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The instagram algorithm is not a new topic to seasoned instagram users. It's been tough to figure out, its forced us to engage a ton, and its made us rethink our strategy.
I'm sure by now you've seen pictures going around talking about how instagram is only showing your posts to 7% of your followers. While the statistic is probably true for what is on the forefront of people's feeds, instagram has indulged us with some info.
A few days ago we were lucky enough to get word from instagram about this situation.
P.s these wonderful screenshots were found on @preview.app Instagram.
"we have not made any recent changes to feed ranking, and we never hide posts from people you're following - if you keep scrolling, you will see them all. Again, your feed is personalized to you and evolves over time based on how you use instagram"
"What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use instagram, how many people you follow, etc."
This means we now have a pretty clear description of how the whole thing works. Finally.
If you want, you can scroll what seems endlessly through your feed and see every single new post from who you follow. It's what shows up on top is what's most important to pay attention to. It is soley determined by how much an individual interacts with a certain account, and everyone's experiences will be different. However it also depends on how active you are, and your consistency throughout the platform. It seems the more consistent you are the more likely you are to show up more often. If you have a business account it is important to pay attention to your optimal post times.
I personally think this makes sense as an algorithm, but the downfall is DEFINITELY that people dont have the time to scroll through everything. If you follow a lot of accounts it gets tricky too.
What do you think of the Instagram news ?
*post may contain affiliate links
Let's get right into it, shall we?
First off, What the hell is a puzzle feed?
A puzzle feed is the latest trend in Instagram feed layouts. It's super tricky at first, but once you nail it you'll get amazing results. It's hard to put into words so here is my puzzle feed all layed out in Preview App.
As you can see it's basically a series of images and patterns that fit like a puzzle. The feed won't look right if you take any of these posts away.
Most of the techniques out there require photoshop. I know not everyone has photoshop, and I know not everyone is super tech savy. So at first i tried using like 3 different apps to create what was something close enough to a puzzle feed. I'll leave a picture below.
While there is literally nothing wrong with this feed, it wasn't really what i had pictured when i thought of puzzle feeds. My other post about how to make a puzzle feed without photoshop literally became my most viewed post OF ALL TIME. So i figured I'd tell you all the updated process, and include some goodies along the way for those of you interested in taking all this a bit further into your own feeds.
This is a tutorial on how to make your puzzle feed in an app/website called Canva.
The apps you'll need:
Grid Maker (or photosplit on iphone)
(Optional) Preview App
Making your feed in Canva
(Some instructions like button presses are for the mobile app! If you're doing it on the computer the button locations will be a little different)
First, you'll want to start by making a new design with custom dimensions. You'll be making a 3240 X 3240 px canvas. This will be big enough for 9 squares of your Instagram feed.
Next, it's all about the creativity. For me personally i went with a more simple look. Colored background, simple geometric shapes, and focusing on negative space. Not every square needs a picture. Remember that you can use textures, designs, words, etc. I picked 3 main colors and went with simple black and white accents. Canva has a ton of free images, graphics, and fonts that you can use to start off. Just press the plus button in the bottom right corner to get started. I get a lot of my images now from the styled stock society. You can use my link to check them out.
As you practice you'll learn how to eyeball each "box" of your feed so you know exactly where to put the images, text, etc. For now get a rough layout, save it with the button on the top right, and put it into grid maker so you can see exactly how it will cut up the squares.
I personally started with the background first, then images, then smaller details like dots or textures. Here are a few more feeds for inspiration.
This is the easiest part. After you get your feed all set up in canva, just save the image by pressing the box in the top right corner, and upload it to the grid maker app. USE. GRID. MAKER. it will NOT distort your image quality like other grid apps!!!!!! TRUST ME. i made this mistake already. (Again, or photosplit on iphone)
It should automatically put you on the 3x3 option but if it doesn't just scroll over and select that. Make sure your selection fits the entire image and boom. Save it. It should make its own little folder with your images.
For added feed planning, put your images into preview app. This super helpful app will let you schedule reminders to post, pre plan your captions, and will help you see what your feed will look like before you upload. It also has a hashtag library.
I know reading a tutorial can be confusing, and just incase you STILL think this whole creation thing is kinda hard without some help, I'm selling my first EVER product for the most affordable price I've ever seen it. I want to help you make the feed you've always wanted with minimal effort on your end. Maintaining a puzzle feed is tricky enough. Why struggle with creation?
I've made a 3 template bundle for the price of one at $9.99 !
When you buy you'll get 3 different templates: bold boss, neutral minimalist, and beach vibes. Each one you can COMPLETELY customize. From fonts, to colors, image placement, background changes, and literally anything else.
Hate the blue i used for Beach Vibes? Change it. Don't like a frame? Delete it. Font not for you? Pick a new one.
I've included a mobile version and a computer version of each template since some drag and drop features are available only to laptop users, and i wanted everyone to have the convenience of designing their feed where they want.
No clue how to use canva ? I've included a basic video tutorial as part of the $15 bundle, as well as what to do once you have the templates! Be sure to read the instructions carefully.
