Quite a few Instagram users have been on the cold for a few weeks. After the big Facebook update, Instagram is now changing the rules. Do you, too, no longer have the same commitment on your content on Instagram? Don’t worry, it happened to me too …
Whether you are an individual with a small community of friends and family, a company that promotes its products or services to attract new customers, an entrepreneur who uses the network to get to know his customers better and interact with them, or a miro-influencer basing his business model on the engagement of his subscribers, you have probably been touched by this new algorithm!
Faced with a decline in general engagement, the experience on Instagram has changed a lot, especially for new accounts that have more difficulty federating a community.
So, clearly, today you have two options:
- Either you pay to be more visible on Instagram;
- Either you learn to understand the Instagram algorithm.
If you want to follow option 2, this article will really please you!
In recent weeks there have been many articles and videos on the subject, but I have yet to find a full enough article on all of these changes.
After hours of reading, watching and experimenting on my account, here is all the information I can give you to help you better understand this change in algorithm.
You still have to use your adaptive strength with these changes and turn them to your advantage.
Stay creative, find the right hashtags, follow influential accounts, interact regularly, give your comments, respond to comments or have relevant feed.
I experiment a lot on Instagram and this is what allows me to better and better understand the platform.
Now see Instagram as a friend. The more you get to know him, the more you can make him happy.
But before we talk about this new algorithm, what is an algorithm
# 1 define an algorithm
Everyone’s talking about the changes to the new algorithm, but do you know what an algorithm is?
Before we explain how it works and how to get around it, let’s take the time to find out what it really is.
An algorithm automates a task so that humans do not have to duplicate it.
First of all, you must process the task manually, be aware of the computer’s capabilities and anticipate the logic for carrying out these steps.
So before asking a computer to do a task automatically, the man must first show him all the steps to get to the result.
Then all of these steps are coded, that is, gathered in a program in the form of alphanumeric characters.
The set of all the steps that have been coded in the program gives the definition of an algorithm.
If you are a developer and you are reading this article, a word for you.
I realize this is a fairly complex process, but the idea I want to develop here is not “how to build” an algorithm “, but” how the Instagram algorithm works.
Without further ado, let’s move on to the key points that you absolutely need to know to intelligently bypass the algorithm.
But by the way, why are we complaining about this new algorithm?
# 2 HOW ARE WE AFFECTED
I don’t know if you’re new to Instagram, but times have changed. Indeed, a few years ago, all of your subscribers had direct access to your new publications.
So that made 100% visibility instead of 10% to date
Rest assured, we will come back to this point in detail in a few lines.
Yes, if you want to create a community you will have to be very persistent, but it is absolutely not impossible.
If you’re an individual, it’s just a story of ego.
But micro-influencers or influencers who work directly with brands are also affected. Obviously less than you and me, but they are too.
If an individual doesn’t have many Likes on the last burger they ate, they can still go to bed with a free spirit.
But for an influencer who has just promoted a brand new product, he has no right to miss it.
It is therefore a battle for both individuals and professionals.
A NON-CHRONOLOGICAL THREAD
Have you ever seen a publication dated one day, next to a publication which was just published 10 minutes ago?
Nothing abnormal with this new algorithm since it no longer favors chronology.
Today, Instagram shows you what you haven’t seen from the accounts you enjoy even if the content is more than a few days old.
Instagram wants to offer better quality content, but there are still a lot of inconsistencies.
Currently, there is a large amount of sponsored posts or even from a big influencer in your news feed.
The latter therefore loses all its former chronological coherence.
It’s a real hunt for bots (robots) that has been launched!
So it’s absolutely not a bad thing, but today we don’t know what Instagram’s criteria are for defining a bot.
To date, there are many testimonials and I know people who lose dozens of subscribers every week for no good reason.
Overall, we all lose subscribers frequently and the number of subscribers is no longer growing as quickly as it did a few months ago.
All this is done automatically and we have no visibility on the subject.
We now know what an algorithm is, what program works for humans and we just saw what were the bad points for our Instagram accounts.
But, we come to the most important and interesting part of this article: the solutions to overcome all this.
Here are all the known solutions to find a correct engagement!
# 3 COMMITMENT IS NOW
When you post a post on Instagram do you know what the percentage of your audience is at first sight?
Well, it’s 10%.
It’s not huge, I grant you, but it is Instagram that decides.
The algorithm highlights your publication to 10% of your audience and then, depending on the reactions, it will be distributed to a wider audience.
