Instagram, you have some explaining to do! Let’s all take a big breath in and only think happy thoughts… Now, let’s rant – and explain!
Over the last year, Instagrammers have seen a drastic decline in their engagement. We’ve all seen a plummet in our reach too and we’re not seeing the return on investment. To some, Instagram may just be an app to look at pretty pictures to pass the time, but to others, it’s part of our business. People have found fame on the app, and have managed to start-up multi-million dollar businesses, it’s pretty incredible.
If you’re one of those who thinks this online stuff is ridiculous, that’s fine and you do you, but you have to admire these people for paving their own way. A few years ago this was unheard of and nobody knew what he or she were doing… They just had a dream and invested in it.
Over the last few years, my Instagram has been growing, and I have been getting a lot of traffic to this blog through it. I remember when I was sitting on around 2 000 followers and I got about 300 likes per photo – it felt incredible to see people liking the content I worked so hard to create. My love is my message and I want to see my message out there in the world – Instagram was a great way of spreading that message. Fast-forward 4 years and I have almost 18 000 followers with only 2% of that seeing my posts. Is my hard work actually worth it anymore?
What is happening with Instagram:
Zuck has taken away organic reach – 98% of it
Since Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, they’ve seriously restricted organic reach. You might’ve acquired these followers organically, but they are not all going to see your posts. Why? They want you to put money into advertising.
When your following reaches a certain number, you are labelled as a ‘business’ (even on a profile page) and your reach will start to go down. They want you to spend money before you start to make money.
Hashtags? What’s happening?
So, not only are your followers not seeing your stuff, they’ve started restricting your posts being featured on the various hashtags. What does that mean? Hashtags don’t always mean growth… they are literally just there in your caption. Oh, and apparently putting them in your comments is worse than putting them in your caption. The Zuck sees all.
Hashtags can also get you banned!
Well, shadowbanned. This means that certain hashtags (and when I say certain I mean tens of thousands) are now a ‘no-go’ and when you use those hashtags your page gets soft-blocked. I was using the hashtag #Asia, because I’m in fucking Asia, and they shadowbanned me. I’m still recovering from it.
How to check if you’ve been shadowbanned? Post a picture with several hashtags and then hop over to the hashtag feeds and see if your image pops up. If it doesn’t… you’ve been banned.
Tagging people – does it help?
Nope. Not really. It only helps if the people you tag like the image or repost it – otherwise its just white noise for your organic reach. It’s still worth it in the hopes you get reposted.
Geotagging – does that help?
I’m on the fence about this one – I’ve noticed that I do get a little more reach with my hashtags if I tag places. But it’s nothing drastic. I will continue to tag my posts for the sole purpose of sharing the places I have been with the 10 people that now see my posts.
Using Third Party users
I am a really busy human and since taking up a full-time job again, I don’t have the luxury of sitting on Instagram constantly engaging with other users. I used a marketing team to help engage with other accounts, no comments or follows, just likes and such. My account grew but because my account was getting pinged in two locations (my usage and the marketing teams usage) – I got shadowbanned. Instagram does not want you using third party marketing teams. WHY? Instagram wants to make money.
Why Instagram? WHY?
Everything Instagram has done in the last few years to make things harder for their users is because they want to make money. I was chilling in my flat two weeks ago and I decided to take the recommended action – pay for ads. Boost my posts. I had a quick look to see how much I would have to spend to have 18 000 (the number of followers I have) people see my post. Are you ready?
R1000 PER POST
$86 US PER POST
There was no way in fucking hell I was going to pay that amount of money for a Social Media page so I opted for the second option – low-spending ads over a few days. I tried:
R120 ($10) over 4 days.
Oh, would you look at that! People started to see my posts. I never spent the full amount, after 2-days I would stop the advert and boost another post. Looking at my stats, it was still terrible, my reach was sitting at around 2 500 people. That’s only 13.8% of my following WITH spending cash.
If you think that this post is ridiculous and I shouldn’t be losing sleep over it, just remember that these accounts often work like a physical shop. Let’s say on an average day Tony’s Ice Cream on the corner of 5th Avenue received 25 000 impressions. Impressions meaning people walking by the store and actually being faced with whether they want to go in or not. Of the 25 000, 5 000 people actually walked into the store. They engaged with the store and made purchases.
Tony’s only receives 500 impressions and of that, 200 people decide to walk-in and MAYBE purchase.
I’d say Tony’s was FUCKED.
I don’t have all the answers and I find opinions or tips on this subject to be ever changing and cryptic. I personally think Instagram leaks these tips to cause more users to give up and just pay for adverts.
And… let’s not even start on the new algorithm/timeline fucking disaster.
What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments below.
I’ll still keep posting my shizz on Instagram – don’t you worry.