Lots of Instagram users have been cold with the app for a few weeks. After the big update of Facebook, it is now Instagram that changes the rules. Do you, too, no longer have the same commitment to your content on Instagram? Do not 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 better know his customers and exchange with them, or a miro-influencer basing its business model on the commitment of its subscribers, you have probably been touched by this new algorithm!
Faced with a decline in overall engagement, the Instagram experience has changed a lot and especially for new accounts that have more difficulties to federate a community.
So, clearly, today two options are available to you:
- 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 not found a complete enough article on all these changes yet.
After hours of reading, viewing and experimenting on my account, here is all the information I can give you to help you better understand this change in Algorithm.
It will still use your strength of adaptation with these changes and turn them to your advantage.
Stay creative, find the right hashtags, follow influential accounts, interact regularly, give feedback, reply to comments, or have a relevant feed.
I experiment a lot on Instagram and that's what allows me to understand the platform better and better.
See now Instagram as a friend. The more you get to know him, the more you can make him happy.
But before talking about this new algorithm, what is an algorithm
# 1 DEFINE AN ALGORITHM
Everyone is talking about changes to the new algorithm, but do you know what an algorithm is?
Before explaining how it works and how to get around it, let's take the time to find out what it really is.
An algorithm makes it possible to automate a task so that the man does not need to reproduce it.
It is therefore necessary in the first place, treat the task manually, be aware of the capabilities of the computer and anticipate the logic of execution of 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 these steps are coded, that is to say 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'm aware that it's a pretty 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 must be known to intelligently circumvent the algorithm.
But by the way, why are we complaining about this new algorithm?
# 2 HOW WE ARE AFFECTED
I do not know if you're new to Instagram, but times have changed. In fact, a few years ago, all of your subscribers had direct access to your new publications.
So it was 100% visibility instead of 10% so far
Rest assured, we will return to this point in detail in a few lines.
Yes, if you want to create a community you will have to be very perseverant, but it is absolutely not impossible.
If you are an individual, it's just an ego story.
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 does not have many Likes on the last burger he has eaten, he can go to bed anyway with his free spirit.
But for an influencer who has just put forward the new product of a brand, he has no right to miss.
So it's a fight for both individuals and professionals.
A non-chronological thread
Have you ever seen a one-day publication next to a publication just published 10 minutes ago?
Nothing abnormal, with this new algorithm since it no longer favors the chronology.
Today, Instagram shows you what you have not seen accounts you enjoy even if the content is several days old.
Instagram wants to offer better content, but there are still a lot of inconsistencies.
Currently, there is a large amount of sponsored posts or from a big influencer in your news feed.
The latter thus loses all its formerly chronological coherence.
Today Instagram is more than ever determined to wipe out inactive accounts.
It is a real hunt for bots (robots) that is launched!
So this is absolutely not a bad thing, but today we do not know what are the criteria of Instagram to define 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 does not increase as quickly as a few months ago.
All this is done automatically and we have no visibility on the subject.
We now know what an algorithm is, this program that works for the man 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 known solutions to find a correct commitment!
# 3 THE COMMITMENT IS NOW
When you post a post on Instagram do you know what is the percentage of your audience at first sight?
Well, it's 10%.
It's not huge, I grant you, but it's Instagram that decides.
The algorithm highlights your publication to 10% of your audience and then depending on the reactions it will be broadcast to a wider audience.
If the content counts a number of commitments (like, comment, share privately) significant enough in the hour after its publication, the algorithm will judge your content interesting. Your photo or video will then be made visible to a larger portion of your subscribers.
The algorithm takes into account different reactions to measure engagement:
- Likes for a publication;
- Comments ;
- Shares 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 make a video live.
The more reactions you have, the higher your publication will be displayed in the news feed of your subscribers.
So, I suggest you do some mathematics.
Ah, I know that the mere fact of hearing the word "mathematical" may frighten some, but rest assured, I too have some difficulties with this subject.
So, if you are "math", you will enjoy, because the calculation is relatively simple.
And, if you're not mathematic (like me), I'll make sure to be 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 is 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 making 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 (robot in English) and not humans.
Instagram will take 10% of 700 subscribers and put forward 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 seen by 50 humans only.
In conclusion, you will have the same visibility as when you had 500 subscribers, because 10% of 500 also corresponding to 50 people.
Here is the little calculation is finished!
Finally, this example is there to show you that the purchase of bots only serves to change the number of your subscribers and it will have no impact on your commitment 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 must 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 are one of the important interactions with this new algorithm.
You must now reply to your comments in less than an hour to show that you are active on the network and increase your engagement rate.
For a comment to be perceived as relevant by Instagram it must count 4 words or more. So you can stop the comments of the style "Top :)" or "Super photo!".
I recommend instead to ask a question. You will easily get out of the boat comment pool and it will also allow you to build a true relationship with the content creator.
