Instagram’s algorithm changes have been a hot topic of discussion in the marketing industry as of late. Instagram has increasingly made it harder on businesses to achieve organic growth since the platform was purchased by Facebook in 2012. If you’ve noticed that your Instagram’s performance has been slipping lately, you’re not alone. Organic engagement and impressions have been on the decline since Instagram introduced its interest-based algorithm earlier this year. To combat the decline in organic exposure, use the following tips to help find what works for your account.

Personal Accounts v. Business Accounts
If you converted your account to a business account and saw a decline in performance, try switching back to a personal account. Many are convinced that their business status is demoting posts to convince users to pay for advertisements. While some users have seen success after converting to a business account, others have seen a steady decline. Luckily, Instagram makes it easy to switch back and forth between account classifications. Try both types for 2 weeks to see which works best for you.

Play Up the Hashtags
Hashtag research is important and extremely useful. It is one of the major ways for users to discover your content and thus turn viewers into followers (and then customers). The easiest way to find related hashtags is to search in the app for a hashtag related to your photo, then follow the suggested hashtags along the top of the page. Once you’ve found a few options, see what other hashtags users are adding to similar photos. Keep a bank of hashtags saved for easy access.

Tag Related Accounts
An easy way to increase reach and appear on the Discover page is to tag related accounts in your photos. For example, if you’re taking a photo of your favorite burger, tag the restaurant, the city’s tourism account and local foodies. The accounts you tag may even repost your photo, which will increase the number of followers and/or people familiar with your brand. But don’t go overboard. Try to keep the number of accounts tagged to less than 10.

Interaction is Key
The age old social media rule still reigns true: engage and interact. No one likes talking to a wall and social media was created for conversation. Follow related hashtags and comment with a meaningful and authentic comment on at least three photos every single day. Go to your best followers’ accounts and comment on their photos. Browse the Discover tab to find users with similar tastes. You never know who you may form a friendship with.

Time it Right
If you are using a business account, you have access to statistics about when your followers are using the app by day and by hour. Use this helpful graph to schedule your posts. As a general rule of thumb, most users are online in the evening, after dinner and before going to sleep. However, Clementine’s followers are very active during the late morning and early afternoon. Test your posting schedule for a week and see what type of trends you find, but posting in the evening is usually a safe bet.

As is the case with most other marketing techniques, social media strategy is strongly based on trial and error. What may work well for one account, may work in the opposite way for another. Knowing your audience and what resonates with them is one of the most important factors in your success, along with high quality, engaging content.

Are you discouraged with your social media? We can help with that!
Tweet us your questions at @cca_creates and we’ll help you find a solution.