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What to Do about Instagram’s 11 Monthly Changes

Authors: 10XMarketing Jenn Herman
Posted Under: Social Pros Podcast
Hosted By
10XMarketing

Anna Hrach

Convince & Convert
10XMarketing

Daniel Lemin

Convince & Convert
10XMarketing

Erika Lovegreen

ICUC Social
About Social Pros Podcast:

Social Pros is one of the most popular marketing podcasts in the world, and was recently named the best podcast at the Content Marketing Awards. Listen for real insight on the real people doing real work in social media. You get the inside stories and behind-the-scenes secrets about how companies like Ford, Dell, IBM, ESPN, and dozens more staff, operate, and measure their social media programs.

Thank you to our sponsor ICUC Social.

To inquire to be or recommend a guest, please email leanna@convinceandconvert.com.


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Jenn Herman, Instagram Expert, Speaker, and Author at Jenn’s Trends, joins the Social Pros podcast for a new and updated chat about Instagram’s best practices.

Instagram is “one of the most frequently updated platforms”What to Do about Instagram’s 11 Monthly Changes

If Jenn Herman, Instagram Expert, Speaker, and Author at Jenn’s Trends, sounds familiar, it’s because she’s a returning guest twice over. She joins the Social Pros podcast for a third time to deliver more fantastic Instagram tips and insights.
Given that Instagram is perhaps the most frequently changing social media platform, Jenn always has something new to share.
In this episode, we look at what’s changed on Instagram and which best practices you should focus on in the future. The last time Jenn was on the show, Reels was a promising new feature. Given what it is today, Jenn explains why you should definitely prioritize Reels in your Instagram strategy.
We also hear some quickfire tips from Jenn for any social pro trying to gain traction on Instagram, including why you should only ever post your best content.
Tune in to the episode to learn what makes a winning Instagram strategy, what she’d love to see on the platform in the future, and why the color blue is surprisingly good for engagement.

In This Episode:

  • 4:08 – Jenn’s take on Meta and why she thinks it’s unlikely to affect Instagram
  • 6:05 – How to deal with ever-changing Instagram updates and why Reels is the one to focus on (for now)
  • 7:43 – How to repurpose content for Reels
  • 11:37 – Jenn explains why “more hashtags is more,” as long as they’re relevant
  • 15:03 – Why Instagram recently rolled out the ‘Rage Shake’ feature
  • 16:23 – The benefits of being able to delete and edit Carousels
  • 19:12 – Jenn discusses the new ability to post from the desktop
  • 21:33 – What photos work best on Instagram – Jenn’s top tips for boosting engagement
  • 24:23 – What features or updates Jenn would love to see in the future
  • 26:53 – The place Instagram has in customer service
  • 29:18 – Why Jenn believes you should have a customer service background to work in social
  • 31:10 – The top thing that Instagram users overlook
  • 34:24 – Jenn shares her top tip for those looking to become a social pro

Quotes From This Episode:

More is more when it comes to hashtags. We just want to make sure that we're using those relevant, consistent, strategic ones. Click To Tweet
We’re averaging 11 updates a month on Instagram. So it’s definitely one of the most frequently updated platforms.@jenns_trends
“The color blue has been shown to increase engagement by 20 to 30%. So, a blue prop, a blue shirt, the blue sky really can generate that much more engagement.” @jenns_trends

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Episode Transcript

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transcript was exported on Dec 02, 2021 – view latest version here.

Jenn

Herman:

Some

of my favorite tips for advice are the color blue has been shown to increase engagement by 20 to 30%. So a blue crop, a blue shirt to blue sky. Yeah. It really can generate that much more engagement.

Jay

Baer:

Well,

Anna Hrach, the more, you know that’s interesting info about the color blue and this episode is full of advice and counsel and specific Instagram recommendations.

Anna

Hrach:

I

had no clue that stat about the color blue. I’m excited to test it, but I’m also excited to go through the rest of Jenn’s advice and insights from this episode on all things, Instagram changes and updates because there is so much in this episode, so much good stuff

Jay

Baer:

I've

been doing this a long time. Since long before, Instagram was even a glimmer in the eye of its creator. Jenn’s been on the show three times now, and I was taking a bunch of notes in this episode and that doesn’t always happen. I am Jay Baer from convince and convert. She’s at a heroic from convincing vert. I guess this week on social pros is one of the very few three timers on the podcast. Jenn Herman from Jen’s trends. And she walks us through in great detail. All the changes that have happened on Instagram recently that have huge implications for each of our social pros audience members who are using Instagram, either personally and or for their businesses. This is a really, really valuable 35 or 40 minutes. You’re going to get a lot out of it. You will also get a lot out of the new Salesforce state of marketing report.

