how to love the new instagram algorithm: 6 key strategies for success
Learn six strategies to win with the new Instagram algorithm. Knowledge is power! Make the most of your time and efforts on Instagram.
Winning the Game on IG
Instagram is not the same game a year ago. It behaves differently so you need to too. It’s a waste of time and energy complaining about the changes or wishing for “the good ole days.” The good news is that when you understand the new Instagram algorithm you will be armed to win. You can’t win at any game unless you know “the rules.” So, with Instagram as with anything, knowledge is power. Here is what you need to understand in order to conquer the new Instagram algorithm. With this information you are not only going to survive the new Instagram algorithm you are going to love the new Instagram algorithm.
I think many people became discouraged because Instagram changed the rules mid-game. We all learned in childhood that this is not fair. We thought we knew how to play, we were doing just fine, and then all of a sudden, the game has changed, and no new rule cards were issued. We’ve been left floundering and wishing for the past. The worst part is that we can’t see the rule changes. They are hidden. All we know is that IG doesn’t reward us, grow us, like us, the way they used to.
So, let’s focus on how to meet these changes to have them work for us instead of against us.
Big and Powerful? No More!
Large numbers of followers no longer ensure continued growth. The only thing that ensures growth with the new Instagram algorithm is quality-driven engagement. In some ways, it’s a good thing. It creates more of an even playing field. Just because you’ve been on IG a long time and have garnered a large following doesn’t mean you will continue to grow and succeed. Everyone has to continually prove themselves, i.e. Produce High Quality Photos and engagement or their feed will stall, even shrink.
What Determines How Many People See Your Posts?
It is based on how people react to your posts. If you get a lot of likes and a lot of comments the new Instagram algorithm notices and shows it to more people. Likes, comments, and shares are the feedback tools that make the algorithm react. Likes, comments, and especially shares say to Instagram, “this is quality content.” In turn, the algorithm shows it to increasing numbers of people and may even add it on the search page. So, quality is seen and anything that doesn’t get a reaction is basically shoved to the bottom and practically ignored.
Feeds that can continually produce quality photos and posts and get a lot of people to engage will see lots of growth (and vice versa). Consistency is key to this game.
Why Did Instagram Change the Algorithm?
Firstly, Instagram is and was always changing and updating the algorithm. It just went slightly unnoticed. When changes became more drastic, we all sat up, paid attention, and gave it a name.
I don’t have all the inside scoop, but I do have some. And I’m sharing it because it made me feel a bit better after understanding these reasons. As you already know, artificial growth got out of control in the past. Companies and services were springing up overnight selling fake followers, likes, and even fake comments.
For a price, people were buying success. (I get a little sick feeling in my stomach even thinking about it, but that is the sad truth.) The entire platform was in jeopardy of becoming meaningless and robot controlled. There were too many for Instagram to traffic and stop. Instead, they changed the platform. Real comments are the one thing that robots can’t replicate.
6 Winning Strategies to Conquer the New Instagram Algorithm
1. Quality over Quantity
It’s more important than ever with the new Instagram algorithm to really focus on quality. If this means not posting as often, then don’t post as often. I say it all the time, and I’ll say it again. Each and every post has the power to help or hurt. If it’s not helping, then it is hurting.
2. The Power of Momentum
Jodie and I liken Instagram to bowling. It’s like rolling a strike. Your next roll really counts. No pressure. Once you have a successful post you’ve “awoken” the IG Giant. More eyes are on you. Make sure you take advantage and post your best. Success builds on success.
3. Know Your Followers
How can you know if your post is going to do well before you post it? Know your followers. Study their reactions. Pay very close attention to how your posts perform. What makes your followers react? What do they love? When are they wishy-washy? Jodie and I usually have a very good idea how our posts will do before we even post because we really pay attention.
