If you haven’t heard by now, you’re probably living under a rock, because there has been a major uproar regarding Instagram’s algorithm change. It (apparently) takes effect today and means posts in our IG feeds will no longer be displayed chronologically, but rather based on a number of factors, such as post engagement and if you’ve “liked” that user’s posts before. Ultimately, the concern is that your followers may not see your posts, and this is definitely a reason to worry!
Instead of freaking out or begging your followers to turn on post notifications for you (meaning they’ll be notified every time you post something), turn it into a positive! Changes like this present us with a great opportunity to review our businesses and what we’re doing to grow them, and how we can prevent things like this from upsetting the apple cart in the future. Here are my top three takeaways from this Instagram “crisis”:
You Shouldn’t Be Relying on Instagram (or Any Other Social Media Platform) to Run Your Business
Treat social media platforms like vitamins. Vitamins can help you feel better and operate more efficiently, but they aren’t 100% vital for your survival. Don’t treat social media platforms like your oxygen tank. Relying on social media platforms as the only way to maintain or grow your business is dangerous and risky. What if Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter disappeared tomorrow? What would happen to your business? Always remember that you have no control over what these social networks do or how they operate. You may have a fool-proof Instagram strategy, but one algorithm change can derail it, leaving your business in trouble. Don’t let it happen to you.
You Need a Virtual Presence Other Than On Social Media
I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I’ve worked with who, in the beginning stages of their business, have only had an Instagram or Facebook page — no website. At some point, if you want to be taken seriously, you absolutely need to have a virtual presence outside of social media. Once you have your own space on the web, the sky is the limit! You won’t be bound by Instagram or Facebook’s “rules” or defined by their policies or algorithms. You can totally do you. It may seem intimidating at first, but starting a website is actually pretty easy. Check out our “how to start a website guide” or get in touch with us and we can help you make it happen!
You Need to Be Focusing On Your Email List
There are a million and one reasons why email marketing is more effective than social media marketing: emails are more personal, emails are more attention-grabbing, everyone checks their email, et cetera, et cetera. Unlike social media platforms, everyone has email and email has stood the test of time. And–bonus!–algorithm changes aren’t going to affect email! So if you haven’t yet, start collecting those emails! Mailchimp is a great email marketing tool and if you’re using one of our themes, integrating sign-up forms into your website is super easy.
The bottom line here is: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. A diverse marketing strategy is the best marketing strategy. If you love Instagramming and it’s working for you, by all means, keep it up! But review the tips above and make sure your business can sustain and survive any change a social media platform may throw your way.