There are a bunch of rumours and theories out there about how the Instagram algorithm works. We did some research on some of the popular theories to see if they are correct or if they are only myths. It’s hard to tell which rumours are true and which are fakes, so here we explain some rumours that relate to pet business owners.
Rumour #1: The Instagram Algorithm is Hiding Your Posts
Many rumours are going around that the new Instagram algorithm is only showing your posts to 7% of your followers. Meaning that 93% of your follower do not see your posts. This rumour is not true. Instagram debunked this myth by confirming that what shows up in your feed first is determined by which posts and account you engage with the most among other factors.
What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc.
— Instagram (@instagram) January 22, 2019
If only 7% of your followers see your posts, it is most likely your fault, not the Instagram algorithm. Low visibility could be due to low-quality content, and low-quality or fake followers. Furthermore, Instagram stated on Twitter “We have not made any recent changes to feed ranking, and we never hide posts from people you’re following – if you keep scrolling, you will see them all. Again, your feed is personalized to you and evolves over time based on how you use Instagram.✌️”. Instagram is getting more competitive. It is up to you to develop a strategy that keeps your posts engaging so more people to see them. It is essential to keep publishing smart and exciting content, and you will be fine!
Rumour #2: Instagram Comments Must be More Than 3 Words
Another rumour floating around the world wide web is that the Instagram algorithm only recognizes comments that are longer than 3-4 words, and don’t recognize emojis. According to this rumour, short or emoji based comments don’t improve your engagement, but there is no evidence that words are weighted heavier than emojis. Instagram has never given us reason to believe that comments must be a minimum number of words.
The one major thing you want to avoid when it comes to comments is automated commenting bots. Commenting bots go against the Instagram algorithm but if you manually comment with an emoji that is not known to be considered spam. Genuine and authentic comments are more valuable than a single emoji. If you are engaging with your community, we suggest taking the time to write a comment that won’t get confused with a bot. Try asking a question or write more extended and more engaging captions that encourage interaction.
Rumour #3:Liking and Commenting on Someone’s Posts Will Show Me More Content From Them
Liking a bunch of posts and writing comments on an account will result in you seeing more of their future content in their feed. Curveball. This rumour is true! The Instagram algorithm is designed to create a unique experience for each user. Instagram wants to find content that you will enjoy most and displays these closer to the top of your feed. It’s simple, if you want to see more content from a specific account, engage with their posts. Instagram recognizes your behaviour and creates your feed accordingly and places posts from accounts that you frequently interact with at the top of your feed. How does the algorithm work?
Check out this article in TechCrunch. In the article, Instagram states “Instagram relies on machine learning based on your past behaviour to create a unique feed for everyone. Even if you follow the same accounts as someone else, you’ll get a personalized feed based on how you interact with those accounts.” It depends on whom you engage with. For example, if you like and comment posts and view stories on The Barketing Blog Instagram account, you will likely see our future content higher in your feed, and who doesn’t want that?! You need to create a “relationship status” with accounts you like most and consistently engage, not just go on a one-day liking spree!
Rumour #4: Swiping Past Instagram Stories Negatively Impacts Them in the Algorithm
If you swipe past a story on Instagram, will you risk not seeing future stories from that account? I’ll admit, if an account I follow posts like 20 stories, I won’t watch them all. However, does this mean I won’t see their future stories? Does this tell the algorithm that I am not interested in this account? Well, nobody knows how the Instagram story algorithm works. The stories that appear first on your story list are those of the profiles that you engage with the most. The Stories algorithm is rumoured to be slightly different from the Instagram Feed algorithm but ranks similar signals like interest, relationship and timeliness along with behaviours associated with stories. Because Instagram has never confirmed the Stories algorithm, it is essential to be strategic in your posting to not overwhelm or annoy your followers with too much content.
Rumour #5: Switching to Instagram Business Profile Negatively Affects Your Account
When asked directly, Instagram said, “Instagram does not give extra feed presence to personal accounts or business accounts so that switching won’t help your reach.” This is 100% a myth. If you have a business and you are not using the business profile, you are missing out on many benefits. If you are not using the business profile, your business immediately looks like a hobby business. Your clients won’t be able to contact you quickly, isn’t that the end goal of your Instagram account? To generate leads? Plus, the Instagram business profile gives you access to analytics that helps you understand your audience and learn what content produces the most engagement.
What does this mean for you? Use the algorithm to your advantage. Spend your time creating strategic content that will trigger engagement organically. Know your target audience and publish high-quality content aimed at them. Post regularly but not too much that it becomes annoying. Instagram’s algorithm is too smart to be hacked. Instead, play by Instagram’s rules and improve your account’s performance. If you put in the time and effort to create engaging content, Instagram will notice, and your followers will see your posts. The best way to find out what works is to check your Instagram Insights regularly.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.