5 Ways To Feel Better About the Algorithm

So if you don’t know what I mean by “the algorithm” then this post probably won’t be super relatable to you (or maybe it will! who knows?!). But for those familiar with Instagram, the *new* algorithm is something that comes up again and again as a point of frustration. In short, awhile back Instagram changed the feed from chronological to algorithm based and since then many users have found their posts receive less likes and attention, and even reach less of the people actually following them. The last point is probably the largest point of contention and area of frustration—that people who decided to follow you on their own now don’t even see your posts. Honestly I don’t have the answers; I can’t promise tips that will help you improve your engagement or get more followers, but maybe these suggestions can at least improve your overall experience.
1. Highlight someone else. When you’re feeling especially frustrated by your lack of reach, your lack of engagement: shout-out your favorite accounts in your Instagram stories. Don’t write the people ahead of time, don’t ask for anything in exchange, just share. Share a few favorite pictures from the last week or accounts that consistently inspire you, instead just share. Pass the inspiration on and be an encouragement to someone else probably struggling with the same feelings you have. Especially focus on a small accounts who might really benefit or appreciate the mention. Be the light to someone else who might be feeling the same things you are feeling.
2. Get involved in a new, small hashtag. You can start your own hashtag or merely find a new, preferably small one to follow and love. Try to be active in that hashtag—find some new accounts to follow and like. Make some new friends. Within a smaller, newer hashtag you can really connect with people and build a tight knit community. Sometimes you feel lost in the crowd on Instagram and hashtags can help you find your community.
3. Set challenges for yourself you can achieve with no one else’s help. This was a big thing to me when I started blogging—I didn’t have friends who were interested and I had to learn how to take my own pictures because there was no one around to help. In the end though it made my creativity dependent only on me—if I was willing, I would find a way to do it. Similarly, set challenges for yourself that you can achieve that aren’t dependent on other people liking or commenting on your content. Maybe you want to post more often, or challenge yourself to try a new creative idea once a week (or once a month! make it something you can achieve). Figure out a way to set goals for yourself that don’t depend on anyone else and then feel the success of achieving those goals. Repeat, repeat, repeat!
4. Listen to Me and Orla’s podcast Hashtag Authentic. I suppose I ought to call her Sara Tasker, but I think of people as their usernames so she’s always Me and Orla in my mind. Names aside, I feel like I recommend her podcast to people at least once a week. It’s for all sorts of creatives and honestly, from her soothing voice, to her realistic tips, it’s just an absolute treat. It’s not just for “Instagrammers” or bloggers or any set thing at all, it's for everyone who is or wants to be creative. The podcast has the best, practical advice and honestly, makes you feel good when you listen to it.
5. Take a break. I love the Internet and I’m slightly addicted to my phone, so I’m not about a “phone detox” or whatever you might call it. But it’s sort of like that classic idea of whether you should stay home waiting for the guy to call, or go out and have something to tell him when he does call. If we spend too long on the Internet or apps we don’t have as much to add to the story—the material that adds to those corners comes from the outside world. So even if it’s just setting a few hours a day aside, it can really enrich the content you share. Don't forget to step away from it all and do something creative or fun that isn't for "the 'gram."
As I said earlier, these tips won't necessarily help improve your statistics or "fight" the algorithm, but they can improve your overall experience on the app and your day. Getting sincere thanks from someone who appreciated your mention can be so much more powerful than a new faceless extra follows or empty likes. There's more than one way to measure success and it's up to you to decide how you measure your experience and success.


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