Instagram algorithm, huh? Is that edible?
If you’re an influencer and you’re reading this, chances are that the Instagram Algorithm is like a set of curse words for you now. If you’re NOT an influencer and you have no idea what I’m talking about, well, depending on how you look at it, it’s something that the almighty Facebook (who owns Instagram) decided to implement in the early part of 2017. It involved a set of changes in the way users experience Instagram, that has shaken many influencers’ popularity (aka impression, likes, and comments) on the app. It’s been described as a controversial move on Instagram’s part that has been met with widespread outcry.
The change in the Instagram algorithm redefined the influencer industry
It’s been more than 6 months since the insidious Instagram algorithm kicked in and it’s already changed the influencer industry by leaps and bounds. It’s weeded out many influencers that simply couldn’t deal and decided to give up. It fueled the growth of an ancillary part of the influencer market – alleged experts and businesses offering solutions to “beat the Instagram algorithm”, many charging exorbitant fees for their service (this topic REALLY gets my blood pressure going because there’s a lot of preying upon the innocent happening; more on that later). It’s slightly leveled the playing field between the OG influencers that have incumbent status vs. the new entrants/micro-influencer. Heck, because of the Instagram algorithm change, micro-influencers make up a significant portion of the influencer industry now. I should probably be grateful.
Oh, yes. It got me moping, too
I won’t deny it. The Instagram algorithm change definitely impacted me and my social media presence. It bothered me, too. Like, a lot. I resorted to some desperate measures like many other influencers did – joining more comment pods than I could handle, paying to boost my posts, begged friends and family to spare some love on some of my content. But nothing offered a permeant solution and nothing was sustainable to keep doing. At one point, I felt like my Instagram account was a corpse that refused to react to any resuscitation efforts.
I tried to defy the gods of Instagram algorithm
I spent countless hours researching the subject. I clicked on numerous click-baity Pinterest posts. I’ve followed and subscribed to more “expert’” newsletter than you can imagine. I am a marketer by training, I can smell marketing bullshit from a mile away. Yet I continued to succumb to these so-called experts dangling the shining object of “beating Instagram algorithm” in front of me. I even paid $99 on an Instagram hashtag course. They’re hashtags for goodness’ sake. The class turned out to be totally bogus and offered nothing I couldn’t find from a 10 minute Google search. I demanded a refund and thankfully received it in full. Each and every interaction with these self-proclaiming experts left me more frustrated than before.
The Instagram algorithm couldn’t stop Cubicle Chic – Why?
For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while now, you know I started a new full-time job back in June. Since then, my blogging productivity along with my Instagram posting frequency has plummeted to a new low. Since June, my average posting rate on Instagram has dropped to once every 3-4 days. And yet, miraculously, my account following continued to grow. At 4,100 followers, my Instagram is still in its infancy in the influencer marketing. The sliver of hope comes from the fact that it grew from 3,800 to 4,100 in the last few months during my lowest period of productivity. Why??
1. I’m crystal clear on my “raison d’être”
“Raison d’être” is one of my favorite French words because, well, for one, the letters together just look really pretty, don’t they? The phrase means “reason for being” and is something that all influencer needs to have before they put any effort into building anything. For me, Cubicle Chic is a portal for me to help people. Every time I get a reader email me and ask me about a career move, an office situation, or a change in environment, I get a boost of energy and happiness. This is why Cubicle Chic exists. So, if Instagram is not where I will find new folks to connect with, so be it. There is still Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin’, to name a few, where people can find me and my blog. I believe in the value I provide through Cubicle Chic, therefore I’m confident that people will continue to tune in.
2. I have a network of like-minded individuals to count on and learn new things with.
I have my Instagram posse – a group of amazing bloggers & Instagrammers who I call friends and regularly consult with all things blogging.
- Jenny @ www.stuffilove.com/ || Jenny and I share the same blogging audience – professional women’s workwear & fashion. And we both have been going through some home renovation so we are always talking about home decor with each other!
- Elle @ www.thegrayasparagus.com/ || Elle and I bonded over Poshmark years ago. She became a trusted source of Poshmark expertise, and I developed Cubicle Chic. We are both cat ladies and bookworms.
- Amy @ www.theluxilook.com/ || Amy and I both have our day job in Corporate America and share the passion for reading new books and writing soul-searching, self-reflective, and insightful posts about life!
I also have my career & personal development minded bloggers who I talk to with business goals, my own career challenges, or I just need sanity-check on my career moves:
- Emily @ www.cultivitae.com/ || She is basically my life coach & best business brainstorming friend! She offers career coaching service on her website and is just an amazing human being. Oh, she JUST re-designed and launched her new website (we share the same web designer, Jaclyn.) Go check it out!
- Chanele @ www.Dowelldresswell.com || Chanele blogs about building a strong brand and how that’s related to growing your career. She has impeccable style and is an expert in wearing different bright colors in career work wardrobe.
3. Just like in life, I refused to let one setback define me.
As an influencer, having your Instagram likes per post shrank by 50% is a devastating thing for those of us that are trying to build something online. It may be hard to understand if you’re not an influencer, but let’s just accept it for now.
Yet, much like the way that we can’t change the climate we live in, what family we’re born into, or the way we look, the Instagram algorithm change is one of these things that are simply beyond our control. I just choose to accept it as fact and move on to worry about other things I CAN control. I continue to read about the new developments in social media (like Snapchat is launching a new interface and Twitter is allowing for 280 characters in a tweet now!). I continue to develop Cubicle Chic’s editorial calendar. I have decided to learn my way out of this seeming lack of growth because of Instagram. I have faith that I will still get to build something for myself despite it!
All photography by Natalie Alvarado @ Stylenfuse