It’s been over a year since Instagram made its algorithm change but the struggle is still present.
The chronological order or posts that you know and love has been replaced by an algorithm. They say it will show you “the moments we believe you care about the most.”
Nobody knows all the details behind the algorithm but there are a few ways to beat it.
1. Engage with others
The beauty of Instagram is the community (and all the pretty pictures). Commenting and liking other people’s photos has always been the best way to build relationships on there and it always will be. I personally made it my own goal a few months ago to try to comment more and I’ve gotten to know some wonderful people much better by doing so. And who doesn’t love a comment on their photo?
With the algorithm change, that’s just more incentive to comment on and double tap those photos. The more you engage with a post by commenting, liking, or sharing, the more Instagram’s algorithm will see that you have a relationship with that account and include it at the top of your feed.
What is irony for a photographer? It’s being in one of the longest and most frustrating ruts of your career and finally breaking out the camera and taking a bunch of photos you love only to have your LR import fail to save them all to your hard drive and not realizing it until after you’ve deleted the cards. So if anyone has a good recommendation on card recovery software, I’m all ears.
2. Ask questions
Do you want to make sure people see your posts? Asking questions will increase engagement on your own photo and help ensure that your post gets seen by your followers (and commenters will see your future posts).
I enjoy talking to people on Instagram so this is something I’ve done for a while now when I’m curious about something. I love getting people’s opinion on things and have asked for book recommendations, vacation suggestions, and even about who their favorite photographers are when working on a work project for Click & Company.
3. Post quality photos
If making sure your photos are at the top of the algorithm is important to you then the motto of quality over quantity is going to be a good rule of thumb to follow. The better the photo the more likely you’re going to get likes and comments which will push it up in the algorithm. Feel free to post your favorite DSLR photos and if you post cell phone images, make sure you apply the basics of photography that you use with your big camera like quality light, rule of thirds, perspective, and telling a story. If you want to know what type of photos works best on your account, consider using a tool like Iconosquare or Union Metrics which shows you what your top photos are and you can see a trend between them.
Anybody else’s Tuesday feel like this? #faceszoeymakes A post shared by April Nienhuis (@aprilnienhuis) on
4. Turn on post notifications
Turning on post notifications is a relatively new Instagram update. If you tap the three dots above a photo you’ll see the option to “turn on post notifications”. Doing this will allow a push notification to be sent to your phone every time that person posts.
This will absolutely keep you in the loop when someone you really care about posts something new but consider how often they post and how many notifications you turn on because this will determine how many times your phone dings or vibrates. I know that if I turned on notifications for the hundreds of people I follow my phone would be a constant buzz and distraction.
Never say never but I don’t personally intend on using this feature.
Long story short, authentic engagement is key.
Everything I mentioned are things I already do and intend to continue doing. Now make sure you’re following me on Instagram so we can keep in touch.