Jay

Baer:

I've

been talking about this research all over webinars, live events, podcasts, haikus, puppet shows. I’ve been incorporating into all my work tequila tastings, because it’s just chock full of awesome content. They surveyed 8,200 marketers in 37 countries, and there’s just a bunch of really fascinating stats. My favorite one that I talk about the most is that 72% of marketers say that customer expectations have gone up since the pandemic. Yikes. It was hard enough to meet customer expectations before the pandemic it’s even harder. Now, what are we going to do about it? That’s what we talk about here on social pros and in other formats at convince and convert. So download the research. You’re going to like it. Go to Bitly slash state of marketing report. That’s bit dot L Y slash state of marketing report from our sponsor at sales force. In this episode, you’re going to learn whether or not the blue man group is great at Instagram and a lot more here on the social pros podcast.

Speaker

4:

[Inaudible]
Jay

Baer:

Instagram

is a world that is ever-changing. And that is why. In addition to her general awesomeness, our guests this week on social pros, returns to the podcast. She is one of our very few repeat guests. And now she’s a repeat, repeat guest. It is the one, the only Jen Herman author speaker, Instagram expert, head of Jenn’s trends. Jen, welcome back to social pros. Fantastic to have you here.

Jenn

Herman:

Thank

you. I’m so honored that I get to be one of the repeat repeat guests.

Jay

Baer:

Well,

because you always deliver the value to the social pros audience and about a topic that everybody cares about, or almost everybody let me just say, if you don’t care about industry I’m, you should stop listening to this episode now. But if you knew They won’t care that’s right. Yeah. We’ll convince them. And the thing is Instagram. I don’t know if this is true. It seems to me it, it makes as many changes if not more than, than any other social network or should I guess is good job security for Jen Herman. Great

Jenn

Herman:

Security
Jay

Baer:

Is

always something new to learn. I think we’ll start with this one. What’s your take on Metta. And, and do you feel like it has a specific ramification for Instagram in the shorter longterm?

Jenn

Herman:

So,

yeah, it’s just one of those things that I’ve kind of like avoided, like talking about this in the group, because I feel like everybody has like polarized opinions, right? You’re either it’s, you’re either for it or you’re against it. And you know, I kind of like, to me, it’s very business practical. It’s, you know, there’s the Facebook family of apps and that confuses people because they don’t know that Facebook owns Instagram or WhatsApp. So now if it’s the Metta family of apps and there is still Facebook and there is still Instagram, it just allows a little bit of that differentiation from a professional business application. I’m sure there also is the, you know, various legal interpretations that come along with that. And, you know, we all know the government has been trying to break up, you know, Facebook, it all limits super power.

Jenn

Herman:

So

I’m sure moving to something like Metta allows them to have a different level of control over the various apps. And when they’re sitting there in front of Congress and trying to explain what Facebook does, being able to talk about Facebook versus meta. So when I look at it, I really just look at it from that kind of, you know, technical business perspective. I think it has very little day-to-day impact on users. I was the one who wanted to film, like the real of the tik tok. That was like, Facebook’s not changing their day because like it’s still Facebook. But I, I, like I said, from day to day operation, especially in the Instagram world, I really don’t think it’s going to have a huge impact on what we do with the platforms.

Jay

Baer:

It

seems to me that Instagram tends change the content format that they prefer with some degree of regularity. So it seemed like we want photos and then it was, we want long form video IETV and then it was, we want stories. And now I think maybe they want real, is that true?

Jenn

Herman:

They

very much want reels. Absolutely. this is one of those situations that yeah, the, the platform has evolved it to your point earlier. I think on average right now, we’re averaging 11 updates a month on the platform. So it’s definitely one of the most frequently updated platforms. Yes. Right now reels is the push and like anything in the meta family of apps, when they say do it, you kind of want to do it. So when Facebook groups was the big thing and everyone was pushing Facebook groups, it was like, well, if you want to get exposure, this is where you need to be. Reels is very much the same thing on Instagram. If you want exposure, it is the place to be. The problem is there’s not enough content for the consumers. The consumers want the content. They want to be able to see the reels. There’s not enough fresh new content. So Instagram is rewarding. Those people who create that new content with the additional views, they’re getting more exposure. They’re getting in those explore feeds and they’re getting new content on their reels, especially. But as a result, Instagram is giving a little nudge of approval and also increasing the reach on their other posts, be it stories feed posts and that sort of thing, not exponentially, but a lot of users are seeing a little bit of a boost and overall performance if they’re regularly creating reels.