If the content has a significant number of engagements (like, comment, private sharing) within one hour of its publication, the algorithm will judge your content interesting. Your photo or video will then be made visible to a larger part of your subscribers.
The algorithm takes into account different reactions to measure engagement:
- Likes for a publication;
- Comments ;
- Sharing in private message;
- Saving a publication;
- The number of views for a video;
- The number of views if you make stories;
- The number of views if you are making a live video.
The more reactions you have, the more priority your publication will be displayed in your subscribers’ news feed.
So, I suggest you do a little math.
Ah, I know that the mere fact of hearing the word “mathematical” can frighten some, but rest assured, I too have some difficulties with this matter.
So if you are “math”, you will enjoy it, because the calculation is relatively simple.
And, if you’re not mathy (like me), I’ll make sure I’m clear, to help you understand.
Here we go !
Imagine, you have an account with 500 subscribers.
You post a publication and Instagram shows it to 10% of your 500 subscribers.
10% of your 500 subscribers corresponds to 50 people.
A few weeks later, you decide to increase your number of subscribers (500) to buy 200 more.
So you now have 500 subscribers + 200 subscribers which makes 700 subscribers.
You post a new publication thinking that you will have more commitments as you have more subscribers.
Except that these new subscribers are bots (robots in English) and not humans.
Instagram will therefore take 10% of 700 subscribers and highlight your publication.
10% of 700 subscribers?
It’s been 70, well done!
Except, that in these 70 subscribers selected by Instagram there are bots as I said above.
So, in these 70 subscribers (10% of your audience) a good number will not react to your publication, because they are machines.
Suppose that in its 70 subscribers there are 20 bots, for example.
Your publication will be viewed by 50 humans only.
In conclusion, you will therefore have the same visibility as when you when you had 500 subscribers, because 10% of 500 also corresponds to 50 people.
Here is the little calculation is finished!
Finally, this example is here to show you that buying bots is only used to change the number of your subscribers and it will not have any impact on your engagement rate. It’s just a number on an account nothing else.
I let you imagine the communities that were built only with bots…
Today their creator must bite his fingers a little.
Before receiving, you have to know how to give.
Do you know this formula?
Well, it applies perfectly with this new algorithm.
Instagram is a social network made by humans for humans, so let’s stay human in our use with this new algorithm.
For example with the use of comments.
# 4 DO YOU HAVE A COMMENT?
Comments is one of the important interactions with this new algorithm.
You must now respond to your comments in less than an hour to show that you are active on the network and to increase your engagement rate.
For a comment to be perceived as relevant by Instagram, it must have 4 or more words. You can therefore stop comments like “Top :)” or “Super photo!”.
I recommend that you ask a question instead. You will easily stand out from the crowd of boat comments and this will also allow you to build a real relationship with the content creator.
Another important point.
Pods, which are small private groups on Instagram, which comment on their own publications with each other while keeping abreast of their release, will no longer be tolerated.
Personally, I’ve been part of a group like this before, and I don’t know how badly my engagement was or wasn’t.
In general, and you will understand, Instagram wants to foster an authentic human-to-human relationship.
The fact that it’s always the same people who comment on all of your posts can now have an impact on Instagram.
I guess it’s just to filter out the bots, which usually put a very short comment on a huge amount of photos.
# 5 A STORY, A STORY
I made an article dedicated to stories on my blog, because it is a formidable tool to increase the engagement of your company.
It is full of examples, so if you want to know more, it’s free. Help yourself, it’s for me.
Overall, producing Instagram stories will really help your account gain engagement.
The stories you see first are from the accounts you interact with the most. So the more you interact with a member, the more chance he will have of seeing your stories.
One of the fundamental keys to success on Instagram is to be yourself through your own style.
And Stories allow you to reveal your personality. This is why people will follow you, this is how they will choose you!
The worst thing you can do is copy and paste other people by imitating them. But you know what works for others, will not necessarily work for you.
Tell a friend about yourself, remember, Instagram is your friend!
Personally, these are the most accessible and authentic people that I enjoy most following in theory and generally on Instagram.
Get inspiration from others, without ever losing your “DNA” that makes you and not another person.
# 6 FRIENDS ARE YOUR HASHTAGS
I know, they take your head, but once you find the right ones, everything goes.
So yes, it will take time and a lot of experimentation, but finding the right hashtags will allow you to boost your engagement.
If you have good content without hashtags (unless you are David Beckham) it will not work.
Hashtags are just like natural referencing for your site. You can have the most beautiful site in the world, if it is poorly referenced, nobody will find it.
