If you are a business using Instagram to gain potential clients, this should matter to you! Along with the new Facebook update, Instagram also changed in the past month. Here is a little recap of how the new algorithm affects you.

Much like Facebook, just because you have over 1,000 followers does not mean every one of them is seeing your content. Within the first 10 minutes of posting a picture, it is only released to 10% of your followers. That means you've got ten minutes to shine! The algorithm measures how fast and how often that small percentage of your audience engages with your post. Based on your post's engagement, your post may or may not be released to your next 90%. Instagram is comparing the engagement of your new post to the engagement of your previous posts.

The higher the engagement, the higher you will appear on your followers' feed. The lower the engagement, the lower you will appear on your followers' feed. Kapeesh?

If you were anything like us, this initial news is discouraging. But that's why we are here to help! Instagram is not going to bring the organic growth anymore, but you can still work hard and stay up to date to gain business from this platform. Here's a step-by-step of how to beat the algorithm:

#1) Post when everyone is looking. Your chances of high engagement are strong if you are creating and publishing great content when everyone is browsing.

#2) Content is king. You may not be able to insert a good quote or random facts anymore. What your post is needing are some engaging prompts or questions. Get the conversation started for your followers and find out what they love! If it's Monday, let them reply with their favorite emoji that describes their day so far. If you are deciding on a new product, throw a few objects out there and get their opinion. Hint, hint, they are your buyers!! They know what they want. This is an excellent time to call your friends or fellow businesses to help you out. Scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours, eh?
#3) The hashtag game. This one is going to hurt a lot of you. The days of creating a ton of meaningful and related hashtags are over. Instagram is now suggesting that you add 5 GREAT hashtags to each post. They also recommend switching these out often. Our suggestion is to make a list of your top 20 and alternate using them throughout the week.
#4) Measure your engagement. Instagram has a new-ish feature called "Insights." This is your new best friend. Not only will it help you figure out the demographics you are reaching, but it will also show you your most engaging content. Here at Blue Fish, we have found that our Instagram followers love seeing our what we are up to, rather than generic product posts. Notice what they like, provide more of that, and they will notice you!
And last but not least, #5) watch for new algorithms. Instagram is ever changing. If you want to be in the game, you're going to have to be on top of it!

Well, that’s a wrap for this week! I want to thank you for checking in. Make sure to hit that like button. And if you have any questions or comments leave them down below. If you want to talk about how Blue Fish can help you grow your business just send us a message and we’ll get the conversation started!