While social media teaches us so much and gives tons of information, it's easy to fall for a lot of misinformation. Instagram is not immune to it either. With everyone fighting the algorithm to grow their content, several theories have surfaced on how Instagram works, and how you can hack your way into boosting and amplifying your channels. One true thing is that you shouldn't always believe what you read and hear on the internet. If you're wondering whether the last rumor or myth about Instagram is true or not, make sure to check in with us (your Instagram experts), and we'll investigate. For last month's webinar, we did exactly that and covered some of the circulating stories we've heard non-stop lately to set the record straight. Read on to see how we're unraveling the latest Instagram rumors to let you know what's real and what's fake.
Myth 1: Instagram Practices Shadowbanning
Perhaps the most-asked question we hear in the ether, and since it's been thrown out so much, we're almost sure people are unsure of what it means. For the record, it's false, but unless you're not abiding by Instagram's terms and conditions, there's no reason for your content to be blocked, hidden, or taken down within the platform. Your performance is based on how you engage with your audience and how they engage with you. And if your content is something they want to see, they will like and comment, if not they'll keep scrolling past it. We don't know who needs to hear this but to be real, don't blame your lack of engagement on Instagram...blame it on the actual quality of your content.
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Myth 2: Using Too Many Hashtags Will Block or Shadowban Your Content
False. There's a reason why Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags for you to use, so you don't go overboard. If you do use all 30, your content won't get "shadowbanned" or flagged. Instagram wants you to use the hashtags, but it's essential to be strategic and use the ones that will put your content in the presence of an active audience. It doesn't help to put your content in a hashtag that has a 1MM+ usage; that will just throw it into an audience that isn't engaged. Make sure you regularly use a combination of niche hashtags (like the ones you include in the Hashtag Manager) and some popular ones to allow your content to gain more impressions. Then, of course, the more you engage with said hashtags, the more you will see success coming back to your content and profile.
Myth 3: If You Use Hashtags in Your Captions, Your Content Will Get Dinged
To put it simply, it doesn't matter if you put your hashtags in your captions or your comments. Both will have the same effect, so it's all up to you where you want them. If you prefer to have your hashtags in the comments, you can set it up easily as you schedule within PLANOLY with our new Auto Post First Comments feature. This will allow your hashtags to post automatically as you schedule your content to go live on Instagram!
Myth 4: The Algorithm's Meant to Hide Your Content
It's no secret that nobody is enamored with the new algorithm. Since it's been implemented, it's only lowered our engagement since we're no longer dealing with a chronological feed. However, the algorithm isn't meant to hide your content - it's just making content more visible to people who are invested in your profiles based on the following factors:
- User Interest
- Post Recency
- Visit Recency
- App Usage
The more your content becomes relevant to your audience and you reciprocate that engagement with them, the more they'll see your content. Why do you think the content that shows at the top of your feed when you open Instagram is from the people you engage with the most? To learn more about how the algorithm works, make sure to read our webinar recap on the algorithm here.
Myth 5: Switching to a Business or Creator Account Lowers Your Engagement
Myth and false! Instagram themselves have debunked this. However, many people always mention that the minute they switch to a business account, they see their engagement tank. A business or creator account provides insight and gives clarity on how your content is performing to help you continue to elevate your content. The more you keep advancing your content and finessing your engagement strategy, there's no reason for your engagement to be lowered. To see more of how switching to a business account can benefit you, read more here.
Myth 6: Editing Captions After You Post Hinders Your Content within the Algorithm
If you made a mistake when you created your post, there's a reason the edit button is there for you to fix that mistake. To sum it up, anything that Instagram offers you within the app isn't meant to hurt you, so edit to your heart's content! It will not affect your content's performance within the algorithm.
Myth 7: Instagram Is Going to Hide Likes
This isn't necessarily a myth, as we've seen it occur in Canada - and most recently beta-tested in New Zealand, Ireland, Brazil, Australia, Italy, and Japan. While we can't confirm whether Instagram will enable this worldwide and implement it like the algorithm back in 2016...Instagram is looking to see how this will help users "focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get."
Myth 8: The Unfollow/Follow Method Is One of the Best Ways to Grow Your Following
False. We've had people ask if it's okay to use the follow/unfollow method, and we've seen prominent influencers practice this, but we're here to tell you it's not effective or sustainable. If you follow someone, they will follow you because you follow them. The minute you unfollow, they will most likely unfollow as well. So make sure that when you are engaging on social, and even following people, you develop a relationship with them, rather than doing a passive follow/unfollow method.
Myth 9: Instagram Doesn't Lead to Sales
We're in the digital age, and if you're not advertising your business on Instagram, you're not moving with the times and will only stay stagnant. The issue here is that people are waiting for instant gratification through social promotions and advertising, but it's a strategy that you finesse over time. And not only that, it often takes people seven times to see a product before they consider buying it. So make sure you're staying consistent with your Instagram advertising, rather than giving up halfway and not getting any results from it. The key is patience and strategy.
Myth 10: You Can Grow Just as Much Organically Without Using Boosted Posts
Remember, our dear friend, the algorithm? Before the algorithm was put in place, it was easy to grow organically and see that engagement come in based on the time you posted. It's no longer just making sure you're posting at the right time when your audience is active to ensure they like your content when it shows up on their feed. If you want your content to show up on your audience's feed, it's best to post consistent and quality content that is relevant to them. You can also use boosted posts or Instagram Story ads to ensure that your content gets visibility. This is a great way to ensure growth in today's Instagram ecosystem, so if you're just growing organically, you'll need to improve your strategy. To dive more into all of these myths, feel free to watch our webinar below, and as a rule of thumb, make sure you don't always believe what you hear!
If you have more questions, feel free to DM us @planoly on Instagram, and we'll investigate it!