10 Things You Need To Do On Instagram To Improve Your Presence Right Now
If you’re a writer, content creator, or business owner, you’re familiar with the “algorithm” everyone’s been talking about on Instagram since 2016. Lately, most of the posts on my feed have been photos and boomerangs.
My photos used to bring in 100+ likes per photo, and since these changes, they’re bringing in anywhere from 26 to 55 likes per photo. It’s pretty irritating how Instagram has chosen higher engaged photos to go first as opposed to the ones you’re following. There is not a single photo that comes in my feed that I haven’t already seen these days.
So how do we get our photos, videos, and stories seen more? If we still can’t beat the system, then how do we see what’s killing our engagement?
You might have heard of the term “shadow ban,” which is when Instagram filters your account as spam and bans you from being seen under hashtags. Only you or people who follow you can see you under hashtags when you’re shadowbanned, so it makes it harder for you to be found by new accounts and gain new followers.
So do you just scrap your Instagram account and begin working on a brand new one? You probably should. But before you jump the gun, here are ten things you can try out.
- STOP USING A BUSINESS PROFILE
I’ve read some articles saying that having a business profile can lower your photos in the algorithm, and quite a few of my friends have switched back to personal profiles. I’m not surprised with this because Instagram constantly encouraged me to pay to promote my posts when I had a business profile. HARD PASS.
- QUIT USING BOTS
I haven’t used any bots before, but I’ve read about them leading to shadowbans. If your account is active in two different countries at once, Instagram’s going to know something is up and probably ban you. Stop using bots, or if you are going to use them, make sure they are U.S based and in the same city. The easiest solution is to drop the bot.
- DON’T EDIT YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS
Many will recommend you edit your hashtags and delete them. I say don’t do it. If you realize you’ve had a misspelling on a post, archive it, and post it again. Why? When you edit an Instagram post, your account is set back to “zero” and drops in placement on the IG feed. Best thing to do is archive and start over.
- A/B TEST YOUR HASHTAGS BY PUTTING YOUR HASHTAGS IN THE DESCRIPTION RATHER THAN AS A SEPARATE COMMENT
For some reason whenever I post hashtags in a separate comment, Instagram automatically decreases my engagement, whether I’m using 10 or 30 hashtags. I’ve started to put hashtags in my description instead, and it’s been keeping my photos front and center.
I have an A/B Test I’m running this weekend and will share the results with our Facebook group next week.
- AVOID USING SPAMMY HASHTAGS
Don’t use hashtags like #followme or #followfriday. They may be viral ones, but you’re going to gain 50 followers that unfollow you the next day. When I say spammy hashtags too, I’m talking about the ones that everyone uses to sell you crap. Use targeted hashtags instead. Want a list of the best hashtags to use for virality?
Enter your email here, and I’ll email it to you.
- ENGAGE WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S PHOTOS
One of the worst things Instagram ever did was take away chronological feeds. Not only is it a struggle to be seen under hashtags – it’s now a struggle to be seen by your followers! If you engage with other people’s photos, they might engage with your photos back, and Instagram will rank you’re The post higher, therefore, allowing your post to actually be seen. So give it a try.
- DON’T JOIN INSTAGRAM PODS
Instagram has begun cracking down on Facebook groups and Instagram Message Groups that are engaging with one another when a post is shared. This is BAD. Discontinue use of these groups and pods ASAP as you might be punished for participating in them.
- TAKE A BREAK FROM INSTAGRAM
I’ve heard that taking a 48-hour break from posting or liking/commenting on photos on Instagram can actually help your account if you’ve been shadow banned.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF INSTAGRAM STORIES
While my photo reach has been cut in half, my Instagram Story reach has actually increased. I’ve seen a lot of people posting stories to let followers know they’ve posted, and while I haven’t done this, it seems to be a great strategy! Your followers may not even know you’ve posted, so try letting them know through your stories.
The wonderful thing about Instagram Stories is that they’re in chronological order. So, that also means you need to be as active as possible on it so that your name always comes up on people’s feeds – just don’t overdo it! You can also tell your followers about your new post in your Instagram story and verbally direct them where you want them to go.
- ENCOURAGE YOUR FOLLOWERS TO TURN ON POST NOTIFICATIONS
In a post or a story, encourage your followers to turn on post notifications for your posts. While I don’t think you’ll get an amazing turnout, you might get a few people to turn them on. Every little bit helps. I personally only keep post notifications on for my closest friends because my favorite Instagrammers post too many times day – something to also keep in mind.
I know the new algorithm sucks, but don’t let it get to you too much. At the end of the day, you’re putting out content that makes you happy, and likes are just numbers. They don’t matter. Instead, focus on building your brand on multiple platforms – your blog, other social media accounts – don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
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