Another important point.
"Pods", which are small private groups on Instagram, who comment on their own publications and keep themselves informed of their release, will no longer be tolerated.
As an individual, I have been in a group like this before, and I can not tell you how much my commitment has been disadvantaged or not.
In general, and you will understand, Instagram wants to promote a genuine relationship from human to human.
The fact that it's always the same people who comment on all your posts can now have an impact on Instagram.
I guess it's just to filter the bots, which usually put a very short comment on a huge amount of photos.
# 5 A HISTORY, A HISTORY
I made an article dedicated to the 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. Serve yourself, it's for me.
Overall, the production of Instagram stories will really help your account to gain commitment.
The stories you see first are those of the accounts with which you interact the most. So the more you interact with a member, the more likely you are to see your stories.
One of the keys to success on Instagram is being yourself through your own style.
And Stories allow you to reveal your personality. That's why people will follow you, that's how they will choose you!
The worst thing to do is copy and paste other people by imitating them. But you know what works in others, will not necessarily work at home.
Talk about yourself as a friend, remember, Instagram is your friend!
Personally, they are the most accessible and authentic people that I like most to follow in storie and generally on Instagram.
Inspire yourself 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've found the right ones, everything rolls.
So yes, it will take time and a lot of experimentation, but finding the right hashtags will help you boost your engagement.
If you have good content without hashtags (unless you are David Beckham) it will not work.
Hashtags are exactly like the natural referencing of your site. You can have the most beautiful site in the world, if it is badly referenced, nobody will find it.
On Instagram we are not going to talk about keywords, but Hashtags to improve the visibility and therefore, the commitment of your publication.
VARY THE HASHTAGS
It is no longer advisable to constantly put the same hashtags. If Instagram is not sure that you have a predefined list that you copy and paste or that you are a robot.
I personally tested, even if you mix them hashtags, Instagram sees it. You must change them all at every post!
Yes, I really do this kind of test! 😉
Hashtags posted in comment will have no effect, they must be posted directly in description. I know it's more aesthetic, but there are different ways to arrange that. It can be with points or all # at the line.
THE NUMBER OF HASHTAGS
It is still possible to put 30 hashtags but if you put the maximum Instagram can consider this as spamming. That is, it considers your content as inappropriate for the users of the platform.
My commitment has increased slightly since I went from 20 to 30 hashtags per publication.
Yes I must admit that it is quite amazing!
You can forget all the hashtags that have no connection with the photo. Instagram only wants relevance.
If you post a photo of a hamburger and you put #lunettes it is irrelevant. Finally it's just common sense.
Do not edit your hashtags in the first few hours after your post is published because they will have no effect.
I assure you that's true, I tested, and your hashtags, even if there are 30, will be dead with these changes.
I recently did a little survey to find out how much platform users put hashtags under the posts.
For my account I use between 15 and 20 hashtags mixing popular hashtags (#business for example) and less popular (# help for example).
# 7 BETTER PUBLITIONS
NO TO PERFECTIONISM
If you want to edit a publication, wait 24 hours before doing so. Otherwise the impact on the commitment will be negative. Always remember that Instagram really wants to keep the spontaneous and non-perfectionist side.
If you want to delete a post to post again, it will also have a negative effect on the visibility of the post.
QUALITY OF CONTENTS
You need to increase the quality of your posts, because Instagram favors content that is likely to be appreciated by as many people as possible. It goes through a 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 to do some testing on your own.
You can also do a survey to find out when your subscribers prefer to view publications.
If your account is switched to professional mode, you have the opportunity to see the most popular posts by your subscribers. With these statistics you can adjust your content strategy.
The more recent the content, the more it will be considered relevant by the algorithm.
So, you will understand, the more you post, the more you increase your chances of being a priority in the news feed of your subscribers.
A little tip!
Do not publish at the same time as your competitors.
For example if the majority of your competitors post at 18h, post in the morning or before noon.
Also watch what time your audience is most engaged. If it is present regularly all day, avoid publishing at the same time as your competitors.
TIME PASSED ON A PUBLICATION
Instagram's algorithm wants you to show relevant content related to your interests. The more time you spend on a publication, the more the algorithm will judge that this kind of content is relevant to your account.
For example, if you spend more time on the post A than on the post B the algorithm will favor the style of content approaching the content A.
If you want a user to spend more time on a publication, do not overlook the description of your post that complements your content.
# 8 SHADOW BANNING
What is this shadow banning story?
It may have happened to you before to have no more commitment on your publications?
Do you post and nothing happens as usual?
Sometimes even nothing happens?
If you answered, chances are that you have gone through a natural referencing process as they say on Instagram.
This means your posts will no longer be visible with hashtags searches, location of your photo, or identification of someone on your post.