4. To Win with the New Instagram Algorithm Get a Reaction
As we’ve already discussed the holy grail is now comments and shares. Since likes can be duplicated by robots and purchased the only real measure that Instagram has are comments. I haven’t researched fake purchasing because I want to stay as far away from that as possible. I just might lose my composure. But I believe robots can also fake comments, but they don’t do a good job of it. To differentiate between real and robotic commenting IG now only counts comments of over three words. So, if you are leaving comments and you want it to make a difference, don’t just write “beautiful.” IG will count it as no better than a possible computer-generated response.
Want comments? Create a swoon-worthy photo, something that gets people to slow their speedy scrolling and write an engaging caption. Start a conversation, ask a question, take a poll, be witty and inviting. Draw your audience in so they can’t resist you. And they’re so moved they can’t resist replying.
These days in a sea of gorgeous swoon-worthy posts the very best photos create an emotional response. Photos that go practically viral have a surprise element, ethereal lighting, a dog or a child adding interest and “realness” to a gorgeous home decor photo, something that takes the photo to the next level.
5. Comment Back
It follows that it is very important to continue the conversation in your feed. Whenever possible comment back to each and every comment on your feed. Try not to lump the comments to save time. Every single comment counts so you are helping your feed by increasing the number of comments.
Also, optimally, comment back in a timely manner. If life allows (and I know sometimes it does not) comment back in real time. This has the power to boost your posts’ exposure. That should help motivate you.
6. Spend Time Giving to Conquer the New Instagram Algorithm
We’ve talked a lot about how much time you need to spend working on your own feed, i.e. quality posts, interaction, engagement, commenting back. What we haven’t talked about yet is what you should be doing out in the big world of IG.
Many people don’t know this so listen closely: You want your pictures to appear in the feed of as many people as possible, but how? Is it the luck of the draw? Do some people just have the magic touch? Is it out of reach? No, no and no. You can totally affect this and here’s how. Like and comment authentically (always three or more words) on other feeds in your niche. Spend time searching, following, and commenting on other feeds. When you spend time interacting with people Instagram will “reward” you by putting you in their home feed. We know this takes a lot of time, but it will reap huge benefits in the long run.
Jodie and I didn’t know this was the case. We just did it because we love it. We love “meeting” people and spreading love, and it is a huge reason for our success. It’s the law of the universe in action, even on Instagram. Give. Give extravagantly and the universe will provide. Put your real heart into it and what you get back will be just as real.
The New Instagram Algorithm is All About Building Real Relationships
It comes down to this, my friends. To grow your coveted level of engagement you need to build true relationships. No matter how you slice it, this is the foundation for growth. Friends reply to friends. Connections build connections. When you treat Instagram like a real community it reacts as such. It’s like greeting a friend in the street or at the gym. You’ve built a relationship so when you see them (or in this case, their post) you are much more likely to engage in kind conversation, share a compliment etc. Real relationships are not built on generic comments. Heartfelt comments ring out loudly. Put your heart into it and your authenticity will ring through the crowd.
Certainly, in the Home Décor Community on Instagram we are about so much more than pretty pictures of our homes. We interact in a real way. If you are not interacting and making friends, you are missing a big piece of the IG puzzle. Not only will making friends improve your engagement it will also improve your enjoyment. It’s truly a win/win.
For more tips on how to conquer the new Instagram algorithm, read Sprout Social’s article, “How to survive (and outsmart) the Instagram algorithm.”
You Can Do This: How to Love the New Instagram Algorithm
Jodie and I have spent three years on Instagram building real relationships. This is the key to our success. We are all about the people. We are all about the interactions and wouldn’t be here if it weren’t real. It takes time, but it makes it all worthwhile. Read more about the details and our best advice based on our experience and what it takes to GROW OVER 100K. We’ve always done it for the intrinsic rewards. It turns out, the rewards are multi-faceted. The more real it is for you the more connected your followers will feel. Jodie and I affectionately call it “the love fest,” and we’re not even kidding.
People talk about “beating the algorithm.” You don’t need to beat it. You just need to understand it. Like any new game or challenge it’s foolish to think you can win without knowing and understand the rules. Hopefully, armed with this new clarity you will find yourself not only winning at this game we call Instagram but loving the new Instagram algorithm.
