What's Going On With Instagram?
Instagram's pretty messy lately so if you implement a new strategy make sure you give it time before you measure performance and decide to change it. And no, nothing's on. It's just a change of policy and we need to play by the new rules.
People ask me all the time lately, "What's going on with Instagram? Why is everything different again? What happened? What do I do now?"
Truth is that ever since the new policy came into play most if not all, applications/bots that used to sell fake followers and fake engagement lost their Instagram access. So accounts who used these services (many, MANY Instagram users) started losing hundreds of followers in a day. Instagram shut down access also to applications that used to monitor who follows and unfollows your account. This means that users now can't see with a press of a button who and when unfollows them. You can still check it manually but if you have a big following this takes time and honestly, it's doesn't worth the time.
Good news is that users can now focus more on being real and less calculative. Good news is that Instagram might become a bit more about substance and real engagement and less about numbers.
The big accounts who had bought followers early realised this was coming to an end so they started engaging and commenting months before the changes. Some of them managed to survive and although lost a great number of followers, they gained new ones by working hard or assigning the work to account management services. The rest, the ones with the smaller following decided to relax and focus on their existing followers rather than put all their efforts in acquiring new ones.
So, what can you focus on other than offering value, good quality pictures, good captions, or commenting/liking (engaging with your followers)?
Stories are a great way to stay in front of your audience when you don’t want to post to your feed. Tie them into your personal brand or feel free to use random bits of your life. You don't need a great/polished content to post in Stories. BUT you need to have a good enough content to post on your Feed. Stories=go natural/unpolished. Feed=No good content, no post.
Mix and change your hashtags regularly. It doesn’t matter if you hashtags are in the comments or in the caption section. If you want to appear on the top hashtag list you can try to use common hashtags in the comment section to win a few seconds time and the rest add them in your comments. Use max 5 trending niche tags, around 10-15 hashtags that describe your business (so I hope also your post) and 10-15 hashtags that your ideal customer uses. Never use hashtags that are irrelevant to your post.
In any case, it was never meant to be about the number of followers, it was about the connection. What would 10,000 followers mean if they don't convert? Yes, prestige is important and a high number of followers gives an account some legitimacy or appeal but it comes to a point where no one gains anything by running after followers who don't care about your work.
More to come.
If you're new to Instagram or looking to understand how Instagram works and what you can do to find your people, join me in this Instagram webinar full of practical and hands-on advice! You'll top-up your game, and you'll attract the right followers.