The Instagram Algorithm Explained with Jenn Herman

In this week’s episode, we talked with Jenn Herman of Jenn’s Trends. She is an Instagram Expert, Consultant, Author, and Trainer. She started her blog, Jenn’s Trends, last 2013. She publishes one blog, more of a case study, about the latest social media trends.

We’ve covered the following in this episode,

1. Different businesses need different Instagram Strategy

2. B2B VS B2C VS Influencer. What works for one may not work for the other.

3. Defined and explained the importance of each channel to your business – Instagram Feed, Instagram Stories, TikTok, Instagram Reels

4. Best Instagram Strategy for Reels

5. Instagram New Update – 3 Separate Feeds

6. How Instagram Algorithm Works

7. Content SEO

8. Hashtag Headache

Join us in this week’s episode and understand the Instagram Algorithm for Business.

Visit Jenn’s website:




Katie Brinkley 0:02

Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

Welcome back to this week’s episode of Rocky Mountain Marketing. Today, my guest is Jenn Herman. And Jenn is one of the leading Instagram educators out there. She’s a social media consultant speaker and a globally recognized Instagram Expert. She is the forefront blogger on Instagram marketing and her blog Jenn’s trends has won the title of Top 10 Social media blog over multiple years. Like I said, she is a sought after speaker. She’s spoken internationally, she gives tips, resources and trainings for organizations of all sizes that need to structure their social media strategies. She’s written the book on Instagram, she wrote the book Instagram for dummies. Jenn, the list goes on of your accolades. But thanks so much for joining me today. Oh, I’m excited. I just want to hang out with you and talk all day. I know. And we before we hit record, we were talking a little bit about Instagram and speaking and then I was like, why are we not recording this yet? I need to go ahead hit record, because this is some juicy stuff we’re talking about with Instagram. And I love that you agreed to come on the show. Because you look at the data, you look at the insights, you look at the trends, and you look at it for businesses, not for the influencers, the content creators, how can you use Instagram for your business? And that’s what you try to find all the answers to. So again, thank you so much for joining me today. Of course. Well, before we dive into the gram, I would just love it if you gave us a little bit of a background on what it is that you do and how you dove into Instagram and made that your field of expertise. Yeah, and so I was laughing when I tell the story because I’m like, I did not roll it a bed one day and be like, Hey, I’m gonna be an Instagram Expert. It was totally an accident. It was totally like a circumstance of events. And so I had started my blog over nine years ago. And it was social media trends, Jenn’s trends in social media, and at the time, Instagram was out, but it was still kind of new, it was still photos only it was still back when you had like the Lo Fi you know, and the all those like old school filters on it. And I was like, Oh, I don’t want to learn another platform. But if I’m going to have this blog, I need to understand Instagram, and I totally fell in love with it. I love the platform. I love photography, I love the community. And I was like, This is amazing how to use it for business. And so I started blogging, and it was super like basic case study, I was like, Okay, I tried this, and it worked. Okay, I tried this, and this worked. But that did not work. And at the time I started blogging at least once a week, every week was dedicated just to an Instagram post. And so I really quickly created a lot of content. And I had a small blog, it wasn’t getting like, you know, 1000s of views a day, but it had a little bit of traffic. But all of a sudden, I started ranking on Google searches, because I was just churning out Instagram content and answering all these questions that people actually had back in the day. And even now, still, a lot of people will be like, Oh, to succeed, to succeed on Instagram, you know, use hashtags and use some filters and you know, create pretty content, which is good in theory, but how do you practice that? And so people would go to Google, and they would ask complicated questions, how many hashtags to use, where to put your hashtags, all these things? And that was gentleman with the answer. And I was like getting interviewed on podcasts. And I started getting asked to speak at events. And next thing, you know, I was the Instagram person. So it kind of evolved out of, you know, like you said, a circumstance, but I’m blessed to have people around the world that know me that have connected with me. And so if Instagram rolls out of beta or a test phase in Australia, I have people in Australia that will give me either access to their Instagram account, or that will take screenshots of everything, and send it to me. So we can see how things work, we can start testing things before they roll out globally. And we can let people know in advance what to expect and how to approach it and start to understand the why like, Oh, this is why they’re doing this. And that’s going to impact this or this is how your business could adapt to these changes, because we’d get a chance to play with them before it becomes widespread. So I can’t take all the credit because I’m grateful for all these other people who helped me kind of piggyback off of their access. But yeah, that’s pretty much you know, how I continue to do what I do. Well, and Jenn, you know, I love the fact that you say like, I looked at the trends, I look at the data before, I’m just gonna go ahead and dive right on into saying, Oh, well, hashtags don’t work anymore. Oh, Instagram is only looking at reels now. I mean, you take that step back and say, well, let’s just hold our horses here. Let’s not put the cart before the horse. And let’s really see what’s working for different types of account.