If you've always wanted to have a puzzle feed, now is your chance! It's literally never been easier to get started. This fast growing Instagram trend is not one you wanna miss out on. If you want your feed to stand out without the hassle of taking hours upon hours to learn, click the button below.
Also just a quick thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey. It's my greatest pride and joy to be able to inspire and help so many people daily.
A lot of the time larger businesses or even smaller ones have to handle complaints or questions on social media.
I see it all the time. People's first reactions are to take to social media. This can not only be frustrating but damaging to a businesses reputation.
So here are 4 steps to follow for diffusing issues on social media.
The first thing you'll want to do is address the comment on your social media either by replying to the message saying you've acknowledged it or saying you sent a DM. Basically you don't want to fully address the situation on social media since you don't want to create more problems. You just want to acknowledge that you or your team has seen the message and that you or your team plans to respond.
2. Take it off social media
The next thing you do is take the conversation off social media. This could be done in your initial address as well. Say something like "We see your concern and want to work with you to fix it. Please contact us here ...." and send them contact info. You can also send them a direct message afterward with any steps to take or people to contact.
3. What If multiple people are involved ?
The best way to address everyone quickly is to make a public announcement on your social media platforms stating that you're aware of the issue and that you're working to fix it. Also be sure to give contact information if they need to follow up personally.
4. Once it's off social media
Once you get them off social media, remember it is up to your customer service team (or yourself) to diffuse the issue. Try not to promise free items or discounts publically since that will ultimately encourage more people to take to social media.
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I HAVE A NEW PROCESS ! PLEASE READ MY NEW POST HERE
Puzzle feeds have been all the craze lately after @juniperoats on Instagram shared her tutorial with @Preview.app. I have honestly seen them everywhere since then, emerging slowly. If you have no idea what a puzzle feed is, here's @juniperoats ' feed:
I decided to put my own spin on the puzzle feed craze by only doing a background image that connects with all 9 squares. Most puzzle feeds have pictures, colors, and other overlays that connect. Here is what mine is going to look like as of writing this post:
As you can tell it's slightly different than the norm, but I'm obsessed with it.
Most people I've talked to use Photoshop, but I was determined to find a way to do this without it. It took 3 apps, and a lot of trial and error, but I've totally simplified the process and did all the hard work for you. Here's how to create my style of puzzle feed without photoshop.
I HAVE A NEW PROCESS READ MY NEW POST HERE
The Apps you'll need for creation:
- 9 cut (or similar grid app)
*it is extremely important that you follow the steps carefully. For example when I first tried this, my background graphic wasn't the best quality, so when I tried to create the whole thing on Picsart, the text and other overlays turned out pixelated. By using canva for your text and pictures AND THEN pics art for overlays, you'll avoid the pixelation. I also want to note that there are probably other ways to do this, but this is the method that I found that worked first and best for me.
Creating your background image or layout
Step 1: First you'll want to open up Pics art. This app is super simple to navigate, and I've even done a tutorial on my YouTube on how I make my graphics. It'll give you a good idea on how to start.
Start by pressing the new image button and clicking edit. It'll then ask you if you want to select an image, or you'll have color options. This is totally up to you if you want a picture or colors. I personally started with a white background.
Then I added stickers and colors to create my image. This is the part where you get creative. Experiment with different color blocks or patterns. Most people use a series of textures. I can't really guide you through this part, so I'll leave some feed inspiration throughout the post. You are ONLY adding the background colors and images at this point !
I HAVE A NEW PROCESS ! PLEASE READ MY NEW POST HERE
Step 2: Head over to canva
This is where you will add any text or images you want to add on top of your background images.
Canva now has a website and app so you can choose what works best for you. Canva is a really easy design tool that I use for literally every single graphic I've ever made for anything.
The nice part about this is, since you already have the background saved, you'll be able to use it over and over again to create a continuous feed. Adding pictures and text later just let's you customize it.
Once you're finished adding images and text, you might be done. If not, save, and keep moving forward.
If all of this seems complicated, I've created templates for puzzle feeds you can edit in CANVA. CLICK HERE for the puzzle feed templates.
Step 3: If you want to add logo overlays or patterns or literally any finishing touches head back on over to Pics art
I realize this is a lot of picture saving and app switching, but for now this is the only method I could find where I kept the quality of the images at the highest they can be. When you edit a picture too much with too many overlays (especially if you keep reusing the same one over and over) it'll start to distort and become pixelated. By putting it into canva first and then adding overlays, you're preserving that original quality.
Now you can add other images like product shots, logos, patterns, textures, Etc. Without them being fuzzy.
Step 4: Save your photo and upload it to 9 cut
This will be the final step in creating your puzzle feed. Like I said I used the 9 cut app, but you can use any other app that will turn your picture into a grid for Instagram. Make sure you select 3 X 3 and it will crop automatically.
Step 5 Bonus round: upload to preview app
I use Preview app to plan my feed. This allows you to see what the puzzle will look like on your feed before actually uploading it. I have been obsessed with Preview and everything it has to offer. You'll be able to see if everything looks cohesive and it helps you easily make changes.
