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Hello and Happy Monday! 

There’s been what seems like a million and one updates to Instagram lately, and for many of us entrepreneurs and small business owners, it seems like we just can’t catch a break. I for one need to come up for air and it feels like I’m drowning under all of these updates!

In no particular order, here are some of the recent updates:

  1. Age verification (if you’ve ever been in the endless loop of being locked out for proving your identity, this one might prove just as frustrating, we will see…)
  2. Reels will now have auto-generated captions
  3. Reels have new audio features (voice over, adjust volume, and text-to-speech)
  4. Creator marketplace is coming (this means you will be able to get paid within Instagram for brand partnership deals). I haven’t yet decided if this is good or bad…
  5. There are 4 updates to IG’s parental controls (the teen has to agree to have these features turned on with their parents, so in my case with my kids… good luck LOL)
  6. Take a break feature (encourages you to take a break from scrolling). This one I like!
  7. ‘Nudges’ – IG is exploring the idea of ‘nudges’ which will tell you when you’ve spent too much time on one topic. If they didn’t want this to be an issue they could just stop pushing content you’re not following in general… that’s my opinion anyways. Just let me see content from who I am following?!
  8. Reels can now be up to 90 seconds and include stickers and polls – this means you can make interactive reels!
  9. ‘Pinned Posts’ – just like on Facebook, you can pin posts to the top of your grid. You can pin up to 3 posts here
  10. ‘sensitive content control’ – there’s an option to choose what level of ‘sensitive’ content you want to see or have blocked. The issue I see here is their bots determining what content is sensitive. So many thing can be misinterpreted (prime example I was in Facebook jail once for sharing a video of my husband and I dressed up on halloween as the Tiger King and a tiger… but more on that another day hah)
  11. Amber alerts supported on IG
  12. ‘Get a Quote’ feature being tested – this has not yet rolled out
  13. The ‘immersive’ feed (taller photos and videos). This one I actually can’t stand because it actually looks horrible on the app. Your photos get a weird gradient over them and some accounts have the new version and some show square images still…
  14. NFTs on IG – wish I actually understood NFTs and I could tell you what to do with this one?

Oh… by the way, the head of Instagram is this guy: https://www.instagram.com/mosseri/

If you’re not already following him, you might want to or check in on his profile every now and again to see what IF has up it’s sleeve.

Ok so here’s the deal, that’s a lot of updates and that’s only about the last 6 weeks… so what can you do about it?

Some of these updates require zero change to what you’re doing, so there’s the good news for you.

But some of them require a shift in strategy, the biggest one you probably already know… more video content needs to be created. Instagram is pushing reels (oh and by the way the other day it was said that ALL videos will soon be shared as reels… so that’s interesting…), so it’s time to get serious and figure out how to turn your existing content into reels so you don’t feel like:

Here’s 5 easy reels you can create without fancy footwork or crazy editing:

  1. take a carousel you’ve created in canva, resize it with magic resize to the ‘reels’ size, then download it as an mp4. Voila – video created!
  2. Drop a bunch of photos from the day or weekend into one of the reel templates either on IG or in canva (canva is always easier for me…) to share a fun recap post
  3. Record a really quick talking video about what you’re up to in your business for the day
  4. share a video of you talking about an opinion you have about something that relates to your business
  5. use a canva template to share a quote or tweet/meme reel

I’m all for innovation and making things better, but I have to admit that I don’t love the direction Instagram is going. Many business owners have worked incredibly hard to build their accounts only to be seen less and less by their followers. I also don’t love the switch to be a copycat of TikTok. If I wanted TikTok, I’d go hang out over there – do you feel the same?

But love it or hate it, we can’t control it, and social media is still a massive tool for us small business owners and entrepreneurs, and by staying on top of changes and evolving with them, we will serve our own customers better, and we will grow as a result, so hang in there!

I haven’t quite wrapped my head around a full service approach to reels for Empty Desk Solutions clients because as of right now, we can’t schedule them or add the ‘trending audio’ until we’re right in the app…

But I do have a small offer for you if you want something small to get you started. I’ve created a one-off package for 8 reels at $197. These are not videos of you with fancy transitions or TikTok style influencer level content, let’s be real 😝 But if you need something to post for reels, this would be one per week for the next 2 months you could use. This is an introductory price, and if it’s popular, we will bring it back in the fall. 

If you’re like:

then hit reply and tell me you’re in and we will get started!

Until next time, have a great week!.


P.S.: the doors to the Plan that Social Club are now closed until the fall. Sign up to get on the waitlist to be notified of when they open again.

P.P.S.: Did you know I offer free 10 min coffee chats on zoom? If you want to brainstorm some marketing ideas or see if we can help you with your social media or website, please grab a time that suits you at https://emptydesksolutions.ca/workwithme/