Everything You Wanted to Know About Instagram but Were Afraid to Ask

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The Instagram Reveal!

This June Instagram took the unprecedented step to share their algorithm details with the world.  The team at Tech Crunch broke the news in America creating international excitement. This is huge as no other social platform has been so transparent with the way that they deal with posts and users. We’re going to help you better understand Instagram and improve your social technique.  We’ll break down the tech jargon to explain what this means to you.

To begin with, we must understand algorithms.  You’re probably already aware that you’re not seeing posts on Instagram in chronological order, instead Instagram filters and re-orders posts to best fit the user. If you dip in and out of Instagram, you’ll be shown the most relevant content suited to you. Algorithms are created to show you the best post first.  Instagram has 800 million plus users, but what causes you to see what you do on your Instagram feed?

Interests

The algorithm can predict what you care about and will then weight those posts over others that you may not be so keen on.  If you’re into dogs then you’ll see a lot of dog related posts, if you’re into food then hey presto, the foodie posts will be shown to you.

Timeliness

How recent the post was shared will be given priority over others.  It may seem obvious, but you’ll need to keep your Instagram account up to date regularly for it to function as a marketing tool.

Relationship

If you comment more on a person’s post or are tagged in posts, Instagram will alter your feed to show those posts more than others.  That doesn’t mean that you should tag famous people in general posts to get noticed! If that person takes your tag down Instagram will see this as a no, no!

Myth Busting!

Instagram does not hide posts – many users claimed they were not seeing all posts, however, Instagram has spelt out that they “do not hide posts” in the feed.

Video is no better than a photo – despite the belief that video is best, the algorithm does not favour the video format.  You may see that some influencers do well by sharing videos, and so make the decision to follow their lead, posting your own regular video.  If you have good video content to share, then go ahead but don’t share a video for the sake of it. A good healthy mix of both photo and video posts will cover all followers, those that like videos and those that prefer a fantastic photo.

Instagram does not favour users of Stories, Live or any other special features of the app – there’s a lot of talk about users using stories gaining more traction than those who don’t.  But do be aware if you have a good story or want to go live then that’s fab viewing for your audience.

Instagram will not penalise you for posting too regularly – but if you do post 30 photos in one hour, all your posts will be not be shown to your followers, this would be quite boring for them, so the algorithm will break your posts up.  Please remember it’s not a good experience on the user side of Instagram to see your one hundred shots of your dinner (people can mute you when they get bored of you).

Personal or Business Accounts are dealt with differently – you can switch between business and personal accounts with Instagram very easily.  Instagram will not give preference to either type of account. You do benefit from a business account by viewing insights, stats.

Shadow banning is not a real thing! – This comes from the idea that accounts can use wrong hashtags, spam hashtags or even too many hashtags. Instagram will not punish you by hiding your content if you use too many hashtags.  However, it is best practice, from a user point of view to keep your hashtags in a post to five at maximum. To cram hashtags is just very bad practice.

Do you need to do anything differently?  

If you’re posting high quality content, as often as you can, then Instagram will work for your business.  But do please note, as often as you can is not the same thing as ‘more’ often than you can. Please think about sharing creatively, not just because you think you need to make today’s post! You do NOT need to post every day if you have nothing to share. As with everything if you put the work in Instagram will work for you.

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