Jenn Herman 5:00

because it is not just a one size fits all mentality for businesses across Instagram. Exactly. And you know, a small business is different than a medium or a large business. A b2c or an E commerce is totally different than a b2b than nonprofits. You know, you’ve got people who want to be influencers and sell other people’s products. So you have people who have nothing to sell, they just want to build brand awareness, you have all these different things, and it’s really easy to come out and be like, okay, Instagram said do real, so I’m just going to do real 24/7. But that totally neglects the other types of content and what does your audience actually want. We were talking in the kind of the greenroom before we started recording. And I like the exception to every rule, because my audience doesn’t watch my stories, like I have 26 or whatever, 1000 followers and watch your stories.

But I like I get like 200 views on a story, on average, that’s it, but I’ll get a reach of three to 5000 on a feed post. So for me, stories is not the right solution. But for most businesses, stories are the right solution. As same thing with reels some of my reels fall totally flat, some of them get some good reach, but most of my reels still don’t exceed an average post reach for my account, whereas other people will get 10 times the views on a reel compared to regular feed content. So you can’t just look at this and be like, Oh, I looked at one account. And I know all the answers, we have to look at that data. And again, I’m lucky to partner with major companies like I’ve got social Insider, and I’ve got Agora Pulse, who are devoted to studying trends, and they’ll analyze 800,000 Instagram posts come up with a data analysis, they give me the raw data and we pick it apart. And we go in and figure out what’s working. And why did that happen? Or not just say, Okay, well, yeah, reels are the answer, or Yes to hashtags or no to hashtags. We look at the trend as to why and why certain accounts, we pull out the outliers, we pull out accounts, under 10,000 followers, over 100,000 followers, and look and see if the data is different in those different size ranges. Because like you said, it’s not a one stop shop, no matter who you are. Well, and Jenn, I’m so glad that you brought that up as like the very first talking point here, because I speak on this a lot, especially with Instagram, there’s multiple ways to post on it. It’s not just the feet anymore. It’s not just that one single beautiful image. Like when mostly when you and I both got started on Instagram, it was so popular for photographers, because, you know, all you had to do was show some pretty photography didn’t have to worry about hashtags. You know, Hashtag blessed still worked.

But I mean, there’s so many different ways to show up. And it is different for every business. So would you mind just kind of taking us through for people that are learning more about Instagram, and they’re saying, okay, so wait a second, you’re talking about stories and reels. And I know that there’s these are things but just take us through the different ways that you can show up on Instagram and how that might be beneficial for different business owners. Yeah, absolutely. All right, how much time do we have.

So you have feed posts and feed or when you go to the home feed the little house icon, everything that’s in that feed is a feed posts. So that’s going to be either a photo or a video, we can get complicated and have carousels which is where you can have a swipe left and right through a series of photos and or videos. But those are your standard kind of Instagram original post photos are something you can either edit or you can upload as is. And they’re the traditional square image. But now we have you know the four by three and up to a nine by 16 Earth and 16 by NIPER landscape. But ideally don’t do the 16 by nine landscape, it is the minimal amount of screen space you can have on a vertical feed. So square or a four by three, or I guess it’s a three by four vertical is ideal for the Instagram feed. Same thing for videos on the feed. Right now they’re in this weird flux of transition, you can still only upload up to a one minute video on Instagram mobile, but you can do up to a 10 minute video if you do it from the desktop. So you can do longer videos you just have to upload from the desktop. Most people on Instagram aren’t there to watch long video. So if your video is more than a minute, you really have to have an audience that wants to watch that video. So try to keep them more on average that under a one minute video. So that’s the feed super simple, basic kind of old school Instagram. We go to Instagram Stories. Those are the bubbles across the top. If you open your Instagram feed, you see all the bubbles at the very top. Those are your stories. Those are 24 hour shortfall form vertical content. So all content is essentially that nine by 16. It’s either going to be the photo format or

