Gaining new followers is challenging in the age of the Instagram algorithm and many people are seeing their Instagram numbers decrease despite consistent engagement. Here are four ways to say goodbye to the Instagram Algorithm Blues:
#1 Understand Instagram’s Algorithm
At the time I wrote a guest blog on smartlinkup.com about how to increase engagement and gain Instagram followers in 2018, Instagram’s algorithm was still a bit of a mystery. Yesterday, Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, decided to unveil how the Instagram algorithm works. Here are the highlight’s from techcrunch.com’s article “How Instagram’s Algorithm works.”
Instagram uses the following to determine which posts you see first:
Past Behavior. Instagram uses your past behavior to predict what posts you will be most interested in.
Recency. Posts are prioritized by when they were posted, so you will see newer posts first.
Interaction. Accounts you interact with regularly by following, commenting, liking, and tagging are given higher priority in your feed.
Keep in mind, the number of people you follow, how often you are on Instagram, and how long you spend on Instagram per session may also affect what you see first. You will eventually see everything that has been posted, if you scroll long enough.
#2 Know Your Instagram Myths
In all honesty, I am having a hard time swallowing some of these, but according to the company:
- Instagram does not shadow ban posts
- Instagram does not favor videos and stories over any other content
- Instagram does not change your presence in the feed based on whether your account is personal or business
- Instagram rarely downgrades an account for bad behavior.
#3 Engage, Engage, Engage
Seeing your total number of followers decrease feels crappy, but I am going to make a prediction. Companies and followers are becoming increasingly savvy and as they do, your engagement number (number of likes and comments a post receives divided by the number of followers) is going to be weighed just as heavily if not more heavily than the number of followers you have. This is for several reasons:
Followers can be purchased. I strongly advised against this in the first blog and still do.
Your attractiveness as an influencer or brand ambassador is directly related to your level of engagement. If you have 100k followers but your posts average 300 likes and 6 comments, your ability to influence anyone is much smaller than an account with 25k followers who has an average of 1500 likes and 40 comments.
Followers know when you are genuinely engaged. If you never reply to people’s comments or like and comment the posts of other accounts, you have just taken the “social” out of social media and that’s not fun for anyone.
Plus, my gut says that much of the decrease in followers is due to a clean-up of ghost followers and the deletion of inactive accounts by the user,
#4 Get Back to Basics
If posting and engaging on Instagram has started to feel like drudgery, get back to the basics:
Reconnect with some of your old Instagram buddies. Make a list and check in on the people who supported and encouraged you when you were first starting out.
Re-visit your purpose for posting. Are you staying true to your original intent? Do your goals need a makeover?
Don’t forget to have fun! What are your ideas for making Instagram fun again? Here are some suggestions:
- Instagram Stories. Despite my initial reluctance, I have started having fun with stories in Instagram. I stopped worrying about the story being perfect and just try and capture the moment with my kitties instead.
- Use stickers, write on your photos, use photogrid. Do you remember when I said not to? Well, breaking the rules is fun and inspiring!
- Cross-post to other apps like Facebook and Twitter and see what kind of response you get.
- Explore Canva, Pixabay, Shutterstock or similar applications and websites to get ideas and spark your creativity.
- Find inspiration outside. Yes, I said the “O” word. Put down your phone, tablet, laptop and go for a walk, meet the neighbors, check out the new coffee shop that just opened. You never know what will inspire you!
Follow the link http://smartlinkup.com/instagram-guide-followers-engagement/ to find out more about:
♥ Creating Good Content
♥ Strategic Engagement
♥ The Art of the Hashtag
♥ Using Instagram Analytics and Other Tools
♥ Avoiding Instagram Pitfalls