How many times have you thought “the Instagram algorithm hates me!! No one is seeing my posts!” and wanted to give up on Instagram altogether? Believe me, I get it. It’s way easier to blame the algorithm than looking inwards and seeing what we could do better as a business owner on social media. It would be amazing if we could just post a photo and get tons of likes and comments (that result in bookings), but there really is SO much more than that when it comes to Instagram. For Episode 48 of the Seniorologie Podcast, we’re going to talk about what the Instagram algorithm is and how you can make it work in your favor!
I wish I could tell you the algorithm is the result of some little cartoon character in your Instagram app deciding what he wants to share. But… that’s not really what it means. According to Google, “Social media algorithms are a way of sorting posts in a user’s feed based on relevancy instead of publish time. Social networks prioritize which content a user sees in their feed first based on a variety of factors including engagement and interaction with other users.” It’s a lot of mumbo-jumbo, but it basically means: this computer program decides what posts should be at the top of the app and in what order based on how we individually use the app. That means no two users will see the same content in the same order. Ever. The algorithm is trying to be helpful, believe it or not. It’s trying to use our past behavior to determine what we’d be interested in seeing.
Well, that doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?
It’s all based on your behavior! The first thing the algorithm looks at is “interest”. This basically means what content you’re showing interest in by liking instead of just scrolling by. Ever noticed how if you like a cooking post, suddenly more of those pop up in your feed? The algorithm assumed you’re super interested in that kind of content! It’s important to actively like, comment, and share posts so that the app can cater to you. It also looks at “relationships”. The algorithm wants to show you posts from the people you know and accounts you have relationships with. That really just means it’s important for you to build relationships with clients and potential clients on Instagram. Follow people back, answer their messages and DMs – it seriously helps!
Instagram is aware of who you’re searching for and who’s searching for you, too! Spend some time looking through accounts your ideal clients might look at. This will help your ideal clients find you. And be sure that your name field in your Instagram bio has words your idea client is searching for! Another thing the algorithm looks at is when you’re posting. Instagram is always going to show the latest, most up to date content, so make sure you’re posting consistently. Don’t post and ghost! It will seriously mess up your reach. Everyone is going to have different times that are best to post. You can find those times in planning apps like Plann or Planoly – or just test it out.
When it comes to Instagram, you can’t just post something and walk away. You need to be using your app regularly, too. Sign in, check out accounts, answer messages, and search for those other accounts. The more accounts you follow, the chances are that you won’t actually see all their content. Take a little time to clean up your account and again, ENGAGE so that people know you’re the real deal.
Finally, the last big piece that the algorithm looks at is how long users spend with your content. Are they spending time looking through your carousel of images? Reading a long caption? Are they watching Instagram stories? When users spend more time with your content, Instagram’s algorithm reads that as more interested, so it will push that content moving forward. So the solution here is to create valuable content that your followers want to engage with. Create carousels they want to scroll through, create reels they want to watch, create Instastories that they can engage with and keep watching all the way through instead of skipping ahead to the next person’s story and more!!
The algorithm does not hate you! Im going to say that again for the people in the back…the algorithm does not hate you! It is not a monster who is out to get you, but instead a series of criteria that can work to your advantage if you are using it the right way!! To make sure the algorithm works for your senior photography business, do the following:
For more help with what to post on Instagram, be sure to download my 75 Social Media Prompts for Senior Photographers!
This free guide will help you with what to post so you always have engaging content for your followers and can post consistently because you don’t have to think of content to post – I’m giving you an entire list!!
Are you a member of the free Seniorologie Community on Facebook? If not, I would love to have you join to continue this conversation and many more! The Seniorologie Community is a great place to get to know other senior photographers, share your wins, ask advice and much more! To join, click HERE!
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Need help with your senior photography business? I’ve put together lots of FREE resources to help you in your business! You can have access to these awesome free resources HERE!
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