Have a video format you can add gifts and all the stickers and all the things that is short form content, it disappears after 24 hours. So these are things you want more of this is the content where you can have something new and fresh in there every day that is ideal keeps your content in front of your audience more regularly. And that’s kind of that you know, what everyone came out with. That was what the Snapchat was that was kind of everyone jumped on the stories bandwagon and I mean, not to discredit Snapchat because they really made it the thing, but that really became Instagrams thing, right? Yeah. Then tick tock came out and had to throw the monkey wrench into everything. So tick tock, if you’re familiar with it, is the vertical video typically short form, right? 15 To 30 seconds is usually ideal range. Well, now they have longer ones and everything else but still try the short form video. And the funny the Goofy’s the dancing all those. So Instagram was like, well, we can’t let them best us. We’re gonna make tick tock so that the

reels are the 100% Tick Tock knockoff. Yeah, tick tock features six months later, there’s an Instagram feature that does the exact same thing. It is not innovative, it is not new. It is not fresh. It is 100 was in a copycat, but it’s what meta, aka Facebook and Instagram have gone all in on and that’s where they’re pushing content exposure. So for the most part, reels are what most people are trying to focus on to get more exposure to grow their audiences. It is at nine by 16. It is video format, not photos. It plays in an exclusive reels feed, there’s actually a real tab if you go to Instagram, but you can also share it to your feed. So in with all your regular photos and videos, you can have that full size reels video as well. This is meant to be short form video content, same thing 15 to 30 seconds is ideal. If you try to get up to that one minute you can do it. You kind of really conditioned your audience that most people in a real environment are quick swiping you have to have their attention within like, literally like point two seconds there. There’s no rule like you went to bed really fast to try and grab someone’s attention and get them to stop their scroll. Yeah, so I always tell people like on your reel, put a sticker or put a text box that has the caption of or like the title of that reels video. Because if you start out and you’re like, Hi, my name is Jenn Herman. And in this video, Bye, Felicia we gone they didn’t get to jet. Like, but if you have that caption or some sort of sticker that says, you know, 2.2 seconds to like this real, you know, don’t leave, stop, but just put the title and people go,

Katie Brinkley 12:47

Yeah, I want to know more about that. And then you have the three second window to capture their attention and keep them but if you don’t get if you don’t capture their attention in literally that first split second, there’s a very good chance they will swipe on to the next because maybe they’re just looking for entertainment and they’re just looking for like the dog and cat videos. And if you show up trying to teach them how to like fix your your toilet leak. They’re like, WTF, yeah, but if you have a sticker that says that’s what it is, all of a sudden they go, oh, you know, my toilets been running, I need to watch this video. And that title is just enough to tell them this is something they actually want to see. And they’re more likely to watch through the video. Yeah, and I mean, reels. It’s been something that I’ve had to adopt into my my posting strategy, I try and do one one a week. But it’s definitely Those aren’t my best performing content. I mean, reels they do, okay, but my carousel posts which show up in the feed, those are my best performing content for my audience. They like those the best. And so I try and do at least one reel a week, sometimes not real carousel posts, we sometimes too. And I think that it comes down to the different ways that these the Instagrams pushing this content out. So I definitely feel, again, I’ve seen some of your posts, but reels are a great way to get new audience people into your account. And then that’s where you can continue educating them with your carousels, your stagnant feed posts, building that know like and trust factor through your stories. That’s a great way to kind of continue nurturing the relationships. So my content strategy for reals has really changed, no pun intended, just so that I can make, try and get the right type of people in and then really educate them throughout the rest of the week. I’m just curious, have you seen that with other accounts to where or I mean, what have you kind of seen across like industry trends? So I have a membership program called profit, your profile, which is all dedicated to Instagram, and in January and February, we did all reals training, like all of our sessions. In the next two months were pretty much dedicated to Rails. And that was one of the things we actually talked about within one of the training sessions was

