I’m sure those of you who have been keeping track of the happenings on Instagram, you have heard the word “algorithm” a few times over the last few years. Now if your not sure exactly what that is or what it means for your business, let me fill you in!
a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.
In 2016 Instagram changed their posts from displaying in a chronological order to an algorithm that takes into account a number of different factors. E.g. people you follow, engagement, amount of time viewing a post, what posts your sharing, and more. It will then display posts from the people you follow, in an order it calculates, that would “best fit your wants”. When implementing this, a lot of users were very upset not only because they would be viewing photos posted days ago first on their feed but also because a lot of accounts that had a small number of followers were getting lost. Unless you had thousands, even several hundred thousands of followers you won’t be seen easily. There are a few things you can do to counteract that. Like I had mentioned in part 1 of this series – branding, posting regularly, utilizing instagram stories, client shoutouts, and showcasing your username on all business materials – will help you stay noticed by your followers. Let’s jump forward a little on that list to Instagram Stories.
If you log into your Instagram you will see on the top of the page little circles with the names and photos of the people you follow. Here you can see what temporary picture or video they would like to share. These tend to last only 24 hours, but there is a way with the newest Highlights feature, you are able to save stories in special categories on your profile for them to view whenever they like.
Unlike you’re actual posts, you don’t have to worry about posting too often or if the content matches the aesthetic of the page. These stories force your followers to be reminded of you on a daily basis even if they are unable to view your regular content. It keeps your business and all of the happenings relevant. Don’t think that the story content has to be perfectly positioned with the perfect angles and the best lighting. Stories are meant to be the raw behind the scenes so your clients can see your personality. They want to feel familiar with you and your work so a special relationship can be formed without you ever meeting. They want to walk into your studio or have you come to their house and know what you use, your technique, they want to know what makes you special. Some may even decide to choose you based on your sense of humor alone. Clients want familiarity and personability; thankfully with this day and age we can show people our strengths on a world wide level.
Instagram Stories has a few different features so you can continue to change up the style of content and keep people intrigued.
- Super Zoom.
- Stop Motion.
Also, you can add additional fun things to these pictures and videos like:
- Links to your website (if you have over 1k followers).
- Text with different font choices.
These features are great if you want to add some flash to your content, but what about the actual content? Some brands like to dedicate one day out of the week to discuss a topic or commonly asked questions from clients – skin care saturday, tan tuesdays, makeup mondays. This will give you a platform to discuss the common mistakes clients make or even client etiquette, in a professional manner of course. If you have a last minute cancellation or some availability during a usually busy period, stories are great to share because it reaches a majority of your clients at once while also reaching out to those who may not have seen you before. If you and/or your employees are going to a class to extend your knowledge in the services you offer, put it all on your stories. Clients want to see that you care enough about them to want to give them the best services with the most updated techniques. Announcing deals, packages, holiday hours, dates your unavailable, and so much more can be done with the Stories.
Now Instagram has taken it one step farther with the start of Story Highlights. With this feature you are able to categorize and save your stories so your clients can go back to see your behind the scenes whenever they want. You can custom create the categories yourself as well as the icon in the bubble. Here, once you post your story you may go back to it and choose which highlight to add it to. You are able to add all of your stories in each category or one or two from the day. If you already have been utilizing Instagram stories for a while, they have made it simple to go into your story archives and add those old stories to your highlights.
Overall the key here is to make yourself seen. That dreaded algorithm made it difficult for small pages to be noticed but Instagram gave us other tools to utilize to create a more personalized experience!
If you want to see how to use any of these features, click this link HERE to see a walkthrough video on all things Instagram stories!