# 9 INTERACTIONS
The very principle of a social network is to encourage sharing, exchange and interaction.
This vision is now reinforced through this new algorithm.
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 the likes, think of commitment!
To have commitment, you must first show that you are a committed person.
Interested before becoming interesting!
By leaving comments and interacting with the content of other instagrammers.
Your photos or videos will be more visible to users who interact regularly with you through likes, shares, comments or private messages.
On the other hand, in the latest publications you see, you will be more exposed to the people you are interested in.
THE SEO INSTAGRAM
On your site, the more traffic you have, the more relevant your content is to Google.
On Instagram, traffic is the number of visits to your profile. The more a user visits your profile, the more priority your content will be given.
As the user is interested in coming to your profile regularly, the algorithm understands that your content appeals to him. You will be well placed in his newsfeed.
In addition to a visit to your profile, interaction means viewing a story or speaking privately with a subscriber.
If you respond in less than 60 minutes to your subscribers, you will also gain visibility. On the other hand, if you answer to a comment 1h after its publication you will be disadvantaged by the algorithm. Instagram simply wants to encourage you to come back regularly to the app to respond as quickly as possible to comments from your community.
As I tell you from the beginning 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 responding to a comment, do not hesitate to encourage the person to put a new one by restarting it with a simple question.
On 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 create a relationship with your audience while increasing your engagement rate. To date, there are 300 million stories that are shared daily. Today it is also more fun to navigate in the story than in the newsfeed. All the interactions you have in Storie (sending an emoji, comment, discussion, etc.) have an impact on your commitment.
2: Encourage your subscribers to post comments regularly. For example, ask a description question directly under your photo. This technique still works. Just ask a question that does not require a response time too long, and that will allow the subscriber to put forward under your publication.
3: Geotag your photos to get 50% more engagement. It takes a lot of time to prepare the photo, the description, or to choose the hashtags. But do not forget geolocation, even in storie. In the Instagram search engine a lot of users (even me) search for content by type of hashtag.
4: Show a person in front of the picture. I invite you to look at your Instagram stats and you will be pleasantly surprised to see that when you put yourself in front of you there is a stronger commitment. I do not 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 to them that you have tagged them on your content. With this method, you will be directly present in your subscribers.
6: Ask your visitors to subscribe to your notifications. Many do not dare, but it is a simple method to improve your commitment. Your most engaged subscribers will do so, be sure, and they will be the hard core of the people who follow you. In the long run, these committed people will bring you other committed people and so on.
7: Reply to as many comments as you can in private messages and even to everyone if you can. When you receive a message you have 1 hour to respond and promote your visibility of your account in the eyes of Instagram. It's like in everyday life, the most engaged people are often the most rewarded.
8: Think about the video! We are more and more consumers of videos, and for good reason, Instagram is also where you can post them. There is still a lot more photo content that is shared, but Instagram announces a 40% increase over the last six months on the platform. A figure that can be easily explained with stories.
9: Post every day at the same time to create a habit for the algorithm, but also and especially for your subscribers. You probably have already heard this advice, but I assure you that humans love routines.
10: Be human, be yourself! It is a simple and boat-friendly advice, but one which is largely proven in a world where everything tends to become standardized. On your photos, in the writing of your descriptions, in your stories and even in the customization of your hashtags. Remember, Instagram gives great importance to the human and spontaneous aspect since this beginning of the year.
If you only had to remember 2 things from the new instagram algorithm:
1: BE HUMAN
As you will most certainly understand with his new algorithm Instagram wants to put the human, the authentic and the spontaneous side up to date.
When you ask if what you are doing can fit the new algorithm just ask yourself the following question:
Is it a natural and human reaction on my part?
With this simple question can I make up for all the answers on Instagram?
The fact of asking questions, having discussions directly related to the proposed content, going 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 with the techniques that generate unnatural actions to increase your engagement.
To have an active community, you have to be one yourself.
Buying followers or "forced" interactions will not lead to an authentic account
2: BE SMELL
Focusing all your energy on Instagram would be a mistake on your part.
As the saying goes "do not put all your eggs in one basket".
You've seen it with the new Facebook algorithm and now Instagram, things keep moving and it can go very fast.
Focusing on a single social network or platform is a big risk.
It's as if a company had an exclusivity with only one big customer. The day the client drops you, you do not have a client anymore.
I do not want to frighten you, but I am deeply convinced that Instagram still has many years ahead of it. The idea is to make you realize that you need to have several spare wheels to avoid being trapped.
The advice I give you is to create your own platform where you largely manage the commitment of the latter.
It is true that the changes of the algorithm instagram can really annoy us lately, and we do not know what we reserve the next days.
But by experimenting a little more every day, it is possible to understand these changes to better apprehend them.
I hope to have enlightened you on these various changes related to Instagram. Do not hesitate if you have questions or things to add to make this article live.
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