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** post contains affiliate links **
Many of you took interest in my last post "3 easy ways to make money on Instagram", and I got a ton of questions on the Heartbeat program I use.
Some of you jumped on the bandwagon right after I made the post, but I'm sure others of you were a little hesitant because making money for posting on Instagram seems too good to be true. However, I am here to tell you that it's not. It is 100% possible to get paid to post pictures on Instagram.
Heartbeat is a website that allows you to sign up for an account and start earning money from campaigns you promote on Instagram.
It is super easy to sign up for an account, and takes less than 15 minutes to get everything set up. Heartbeat has you fill out mini quizzes to find out more about your interests so they can send offers that match your niche and what you're most interested in.
If you're still not convinced, every ambassador for HeartBeat will get a chance to redeem exclusive discount codes to get offered products at a reduced price! So even if you don't qualify for the campaign, you can still get the same discounted offers.
HeartBeat will pay you a set rate for each of the posts you make. Sometimes the campaign is in exchange for a free product, so just make sure you read the details completely. Although usually it'll say flat out at the beginning if it's paid or not, so you don't waste your time.
My personal rate per post is $10. There are multiple ways to increase your rate amount, so be on the look out for those opportunities.
>> Want to boost you Instagram game to get more people looking at your feed ? Join my free email course <<
The campaigns I have completed have paid me about a week after completing the campaign, and they're always on top of their payments! I had a few questions and their team got back to me super fast.
Keep in mind the only way to get paid right now from my understanding (as of 10/5/17) is through PayPal. So make sure you have that account set up before hand so you can get your payments!
In addition to payments from the campaigns, you can also get payments from referring your friends and readers! They pay you $1 per sign up after the person you referred completes their first campaign! It's a win-win because you get a bonus, and they just made money for posting on Instagram.
This isn't going to get you rich, but I can tell you it has helped out a lot when I've needed extra spending money, or if I have a credit card minimum payment due *COUGH*. PLUS all you're doing is posting pictures related to the campaign on your page.
If you're worried about it being spammy, most campaigns only require you to keep the post up for 72 hours before deleting. Make sure you read the rules of the campaign though, or you'll lose out on the payment.
I have successfully completed two campaigns myself, and I can truly say this website is legit. No scams, actual pay, and plenty of opportunities to sign up. I've turned down more than I've accepted because I want it to relate to my audience. However, I get multiple emails a month from them asking to sign up for campaigns I qualify for.
if you want to earn money for posting on Instagram too, then click the button below or click HERE to sign up !
Snapchat is one of the newer business tools, and it's often overlooked. I know I completely overlooked Snapchat myself. However it targets my exact ideal audience. While I'm not opposed to people outside the millenial range following me, it is who I target. I was reading a few other posts about Snapchat statistics and one of them said that about 90% of Snapchat is millennials. So when I heard that I figured I'd better hop on the platform. So now I'm on Snapchat!
Snapchat, for those of you who don't know, is a platform in which you can send videos, pictures, or text, and it only stays for 10 seconds before it deletes forever. If you post to your story it'll stay for 24 hours. You can also chat with people and, unless you save the conversation, it'll delete after you read it. So it's a very fast paced platform which a lot of people like. You can add people via username, snapcode (you just screenshot the code, go to add via snapcode, and select the screenshot. It'll scan the code for you and add that person.), contacts, etc.
The buzz lately has been how to use this for bloggers and business owners. So today I'm gonna tell you the top 3 reasons why you should be on this platform.
Limited time content
Content on Snapchat is very exclusive in the fact that it only lasts for 24 hours. You can create limited time coupons, flash sales, give sneak peeks, and more with the notion that it's 24 hours only. Promote your special coupons on Snapchat, and then drive in traffic by posting it to your Instagram saying "Snapchat followers get a coupon for 24 hours only!". This will let people on your other platforms know that they should be following you on Snapchat as well if they want exclusive content. Everyone loves feeling in the loop about something. Especially if it's exclusive.
More of a personal platform
Snapchat is definitely a more personal platform. This is awesome because your audience gets to connect with you in a way they can't really do over Instagram or Facebook. This is a huge plus, because if clients are looking to work with you, they can easily see another side of your personality through Snapchat. Don't be afraid to be relatable on Snapchat ! Yeah Instagram and Facebook are definitely more formal platforms that require a more professional look, but not on Snapchat. Be your raw self.
"Swipe up" link feature
So far, Instagram's link feature is exclusive to only certain accounts. This is what gives Snapchat the advantage. Snapchats link feature is available to all accounts. Which means you can link to blog posts, websites, lead pages, etc. This is great for those days when you want to promote something without saying "Link in my bio" instead you can literally swipe up on the snap to get there. This was one of the main features that drew me in.
If you use snapchat, what are some ways you use it for your blog or business ??? Comment down below, and don't forget to re-pin if you found this helpful.
As always, thanks for reading!