Ok, guys, are you ready? I have the full scoop on Instagram, from Instagram themselves!! All on how to get more Instagram followers, engagement, verification, the algorithm, and the news
You might wonder how I got all this information and I have to give massive credit to my agent United Influencers who got me a MEETING WITH INSTAGRAM at Facebook’s headquarters in Stockholm. Yes, you read right, I MET WITH INSTAGRAM!
…ok, so I’m slightly overexcited and starstruck.
But Instagram is such an important tool for us digital creators and there are so many legends and myths surrounding the app. So to get an invite to learn more about the news and ask any questions I had was a dream come true.
I did live broadcast the seminar, however, it was all in Swedish, so here is a translation and summary of the 20 most important points from the 3 hours we spent with Instagram;
1. If you haven’t tried Instagram TV, then it’s time to do so. It’s the newest addition to the Instagram family and is according to Instagram going to be the next big thing. The difference from stories is that TV stays on your account, you can scroll in the film, pause and watch it like a YouTube video. Also, the clips are up to one hour long!
Instagram predicts that social media is going more and more towards moving media, so get in there early!
2. Now, unfortunately, the chronological feed will not make a return. However, your feed will now tell you when you have come to the end of the photos you haven’t seen already. Someone like me, who follow a good 900 people will probably never see that message, but it’s there.
The reason a lot of us lost engagement when the feed changed over, Instagram explains as an influx of users and content. The competition is stronger and you really have to make sure to actually like and interact with accounts you like if you want to keep seeing them in your feed.
3. There is no such thing as a ”shadowban”. It’s basically just Instagram’s spam filter who accidentally sometimes puts a regular post in the “trash can”. But apparently it’s quite rare. The spam filter is needed to keep bots at bay and is constantly improved. It’s the main reason why we don’t see lots of naughty stuff like viagra adverts in our feeds.
4. We will soon be able to apply for verification (blue tick) ourselves. If you get verified or not usually depends on how much information Instagram can find about you, ie articles and interviews.
5. Being verified and having access to branded content tags (in collaboration with… at the top of the photo.) is completely different things. To get them takes two different processes and you can have one without having the other.
6. If you use fewer hashtags then the algorithm will put more emphasis on them. So rather use 5 really specific # than 30 general ones for a better reach. It’s really important to actually use hashtags and you won’t ever be punished by the algorithm for using them.
Also, it makes no difference if you put your hashtags in the first comment or in the caption, it’s all the same to Instagram.
7. The algorithm never “punishes” anyone, but it can boost your engagement if you post often and generate content with lots of engagement.
8. There is no difference between a regular account, a business account or a verified account when it comes to the algorithm. All of them have the same opportunities for reach and engagement. It’s up to us as creators to produce good content that engages our followers.
9. Use all that Instagram has to offer. Have fun with GIFs, stickers, paint, write, geotag, hashtag, mention…you name it. You will always win when you are active and a part of the community.
10. Even if you don’t have time to answer all your comments, make sure to at least <3 them. Instagram is a community, be a part of it.
11. Use tools like questions and polls on Instastory to get your users to interact with your content. It’s also a great way to get feedback.
12. Be unique and do your own thing! It might sound pretty obvious, but too many of us feel that Instagram should look a specific way and often copy accounts larger than ours, thinking they have “cracked it”. Just stop, do you and people will follow you for you.
If you still need inspo, get yourself a “finsta” fake-insta. Where you follow people and brands who do Instagram well, but you don’t want to follow on a day-to-day basis and get inspiration from there. However, remember – inspiration, not copy. You do you!
13. Make sure to have your Instagram set to the language you actually use. So for me who writes in English it’s important I have the English version
14. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers for feedback. To know what they like or dislike is key and it’s also a great way to get them interacting with you.
15. Likes is not the end all. The algorithm also looks at how long your followers stay on your feed, stories and how much they generally engage in your content.
16. Always use the 2-factor authorisation. Ie, you have to get a message with a number to be able to log into an account. It’s the best way to protect you Instagram from getting hacked. Unfortunately, this happens quite often and even though Instagram is doing all in their power to prevent it, it’s important you do your bit too.
17. The algorithm focuses on your followers, not you as a creator. So think the opposite, what would you do and want to see as a follower of your account?
18. Instagram is all about ”micro-moments”. The short time when someone is in a queue or scrolling on the bus. How can you catch their interest as fast as possible?
19. 2.5 photos a day is a good ratio if you have under 1 Million followers, if you have more, you should post more often.
20. There is no specific time when it’s best to post. It’s individual to your target group. If you know that most of them are moms with young kids, why not post in the evening when the children have gone to bed? Or if they are all professionals, maybe catch them on the commute to work? Micro-moments people!
So did you learn anything new?
Me, myself, I will try to post a bit more often, keep on having fun with my stories, use more questions and polls and also try InstaTV when I get a chance to.
I’m also going to do my best to get access to the branded content feature. So I can be just as transparent on my Instagram as I am here on the blog regarding collaborations. Now I always put “sponsored post” as my first sentence, but it would be great if my followers knew it was a collaboration already before the photo shows up in the feed.
Thank you Instagram for having me, it was such a treat and I’m so grateful for all the useful information!