Anna

Hrach:

So

Jen, what’s funny is the last time that you were on reels had literally just launched. I remember we were having some really good conversations and speculating about what it was going to be and how it was going to evolve. But one of the things that I find hilarious that we specifically talked about, and one of the things that you adamantly advocated against was taking tech talks and putting them on reels. And what did everybody do? They took take talks and put them on reels. So talk us through, how can we actually start to create reels content that isn’t just repurposing, talk everything.

Jenn

Herman:

Yeah.

And that, thanks for bringing that up. I forgot that we had literally just launched when we talked blast how things have changed and yet how they stay the same. So yeah, when it comes to reels, all the testing and all the data that I’ve seen thus far says, if you film within the reels app and you create the real organically within reels, you will get significantly more reach and better performance. What that means is if you film the video elsewhere, even if you film it in stories, save it to your camera roll. If you film it and build it in a video editing tool and then upload, it’s still going to do well. But they’re really rewarding. Those people that are creating the fresh, real content within the real video platform, but it’s also really cumbersome. It is a pain in the rear end to film in the real app.

Jenn

Herman:

It

is not intuitive in the same way that it is on the competitor. Tick-Tock so people prefer to film on Tik TOK there they’re happier there, and then they just want to upload it to Instagram. But yes, Instagram will tend to diminish that performance. So try doing it in stories. I think we talked about that last time, go into stories. If you’re comfortable there filming your videos there, and then just save to your camera roll rather than publishing the stories and then upload that into the reels out a filter, or to add a music feature or do whatever and kind of improve it within the rails app. In order to done, that’s like to dip your toes in the water to just kind of try it out. But I do always have to give the caveat of warning of you don’t get to do one reel and be like, oh, we tested it. It didn’t work for us. Or, oh, that went viral. This is the best thing ever. So you really have to commit to doing this, even if it’s one a month commit to doing it three or four times so that your audience gets used to it and you get some sort of data points to see what worked and what didn’t work.

Anna

Hrach:

I

love that. And yeah, it is, you know, totally hear you and, and sympathize with everybody out there. It’s really hard to create video content consistently and especially on multiple different platforms. So like, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s totally understand why people may feel the need to repurpose this content, but it’s kind of funny how, you know, even they’re not even editing it, it’s just sort of, you know, like the technical branding all over it, which is hilarious, but

Jay

Baer:

Absolutely

branding on it. You’re like, yes, I didn’t even try. And it’s not like Instagram doesn’t have a I that spots that and, and the prioritizes it,

Jenn

Herman:

They

do. And they’ve said they want to manage those, those post-performance

Jay

Baer:

One

clarification, Jen, the maximum real length is a minute. Is that right?

Jenn

Herman:

So

you can choose the timer length 15, 30 or 60 seconds. And it, but it’s kind of weird. I’m like, just choose 16 only film 18. Like you don’t have to film 60, 60, but yeah, right now the max is 60.

Jay

Baer:

Okay.

That’s what I, that’s what I thought I was. I was working on some reels for myself and I was working with my social media manager. And me being me. I’m like, I don’t, I got 60 seconds. I gotta, I gotta, I gotta tighten it up, which is not always easy for somebody who’s used to doing a 45 minute podcast 500 times and counting it’s it’s a little bit of a challenge. All right. Here’s the next one for Jen Herman, Jen trends, our favorite Instagram expert here on the social pros podcast. Tell me the story with hashtags now. Like it was, it was totally a more, is better thing. And now I read your post. It’s like, no, now we only got to pick a few. I’m like, wait a second. This feels like the exact opposite advice.

Jenn

Herman:

Yeah.

