Social media developers mostly never reveal the actual principles of algorithms that support the network. Some details may be spilled, but as casualty, bloggers and marketers have to find out experimentally, how the system treats their content. The empirical methods of understanding the way algorithms work also create the different myths that can affect the workflow of brands and non-profits. Some rumors can be even called toxic as they can spoil the whole strategy building and people will get worse results. Thus it is very important that these myths will be uncovered and destroyed.
And here we have gathered the most popular rumors and myths about Instagram algorithms, that could confuse you on your way to becoming an influencer.
#1. You Can Simply Buy Stats And Do Nothing
Some people believe that to reach real popularity on Instagram, one needs only to invest in a huge bunch of followers or likes. Well, although it is hard to deny nor confirm, that many influencers are actually using this method of growth. Purchasing IG followers seems very tempting as they are cheap, and the numbers can look better at once. But simply paying for them is not enough.
First of all, buying stats is not illegal on Instagram, so getting your first million with the purchased crowd won’t lead you to the ban, for sure. But the biggest treasure for any IG blogger is not solely the number displayed in the following list, but the quality of this public. It is more efficient for you to have 500 followers who comment and share your posts, than having 1000 fans that do nothing at all.
Activity that is happening on your profile, plays much a bigger part if you want to become popular on Instagram or any other social media, and purchased followers are serving only as a starter push or a supportive force for your existing audience. At any time, you must aim for organic growth first.
#2. If You Don’t Pay For Instagram Ads Your Posts Will Be Seen By Less Than 10% Of Your Audience
That is also a common rumor that concerns many beginners. Some people believe that you are obliged to develop a paid campaign using Instagram ads (Promoted posts or so). Otherwise, your content will be lost in the feeds of users and will never gain enough rates to hit the Explore page.
Partly, this statement can be true – promoted posts are indeed helping when it comes to increasing your visibility on the platform and expanding your target group. But running an Instagram Advertising campaign is not necessary to reach your goals.
Your visibility and recognition on the platform depend on your content quality and, again, the activity of your followers. The newest mechanic that decides what will be shown in the feeds of different users, relies on your engagement rates, which is why you have to maintain the interest in your profile continuously.
#3. Switching To The Business Profile Impacts Your Results Negatively
Personal accounts on Instagram don’t get access to analytics which are available for business pages:
- Reach – how many unique users have seen your post.
- Impressions – the number of times your post was viewed in general (including repeated clicks from the same user).
Because of that, it is hard to deny or confirm that rumor. Some analytics consider the results of Facebook Business Pages as relevant experience because FB actually owns Instagram. However, the mechanism of running a business profile on IG is very different from that on Facebook, so none can be sure that Insta-business profiles will be sharing the same fate.
These two platforms have different approaches to content-making and promotion, and Instagram with its impeccable visualization definitely wins the attention of the audiences.
The imagery of the IG profile is as attractive as the real shop windows. And the network continues its development towards becoming a 100% independent shopping place, the success of business pages will be growing too.
#4. Instagram Shadowbans You If You Will Use Same Hashtags All The Time
Whoever has started this rumor, was probably doing wrong something else. Instagram doesn’t care whether you are using the same tags, or change them every time you upload a post. Hashtags are simply the tool that categorizes your content and helps to indicate the relevance of it. When the blogging was just starting on Instagram, lots of influencers were posting a huge number of hashtags under their photos, and many still do, and they don’t seem to be complaining about it.
Today’s strategies, however, offer to divide your hashtags into groups, suitable for each kind of your posts, so you will increase the resonance and pose your content better.
#5. If You Put Hashtags In Your Comment Section, You Risk To Be Shadowbanned
Again, Instagram doesn’t care about that. You can do whatever you want with your tag cloud – put them both to caption and comments, or put only in comments, it is not important for the work of the algorithm at all. Whoever is spreading such information, just doesn’t understand what matters for organic growth, and how to make the basic algorithms of Instagram work for them.
The only logical reason for putting your tags into the comment section is if you want to spare some space for your caption. Some people consider that aesthetically, their post will look neater if hashtags will be hidden.
With the fresh feature of following the hashtags it is not important where they are placed, but the relevancy to the topic and mix of trend and unique keywords brings your promotion to a new level.
#6. Views Of Your Stories Are Correlated With The Views Of Your Posts
There is no proof that would confirm the connection between these two metrics. On Instagram, Stories have become an independent unit of promotion and data analysis. This form of content has not much to do with the view count of your feed posts. Of course, the range of viewers who would check out everything you post on both types will be overlapping a lot, but this doesn’t mean that this overlap comes only from stories to posts and not vice versa.
Some users believe that cross-promoting your new uploads through stories brings more attention to the feed, but in fact – many users will swipe through without wasting their time on redirecting to the feed. This method is half useful, so it cannot give the objective result to decide, whether you should duplicate your new posts in Stories.
#7. Do Not Edit Your Captions Once Posted, Or Get Shadowbanned
And again, the notorious shadowban is brought upon brands and non-profits. There are certain ways to get a shadowban, but editing your captions is not one of them for sure. Everybody has the right for error, and even such a gigantic corporation like Instagram understands that. If you noticed a mistake in your text, you have every right to eliminate it without wiping out the whole thing.
To Instagram algorithm, your error-checking doesn’t mean anything. It cares more about the SEO quality of your content, the fact that you changed something can’t affect it in any way.
However, don’t do that too often, or your behavior will be considered spammy, thus triggering other mechanisms, which actually can impact your performance on the platform.
Instagram is a complicated machine, that receives, calculates, and operates enormous amounts of data. With the exact description of the algorithms unraveled and their periodic tweaking, it can be hard to predict which technique for promotion and growth will work tomorrow. Well the most important aspects that affect your performance still haven’t changed, and there’s quite a doubt they ever will:
- Be proactive and engage your audience like a pro
- Produce interesting and useful content
- Mind the quality of your followers, quantity is a secondary concern.