Jenn Herman 15:00

Yeah, for the most part reels are going to get you new exposure, most of your audience probably doesn’t care that much about watching your reels. So if you think of it from that perspective, your reels are kind of like your wide net, right, you’re, you’re kind of throwing that out to see what you can catch. So you want to keep them shorter, you want to keep them fun, punchy, you want to make them value add, but again, super short, you only give so much value in a 15 second video, but keep those kind of short and very generic. It’s more of like a brand awareness campaign, then if they liked that content, and they follow you, it’s in the other types of content where you keep them and actually nurture that relationship. So that’s where now you start, like so doing the carousel posts, the longer videos, the you know, tips and tutorials, updates, the industry news updates, whatever it is, where you start putting in other things that are actually of value to them. But that’s hard to capture somebody who again, is possibly just randomly scrolling through an explorer feed for reals at 10 o’clock at night when they’re kind of mind numb. And they’re just looking for some entertainment factor. They don’t want to stop and watch a three minute video or read your 2000 character blog post of an Instagram post. But it’s not that they don’t need it or want it. So the reels are a great way to get out, get new exposure, get your audience to grow and kind of bring new people in. But don’t rely too heavily on reels to continue to build and foster your existing relationship with your existing audience. You’re gonna need the other content stories, feed post carousels and all that to actually like, maintain and continue to grow that audience. So what you’re saying is you need a strategy.

Katie Brinkley 16:49

Well, and glad you actually brought up the different feeds. So you said the Explore feed. But there’s a whole new way to experience Instagram these days. And again, talk about knocking off some of the Tick Tock options. But Instagram now has multiple ways that you can experience Instagram, and not just the little shop feature, not the Explore feature, but three new feeds. Can you just take us through what the new feed options are? Yeah. So like you said, there’s like when you go to your, the lower toolbar on Instagram, there’s the home feed, there’s the search, the little magnifying icon that takes you to explore. And within there, you can explore hashtags, you can explore shop, you can explore locations, and all the things. But now back on your home feed, there’s actually three separate feeds. So there’s the regular home feed. Now you also have favorites. And so you can add whomever you want to your favorites feed and that will show you all of the only those people’s content and then you have the following feed following which is a weird name for it. But I think they wanted to keep all F’s or something feed favorites and following I guess I don’t know. But that is chronological for everybody that you follow. So where the regular home feed is algorithmically sorted based on your preferential behavior. So if you always interact with accounts, you know, one through five, and you rarely account for the interact with accounts, you know, 20 through 25, then accounts 20 through 25, don’t show up high in your sorted algorithmic feed on the home feed. But if you go to the following feed, all of 20 through 20, fives posts are going to be there in chronological order. Now here’s the thing. Instagram just did this to shut everybody up. Okay, because people have been crying about chronological for how many years since they took it away. If you’ve gone to look at your chronological feed, a it’s boring, and B. It’s everything you already saw in the feed because everything is actually hidden in the regular feed, it’s just resorted. So you’re probably not missing anything. It matters on a couple occasions. One, if you’re a casual Instagram user, and you only log in once a week or once a month. Yes, the difference between the following and the algorithmic will be exponentially different because there’s probably 1000s of posts that you’ve missed since your last login. you’re logging in every day, you ain’t missing anything. It’s all there. So it kind of becomes irrelevant. The the big thing that we have to look at from a strategic perspective and from a brand perspective with these new feeds, is as of right now, I totally propose this will change. As of right now ads are only in the home feed, we are not getting ads in the following or favorites. So if you’re running ads, and people are not in the home feed, your ads aren’t getting seen. Additionally, if you have an audience that is that casual follower, and they are not active on your content, chronological could help there’s a chance they would see it when they wouldn’t see it normally if they’re not active with your content. But most people who are not everyday users if they are the more casual user aren’t going to even know to go and look at the crowd.

