Usually when social networks start making changes, people start giving up on it and move onto another.
Right now Instagram is still the top social network but if you're a blogger or a small business like me you've probably been noticing how hard it is for you to attract a following of your own.
They've made changes, still making changes and if you don't go with their flow you will hurt your instagram engagement. So, here's the changes you need to be aware of (especially if you just started really marketing your business or blog with Insta).
Now that Facebook also owns Instagram the same changes made to Facebook are being made to Instagam.
When facebook started making feeds algorithmic and chronological order ceased, small businesses and bloggers were over it! Facebook made it so that you could potentially get banned if you marketed your business too much on your personal profile and they made Facebook pages hard to advertise on just so you can purchase their ads.
So, Instagram's first annoying change, of course, was the switch to non-chronological feeds. Followers can no longer see what YOU want them to see but what Instagram thinks they want your followers to see. You may post something one day and some followers may not see it until three days later.
Similar to facebook, the next annoying thing Instagram introduced was ad-space for business profiles.
Nope, they arent going to show your post as much as they use to, they want money in return. Meaning, if you want followers and potential followers to really see a post, product, or a shop sale, Instagram would rather you purchase an ad to promote it. So, keep all of this in mind. Remember if you want to catch the eyes of a lot more viewers than you have been, you need to post better and richer content. Think about what your target market wants to see and not just what you like/want people to see. Maybe cleaner and brighter photos will do the trick.
Currently, we still have the Instagram shadow ban on hashtags and autobots.
Here's the deal with the shadow ban, Instagram is seriously trying to clean up their social network. So, if you're a business/blogger who uses those annoying ass auto apps to respond to peoples comments and auto like their post, pretty soon your account will be discontinued. Yayyy! I'm happy about this part because I'm tired of people commenting on my feed with irrelevant comments or liking my page when they really haven't even seen it. They just want you to react and go to their page, which means the love they are giving you is so generic and not authentic. If you're one of those people who purchase followers and likes, you're probably already on their red flag list.
Then, there's Instagram's hashtag issue.
You can only use up to 30 hashtags on a post, but because people are using irrelevant hashtags on posts it makes it hard for IG's algorithm to do what it's suppose to do. You can now follow hashtags on Instagram but they don't want followers to follow a certain hashtag and see posts that have nothing to do with the hashtag that it's under. For example on valentines day, you may have been unable to tag your posts with "#valentinesday". Why? Because some people were posting nudity and stupidity under the hashtag causing Instagram to ban the post all together, at that time.
There are thousands of hashtags that Instagram has currently banned which can have alot to do with why your engagement and followers hasn't been increasing.
If a hashtag is banned that means people you are trying to reach under that hashtag will not see your post. So, be careful about the hashtags you use and make sure they are relevant.
Be intentional about the hashtags you are using on Instagram and how you use them.
If you use a hashtag way too much and get all spammy with it, your account could possibly get banned as well. Why? because with the new "follow hashtag feature", followers now have the power to mark content that they don't want to see under a hashtag. This alerts Instagram and its algorithm of the content, letting them know its irrelevant or uninteresting. If you have a ton of posts like that under the same hashtag, it's possible you can get red-flagged which can effect your other content and your account as well.
For example, look at this post under #blackgirlmagic
It's just a meme of puppy and has nothing to do with blackgirlmagic. It was posted under this hashtag to catch anyones eye. It's not related to this hashtag in no kind of way. So, I clicked on the 3 dots in the corner and this menu popped up where I chose "Don't show for this hashtag", sending a red flag to Instagram.
How do you know if a hashtag is banned on Instagram?
If you put it a hashtag in the instagram search bar and nothing pops up for it or you see the loader timer moving real slow, that means it's currently banned. You may also see this message...
If you put hashtags in your caption and hit done but it takes forever to post or you get an error message, either you put a hashtag in way too many times, you added a hashtag that is currently banned, or you have too many hashtags.
Hope this helps!