Are you interested in taking your IG game to the next level? Schedule a Private Instagram Consultation with Jodie and me. We will study your Instagram account and meet with you via conference call to give you our best advice on exactly how to improve your feed. We will walk you through each aspect of the process, from defining your “brand,” improving your bio, optimizing your skill set, photography and editing, voice, and pointed actions to make the most of your valuable time and efforts on Instagram. When you realize that time is money, this will be a great investment that will easily pay for itself. Schedule your Personalized Instagram Assessment today.
Jodie and I share our insights regarding all aspects of Instagram here on our blog. If you haven’t yet read the 40+ posts in which we share our expertise, tips, and specific recommendations it’s like leaving money on the table. These posts will help you organically grow your Instagram account. They can be found under our Instagram Tab on the blog. We hope you make the time to take full advantage of these FREE RESOURCES.
With love & gratitude,
As always, the best advices from the sweetest girls on IG. ????
Aw you cutie pie! Thank you darling friend! God sent you to us so we could lift each other up. I hope we continue to do so for years to come! And looking forward to a real hug this summer! With love & gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Thank you for explaining a little about the algorithm.
I appreciate you girls
Patti, It’s always great to hear from you! We appreciate your kindness and your support! Let’s just call it again what it is…a love fest! haha! In one sentence, it’s about heart! Computers and robots cannot compete with heart! And the more computerized our world becomes the more we need to connect in a real way! Many blessings to you dear one, with love, Julie & Jodie
Such a great post!!! Now I feel like I understand the algorithm much better. This series you two are sharing is so insightful and easy to understand. You two are amazing! Great work!????
That’s awesome to hear Piper! We are so glad that you feel more informed, and even more importantly, inspired. We want you to feel your own power, power to connect and reap all the rewards, some tangible and many intangible. It’s so important to enjoy the journey as well, and when you put your true heart into this the results will be magical! Can’t wait to see you soaring! With love, Julie & Jodie
Loved this!!! Thank you for sharing! Excited to implement some of these tips!! ????????????????????
Aw Sweet Makenna, So happy to see you here! Jodie has a love affair with you 🙂 And what Jodie feels I feel too, hee hee! Hope to be able to hug three-way one day, God willing. Until then, many blessings to you, with love, Julie & Jodie
The love goes both ways!!!! Yes absolutely, one day I bet we sure will meet!!! So much love for you both. xoxoxox
Aw thank you Darling! Wising you so many blessings, until we meet in person, love, Julie & Jodie
This is one of the best posts about IG I’ve ever read! It made me feel so much more hopeful about being a part of Instagram. I really had my doubts about joining yet another “predatory” feeling platform, and your words helped me to see it from a better perspective- one that feels right and fits my personal values. Thanks so much. ????
Lynndee, The world is what we make it! IG is what we make it! Focus on others, focus on sharing your gorgeousness, all God’s gifts, focus on beauty and kindness and all will be returned. Those who focus on the other tend to find it. Wishing you all God’s great blessings, Julie & Jodie
Sharon (sweethoneycottage on IG says
I appreciated this so much!! Thank you for explaining this! I think understanding the thinking BEHIND IG is the key to being successful at it.
I was always hesitant to
Leave a comment on the feed of someone with a huge account or someone I really just came across while scrolling. I won’t feel that way anymore????
Always enjoy your posts ladies!! ????
Sharon, Yes, exactly! Be bold, be true, be yourself! Let your light shine brightly and others will be attracted! IG is no place to hold back. If you can touch people’s hearts through your photos and your words that is it. The rest is just about giving and giving and giving without really focusing on yourself. Remember, the law of the universe and the law of God, give and you shall receive…so true even on Instagram. With love & blessings, Julie & Jodie
Thank you for the awesome advice ladies!! I loved your post on photography as well, and feel that it has really helped me!! I still have a long way to go, but am so grateful you two have been here helping me. Thank you!!????????
