How to beat the new Instagram Algorithm

July 19, 2017

Ahh, the Instagram algorithm change. Currently a very popular topic amongst the blogging community. If you are a normal everyday personal account this post probably does not apply to you. If you are a blogger or have a business that relies on your Instagram page you have probably noticed a pretty big drop in your engagement. Every blogger and business I talk to is experiencing this ever since the Instagram algorithm changed. It’s frustrating when you put so much work into growing your page and Instagram just decides it won’t be shown to half of your followers. Trust me, I feel you! Damn you Instagram and your super lame ways that make no sense. I have always said it’s pretty dumb to put all your eggs in one basket (or all your followers if you will), because you never know when that bubble (er um… basket) will burst. However, there is still hope with Instagram and it is still a very powerful tool for any one trying to grow their business.  There are a few things I have learned along the way that I have found really help battle the new algorithm and help get your page seen again.

How to beat the new Instagram Algorithm

Know about Shadowbanning.

What is Shadowbanning you say? IT IS PURE BS if you ask me, but let’s not get all worked up now… let me keep it professional. *Ehem* Shadowbanning is when Instagram flags popular hashtags like #fashionblogger in an effort to keep spammy content from reaching real accounts. In other words it is compromising your Insta account visibility. If you are “shadowbanned” then Instagram has hidden your hashtags from anyone that is not your follower. Which means, if you happen to use #girlboss (which I believe is now shadowbanned) then only your followers will see this if they search this hashtag and it will no longer be shown to new viewers. It’s annoying as hell, because isn’t that what hashtags are for anyway? Good news is that this can be combatted if you are careful with how you use your hashtags.

How do you find out if you are shadowbanned? Check out this site. 

A few words of advice: Do not copy and paste the same hashtags in all your posts. Change it up often and make sure it is relevant to what you are actually posting. Always research if your hashtags are banned (here). If they are, then DUH don’t use them. In my experience, using just three key hashtags in your caption works fine while adding a bunch of hashtags below (hidden below in your comments) gets you banned (just in my experience. I am not sure if this happens for everyone).

If you want to read a bit more on this, then check out this and this.

 

DONT use bots or buy fake likes or followers.

Instagram is doing an amazing job at eliminating visibility of bots/ fake accounts. Yet they are also doing a horrible job at thinking real people/accounts are actually fake. If you do buy bots or buy fake followers / likes, there is a high chance that Instagram will flag you. Your engagement might actually decrease instead of increase. So, what if you aren’t a bot and are still getting flagged as one by Instagram? It might be because you are using automated websites to like/follow other accounts (a lot of these have been suspended or shut down by Instagram by now). Or it could be because you are commenting back with the same answer/emoji to your commenters.

So what to do then? Be human! Engage with people in a natural way. Leave real human responses so Instagram knows you are not a robot and stop worrying so much about the numbers. It should be about the content you put out, the connections you make and the engagement not about the numbers anyway. If you focus on connecting with your audience and creating beautiful honest content, you are more likely to get a better response from both your followers and Instagram. Keep it chill. In other words, nobody likes desperate energy. Even in the Instagram world.

 

Use your Insta-Stories: 

Using Insta-stories is an amazing way to boost your engagement. Especially if you are using the geotags and the correct hashtags to get new eyes on your profile.  About a month ago, I showed a video of me eating tacos when I went to Mexico for the day, geotagged TIJUANA and got about 300 new viewers on my story. I got a good handful of new followers that would have never known about my page if it wasn’t for those yummy tacos. The geotag is not always that magical, but it was a great example of how you can really boost your reach by simply showing your location. Besides expanding your reach, your audience will get to know you a little better and possible start interacting with you even more. Insta-Stories is my favorite way to connect with you guys!

 

Engage Authentically, Post Often:

1. If you aren’t engaging with your audience then they might start to feel like you don’t give a crap about them. Don’t just engage just so Instagram doesn’t think you are a bot. Engage for the sake of making a new friend or simply saying thanks for stopping by. People like to feel appreciated and if they do, they might just keep coming back to visit their new friend. Also very important: make sure that people you are engaging with are people you actually like. If you are engaging with a new account make sure it’s someone you think is awesome or has cool pics, has a funny personality…etc. If you keep it consistant, Instagram will start to notice your habits of what kind of accounts you like and what types of accounts actually interact with you. Thus showing your pic to more accounts that might be interested in yours. All in all making instagram an amazing experience again.

2. If you aren’t posting often then you might as well not even be doing it. I’ve always been a strong believer of being all in or all out. Never somewhere in between. It’s such a pet peeve of mine! However, don’t post a photo you don’t really like just to post.  Consistency is not just about how often you post but also the quality of your work. If you have to skip a day because you really hate the content than do so!  Do try and keep your content consistent when you can so that you are always in the mix, staying relevant and constantly increasing your chances of being seen.

 

These are just a few things I have learned lately about how to beat the Instagram algorithm. Every tiny bit of info helps right? If you have any suggestions or want to add to this please feel free to in the comment section below! Much love guys and happy gramming guys!

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xx F

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