I bet that by now, everyone is aware that the Instagram algorithm got a new update this year. If not, let me help you learn more about it and how you can kill the new game.
In June 2016, Instagram rolled out a new feed update that removes posts being listed in a chronological way to one that shows content from your favourite Instagrammers first, that is, if you and I interact regularly on Instagram, it will be more likely for us to see each other’s post even if it was posted several days ago.
That indeed was a great deal breaker for content creators. A year and a half later, when everyone seems to finally be able to control the new algorithm, a new update rolled out in the early January of 2018 and now it is more complicated. Below you will find 5 ways that can help you survive throughout these dark times.
Let’s begin with how the new algorithm works.
When you post something on Instagram, it will only be seen by 10% of your whole audience for the first hour. After that first hour, based on the engagements that you received, Instagram will decide whether your post is worth sharing with the other 90%.
For content creators who make a living from Instagram and those who want the world to see their creativity, it is indeed a shitty thing to happen.
Now, let’s talk about how you can beat the shit out of this new algorithm.
1) First of all, if you’re using any kind of engagement groups, LEAVE THEM NOW!! Because now Instagram is tracking down those using engagements groups to boost their post and if you get caught, you’ll be shadow banned. Being shadow banned is quite a serious matter as you won’t be notified when it happens to you. Instead, you will only find that fewer people are seeing your post and for those who turned on post notifications, they won’t be notified either.
(I’ve been shadow banned 3 times and got out of it. Believe me, it is like going to jail and coming out several times. Scars and a “bad” reputation stay with you until you’re completely cleared off all your charges. Until then, Instagram won’t hesitate to shadow ban you for even the smallest mistake you make. It is like being put on probation and it might take 1-12 months to fix your reputation. I will talk about what causes shadow ban and how to get out of it in another post.)
2) How to get more engagement within that 1hour? Simple trick, to get, you must give. Yep, do what social media is for, get social! Go like and give genuine comments on your followers’ post! Slide in the DMs, it won’t hurt you to get to know who your followers are and since it is a trend nowadays, you might even find “the love of your life” while doing it. HOWEVER, when you comment, write something that exceeds 4 words and reply with a comment that has more than 4 words for it to count as a real engagement. Make sure you reply all your comments within that 1hour so that the Instagram Gods know that you’re alive.
3) To know if it is really working, switch to the business account. It will help you monitor your engagements and reach. Moreover, you’ll get tools that will let you know when are most of your followers active, posting at the right time will be for your own good.
4) Use captions properly. It is a fact that we are allowed to use up to 30 captions per post BUT the Instagram Gods can see this as a spam and spam means SHADOW BAN. What I would suggest you to do is use less than 30 hashtags that have high search results, but not SO many that they’re too popular and your post will immediately get buried in all the others. Make sure that you use different hashtags everytime you post because if you use the same hashtags, The Instagram Gods will think that you are a bot. Eventually, it will leads you to shadow ban. You will be luckier to attract new followers if you use 5-10 unique hashtags than if you use 25 of which many are repetitive.
5) Use stories to keep your audience updated. Stories are still in a chronological order. That will be useful to engage with your audience. Posting loads of stories are not (yet) considered as spam for The Instagram Gods, so go for it but don’t post irrelevant stuffs.!