HASHTAGS, ENGAGEMENT DROPS, SHADOWBANS, AND SPAM
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HOW TO AVOID AN INSTAGRAM SHADOWBAN
Early-Mid 2017 many Instagrammers took a hit, particularly those using Instagram for Business who are relying on financial income.
Engagement plummeted. This was the first of the many disheartening engagement issues to come.
At some point during the last year I’m sure you’ve had experience with cruising along in your posts gaining new followers, likes & comments and then having a sudden drop for no explained reason.
Unfortunately Instagram’s algorithm isn’t perfect and the popularity of the platform has brought them to over 800mil users!
This alone can contribute to a fall in engagement as there is now so much content being released on the platform, creating more competition than ever.
I’d like to really point out that much of what’s actually going on with the algorithm & Instagram in general is actually unknown, despite what some of these blogs you see are claiming to know (they don’t, no-one does)
However, some things are for certain:
1. Instagram is currently the #1 platform for networking & marketing.
Wether you are a business or individual, it is a great tool for your career.
2. Your content should be your main focus & priority.
With the amount of quality content being posted, it’s very important to get competitive & creative to even just keep up with the rest.
3. Your ideal followers/consumers/fans aren’t seeing your content…
With this being said, your content is nothing without a growth strategy in place. There is no point spending valuable time, energy and possibly a lot of money, on developing creative high quality content if nobodies seeing it. Do not waste your time!
4. What is a ‘SHADOW BAN’ & is it real?
What happens when you get ‘shadow banned’.. You will still be able to post & add hashtags, your followers will see your posts but it won’t be visible at all to the public. Your posts won’t appear in the hashtags you have used which eliminates the possibility of new users discovering you.
It wasn’t just after many experts tested this theory concluding it was true, Instagram also spoke out on this.
Instagram finally addressed this issue to the public and even provided two explanations for engagement drops.
– it was a bug
– you were breaking their rules
(this could mean too many hashtags, inappropriate hashtags or content, spamming, or simply being falsely flagged doing something completely innocent)
More often than not, it’s probably just the Instagram algorithm. You don’t see it but in the backend Instagram is often performing large numbers of updates. It’s usually when they’ve performed a larger number of updates than usual, or introduced a new feature, that accounts don’t get the usual reach and experience lower engagement.
5. Be cautious with your hashtagging!
We see many users trying to grow their profiles with excessive use of hashtags. Unless you have refined a strategic and even mathematical method like some high up tech professionals, this IS NOT WORKING and can have your account FLAGGED as spam + ‘shadow banned’ Instagram have banned hashtags as it was getting out of control and these can include even those that are completely innocent!
Using one single banned hashtag can cause the rest of the hashtags not to work & may flag your account. This can ruin your engagement completely and we’re seeing this happen to more & more users. Don’t believe us? Instagram themselves are encouraging alternatives to using hashtags!
6. Out with the fake followers & in with the real.
Instagram is a huge target for spam and it’s no doubt become one of their biggest problems over the past few years.
The app are doing a great job eliminating bots, fake users and spammy content considering the extent of the job. Many of the Instagram algorithm updates are to ensure a better user experience. The downside is obviously the fall in engagements that users suffer.
Without this though, the platform would be a complete mess!
So really we should all bare with it. If you lose a few likes here & there it’s not the end of the world as long as your account is in tact & you’re not risking bans.
It has finally become very publicly recognised that users have been purchasing fake followers.
These fake followers are never going to engage in content, network with you or make any buying decisions.. Not to mention the follower:like ratio is going to be way off, exposing your account to visiting users.
For example sometimes you will see accounts with 100k followers which are only receiving a few hundred likes & barely any comments! (this could be due to an innocent ‘shadow ban’ but often it is not)
Users can actually also buy fake likes which makes their account look genuine, however if you look through who’s actually liking the posts you only need to scroll for a short time before spotting if they’re fake.
7. Everything there is to know about BOTTING, simplified.
Public botting services were once the tool of many to speed up the follower growth process, without buying fake followers. Many of these have been shut down by Instagram. Here’s the why, it’s not actually the automation that is the problem and Instagram sure doesn’t mind you growing your following fast, as long as it is authentic (the more your account & engagement grows, the better the stocks & this is what Instagram cares about $) What they don’t want is SPAM.
The problem with public botting services is that it gives any person access to perform numbers of actions which are often not within the T&C guidelines.
Unless you have done extensive research and testing into what is safe to automate on the Instagram platform, you should not be automating ANYTHING. Many took advantage of these services to spam and also to push the limits which even caused account bans. Instagram definitely did the right thing shutting these down & it did have a positive outcome on getting rid of some spamming problems.
8. So what now?
How can you grow your account & make sure people are seeing your content, now that it’s seemingly impossible?
Here are a few ways…
Hire a marketing team.
Many of these successful brands or individuals you’re seeing actually have an entire marketing team behind them. Whilst this is expensive, it is obviously extremely effective having full-time staff solely focused on the quality of your Instagram.
Spend hours a day on a well thought out strategy.
To grow & attract new users you must engage with them. This is the same as networking in real life. You should be engaging with as many like-minded & relevant people as possible. Make sure your content truly shows what you’re all about, try to get on the explore page by always posting top quality unique content & gaining as many likes/comments as possible on each post, get your account featured as much as possible (this is a tough one because you really need to find accounts that have the exact type of following that might be interested in you – they also need to be willing to feature you & then find a way to do so without it looking spammy), list goes on.
It’s tricky to find influencers that will provide growth, sales or a return of any kind. It can take a long time & a lot of money finding the right faces & personalities to promote you. It’s hard to know exactly what their followers are like, wether some of their followers are fake & how much reach they are getting. But when done right if you are constantly getting large numbers of influencers involved each month this can be a winning strategy!
GRAMiety Managed Growth Service – Currently the fastest & most affordable way to grow a real following.
Or there is the trick of the trade many big brands, celebs, businesses, marketing agencies and individuals are using, GRAMiety.
GRAMiety was created as a solution to the problem of not being able to reach new potential fans, customers/clients and grow on the platform, like you once could so easily.
To get any real growth results you need a marketing strategy.
GRAMiety provides an affordable & managed growth service which automates actions such as like/follows to draw attention to your account. This is a 24/7 managed service by a team of experts whose goals are to target the right people & grow a relevant and genuine following, keeping your account safe and doing the right thing by Instagram.
Rather than gaining fake or random followers you have the opportunity to gain up to thousands of new followers within each monthly period.
No spam. No public access. No account bans.
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