It’s common knowledge Instagram is becoming an increasingly frustrating platform to grow at the moment, but there are common practises to undertake which can put you in good stead to maximise your organic reach. We go through the key habits to avoid on Instagram to ensure your content reaches the maximum audience (that Instagram will allow).
1. Buying Followers
This seems obvious but with Instagram tightening control over who sees your posts and when, it can be easy to give into temptation and give your following a quick boost for a few quid. If you do decide to purchase followers you will be sure to be disappointed. Accounts will typically be new profiles, with little to no bio and usually set in a random location, not exactly great for creating the image of a target demographic.
There is a common misconception that PR agencies are not yet wise to this, this is incorrect (coming from a practised PR executive). Agencies can easily use tools now such as Followerwonk and Social Blade to assess authenticity of followers.
What’s more is as soon as Instagram cracks down on these spam and fake accounts (the reckoning will come) influencers with thosuands of faux-followers will suddenly be debunked and back to square one with what’s left of their genuine following to rely on.
2. Spamming or Using Bots
In a similar vein, using bots is just plain annoying and real instagrammers will hate you for it so for the good of all our enjoyment of the social media platform just don’t do it. Getting followed and unfollowed by the same dozen people every day will not encourage us to suddenly become a subscribed fan of that persons blog. In a junk mail sense it makes me want to tear up the leaflet and change my postbox address.
Again with the practise of spamming or using bots to gain attention, the day will come where Instagram will begin to regulate behaviour (and it’s already beginning). It is not worth jeopardising an account you have worked for years to grow, only to become impatient and try to cheat your way to the top.
3. Repeating Hashtags
Using hashtags is a way to attract new followers and reach out to prospective areas you may not have yet established yourself within, but over-tagging can get you in hot water with Instagram. Shadowbanning is the new term making it’s way around the blogosphere, meaning when you reuse the same hashtags or do hashtags in a way Instagram sees as spammy and therefore restricts organic visibility.
There is actually no point using hashtags if they are not able to be seen by the majority of users. Keep your hashtags relevant and varied to show Instagram you are in fact a human and authentic poster.