You’re scrolling through your Instagram feed on a Friday and see “#tbt to the best vacation ever.” You think “Nice try Jessie, but it’s Friday.” Then you check the timestamp. “Posted 23 hours ago”. Oh.
In a world where Instagram still has fake followers, bots, and doesn’t allow links in captions it seems they’ve decided to dedicate their time and energy elsewhere by doing away with the chronological timeline. No more chronological posts means that all the research and testing on the best time of day to post is now useless. It’s not shocking why businesses who count on their audience and the engagement of their followers to build their brand, sell things, and make money are angry. The good news is, this inconvenience has allowed social media managers and influencers to get more creative with how they market and promote their content. So even if your Instagram activity has decreased, there are a few ways to work around this pesky new algorithm.
1. Use Instagram Stories to Draw Attention to New Posts
Your timeline is out of order, but for the most part, IG stories remain chronological. You may have even noticed influencers already using their stories to promote a new photo by taking a screenshot of their timeline and dropping an emoji to cover the picture. You’ll create a sense of mystery and can entice visitors to click through to your page to see the new post. It looks something like this:
2. Experiment with Contests and Giveaways
Capitalizing on the chronology of IG stories. Post a story about a giveaway on your account and create engagement by asking your followers to like or comment on your most recent post. It will not only increase engagement on your page but ensure that your followers take a look at your feed. It doesn’t have to be a pricey gift. Start off small with something like a t-shirt, sticker or something easily accessible to you.
3. Survey Your Followers
Now that Instagram has instituted their “Polls” function, a good way to test whether people see your posts in their timelines is to take a quick survey. A simple “Did you see this post on your timeline?” “Yes or No” could be very insightful as to whether it’s the algorithm that’s affecting your engagement, or if the post itself just wasn’t all that engaging. You’ll get valuable feedback, plus everyone who clicks no will be intrigued to go check it out.
4. Consider an Ad or a Sponsored Post
If you rely on Instagram as a primary resource for marketing your business and have experienced a noticeable decrease in engagement, it could be time to consider paying to run an ad. Ads can cost anywhere from $0.70 and $1.00 per click.
5. Maximize Your Use of Other Social Networks
Instagram has given no indication of going back to their old chronology, so it may be time to rethink your social media strategy. Use twitter and facebook to promote your posts. Don’t limit your images to Instagram and start increasing engagement on other platforms to capitalize on exposure across all channels, if Instagram traffic is suffering.