On Instagram we are not going to talk about keywords, but Hashtags to improve the visibility and therefore the engagement of your publication.
VARIING THE HASHTAGS
It is no longer recommended to constantly put the same hashtags. Otherwise Instagram suspects that you have a predefined list that you copy and paste or that you are a robot.
I’ve tested it personally, even if you mix the hashtags, Instagram sees it. You must change them all with each post!
Yes, I really do this kind of test! 😉
The hashtags posted in comment will no longer have an effect, they must be posted directly in description. I know it’s more aesthetic, but there are different ways to fix it. Maybe with dots or all # on the line.
THE NUMBER OF HASHTAGS
It is always possible to put 30 hashtags but if you put the maximum Instagram can consider that as spamming. In other words, it considers your content to be inappropriate for users of the platform.
My engagement has increased slightly since I went from 20 to 30 hashtags per post.
Yes I must admit that it’s quite amazing!
You can forget about all the hashtags that have nothing to do with the photo. Instagram only wants relevance.
If you post a photo of a hamburger and put #glasses it is irrelevant. In the end it’s just common sense.
Do not change your hashtags in the first hours after posting your post, as they will have no effect.
I assure you it is true, I tested, and your hashtags, even if there are 30, will be completely dead with these changes.
I recently did a little survey to find out how many users of the platform put hashtags under publications.
For my account I use between 15 and 20 hashtags mixing popular hashtags (#business for example) and less popular (#help for example).
# 7 BETTER PUBLIONS
NO TO PERFECTIONISM
If you want to modify a publication, wait 24 hours before doing so. Otherwise the impact on the engagement will be negative. Always remember that Instagram really wants to keep it spontaneous and not perfectionist.
If you want to delete a post to post it again, it will also have a negative effect on its visibility.
You need to step up the quality of your posts because Instagram promotes content that is likely to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. It involves good image quality, good photo quality, good editing, the use of filters, etc.
FREQUENCY OF PUBLICATION
It is also recommended to publish every day at the same time. You can go to your Instagram stats to find out when your audience is most active or test it out for yourself.
You can also take a poll to find out when your subscribers prefer to view publications.
If your account is switched to professional mode, you have the possibility of seeing the publications most appreciated by your subscribers. With these statistics you can adjust your content strategy.
The more recent the content, the more relevant it will be deemed by the algorithm.
So, as you can see, the more you post, the more you increase your chances of being a priority in your subscribers’ news feed.
A little tip!
Do not publish at the same time as your competitors.
For example, if the majority of your competitors post at 6 p.m., post in the morning or before noon.
Also watch what time your audience is most engaged; if it is present regularly throughout the day, avoid posting at the same time as your competitors.
TIME SPENT ON A PUBLICATION
Instagram’s algorithm wants you to show relevant content related to your interests. The more time you spend on a post, the more the algorithm will judge that this kind of content is relevant to your account.
For example, if you spend more time on post A than on post B, the algorithm will favor the style of content approaching content A.
If you want a user to spend more time on a publication, do not neglect the description of your post that complements your content.
# 8 SHADOW BANNING
What is this shadow banning story?
Have you ever happened to no longer have any commitments on your publications?
Do you post and nothing goes as usual?
Sometimes even nothing happens?
If you answered, chances are you have undergone a natural referencing operation as we say on Instagram.
This means your posts will no longer be visible with hashtag searches, locating your photo, or identifying someone on your post.
# 9 INTERACTIONS
The very principle of a social network is to encourage sharing, exchange and interaction.
If you focus on the exchange with your first subscribers, the others will arrive by the hundreds over the months.
It’s still more user-friendly an Instagram account where there are interactions, where members interact with each other and talk to each other, right?
Forget likes, think about engagement!
To be engaged, you must first show that you are a committed person.
Get interested before you get interesting!
By leaving comments and interacting with the content of other Instagramers.
Your photos or videos will be more visible to users who regularly interact with you via likes, shares, comments or even private messages.
On the other hand, in the last publications you see, you will be more exposed to people for whom you show interest.
The more traffic you have on your site, the more relevant your content is to Google.
On Instagram, traffic corresponds to the number of visits to your profile. The more a user visits your profile, the more your content will be offered to him / her as a priority.
As the user has an interest in coming to your profile regularly, the algorithm understands that they like your content. You will therefore be well placed in his newsfeed.
In addition to a visit to your profile, interaction means viewing a story or speaking in a private message with a subscriber.