So Instagram I, I have a few reasons or theories, I guess, as to why Instagram keeps doing this. So they came out, I want to say about a year ago. And they said eight to 15 was the ideal length. Then they came out earlier this year recently and said three to five was the ideal, you know, number of hashtags. And of course it sends the stratosphere into an uproar and everybody freaks out about it and everyone starts blogging about it and everyone starts talking about it. And I really think Instagram does is just to stay top of mind. I really think this is, they know this is the hot button item that gets all the blogs talking about them and not the competitors and not maybe the bad things that were floating around about Facebook, privacy and all the other things that have happened recently.

Jenn

Herman:

So

the skeptic in me thinks this is a very big PR play at, at best. But that being said, eventually we are going to see a world where we don’t need hashtags on Instagram. I have been saying this for years, it’s inevitable that they will go away. We do now have keyword search on Instagram. Now hashtag still feed into keyword search results. So you still need them, but we can see that we’re moving to a world on the platform where we won’t need hashtags like we have in the past. So I think Instagram is also trying to just condition us to use less hashtags. So when they say you don’t need them, it’s not like an all or nothing, you know, uproar. But that being said later just did a huge study. I think they studied something like 18 million posts. I’ve done multiple studies and reviews.

Jenn

Herman:

I've

had people that, you know, study and test amongst themselves and it is still more is better. It, it doesn’t matter what Instagram says. If you do three, like you’re only telling it to put you into three searches. If you do 30, you’re literally telling it to you in 30 searches. Like just like simple math doesn’t make sense why you would use less. And all the data shows the same thing. The later study came out and showed that the number one number of hashtags used was 20 and just behind that was 30. So they came back and basically had all the same data that shows more is more when it comes to hashtags. We just want to make sure that we’re using those relevant, consistent, strategic ones that aren’t just, you know, hashtag love or hashtag fun that are completely useless. We want to make sure they’re on brand and relevant to our industry and our content. And if you’re doing that, you’re telling the AI where to source you for the keyword searches, you’re showing up in the searches that people are looking for and you’ll get those results.

Jay

Baer:

I

still feel like Instagram is drunk. You can’t tell me 15 and then tell me three. It doesn’t make any sense. They’re just making it up. They’re just making it up.

Jenn

Herman:

And

it’s always a rep, right? Like it’s, it’s never like, oh, here is like Adam, Missouri saying, you should use this. It’s always some that says something. Or it’s some like comment and a post it’s never anything like official official from Instagram. So you gotta kind of take it all with a grain of salt.

Anna

Hrach:

So

speaking of Instagram, being drunk, I discovered a new feature this morning that I didn’t hear about until today, which is I just happened to figure it out because I was, groggily scrolling through Instagram with my morning coffee, dropped my phone on my face. Of course, as one does at six in the morning and then discover the rain shake. And I totally, this one, like I, I missed it. And I picked up my phone. I looked at, it was like, is something wrong? And I was like, no, Instagram. I mean, yes, a lot of things at six in the morning, but had known this was coming out. So I’m curious, like, again, it’s so funny because Facebook has had this for a while. Like why, why do you think they’re just introducing this now?

Jenn

Herman:

Well,

you didn’t miss it. Cause it literally just came out yesterday. So you just, you just happened to find it like odd, you know, on launch day, pretty much

Anna

Hrach:

We

buy.

Jenn

Herman:

Right.

you know, and this is one of those weird things where, you know, when you look at whether it’s Facebook or WhatsApp or Instagram, and you’re like, well, if that one has it, why isn’t this one habit? Like why? And yeah, it’s always been like, why haven’t they rolled this out? And I don’t know. I don’t know if something with the back end for whatever reason, but yes, we now have rain shake. So when you’re really mad because your stories won’t load, which I was, I went a week with stories, with a loaded flip, the image upside down, or like flip the text. And I was like, I needed the rain to shake.

Anna

Hrach:

Yeah.

Agreed. I mean, everybody needs a good raid shake every once in a while. But I also think this probably got overshadowed by the news of being able to delete carousels. I feel like that’s probably a, probably got buried and obviously the raid shake. Isn’t like massive, huge news. Right. But I feel like there’s just all these little things, like we talked about at the beginning of this show that there’s all these little things that they’re doing, but the carousel one is huge.

