popular hashtags but also see what your followers are using too.
Tell the history of your post. Mew Instagram loves storytelling.
Let people connect to you and ask people things. This will give you more comments and interactions.
Do more stories.
And the most important change: upgrade your profile to business.
On my experience that change made me more visible, receiving more likes from people that doesn’t follow me and new followers by day.
So with all this learned I made the final test.
I became a business profile.
And started to post 3 pictures at the same time something that is becoming very popular on the app.
18 new followers
387 visits to my profile.
Instagram says the changes are for the best so people could find easily what they like on the app.
The true is that unless you are a company you don’t get benefit of it.
Because they show you all the same things you being seeing by days until you give a like.
And if you give the like it will feed the algorithm and you became part of a loop designed to feed the companies that are interested in your likes to go and sell you more.
Facebook made the bought of Instagram because they knew was rentable.
What they didn’t expect was that people got tired of seeing the same things.
All the freshness of Instagram and the new things that it used to inspire us to keep on the app have disappeared.
Remember I’m a small account. The big ones, with more them 50k followers for example, are being receiving less and less visibility. Why? Simple to make them go bussines and all of the above!
And now I invite you to see the future. And what these changes on an app of photography can make.
Please go to Netflix and watch the Nosedive episode of the fantastic series Black Mirror.