If you respond to subscribers in less than 60 minutes, you will also gain visibility. However, if you reply to a comment 1 hour after its publication, you will be disadvantaged by the algorithm. Instagram just wants to encourage you to come back to the app regularly to respond to comments from your community as quickly as possible.
As I tell you from the start of this article, Instagram values human reflexes on the application as in real life. For example, if someone asks you a question or sends an email to your work, it’s always nice to have an answer in less than 60 minutes.
When you reply to a comment, don’t hesitate to encourage the person to put a new one by relaunching it with a simple question.
On the one hand, it shows Instagram that you have a real interaction with your community and on the other hand, to your subscribers that you are human and that you are interested in them.
10 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR COMMITMENT
1: Make more stories. It’s a real way to connect with your audience while increasing your engagement rate. To date, there are 300 million stories that are shared every day. Today it is also more fun to navigate a story than in the newsfeed. All the interactions that you have in store (sending an emoji, comment, discussion, etc.) have an impact on your engagement.
2: Encourage your subscribers to post comments regularly. For example, ask a question in description directly under your photo. This technique still works. Just ask a question that does not require too long a response time, and which will allow the subscriber to come forward under your publication.
3: Geotag your photos to get 50% more engagement. It takes a long time to prepare the photo, the description, or even to choose the hashtags. But do not neglect geolocation, even in storie. In the Instagram search engine, many users (even myself) search for content by type of hashtag.
4: Show a person from the front in the photo. I invite you to look at your Instagram statistics and you will be pleasantly surprised to see that when you highlight yourself from the front there is a stronger commitment. I don’t know the reason, but the overall statistics prove it.
5: Mention other accounts in the legend increases your engagement rate by 56%. I really invite you to highlight accounts related to your content. They will receive a notification directly telling them that you have tagged them on your content. With this method, no more worry about being present in the news feed, you will be directly present among your subscribers.
6: Ask your visitors to subscribe to your notifications. Many do not dare, but it is a simple method to improve your engagement. Your most engaged subscribers will do so, be sure, and they will be the hard core of those who follow you. In the long run, these committed people will bring you other committed people and so on.
7: Respond to a maximum of comments in a private message and even to all if you can. When you receive a message, you have 1 hour to respond and promote your account visibility in the eyes of Instagram. It’s like in everyday life, the most committed people are often the most rewarded.
8: Think of the video! We are consuming more and more videos, and for good reason, Instagram is also the place where you can post them. There is still a lot more photo content being shared, but Instagram has announced a 40% increase over the past six months on the platform. A figure that is easily explained with stories.
9: Post every day at the same time to create a habit for the algorithm, but also and above all for your subscribers. You’ve probably heard this advice before, but I assure you that humans love routines.
10: Be human, be yourself! This is simple, boat-like advice, but one that has proven itself in a world where everything tends to become uniform. On your photos, in the writing of your descriptions, in your stories and even in the personalization of your hashtags. Remember, Instagram has given great importance to the human and spontaneous aspect since the beginning of the year.
If you had to remember only 2 things from the new instagram algorithm:
1: BE HUMAN
As you will certainly understand with its new algorithm Instagram wants to bring the human, the authentic and the spontaneous side up to date.
When you ask if what you are doing is suitable for the new algorithm, just ask yourself the following question:
Is this a natural and human reaction on my part?
With this simple question can I make up for all the answers on Instagram?
Asking questions, having discussions directly related to the proposed content, reaching out to others without waiting for things to happen on their own are ways that will allow you to have more commitments.
These are human and committed reactions!
I really invite you to break away from the techniques that generate unnatural actions to increase your engagement.
To have an active community, you have to be yourself.
Buying followers or “forced” interactions will not lead to an authentic account
2: BE SMART
Focusing all your energy on Instagram would be a mistake on your part.
As the saying goes “you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket”.
You saw it with the new Facebook algorithm and then now Instagram, things are constantly changing and it can go very quickly.
Focusing on a single social network or a single platform is a big risk.
It’s as if a company has an exclusivity with one big customer. The day the client lets go, you have no more clients.
I don’t want to scare you, but I firmly believe that Instagram still has very long years ahead of it. The idea is to make you realize that you have to have several spare wheels to avoid being trapped.
It is true that changes to the Instagram algorithm can really annoy us lately, and we don’t know what we have in store for the next few days.
But by experimenting a little more every day, it is possible to understand these changes to better understand them.
I hope I have informed you about these different changes related to Instagram. Do not hesitate if you have questions or things to add to bring this article to life.
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