Jenn

Herman:

It's

a big deal. And so yes, the news came out again, same thing with the news yesterday on the raid shake. But now when you upload a carousel, which could have up to 10 photos or videos, once it was loaded, you were, it was out there like you had to either take the whole thing down or leave whole thing up. And so now they’re letting you individually remove a single image or, or video from the post, which is huge because sometimes content gets outdated. Maybe there was something in there that was set incorrectly that was in a video component. Or, you know, maybe it was a story sequence of something. And you’re like, well, that person didn’t want us to include their photo. We have to pull it. There’s, there’s plenty of reasons why you might pull content. So having that functionality right now is going to be a huge advantage for those people, creating carousels.

Jay

Baer:

Speaking

of carousels, how do you find those today from an effectiveness standpoint?

Jenn

Herman:

So

I personally love that. I think that when used strategically, not every single post, they actually are really beneficial algorithmically. So what happens is if someone posts a carousel and I’m scrolling through my feed and I don’t interact with the first photo or the first post in that carousel, the first time I see it, the next time I log in, I will see the second post in the carousel sequence. So I get a second chance to see that content, which for most brands and businesses is this second chance that exposure where now they’re like, oh yeah, I’m I am going to like that. Or I am going to swipe through the carousel or read that caption, all of which are positive rankings, algorithmically, even though we don’t see insights and data on those metrics, the algorithm is tracking that. So for a business to get a second chance for someone to see their content and hear their message, or, you know, learn about that promotion or that sale or whatever it is they’ve got going on, it’s a huge advantage that really should not be skipped over.

Jenn

Herman:

Now,

that being said, you know, not again, every post should be a carousel, cause that’s just a little too much and alienates your audience. But when you have that more you know, detailed level content, or you really want someone to read the caption or where it is more of a promotional due to posts, you know, in a carousel or three or four, you don’t have to do all 10, but as a means to get that additional exposure and don’t use the same image twice. So have two separate images. Cause if the first one didn’t capture their attention, the second one might in a different way. So we don’t want to reuse the same imagery.

Jay

Baer:

I

like this direction that Instagram is headed in terms of making it a little easier operationally on people who are creating content on the platform, like being able to edit carousels whenever they’re posted, et cetera. Another one that has been a fairly, a fairly recent rollout is the ability to post from the desktop, for people who are huge. Right? Yeah. Being able to just edit images in a desktop program and then posted or videos or anything else, as opposed to somehow I’ve got to end up with this on a phone or in some kind of social media platform. And most of the social media posting tools don’t play very well with Instagram. So this is, this has been a big one. You, it sounds like, like it better, Jen.

Jenn

Herman:

I

love it personally. Because it’s one of the few rollouts where Instagram did it, right? So I mean, we all know I love Instagram, but you know how they roll these things out. Everyone’s like really like, that’s going to be the user experience and it’s clunky or it’s awkward because you know, that’s how the Metta family of things tend to roll out like business suite and all those fun projects that they have. But this rollout is incredibly easy. It it’s seamless within the platform. Like you almost don’t even know it’s there unless you know, it’s there, but it’s super easy to upload. You still have all the filter options. You still have all the editing tools that you would have on the mobile device, maybe a slight limitation, but it’s pretty much all the same functionality. And yes, for those of us that are brand content creators, where we have all of that content on our computers and it’s been emailed or it’s stored in a shared drive on your company’s network and you’re not allowed to take things off the network and put them on your phone.

Jenn

Herman:

Now

it’s like, oh, look, I can upload earlier to my desktop, but I can actually publish content as a social media manager. So this is huge. There are still, you know, some limitations. And personally for me, I will still use, I use a gore as most people know, I use that for my scheduling tool. I will still use that or use my phone just because that’s how I’ve always done it. But for the average user, being able to do this on instagram.com and upload directly is a huge game changer. And I’m so glad that it rolled out as effectively as it did,

Jay

Baer:

Even

though we’ve talked a lot in this episode about video-based content or a multi frame content like carousels, et cetera, Instagram still has a very large share of the photography based posts as well. Jen, have you seen any differences or changes lately in what’s working from a photo standpoint, either composition, lighting, colors affects anything that you’re like, you know, there’s a trend here that, that we should be paying attention to.

Jenn

Herman:

So

I went to this, anything in terms of new trends. I think there’s still a lot of things that people should be aware of when they’re creating photos. Some of my favorite tips for advice are the color blue has been shown to increase engagement by 20 to 30%. So a blue prop, a blue shirt, the blue sky. Yeah. It really can generate that much more engagement. Even if your brand colors, aren’t blue, there’s ways to try to mix it in and see if that helps a human component. It doesn’t have to be a selfie. It doesn’t have to be like your actual face in a photo, but you’re hand holding the product rather than the product on a table that will increase engagement, typically at least 10 to 20% as well. So those can, again, people connect with people, you put an emotional context in there.

