It is now a fact, the new Instagram algorithm is penalizing the vast majority of accounts. Although we wanted to give a damn, however, if we want to move forward on this social network we have to make it a friend. Ok to publish for hobby, passion or fun, but if we are there we want to make sure that our photos are seen by at least someone. Here, for those who have not yet understood it, today we are talking about that nice mechanism that decides, based on the interactions obtained in the few minutes after going online, the fate of our content just published on Instagram.
How the Instagram algorithm works
In a nutshell and without beating around the bush, the new Instagram algorithm has become exclusively a matter of timing and interactions. I’ll explain. As soon as we share a photo, it will be shown immediately to only 10% of our followers and based on how they will react in the 30 minutes following publication, the social network will decide whether or not to show it to everyone else. In short, many of this 10% have to stop there as long as possible, like it and comment on it, otherwise, #ciaone.
The Shadow-Ban of Instagram
Another important question is to get well in mind that the new Instagram algorithm has declared war on bot*, POD**, followers, comments and likes bought. As soon as nasa that we are trying to screw him, and I assure you he realizes it, he punishes us through the shadow-ban. Without realizing it, our content becomes invisible in hashtag searches. This leads to a dramatic drop in our engagement. Less visibility, less likes, fewer interactions, less everything. How long? It depends on the gravity of the thing and when we start to behave ethically. Obviously Instagram is smarter and if we do the tests from our profile it will seem that we are not a victim. To find out we must try to search for the hashtags we used with another account and not our follower.
UPDATE: Instagram has publicly stated that it has never made use of the Shadow-Ban. The only confirmed “punishment”, and unfortunately tested by me, is that of not being able to perform more actions on the social network from 1 to 7 days when you put too many likes in an hour or daily. Therefore, I highly recommend not to exceed 50-60 likes per hour.
*Bot: Paid web services that automate likes, comments and the follow / unfollow game. What good old Instagress did.
**POD: They are those “dumb-rescue” groups created on Instagram, Telegram or WhatsApp in which you “self-help” by sharing the latest photo published to quickly get likes and comments.
Many get confused and associate it with the Instagram algorithm but it has absolutely nothing to do with it. Instagram engagement is nothing more than a value determined by the relationship between our number of followers and the likes obtained on our photos or videos. It is a fact that is essentially of interest to brands or communication agencies to select who to collaborate with. How is it calculated? Soon said.
How to calculate the engagement of an Instagram profile
Just take our last 10 photos published starting from the penultimate, add the likes obtained (obviously not the ones bought), divide by 10 and divide the number obtained again by the number of our followers (real not bought). Multiply by 100 and we will get a percentage that will indicate our engagement. The ideal rate is quite sectorial because it varies from category to category but if we manage to have it between 3 and 5% we cannot complain. While if we are below 2%, something must be done as soon as possible.
5 practical tips to increase the visibility of content on Instagram
Now that we have a smattering of how the Instagram algorithm works, it’s time to move on to practical advice. Small precautions that can help us make him a friend and recover some visibility.
1. Posting photos with certain stylistic choices gets more likes
Bright images get 24% more likes. Same thing if they have blue as their dominant color. Shots with low saturation instead bring 18% more likes. Finally, choosing any color as long as it predominates in the photo brings 17% more.
2. Create the most effective and engaging calls to action possible
Being able to make users interact with us serves to guarantee us some more real interaction. Asking questions, creating surveys, asking for advice, anything goes as long as they push those who read, watch or listen to action. We also have the opportunity to establish new relationships, get to know those who follow us better and, why not, create beautiful new friendships or collaborations.
3. Change hashtags often and use them well targeted
Always using the same hashtags seems to be synonymous with bots for Instagram as a mechanical and repetitive gesture. So we must try to vary them often while trying not to leave the topic of the published content. It is said that a minimum of 7 up to a maximum of 15 are enough. I try to use 11 divided into 5 small, 4 medium and 2 large. Small hashtags are those with a reach from 0 to 999,000 posts, medium hashtags from 1 to 5 million, and large ones from 5 million and up.
4. Comments must be of quality and have at least 4 words
Yes, 4 words excluding emoticons. According to Instagram, in fact, they become more specific and do not fall within those bot behaviors it is waging against. And if we manage to reply to comments within 60 minutes, even better, this makes sure our new photo or video doesn’t lose visibility. Also, every 5 sensible comments you put in will get you a new follower. Not bad right?
5. Do not edit the new content for 24 hours
Editing newly published content before 24 hours have passed makes it lose a lot of visibility. Same goes if we publish, delete and republish the same photo even slightly changed. Indecisions on Instagram don’t go down.
In addition to these tips, a trick that could be a good practice to keep to get some more likes as soon as we publish is to put many likes on recent photos promptly selected through a hashtag of our interest. The return average, I immediately warn you, is not very high, but at least you get something back from those snobbish followers who don’t put a like on you by mistake.
How to create interactions on Instagram
Although we put likes and comments as if there was no tomorrow, hoping for a profitable return to us, unfortunately the return percentage is always minimal. To give the Instagram algorithm the right boost, however, there is a reliable web service that I have had the pleasure of testing and using again.
By putting likes and comments on real and active profiles on this portal, we can begin to receive them in turn. No password required to enter our profile and no ban by the social network. We decide for ourselves how to manage every single action. You can only register through this direct link and it takes at least 24 hours to be accepted. The service personally checks each profile to make sure it is real, active and serious. I highly recommend it, seeing is believing.
How to have the timeline of Instagram in chronological order
As you may have noticed, Instagram no longer sorts our timelines in chronological order but according to relevance and greater number of interactions based on our interests, accounts that we follow the most and obviously who invests in sponsorships. This thing never went down for me. Many profiles that I love do not publish regularly and basically they were totally gone.
For a couple of days, maybe three, I don’t remember exactly, I started opening one by one all those profiles that I like to see by liking the last published photo. And, get this, almost everything magically returned to me in chronological order. Now, it is also true that I have forced myself to open Instagram at least three times a day compared to every two / three days before and it certainly helps, but a week has passed and everything is still normal. I do not sell it to you as the law because it is certainly bullshit but if you have free time and you want to try it, maybe it works with you too.
The Instagram algorithm wants to socialize
In conclusion, from what has been said in this post, it follows that in order for our content to be shown and not lost in the ether, one would have to live on Instagram. Understandable from the point of view of the app that earns when we are connected, but, let’s face it, not very feasible for us users.
In my opinion, unfortunately, to stir up the stagnant waters it is no longer enough even if we take good pictures because we start anyway with minimal visibility. At this point let’s try not to forget that Instagram was born as a social network with our personal profile and as such it serves and wants people to socialize and interact with each other. It is as if the social network, in some way, wanted to socialize with us through quality, truth and honesty. And tell me, isn’t that what we want from our followers and following too? Here, then I would say that we have given ourselves the answer to everything.
If you want to know more about this social network, you might also be interested in “How Instagram works: all the tricks and best tips“, “How much and when to publish on social networks” and “Social media: the ten commandments of online good manners“.