Women Who Mean Business

This article originally appeared in the inaugural edition of Women Who Mean Business. Click the image to read the entire issue!

We know… it’s not nice to play favorites, but we have a confession to make. Instagram, the world’s fastest growing social media channel, has our hearts.

We tell the small businesses, entrepreneurs and boss babes that we work with that Instagram is THE social spot to see and be seen. Why? It’s the most direct, inexpensive and authentic way to communicate with your customers on social media.

Unfortunately Instagram has broken our double-tappin’ hearts with their recent announcement that they’re introducing an algorithm to their feed over the coming months.

Instagram claims, “…your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”

Every post made by the people and brands you follow will still appear in your feed (for the time being, at least). However, Instagram will use the algorithm to determine the order that they think you’ll prefer.

While hundreds of thousands have signed a petition to #keepinstagramchronological, it may not be as bad for business as it seems!

Before Facebook mastermind Mark Zuckerberg gave all his money away, he bought Instagram for the small sum of $1 billion.

Since Facebook posts originally appeared in chronological order (like Instagram posts do now), you could say the writing was on the wall (pun intended). But why did Facebook introduce the algorithm in the first place — aside from making money from advertisers, that is?

Facebook users have liked more pages than their capacity to consume the information that comes from them — around 1,500 posts at any given time! Now Instagrammers have followed in their footsteps, missing on average 70 percent of their feeds. Thus, the infamous algorithm.

Don’t hate the player. Play the game.

But as our version of the saying goes, don’t hate the player, play the game. In this game, the keys to cracking the code are engaging content, Insta influencers and social ads.

Code Breaker #1: Be Engaging…

The algorithm won’t be introduced to Instagram immediately, so use the interim to figure out what content your followers engage with most AND when they’re most engaged. We recommend using online service Iconosquare to evaluate your Instagram posts and plan your content accordingly.

Code Breaker #2: …or Find Someone Who Is

Instagram has largely avoided becoming commercialized and has maintained its authenticity among users. Thus, the channel has amassed a large network of influencers who have grown extremely engaged followings. Partner with the influencers that your followers are fanatical about to piggyback on their (sure to be) primo placement in the algorithm.

Code Breaker #3: Ad It Up

If Facebook’s history tells us anything, ads will become increasingly important in reaching customers on Instagram once the algorithm is in place. Instagram ads are managed through Facebook’s platform, so get comfortable with using it if you haven’t already.

Of course, the case of the Instagram algorithm is just unfolding, so we’ll continue to keep you “posted” on the strategies you’ll need to crack the code to social success.

This article originally appeared in the inaugural issue of Tallahassee Woman Magazine’s newest publication, Women Who Mean Business. Read the entire issue >>