Jenn Herman 19:59

On illogical tasks, they don’t probably don’t even know it’s there. All of us marketers know it’s there, but the average user probably doesn’t. And they probably don’t care enough. If they’re not logging in every day, they don’t care if it’s chronological or algorithmically sorted, they’re just there to waste some time in the line at the grocery store, like, they’re not worried about it. So you have to look and see, I’ve been telling everybody, you know, we talked about the data and the science, I’ve been telling everybody don’t make any harsh judgments. Since this new feed layout has rolled out, let’s give it a solid six to eight weeks and see how your content has shifted? Are you getting higher reach? Are you getting lower reach? Are you getting more engagement on lower reach lower engagement on higher reach what is happening, because that will tell you how your audience is seeing your content, whether you’re getting more exposure, because of the three feet or less exposure because of the three feet and then you can adjust accordingly. Don’t start posting every day, because you’re hoping to show up in chronological. Don’t stop posting every day, because you don’t want to like if that’s what you’ve been doing, and it’s working, like, don’t make any rash decisions. Let’s give it 60 weeks to see what’s happening, and then start looking at revisiting your content strategy. Well, I think, Jenn, that’s a really good point, because I know what I’ve been seeing, so I spend a lot of time on clubhouse, and a lot of people are like, Oh, my reels reach has gone down by in half. And I do think it has something to do with the feed being rolled out. And even though it is chronological, and even though it is, you know, like the favorites, which, by the way, I still have not set up any of my favorites accounts. Like has five people in there like, well, I have notifications. So I guess this is a good question. Why should I put someone in a favorites versus just putting turning on their notifications? Yeah, it doesn’t really make sense. And to be honest, like what I keep trying to explain to people do some like, the favorites is the most use. And that’s what I’m talking about. It’s the most useless tab known to mankind because if you did care, a you’ve already got notifications turned on. Be if you did care, you’re probably actively interacting with their content all the time anyways, which means they’re already at the top of your sorted feed, you’re already seeing all their content, because the algorithm knows those the accounts you’re most likely to interact with. So the Favorites feed is the most redundant, useless feed, and I don’t even touch it, I’m just like, I got maybe it was the following season chronological stuff. But for the most part, it’s all like, the two feeds are almost useless. And I my prediction, right now everyone’s all excited about it, people are using it, my prediction is in six months, people will not even use the other feeds, I think everyone will realize how beneficial the algorithm is, and that you still are seeing what you need to see. And then it’s actually I mean, a handful of people will still use it once. But for the most part, I didn’t six months, I don’t think anybody will even care about the other two feeds. Well, and I want to say to you, I have access to so many different social media accounts so that you can look at the trends and the data. And I know just looking at my account versus some of my clients accounts, one of my clients, she does not see a single image or carousel post in her feed. It is all reels. Now mine again, I see maybe like 123. So for every three posts, I see one reel. Yeah. And I guess like so I guess my question for you is, is this all just the algorithm? Because my client pushes out a lot of reels or she’s consuming more reels? Or is it because the algorithm thinks as she she likes this type of content? Or is it our home feeds going to be turning more into just a reels feed. So in the great deep well of Instagrams, you know, information we don’t really know. But hypothetically, if I could propose a thought, for the most part, people are seeing what they interact with. And I always use the example of the Explore feed, and I will have people that come to me they go, my explore feed is full of bad haircuts, and food. And I’m like, do you watch the bad haircut videos when they pop up on autoplay? And they’re like, Well, yeah, it’s there. And I’m like, well, then stop watching it. Yeah, every time you watch it, you tell the algorithm that you want to see it. And it’s the same thing with your home feed. If you see like, hypothetically, you see my post in your feed, if you stop just a tiny little bit, if you swipe through my carousel, if you click on that more and read my caption, you have told the Instagram algorithm that you want more of my content. If every time you see my content, you scroll past it, the algorithm learns it. You don’t seem to care about Jenn Herman will stop showing you as much of her content high in the feed. So if every time a real pops in, you stop and watch it, you’re telling the algorithm, I want more reals, even if you don’t, your behavior, intentional or not, is telling the algorithm it’s a smart algorithm. So if you want to stop getting reels, swipe, just keep swiping until you see a stick like a static post and be like, Oh my god, swipe through that carousel, stop and stare at it for like a solid