Jenn

Herman:

It

also really helps if you have a very clear focal point because when someone’s scrolling really fast through the feed, if it’s a busy image with a busy background and no clear focal point, they’re more likely to scroll past. Whereas if it’s a very like, you know, maybe you’ve got a purple background and an ice cream cone just being held against a purple wall, that’s going to catch your attention because it’s a bold color. And it’s a very simple, clear focus with the ice cream cone against a single color background versus in the middle of a coffee shop with people and lots of distractions in the background. So those tend to be ways to, again, draw people’s attention into those photos and get them to slow the scroll, even just slowing the scroll as a positive ranking algorithmically.

Anna

Hrach:

So

the blue man group is going to be awesome on Instagram,

Jay

Baer:

Right?

The point totally blew you, man.

Jenn

Herman:

Yeah,
Jay

Baer:

I

look up there. I’m going to look up their Instagram account right now, where to go and it, yes, they, by all rights, they should be the best account on the planet, but you know what, they’re probably just reposting their tick DOCSIS rails

Anna

Hrach:

With

the branding,

Jay

Baer:

With

the name.

Anna

Hrach:

I

was just going to echo the same sentiment though, not necessarily the blue part, but I know even at convince and convert, you know, we’ve noticed for a long time that especially people really just generate much higher engagement and it just goes back to, you know, people want to see real people and they want to engage with people. So the blue one is super fascinating. I can’t wait to test that one out. And I will do more than one as a test per your advice, Jen.

Jenn

Herman:

Yes.

Four to six is a good test.

Anna

Hrach:

Nice.

So I am curious though, with, with all of these features that we’ve talked about and, and you know, every time you, every time you come back to the show, there’s some big new feature. What feature would you love to see integrated with Instagram and what have you been waiting over a decade for to see them introduce

Jenn

Herman:

For

me. And it’s one of those things where, you know, most people always want, like they want the link, you know, solution and they want to be able to drop links. And I still hope they never change that. But I do want to see more business friendly tools and I love that they have now rolled out the link sticker for stories to all professional accounts, even though not everyone has it, it’s no longer restricted to the 10,000. So I wouldn’t say there’s one specific feature that I really want, but I do want them to understand that there are these content creators, things like the posting from the desktop, having the link sticker available for people, having better ways to be able to reply and engage in direct messages. You know, we have kind of the, the separate inboxes, but they’re still very cluttered and they’re still very convoluted in terms of who goes into which ones.

Jenn

Herman:

And

there are, yes, there are canned responses, but they, they don’t work in the same way that again, with, with messenger and WhatsApp and you have all these amazing, you know, messaging tools built into those, I’m like, can we get some of those over here on Instagram so that we, as businesses can start to allocate responsibility. And with that being said, it would be wonderful if you could get multiple logins to an account that social media managers could actually have like an admin account access to an account like we do on Facebook and LinkedIn and everything else that you’re not constantly having to share your like individual password and username with everyone on your team that is managing your account. So that’s what I want. I would like to see more of those business features rolled out, making it easier and having them understand that that is such an important part of the platforms creation.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah.

It is sort of remarkable given how far Instagram has come and how extraordinarily important it is for major, major, major global corporations to connect with their fans that it’s still like, yeah. Write down the password and, you know, put it in, put it in your desk drawer or whatever I’m over. I’m over that a little bit, but yeah, it’s a little shady. That’s that’s for sure. I’m glad you mentioned that direct message functionality. Jen, are you seeing brands using Instagram more for customer service than they were in the past, whether they want to, or not, maybe customers are just trying to reach out in that platform as, as more and more customers use Instagram as I guess their primary social network instead of Facebook, in some cases is, is instead of sort of being pulled into the social care world a little bit as well.

Jenn

Herman:

Absolutely.

