Guess what? It is nearing the end of the first month in 2018 and Instagram is changing their algorithm again, like many people have seen by decreased engagement on their posts from what used to work so well!
Instagram's algorithm is a never ending game that we will never figure out but people have found strategies to get around the newest and one of the algorithm changes with the most drastic changes.
This new update to the algorithm might have totally changed the way we use, engage and post content on Instagram!
It has turned what many believed to be loopholes in the Instagram algorithm and turned them into things that can actually hurt your account, engagement and follower count.
Are you reliant on hashtags, engagement groups or "pods?" to grow your account? You might want to keep reading then!
The Importance of Instagram for Businesses
Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms out there and also one of the most engaged platforms... meaning it is the perfect setup for growing a community around your brand, gaining a following and marketing your products or services!
Instagram makes it easy to engage with your followers through commenting, which is crucial to building a trusting community that will buy from you.
They also have one of my favorite direct message tools that makes it easy to send and respond to your direct messages. I have found this to be an unmatched sales strategy as people check and respond to their Instagram direct messages much more than they do on other platforms.
Also, Instagram allows you to create a business account that will show you your demographics and what time is the best time to post at. This is a golden resource as it pretty much tells you what time to post in order to get the best engagement on your account.
Instagram is an unmatched tool for marketing when you figure out how to correctly use it... and that is the hard part! people are always looking for those "gain followers fast" strategies and there are strategies out there that help you grow but everything takes time... anything that happens "fast" is likely fake followers that might like and comment but will NEVER buy from you!
Loopholes In The Instagram Algorithm
Ever since Instagram got rid of the chronological timeline, people have been trying to figure out the loopholes in the algorithm to help them grow at the same rate or even faster than they were before.
And many of them were working very well, possibly until now...
What used to be working well and now many be changing include things like engagement groups and hashtags... two of the main growth strategies so this could be a big deal!
The first thing that many people use to increase engagement are what they call "pods" or engagement groups on apps like Telegram or just in the Dm section of Instagram. In these groups, pages share their posts and everyone in the group comments and likes the picture in order to "boost" the post on newsfeeds and trick Instagram into thinking the post is performing well so they show it to more people!
Another strategy, based around hashtags, was to add up to 30 relevant hashtags in the comments section of your post in order to get more exposure and in turn get more followers!
That has actually been a really effective strategy the past year to help gain exposure but it just hasn't had the same results as it used to this year and the new algorithm might be to blame for that!
Finally, a less common, but still popular strategy, was autolikers and auto comments on Instagram posts that would comment "love this!" or "Nice Post!" on accounts to help you get exposure and while this did help, it was very "blackhat" (not the most ethical) when it came to Instagram and could even get you banned if used wrong.
How have these strategies changed with the new algorithm though?
What Is The New Instagram Algorithm for 2018?
While nobody REALLY knows what the Instagram algorithm is, it is mostly just speculation, there are people consistently testing things and seeing what is and isn't working.
I will start out by going over the strategies that used to work and I listed above and then move onto other things people have found with the new algorithm.
To start off, the engagement groups or "pods" that used to work, no have the potnetial to get flagged and even get you "shadow banned" or have even less exposure on your content than before if Instagram notices this type of action.
No longer are these "pods" a loophole in the system, they can actually hurt your Instagram account.
Next, in terms of hashtags... the 30 hashtags in the comment section just isn't working like it used to work. Now it seems that you could potentially get shadowbanned with that many hashtags in your captions as Instagram could mark it as spam.
Also, hashtags show be within the caption of the post now and not the comments as they might not get put in the hashtag search if they are in the comment section.
As for the people commenting short little comments with just emojis or comments such as "nice post." Those might not even be marked as engagement on pictures anymore! Now, it appears Instagram is looking for anywhere between 3-4 words in order for it to count as engagement!
Here is a list of some of the other things people have noticed and that Instagram has changed with the new algorithm....
Connect With Us On Instagram
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Before I get into some tips to beat this new Instagram algorithm, I wanted to tell you a little more about our community at Profiting Tools.
We are a community for entrepreneurs on their journey to success, looking for some tips, resources, tools and strategies to help multiply their results and get going down teh path to their success!
If you would like to join the community I'll include a link to follow us on Instagram and if you are looking to catch more content like this first, be sure to subscribe to our email list... which will be the second button below!
How Your Page Can Beat This Algorithm
Step #1: Try dropping the engagement group and see how engagement is impacted!
Step #2: Use 5-10 (test out best number for you) hashtags and put them in the caption rather than in the comment section. Also, use hashtags that have a large following but not large enough that you will just get pushed out of the feed right away. Aim for medium sized hashtags where you have the potential to rank in the top posts.
Step #3: Start leaving comments, on posts in your niche, that are thoughtful and pose a question or give your opinion, rather than just leaving comments like "nice post!"
Step #4: Switch over your account to a business account to see engagement and data points.
Step #5: Start responding to comments within an hour of getting them to keep engagement up... to make this easier just turn on your notifications to see when people comment!
Step #6: Switch up the hashtags you use on posts, don't keep using the same ones.
Step #7: Use the stories feature to get your account to pop up more often!
Step #8: Don't change the caption within 24 hours. Also, don't delete and repost right away...
Hope you all gained a little understanding about the new Instagram Algorithm and how it can impact your business.
Look forward to hearing your comments!