The Blog

61. Instagram Updates and How to Optimize them with I Am Michelle Gifford

Instagram Updates and How to Optimize them with I Am Michelle Gifford

We have a long overdue guest on the podcast today and I’m so shocked we haven’t had her sooner! Michelle is a business and brand strategist, she helps busy moms develop clear brand messages and efficient marketing systems to better grow the business they feel called to create. (sound familiar, anyone? We have the same mission!) She also helps teach and educate women in business how to get online and not waste time.

I’ve had so many requests to do a podcast episode on the Instagram updates and how to optimize them, and Michelle is helping women navigate all the Instagram changes, how to do reels and what’s good about Reels. That’s one of the big Instagram updates this year and she’s going to tell us all about it.


Instagram Updates and How to Optimize


Why are Reels important?

It was about a year ago when Instagram released Reels to compete with TIkTok, and then in spring, Instagram said that they are no longer a photo sharing app. This can be so paralyzing to some people but Michelle is going to simply walk us through it and make Reels feel doable. You don’t have to dance or point and that’s totally fine. You can figure out your own strategy of how to use Reels.

Why are Reels important? Because they help you grow. There are three different algorithms on Instagram: the feed and story, the explore page and Reels algorithm.

Using the Reels algorithm, Instagram takes the content you create and feeds your Reels to people who are interested in your content. You have so much capacity to grow because Instagram takes people who are interested in content like yours, and matches it with the content yout – and you don’t have to follow each other! You have so much capacity to grow when you use reels.


What would you say to a person who is scared of reels?

“Start watching reels a little bit more and start noticing which ones gravitate towards you. Remember to stay on brand no matter what, but save reels and start using their sounds. Just get an idea of what kind of content you want to create and then TRY IT.”


Instagram Updates and How to Optimize


How much should someone post on reels?

“It just depends on who you are. People are saying post three or five times a day but that doesn’t work for everyone. I personally post one or two times a day. Really just think about your content and think how you can best serve your audience. There is so much information out there about when to post and how much to post and it’s really overwhelming. It’s stopping a lot of people from just using the app and getting to know their audience. Instead of being afraid you’re not doing it right, just use it for what it is and make it fit you.”


Michelle’s hot tips

Remember, Reels are for growth. You want to think, who do I want to follow me? What are they thinking about and what do they need right now? Then think about your current audience and what they will like too. Focus your Reels around that.

When analyzing Instagram’s effectiveness, we see followers, likes and views. We don’t often focus on how followers become paying clients. And that’s the whole reason why we’re on Instagram, right?

“There are so many people yelling different things to do on Instagram and I want people to know what Instagram is actually saying. Instagram is increasing its efforts to be a lot more transparent. Adam and Creators. Follow those two accounts because those are the real sources. They are being more transparent about how Instagram works. I want people to really understand how Instagram works so we can use it as a tool and not just a time suck.”


Instagram Updates and How to Optimize


Don’t worry about rules, think about what your followers want from you. Focus on the basics of a good marketing strategy rather than all the rules that change all the time. It doesn’t matter what happens on Instagram if you’ve built trust with your followers.

Instagram can’t be the finish line. You need to have other ways that you’re serving your clients. An email list or a podcast. It cannot be the finish line, make it a part of our marketing strategy and not the whole thing. You need to have other tools to connect with your clients because Instagram is always changing.

To maximize Instagram updates, use Reels.

If Reels are still sketchy, use carousel posts. Those have A LOT of information. The whole goal of Instagram is to keep people on the app, so if a carousel post is going to keep people on your post for 10x long. Instagram pushes that out to people.

Instagram Updates and How to Optimize them with I Am Michelle Gifford 

Leave a Reply