And I think they kind of open that Pandora’s box when they had any direct reply to a story initiates a direct message. Now of course, personally, I think that’s an amazing opportunity because, you know, if a customer of yours sees your story and reacts to it, they’ve literally opened the door for you to come in and have a conversation with them. So you’re not showing up and being like, Hey, I want to say hi, they they’ve opened up that invitation through direct messaging. So absolutely I think that it has moved in that direction intentionally or not. And I think a lot of brands are really embracing that. I think more brands probably need to do more in terms of, you know, positive and negative conversations happening in those DMS, but it is such a unique opportunity when you’re have, you know, whether it’s your feed, content, your story, content, your reels content that is all very public, but to be able to pull these people so easily into a private conversation and answer their one-on-one questions, to be able to provide that, you know, frequently asked question response that they’re, you know, that they have, or to be able to lead them down into discussion of, you know, closing a sale.

Jenn

Herman:

I

think it’s something that more brands should work to embrace. And I think it should be an active part of anyone’s strategy if they’re really using Instagram effectively.

Jay

Baer:

A

lot of brands don’t want to do customer service on Instagram, but what we always tell them is it’s not really your choice, right? If that’s where your customers are, that’s where they’re going to go for customer service, right? It’s it’s, you know, any channel that you are in is potentially a customer service channel, and that’s not really your call, it’s your customer’s call. So we’re starting to see some of that as well. People asking us for counsel on, on IgG customer care processes and best practices, et cetera. Jen, last question for me today, if, if you were going to hire somebody in a company, for example, to run Insta, what do you think their background should be

Jenn

Herman:

Customer

service and market. I mean, I tell in any capacity, if you’re hiring anybody to do social media, whether you’re outsourcing it or you’re bringing them in house, they have to have a customer service background. Because to your point, it really is becoming no matter what platform it is, it’s become a customer service platform. And that person has to be able to handle people with white gloves at times they have to be able to be CERN and effective in communication. And so there’s definitely that background, but specifically in terms of Instagram, it’s really more about, do they know photography? Do they know videography? And do they understand the platform because Instagram is such a unique platform. It is not the same as Facebook. It is not the same as LinkedIn. It’s not the same as tech talk. And it’s really easy for someone to come in and say, oh yeah, yeah, no, I use Tik TOK all the time, or I use Twitter all the time. I can do Instagram. And it really is such a unique platform that someone has to have a good, solid base and understanding of how the platform works, how the algorithms work, you know, how reciprocal and non-reciprocal interactions should be on the platform and be able to manage that from just that technical perspective, let alone being able to speak about your brand, being able to market your brand, being able to handle the customer service and all that sort of stuff. So, so really, I mean, it should be a super high level position.

Anna

Hrach:

Nice.

and one more question from me as well before we get into the big two for the third time for you, Jen you of course advise agencies on a day-to-day basis on how to use Instagram, strategically, both for their own brands and for their clients. And I’m just curious, now that Instagram has been around for more than a decade and we’ve been, you know, going at Instagram and everything’s running as usual and they’re building on these features. Is there something that the vast majority of people you work with still overlook or is there something that if they just pivoted slightly one way, you know, maybe even like in a quick wind kind of a way it would just amplify results or make life so much easier. I’m just curious if there’s something common, you see that, that, because we are in this day-to-day and we are just kind of operating as it is. Maybe we’re overlooking it now.

Jenn

Herman:

Yeah.

I mean, I have like probably 12 things. But that being said, one of the things that I think is most important is that people have to realize I’m on Instagram because of the way algorithms are because of the way people see content. You really only want to put out the best content. We are long past the time of check the box. I posted to Instagram today because you’re probably creating mediocre content. And if people are scrolling past your content, because it’s mediocre, then that’s a negative ranking and they start showing up lower and lower or your lower, lower in their feeds, meaning the less likely to see your content. So it really is about being super selective nowadays. Like if you have a ton of content, put it in your stories, you know, go put it up on Twitter. Don’t flood your feed on Instagram with the purely, for the sake of posting the content, be super selective, make sure it’s high quality visuals, make sure it’s with some sort of purpose, not just a sales post, it can be engagement. It can be entertainment, it can be education, whatever it is, but make it super relevant to the audience. And if you do that, give it again some testing time, but you’ll see that re that boost back up and performance and engagement and responsiveness from your audience.

Jay

Baer:

Great

advice. It’s not about frequency. It’s about engagement. You can do both, but it’s better to just publish when you’ve got something that supports publishing. I did take a look while you were giving out that tremendous answer, Jen at the blue man group 385,000 connections on Instagram. They have a real, which is just three of the blue men, kind of doing a little backstage, a little hop dance 87,000 views on their real, no Tik TOK branding. So there you go, friends as recommended by Jen Herman on social pros and discovered by Anna rock. It is the blue man group followed them on Instagram for best practices. Maybe next time, instead of Jen would just get the blue band group on the, on the show,

Jenn

Herman:

Talking

about the Instagram.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah.

