In today’s blog, I want to talk with you about the recent updates to Instagram’s algorithm. I’ve had so many people reach out to me and ask, what’s going on? Does Instagram hate me? I’m no longer reaching the type of people that I want to, or my organic reach has gone way down…

Let me just tell you that 2019 has been one of the biggest years of change for Instagram since it started. It’s been a crazy year! The strategies that you were once using probably are no longer working for you. I totally understand how frustrating that can be, especially as a business owner. We all have a finite amount of time in the day, and you want to make sure that the strategies you’re using are really maximizing your ROI, and creating the biggest impact for your brand possible. So let’s talk about strategies you can use, and how you can work smarter, not harder on Instagram! You can use these algorithm updates to your advantage.

Before you run away when I say the word analytics, just know analytics are so important. Let’s walk through the major analytics that you should be looking at, step-by-step:

  • Open your IG profile.
  • Click the three bars in the top right-hand corner.
  • From there, click on insights, and on the first page, you’ll be able to see your posts for that week.
  • Now, click on “see more” and you’ll be able to look at all the analytics for your posts over the last year or two years plus.


When I look over the last year of my top posts (in terms of reach) I can very clearly see that all of my top posts are photos of myself. This is common for Instagram. Many times selfies or nice photos of yourself will perform the best. You’ll want to make sure this is the case for your own profile. There are definitely some accounts that do really, really well with just quotes or landscape pics. It is really dependent on what type of account you have, and it’s not one size fits all. So pay attention to your analytics, and you can be more strategic about the posts that you’re scheduling in the future. 

The next tip that is important is to see what time of day your followers are on most frequently.

  • Make sure you’re posting when most of your followers are on.
  • The Instagram algorithm wants to see how a post performs in the first 30 minutes. That first 30 minutes will determine how and where Instagram will show your post. If in 30 minutes, you’re getting a lot of likes, saves, and comments, then IG recognizes that your post is amazing content. It might then get shared with hashtag groups or the explore page.
  • So you definitely want to make sure that you’re posting and at a time when your followers are on and engaging with your content.
  • Definitely don’t post at 3:00 AM unless your followers are typically up at 3:00 AM! So make sure you’re really strategic and working with Instagram’s algorithm so they will share your content with more people!


Another thing that you’ll want to be utilizing is IG stories. Stories are a great way to get people to see your content. They may not necessarily be scrolling through your feed, or maybe the Instagram algorithm isn’t showing them your content, but by posting to your stories, they’ll be drawn to your profile and your recent posts.

One interesting fact to know about the algorithm update is even if you and your best friend are following the exact same people when you open up Instagram at the exact same time, you won’t be served the same photos because Instagram uses machine learning. What that means is…

  • IG is monitoring what photos you’re liking. So if you like photos of landscapes, travel, and restaurants, you’ll see more of those types of photos.


  • If your best friend is just liking babies and puppies, (because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love babies and puppies?!) She’s going to be served more of that type of content because Instagram wants to make sure that their users are spending as much time as possible on the platform.


  • You want to make sure your content is triggering what people are liking the most of, and that your content and those insights that we talked about previously will keep people on the platform for longer because then Instagram will continue showing more of your content to more people.


  • Just remember: just because you and I like the same things, and all of the same people, and live in the same area, it doesn’t mean that our feeds are going to be the same. It depends on what photos you’ve saved, liked, and commented on. So, there is no way that two people are ever going to be exactly the same in that regard. Plus, Instagram is intelligent in that way, and picks up on minor differences, so that it can serve you more content that you personally like in order to keep you on the platform longer.


Relational Building and Connections:

It’s important to be sure you’re engaging with new followers and people that message you. If you are connecting with them, they’ll go back to your profile to check out more content. When they like and comment on more of your photos, Instagram will serve that individual your content more often.


So you’re going to make sure that you are building as many relationships as possible through direct messages so that you are triggering Instagram’s algorithm and getting your content served to as many people as possible.


Finally, let’s talk about hashtags.

I can’t tell you how upset it makes me the number of people that are misusing hashtags. If you have a small account, and you’re using hashtags with millions and millions of mentions, the likelihood that anyone is going to see your photo is so slim, that you might as well not have even used any hashtags! I would recommend if you have a smaller account, 80% of your hashtags should have 50,000-100,000 mentions or less, and only 20% of your used hashtags can be the big 1,000,000 mentions kind of hashtags. You’re more likely to be listed as a top post on the 50k-100k hashtags in order to get more people to come to your profile, check it out, and like your posts.


The key with hashtags is to not end up wasting your precious time. That’s what I’m trying to put to a stop. One of my missions is to make purpose-driven entrepreneurs as productive and as efficient with their time as possible because we all have a finite amount of time on this earth, and I want to make sure that every activity that you’re doing allows you to maximize your ROI.


If you are interested in doing just that, I just launched a new book called Seven Strategies to Simplify Your Social Media Marketing so you can work smarter, not harder! I’ll drop the link to that at the end of this blog, so make sure you take advantage and download it!

So, to recap:

  1. Utilize insights to be more strategic about your posting time.
  2. IG stories are key to getting people to see your content more often.
  3. Post the type of content your audience truly wants to see.
  4. Use strategic hashtags to target your niche audience.


That’s all for today, but I hope you found this blog to be helpful, and if you did, check out my YouTube Channel, subscribe, and leave a comment on the video that corresponds with this blog!