How to Make Sense of Changes on Social Media: A Roadmap

You’ve seen the headlines about big changes taking place on social media in 2018 and are officially panicking. What the heck is happening, and how can you keep up?!

In case you haven’t heard the news, two social networks are shifting how they operate in a bid to satisfy user demand, with a game-changing impact for small businesses. Luckily, we’ve got Mandi Gould, social media marketer and ghost blogger at Barker Social to explain the changes happening on Facebook and Instagram, and provide some tips on how to survive and thrive on social media in 2018.

We’ve split this post into two parts. Part 1 covers what’s changed, while Part 2 will offer 5 tips on how to stay engaged and connected with your community in this brave new social world.

What’s Changed


In an effort to get back to its mission to “connect people” with others they care about, Facebook announced plans to focus more on “meaningful social interactions” between individuals. Posts from friends and family will receive more priority over posts originating from Business Pages, including ads. If you’re a brand, small business or news publisher, it’s now harder to share important information with your audience without paying for Facebook ads.

Time to Invest in Advertising on Social Media

If you’re not yet paying to advertise on Facebook, now’s the time to start investing in reaching your audience. The good news: Whether you have a small or larger budget ($100/month-plus), you can make an impact on social if you use it effectively. Boost your posts, promote your page or run Facebook ads.

Learn More: How to Promote Your Local Business on Facebook


It’s possible you could have fallen victim to the Instagram shadowban and not even know it, because your account won’t officially be suspended. However, there’s an unofficial shadowban test:

  • Pick a post with an uncommonly used hashtag

  • Search for that post using the chosen hashtag (have another individual who doesn’t follow you do this as well)

  • If your posts aren’t appearing to either of you on the hashtag, you may have been shadowbanned

“Instead, the shadowban limits your brand’s visibility in the hashtag search,” – Mandi Gould, social media marketer and ghost blogger, Barker Social

If you’ve over-hashtagged or violated Instagram’s Terms of Use, you can get slapped with a shadowban. Gould’s post explains more details and tells you how to fix it if it’s happened to you.

Learn More: The Instagram Shadowban: What is it & What to do about it

Schedule Your Posts

Use Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or another social media software applications? If you have an Instagram business account, you’ll now be able to schedule your posts. This update is a big one, as users have long requested the ability to create content to be published later automatically. This is one of many changes to happen as Instagram’s API is updated to give us the ability to analyze metrics, moderate comments, and more. According to this TechCrunch article, support for these features on non-business profiles will happen in early 2019.

Check out Part 2 Next Week where we look into “What to Do Now That Facebook and Instagram Have Changed

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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