With Instagram removing bots from their platform (RIP Instagress) and continuing to shadowban, it’s becoming harder and harder for bloggers, business owners and content creators to maximize on engagement. As someone who works in social media, I provided a few quick tips on how to cheat the system and grow your Instagram:
1. Content is king
If you follow every single one of the tips below, but your content doesn’t align with who you want to target, you’ll never see any results. Use natural light, keep your edits/filters consistent, be creative! Post frequently too! I try to post once a day, but if I can't, I try to post every other day.
2. Say No To Bots
It’s so easy to take this route as the bot does all the hard (& annoying) work for you, but it doesn't pay off. You may be seeing more followers but are they really there for your content, or just the follow back? You want to see engaged followers who relate to your brand. Using a bot may also increase your chance of being shawdowbanned.
3. Instagram Pods
And on the engagement note, look to join or start your own Instagram pod! As difficult as some may be to keep up with, they’re super helpful for pushing your content up in the algorithm! Joining engaged pods will encourage genuine comments and you’ll make a few Insta-friends along the way - it’s win-win to me!
4. Engage, engage, engage
Instagram is all about community! At least, that's what the Zuck thinks. If you see a photo or account that you like, engage with it! Whether it’s a like or a comment, it may be reciprocated onto your account. Be real! Comment on the actual photo or even just mention their name. It stands out next to the, “nice photo!” & “love your account!” comments.
I have a love/hate relationship with hashtags. I LOVE the functionality of them - it's so easy to search whatever you want and to discover new accounts. I HATE that they may increase your chance of being shadowbanned. Avoid spammy/banned hashtags as well as using the same hashtags for every post. It’s so important to find a balance as hashtags help grow your account and get more followers.
6. Deleting Hashtags
This point contrasts the last, but it's important to note! If your old posts have been shadowbanned, Instagram may put a block on your account for new posts, regardless of the use of hashtags. It may be annoying, but a solution to this is to delete all the hashtags you’ve used on previous posts.
7. Take A Break
I took an accidental, extended hiatus (6 months, whoops!) from Instagram and when I returned and published my first post, my engagement shot up by 66%. I’m not saying you need to take THAT long of a break, but if you are shadowbanned (check here: http://shadowban.azurewebsites.net/), consider taking a 2-3 day break from Instagram - it could help your engagement.
8. Instagram Live and Stories
Firstly, see ya later Snapchat. When Instagram Stories was announced, Snapchat’s growth slowed by 82% - that’s insane. Instagram wants to promote their newest innovations, so they push organic reach to these mediums. Use this to your advantage - tell a story, be creative, have fun!
9 Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3
Regardless of what platform you're using, it's so important to test your strategy! See how it does for a week or two - if you're not seeing the results tweak your strategy. Certain hashtags aren't working? Use different ones. Your selfies are seeing a lot of engagement? Post more selfies (but not only selfies)! Once you get your groove, you'll probably have to change it again as Instagram loves changing the algorithm on us 🙈 Be sure to look at your analytics to see what's working and what isn't!
I hope these tips were helpfu! I’d love to hear what tricks you use to grow your Instagram in the comments below.