and it, like really tell Instagram you want to like static post? Now is that going to fix the problem 100%. Of course not. But that is the majority of the circumstances. And of course, if your feed is full of reels, eventually you’re going to start watching them, eventually, you’re going to watch a few seconds of a couple of these. And that’s how it just kind of keeps proliferating. So you need to break the habit and tell Instagram to stop by your behavior. That being said, of course, Instagram is always going to push things on you, right, they’re always going to be like, Oh, you think you know what you want, but we’re gonna give you what we want. And they’re gonna put the reels out there, and they’re gonna put the ads out there, and they’re gonna put the suggested posts out there. And if you interact with them, you’re telling Instagram thinks Give me more. So you have to just, you have to learn to modify your behavior on the platform to help control it, because they’re always going to push things on you. And Jenn, you know, we’ve talked a lot about the algorithm here. And it makes so much sense when you say it that way. And that’s where I think a lot of people are like, okay, so that that kind of makes sense as to why I’m seeing more of this, or I’m not seeing them anymore. I haven’t seen you know, my first grade teachers, dogs account in a while because I haven’t gone and clicked on it. So that’s a great explanation of the Instagram algorithm. There’s also been a lot of talk lately about hashtags. So we all know that there’s a new feed, we all should be doing some reels. But then we know we get the head of Instagram, telling us that hashtags really don’t matter. And you actually recently had a post about even just where to put the hashtags how many hashtags to use. So can you just give us some Advil for our hashtag headache and explain to us a little bit about what the best practices are around these little pound signs? The hashtag headache is real. Like, I’m like, hashtag hangover. At this point. We’re beyond headache, like I’m in the full blown hangover, you know, and it really does. I always the skeptic, in me, like I just like, every time Instagram is not in the news, or there’s like somebody else’s in the news, I feel like they come out and just talk about hashtags, and make some backhanded random comment, because they know it will send the entire universe into a tailspin of conversation and put them back at the forefront of discussion. And I’m like, I think none of these things actually matter. They just say it for press. That being said, That’s my skeptic, the actual data scientist in me does like to try to come out and break it apart. So Adam Azeri did come out a couple of weeks ago. And he said in one of his videos, that hashtags are not designed to increase distribution. And then he came up, he clarified it, which made it muddier than it was to start with the basically turned around and said, Don’t expect an overnight, you know, success of increased reach by using hashtags. So I’m like, But if we’ve already been using them, are you telling us to stop or not. And then they came out, they’re like, oh, we have a new wonderful hashtag feature to support local causes. And I’m like, you just said they don’t help. And now you released a new hashtag feature. So clearly, they’re confused in their own messaging. But basically, what I keep telling people is yes, for now, keep using hashtags. They don’t hurt you to use them, you’re not going to be detrimentally punished and have significantly lower reach, because you do use them. Some people have found they’re getting higher reach by not using hashtags. It’s worth testing, but you’re not going to be detrimentally penalized for using them. The key right now is to understand what hashtags are doing. And yes, people do still search hashtags, right? So if I wanted to find a new restaurant to go to for dinner, I would go to Instagram and I would search hashtag San Diego restaurants or like a specific like area within San Diego and look for I found my hair girl using a hashtag right? Hashtag little 10 blonde hair. Yeah, and, and it works. And here I am. But it’s worth recognizing that when people are doing that, again, you’re not using that hashtag for distribution. As Missouri said, you’re not using that to reach 3000 more people, you’re using it to reach the person who is looking for what you have, ie the person who needs blonde hair, the person who wants to do her reservation, you’re not trying to get this massive distribution. That’s not what hashtags should have ever been used for there to be used for the proper search parameters so people can find you. Now within that scope hashtags have evolved, because Instagram has finally after all these years, implemented keyword search. So now you can actually go to Instagram and type in a short keyword. You can’t do longtail keyword phrases, but you could put in things like kids crafts, hairstylist, photographer, you know those sorts of things. And it’s gonna populate results based on a variety of criteria including your bio, your post