Aw Angela! We are so so happy to hear that we’ve helped you! We all remember what is was like when we were new…but you are not alone on this journey and the key is to put your true heart into it, don’t hold back, share all the glory within generously and people will be attracted to your light! Wishing you many blessings and success in all ways, Julie & Jodie
Great advice ladies!! Thank you for this post!
Marci, You are so welcome. We thank you for your gorgeous friendship and loving support. You are a true gem! Happy this IG world brought our paths to cross…much love & blessings, Julie & Jodiie
More great information to soak up for my newbie self.
Thank you so much for using your time and experience to help others! You are both so generous.
Pam, Oh my gosh, you are so sweet! It is our privilege and honor to share what we have learned. It is our true joy. Thank you for your kindest support and for taking the time to give back to us such love 🙂 XO ~ Julie & Jodie
Great information, girls! Thank you for helping me to understand this, I hear all the complaining and notice the changes on IG but never really understood it until now! It makes so much sense! ????????
Sandra, Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to reply. We are thrilled to hear that a) this was helpful and b) that it made sense! That makes us super happy! We hope you will continue to read and enjoy the many (20) Instagram related posts here on our blog. Wishing you great success on your journey. XO ~ Julie & Jodie
Leena Vidal says
Thank you for explaining. Now I think I understand how instagram works because I can never understand how is it that I can gain five or more followers in a day but my account would never increase by that amount. In fact it decreases.
Leena, I’m glad we were able to shed some light on the mysteries of Instagram for you. IG only shows your new followers, it doesn’t show people who unfollow. So, yeah, there are always people unfollowing (a very fickle IG world out there). That’s why I like to focus on what matters, staying real, focusing on the people and creating great content. Wishing you much success and we hope you will continue to be inspired by our blog posts. Your friends, Julie & Jodie
Chris B says
Another informative, eye opening blog post ladies!! Thanks for breaking it down so we all understand! Love to you both!
Chris, So glad you enjoyed the post! We really appreciate your support and taking the time to leave a kind reply. It makes it all worthwhile. Wishing you all the best, Julie & Jodie
Ann @rekindledsigns says
Thanks girls!! You’re the best!
Glory Galbraith says
This was such an interesting blog post. It goes hand and hand with happiness and karma. I truly believe we get back what we give good or bad. How blessed we are to have double the heartfelt, beauty you twins sisters share with us. You are gifted and talented. Thank you for always inspiring us.
Manuela Guerrero says
Hello at two I just discovered your blog. Thank you for giving so much information. I have very few followers and I implentandp all the strategies that I know now also yours. Yesterday I put 30 hasthtags in the post separate from the text and 29 more different in one comment, and I got many likes and followers. Today I wanted to do the same and I was told that there were too many Ags. I had to start from scratch my publication ????????????. Please have some advice so that it does not happen? Can not you do this anymore for the new algoritm.? Thanks so much for your conseils and help.
Manuela, In direct response to your question, I bet what happened was you miscounted by one. Jodie and I have both made this mistake before and the entire text disappears…so frustrating. Therefore, we count our tags now very carefully…maybe even use 27 and not shoot for 30. You don’t want to risk losing all your work. On a side note, be careful using this strategy of adding additional hashtags. We have read that IG frowns on this and views it as “spam-like” behavior. Anything they view as spam-like is risky, especially since IG is continuing to crack down on people using tricks to grow. Wishing you the best of luck on your IG journey, Julie & Jodie
Dianna Henson says
Wow I am really so glad I’ve stumbled upon, & read several of your IG info blog posts! Legitimately informative, interesting and useful. Thank you for sharing!
Dianna, We are so happy to hear that you are finding our blog posts worthwhile. We have worked hard to convey all we have learned both through our personal experience, through researching and talking to others. We hope you will continue to visit our blog and find our content helpful. Thankfully, Julie & Jodie
Karen Velinsky says
Thank you for your posts, I find them full of great information and tips. From someone just starting out compared to others;I find your information very helpful!
Thanks for the positive feedback. We work hard to teach all we learn about Instagram. Hope you continue to enjoy our Instagram-related posts. Best, Julie & Jodie