I’m not really sure how that would go. They don’t do a lot of words. It’d have to be yeah. Video podcast for those guys and

Jenn

Herman:

Be

a lot of drumming.

Jay

Baer:

A

lot of drumming, kinda messy too. You know, yeah, this is a new computer. I don’t need paint that way. All right, Jen, we’re going to ask you the two questions we keep asking you and everybody else here on social pros 500 episodes into the lifespan of this program. Question number one. What one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro?

Jenn

Herman:

I

would tell them to, I’m trying to think of like, what were my previous answers? I don’t want to like duplicate, like I probably said the same thing every time I would tell them to. And I think I’ve used this before, have an opinion. When it comes to social media, too many people try to ride down the middle and I’m not seeing it to be polarizing one side of the other, but having an opinion on something when, you know, Instagram rolls out an update. When, you know, Facebook is in the news because of, you know, political ramifications when Tik TOK rolls out a new feature, whatever it is, have an opinion, don’t just report the news, but say why this is good and say why this is bad and explain to your audience why you feel that way. And back it up. And people respect that people will follow because of that. And so whatever it is, your brand, that sort of thing, you know, have that opinion in the industry that you are in, you know, what’s going on in your industry. Don’t be afraid to stand up for it.

Jay

Baer:

I

love that it is very easy and safe to boil it down the middle. But typically that’s not going to yield the best results.

Jenn

Herman:

Yeah.
Jay

Baer:

Other

than the blue man group, Jen, last question. If you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be and why

Jenn

Herman:

The

same answer every time. And one of these days, she’s going to answer me Bethany Frankel from originally the real Housewives of New York and her own spinoffs and everything. I think she’s just an incredible business woman. I think she’s incredibly savvy. She’s doing amazing things with her. Be strong foundation helping in various areas of turmoil around the world. And I think she’s just got so many amazing things tucked away in her head that I would love to just sit down and just absorb it all.

Jay

Baer:

Jen,

you’re a big deal. You can make that a quick slide to slide into our DMS and be like, Hey, I’m Jen Herman, Jen trends, check out my Insta advice. Let’s go see the lumen

Jenn

Herman:

Group.
Jay

Baer:

Yeah.

I think it’s going to happen by the next time you’re on the show. You’re going to have this Bethany Frankel thing hooked up. That is my prediction. I’m putting it. I’m putting it out into the universe. That’s it? That’s it. Jen, thank you so much for coming back on the program and sharing your wisdom with the social pros community. We really appreciate it. The more Instagram changes their mind, the more need there is for gen at Gen-Z trends. How should the audience get ahold of you for more advice

Jenn

Herman:

And

pretty much everywhere as Jenn’s trends I’m on Instagram and all the other places. J E N N S underscore trends. You can go to Gen-Z trends.com again, Jenn, with two NS in there. And that’s got all the things and ways to connect with me. And then of course join my free Facebook group. If you go to Facebook and search Jen’s trends in social media, that’s where we share breaking news, all these news and updates related to Instagram, as well as other social media posts in the group. And it’s a safe place to come and ask questions and just get your bearings when it comes to figuring out what works on Instagram.

Jay

Baer:

Fantastic.

Thanks Jen. I know a lot of our audience will join you over there on Facebook, and it’s a good thing. You reminded them. We have an Instagram account because that would be a little ironic, right? Linkedin. Yeah. Yeah. All right, Jen. Thanks so much. We really appreciate it. Anna, that was a lot of fun. Yeah, that was awesome.

Jenn

Herman:

Always,

always fun to talk to you, Jen.

Jay

Baer:

Likewise,

having been here until next time friends, I’m Jay Baer from convince and convert. She’s Anna Horak also from convince and convert. She’s the multi-time guest, Jen Herman from Jen’s trends. Hopefully this is your favorite podcast in the whole world. Tell your friends, we’ll see you next time. Right here on social pros. Don’t forget every single episode all the way back to January of 2012, including this episode, you can get the audio. You can get the transcript, you can get the links, you can get bonus content, just go to social pros, podcast.com. See you next time.

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EP 499 – Edited (Completed 12/02/21)

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