to caption and your hashtags. So when I keep telling people that they’re seeing a reduced performance in their hashtags, let’s say you’re using the same hashtag strategy that you use six months ago, a year ago, and you’re like, I’m not getting nearly as many hashtag views, I’m like, okay, but as your overall reach changed, has it gone up or down, because there’s a very good chance that you’re not getting, quote, hashtag reach, but you’re getting keyword reach. And we have no metric for that. We have nothing in our Instagram insights that tells us how many keyword searches we appeared in. So you, as long as your reach is staying similar or above where it was, your hashtags are actually still working, even if the number says it’s significantly lower, because they’re helping tell the algorithm where to put your content in keyword searches. So they’re still relevant, you still want to use them, you do want to use them strategically. So again, we’re not going to use hashtag Kim Kardashian and hashtag Oscars and hashtag, you know, whatever is trending unless it’s actually related to that content. But we want to have those hashtags specifically related to our content or industry and the problem our customers are looking for. So you were looking for someone who did blonde highlights, that was your problem I need to get my hair did, right, like, what is your audience actually looking for? And a lot of times, it may not be what you, you know, want to be found for? So like, I always tell people, if you’re an insurance broker, you’re not going to put up hashtag car insurance, because no one’s going Instagram looking for car insurance. That’s what Google is for. Right? Yeah. But they might go there looking for new cars, or car dealers in your area, or their dream car, or car reviews or things like that. So if you’re using hashtags related to your geographical area, and the things that audience is looking for, you can show up with your car insurance information, because if someone’s buying a new car, there, they need car insurance, right? So or have they been in an accident, and they’re, you know, now they need to change their insurance because they realize their insurance sucked or whatever you want to look for what their pain problem is, and use the hashtags around that. And that will help you with all the searches, it’s going to help you get all the exposure in the right ways, not some massive distribution, technically, like Missouri said, well, in you brought up another really great point, Jenn with the content SEO. And I think that that’s something that a lot of people might not have realized rolled out because it was kind of quietly implemented, for all the stuff that they make a lot of noise about, hey, we’re doing this. Now. There’s no fees, there’s this there’s that this was kind of a quiet rollout. So just talk to us a little bit about the importance of crafting a good caption. Yeah, so and I mean, I have been saying this since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of time in histogram world, but you need captions. Long gone are the days where you can have a one liner, unless your content is literally some sort of entertainment factor and you’re known for your one liners, then that’s fine. But for the most part, and for businesses, a caption is key. And a caption should be at least a paragraph, it should, you know, have some sort of descriptive capacity as to what is going on in the visual content, whether it’s the photo, the video, whatever it is, and it should have some sort of description as to, you know, the industry you’re in. So like, again, let’s just use the example of a hair salon, you’re not going to just be like accepting new new clients walk ins welcome. That tells the algorithm nothing, it tells the audience nothing. Instead, you can say, join our team of specialists who specialize in and list all the different specialties that you work in, we’re open now extended hours, you can put all this content in there that actually a tells your audience reading it something of value. But that starts to tell the algorithm that’s looking at the search criteria, that if someone’s looking for hair highlights, if someone’s looking for hairstylist, for biologic, whatever you’re looking for, it’s in there. And that knows to put that content into those search results. So you do need to think about the SEO component. We’re not going to keyword stuff, we’re not just going to throw things in there for the sake of SEO, because it’s a smart algorithm, it can justify what’s happening in the context of that caption. But the more you have in your caption, the more it has to learn from and the same thing goes for your bio. So if you have a one lines description in your profile bio, it is time to redo your bio. You need three key things, who you are, what you do, and what’s in it for them. Realize that your bio is entirely for search criteria. Now in terms of your content for SEO, and for first time visitors only. Once someone is following you, they don’t care about your bio, they’ll probably never read it again. So you want to capture that first time visitor and be like, Hey, this is who we are. This is what you can expect when you follow us. Here’s the link to get your coupon code, whatever it is there has to be something in it for them, not just about you. This is an art form it takes it takes work

