How to Weather those Instagram Changes

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If you’ve been on Instagram over the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen a photo while scrolling telling you to “turn on notifications” so you don’t miss any posts. While I’ve contemplated unfollowing these accounts because of their annoying requests, it certainly caught my attention and sent me straight to the world wide web for some investigation.

Apparently, Instagram announced some changes in its algorithm that reorder your feed. This prompted the internet to absolutely FREAK OUT that their precious posts wouldn’t be seen. Instagram LOL’d and said, “Hey, you guys. We’re changing things. But it’s 2016 and we’re going to be smart about things. Don’t worry.” I get the freak out – especially by those who rely on Instagram for significant portions of their income.

Still not enough to turn off those “turn on notification” posts. But here is something I’ll say to you: DO NOT TURN ON INSTAGRAM NOTIFICATIONS. Seriously. Don’t. You’ll literally get a notification every single time someone that you enabled notifications for posts ANYTHING. And please, I beg you, don’t tell your followers to turn on notifications for you.

What you should do is actually post great content so that whatever algorithm Instagram develops will float you to the top of your followers’ feeds. Here are some tips:

Use high-quality photos. Great photos are the reason Instagram was invented, right? Thankfully, iPhones have pretty nice cameras these days. But the naked eye can typically tell if you’ve got an iPhone photo or an HD photo. If you’ve got the budget, opt for an HD camera and take great photos and videos that support your mission.

Download Regram. Regram photos from partner organizations. I used to screenshot photos of others Instagrams and credit them in the caption. But now, there’s an app for that.

Use video whenever possible. With my organization’s Instagram, I tend to notice that our videos get more traction than our photos do. Something about the moving picture that captivates an audience. We’ve also found great luck with Boomerang, which creates quick forward to backward videos that end up being kind of awesomely funny.

Tell a story. I’m not one for digitally illustrated quotes, but throw a good meme at me any day and I’ll laugh uncontrollably. Whatever content you choose, make sure it gels with everything else you’ve got on your Instagram account. Content should have a purpose. Don’t throw curve balls.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these awesome Nonprofit Instagram accounts. Let us know how you’re using Instagram in your organization in the comments!

About author

Kadi McDonald

No matter where she's worked, Kadi has successfully evaluated deep-rooted communications challenges and developed a plan to improve and simplify for the audience. She has shifted her professional life to one that allows her the flexibility and time to be dedicated to her passion projects. She develops and manages social media strategies for nonprofits, writes articles and blogs for a wide variety of clients and audiences, and consults on small marketing and branding projects for all types of businesses. She is a storyteller by nature and thrives in environments that crave authenticity and transparency. She works with multiple nonprofit organizations whose missions surround the ideas of community, compassion, service, and equality for all.

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