To write a good bio, but it needs to be considered in terms of the SEO as well. Because if your bio is all about being a mom, and all the things you do as a homeschool mom and your crafts and all this sort of stuff, and if you’re posting content about hashtags on Instagram, the algorithm is going to be like, or we’re not discrediting the fact that you have a post about hashtags. But we know this is not your normal content. And so it’s important that those things actually match up when it comes to those keyword searches as well. Oh, Jenn, this has been awesome. And I just want to say to like with your bio, in addition to the SEO and everything, the way I like to think of it is this is your first impression. This is the first impression that you’re giving to someone because like you said, once someone’s decided to follow you, they’re really probably not ever going to look at your bio again. But that bio is when someone let’s say they see a real, like, oh, well, what else does she have? They go to your page, and I look, this is what I can continue learning from her. This is what she offers that I could potentially buy. That’s why she has a dog video. She sells homemade dog collars or something. Right? So it’s your first impression to really get people into to follow you. And the biggest goal of Instagram is to do business with you. Yes, exactly. Ultimately, if you’re using it for business, you want customers, right? Not followers, you want customers. And I tell people all the time, I’m like, because back in the day when it was like the key thing was 10,000 followers to get the swipe up link and stuff. And I’m like, Don’t chase the followers. Because if you physically like if you’re not an at home business, and you have an Etsy shop kind of thing, and you only have the capacity to pump out 10 products a week. Why would you want 10,000 followers, you could never possibly substantiate that level of volume, not saying you couldn’t grow your business and get to the level where you have that and you have production? Absolutely. But is that really your goal? Or is your goal to have 150 dedicated people who will absolutely purchase from you and give you the money and allow you to build your business and the direction you want it to go. That is more important than having 10,000 people who will never interact with your content or really care to purchase from you. So that’s where having that good bio, like you said it pulls people in to say yes, this is someone I want to learn more from. This is someone whose content I really enjoy. This is someone whose products are totally relevant to me, and I want to be able to stay on top of it, whatever that goal is, that profile should give them that at first glance. Well, and this is the final point that I want to make, because we’re running up on our time here. But I think that everything that you’ve talked about today is Instagram strategy for business owners, which is a very different strategy than it is for a influencer or a content creator. So that’s where you really have to be careful with where you’re getting your information from on best techniques, because I will be the first to say, you know, I only post three, sometimes four times a week because I have a business to run. I don’t have all day to spend crafting Instagram posts. And with all the different things you’ve laid out, finding those niche hashtags, writing a caption that has enough information in there that it shows up in the out Instagram algorithm for SEO. I mean, that all takes time. Yeah, but when you have a strategy for it, and you’re doing it the way that’s built for your business, on Instagram, it’s very different than an influencer strategy. Absolutely. And that’s, that is key right now, I always tell people, I’m like, Hey, you have a business to run, even you might be a midsize business. And you may have 10 employees or 30 employees, but you may still be doing your social media, or maybe your receptionist is doing your social media part time amongst all their other job duties. Unless you have a dedicated team, chances are you don’t have hours upon hours a day to be crafting content. So if you’re posting to your Instagram feed once a week, and you’re doing three or four Story segments a week, that’s fine. Just be consistent. Don’t stress about oh, you know, I heard someone say I have to post one reel, and five feed post and 12 stories every week, because there are people who will tell you to do that. That’s insane. I’m like, I live on Instagram. And I can’t create half that much content. Yeah, because we have things to do we have businesses to run and even then to be honest, most people don’t want that much content from you. Okay, you could take a week off and no one’s gonna die over it right? Like, you don’t need to create that much content, you need to create the right content. And that can be one reel a month. That can be two videos a month and a couple, you know, story sequences a week. Whatever it is, you figure out the strategy and the frequency that works for you. That still allows you to run your business, but also allows you to get the brand awareness, get some content found by new customers, build up those online sales, offer the coupon codes, run a contest, do those things within the scope of what you do as a business owner.

Katie Brinkley 40:00

too, Jenn, you and I are so in alignment. We could write the book on not being content creators. I think when you get published author, maybe you are the person to go to. But Jenn, thank you so much for joining me today. If people want to connect with you and continue learning from you, what’s the best way for them to go online? So pretty much everywhere on the web as Jenn’s Trends, je n s, t, r and s, it’s J S underscore trends on Instagram, Twitter, clubhouse, YouTube, all the things. So that’s where all my free content is. I also have a free Facebook group. If you go to Facebook and you search Jenn’s trends and social media, you will find the free Facebook group where we share tons of information Instagram related but also social media related. If you really want to get dig deep into it learn everything a membership program profit your profile, which is profit your is a monthly or annual membership option and it is dedicated to Instagram. We do two live trainings every month we do a breakdown of every Instagram update on the first Friday of every month and you get Live Office Hours with me to actually ask your Instagram questions to talk about your strategy, your challenges, and all that sort of stuff so you can actually ramp up and drive profit. I love it. And with Instagram this past few years, it feels like there are new updates at least last 1414 updates in March.

Well, thank you again so much for joining me and be sure to check out Jenn online give her the follow on Instagram. And Jenn. Thanks again for coming on the show today. Of course. Thank you. Thanks, everybody for listening. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at Connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights