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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Beating the Instagram Algorithm

Every blogger has a love/hate relationship with Instagram, it's one of the most talked about topics within the community. For a long time it has felt like the new algorithm has meant that a lot of bloggers have seen a decrease in their levels of engagement on the platform, from likes and comments on their pictures to the amount of followers they are gaining and losing on a weekly basis. I don't always feel like the negatives of Instagram apply to me just because I do what I do and hope I obtain the rewards of good engagement and following. Don't get me wrong recently there's been a decrease in my own individual engagement, and whenever I check my following app more and more seem to be unfollowing. 


It's frustrating, besides that I have managed to hold onto 4.6K followers on the platform and the growth to this number has developed over the last year or so. It is definitely frustrating when you've posted a photo that only gets over 100 likes, especially when you have 4.6K people following you. I wanted to share with you some tips which hopefully will put your mind at ease and maybe spur you into beating the Instagram algorithm by working hard on your own Instagram. They are the well known tips that everyone talks about but I wanted to share my thoughts on those individually. 

POST GOOD CONTENT CONSISTENTLY
This one goes without saying, if you don't post at least every day or every other day on your IG account then it's really hard to sustain any kind of following. You don't need to use the latest in camera equipment in achieving good photo content, most of mine are taken on a IPhone 5s through the camera app then edited slightly using the IG app itself. This is more because it's easier for me when I have little time to produce some of the visual content I need, but you really do not need to have some top camera like the Olympus Pen to achieve good photography. Have an experiment with different photographs taken on your chosen device and see what happens. 

TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS
I didn't think about this until recently but bulk photos is as effective with your blog as it is with a platform like Instagram. There's nothing worse than being away somewhere and suddenly realising you don't have a photo for Instagram, therefore you fall behind on your consistency. I didn't learn until recently you could save drafts of photos you've already edited and write the caption, making it quick and easy to get something uploaded in minutes should you need to. I tend to have as much as 20-30 photos just ready in my camera roll because you never know when you'll need them! I would definitely advise you bulk some photos into your camera roll.

USE COMMENT PODS
I love Comment Pods, I think they are really effective in some organic engagement and also enables you to be inspired by some other great IG accounts whilst your at it. I have joined around 3/4 in the last 6 months, the engagement from them is next to none. It can be really obvious that people participate in comment pods when there's as little as 'cool pic' as a comment or something which is irrelevant to the post, therefore I would be careful in what pods you participate in. 

Most of the pods we have rules that include at least 3 words in a comment and a regular activity in commenting on others photos can be really effective. I would root around for a comment pod and find the ones that you think you could best write comments for, it's no good joining a pod full of beauty bloggers when your the only one posting more lifestyle based photos. You won't be effective in reaching the engagement with those you should be. 

USE HASHTAGS
Once you've uploaded your photo, take the time to use all 30 Hashtags you are able to in the next comment. Hashtags can be really effective to put your photo out there amongst like minded individuals posting images similar to yours. It's also important to think about the hashtags that you are using, there's no point using a hashtag like #beautyblogger if it has no purpose to that niche. I do regular research into hashtags, scrolling through the ones I use to see whether they're used regularly or not so. Some hashtags have seen individuals be Shadow Banned for using one regularly, and being shadow banned can stop your pictures reaching your non-followers, urgh. So definitely be aware of that when researching the hashtags you should be using. 

Not sure what hashtags to use? Then I'd look through some of your favourite IG accounts and see what hashtags they're using. I have broken my hashtags into specific topics and saved them onto the notes section in my IPhone, this means that when I've posted an image I can just copy and paste the list of hashtags straight the way. I've found some great lists of hashtags through Pinterest too, it might just take you some time to sit and discover the ones most suited to the content your posting.


PROMOTE ON OTHER PLATFORMS
Recently I decided to see whether I could gain some more organic engagement by researching for Facebook Groups that do effectively help your IG grow. I have been using these groups to develop some of my views on the blog so it's definitely been of use when it comes to my Instagram. There's things that are ran like Instant Instagram when you are asked to leave your latest picture and engage with others in the space of 30 minutes. It's quite a quick activity to participate in and does demand your attention for the 30 minutes, especially when you need to engage with other people's photos too. There's nothing worse then contributing to something and not giving back so make sure you do that. 

Also, keep an eye on the usual load of Facebook group for bloggers there has been a growth in posts where the owners of the group ask for IG links, get your link up there and see what else you can find whilst doing so. 

FOLLOW SIMILAR ACCOUNTS
There's nothing more motivating for your own individual visual style then seeing the work of others around you, so get following similar accounts. You don't have to follow everyone's you set your eyes on but I'm sure there's loads of similar accounts out there that will be really beneficial in growing your own.

I see a lot of bloggers who on a weekly basis share their favourite accounts of the week with their followers through IG stories. I have found loads of new accounts I've followed from other people's IG stories and this is something I would definitely like to do more of individually. 

ENGAGE WITH OTHER INSTAGRAMMERS
With following similar accounts comes the opportunity to engage with other accounts, make sure that the one thing you are doing above everything else is engage with other instagrammers. We are all in fighting the algorithm that annoys us so much together, you don't have to comment every single photo on their feed but see something that you like? tell them that you liked it. There is a lot of great visual content out there on IG and it doesn't take more than a minute to acknowledge that. 

DON'T PRESSURE YOURSELF
I know that growing your Instagram account is a difficult process, especially with the algorithm sometimes working against us. I think a lot of bloggers feel negatively towards Instagram so won't probably post for weeks because they're struggling to get engagement, it's important to continue doing what you do and hoping that the results come through from your consistency. Some photos will sometimes get over 100+ likes whilst others won't even reach that unless you pop it into a comment pod or Facebook group.

Also, I understand when bigger bloggers with a following over 10K don't even engage with your photos after engaging with theirs. I've learnt in the past to engage with the people I'd like to and the ones I know will relay that engagement with my own platform. Don't sit and dwell on a platform that is difficult, there's still plenty about it to be positive about. 

Do you have any tops on beating the Instagram algorithm that I haven't shared or maybe you can tell me what's the biggest challenge you are experiencing with Instagram.

thanks for reading,

32 comments:

  1. I follow all these tips except pressuring myself lol I'm working on that
    http://sheismelrose.net/

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    1. Ah good, I know it's tough but it's so important as it affects how you see the platform and engage with it :) xx

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  2. I am *so* close to hitting 1k on Insta - I know it's a small number to many, but it has taken so much work! Engaging all the time, researching hashtags. I swear my husband is getting so fed up because I'm always on my phone. Dying to get to those four figures though!

    JH | hellojenniferhelen.com

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    1. Jennifer with the issues of the algorithm hitting 1K is amazing and clearly your hard work has paid off, it's far better than buying into fake followers who don't appreciate your commitment to the platform. You will do babe keep going :D xx

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  3. This is so helpful - thank you for sharing! My Instagram seems to go through phases. Sometimes I'll have really good engagement, and loads of new followers. Then it will go quiet, and I'll lose loads and have minimal engagement! So frustrating. Will definitely be trying these tips to help my IG grow though. x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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    1. Hi Aimee thanks for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed the post! It can be so frustrating can't it? I keep loosing followers when I have a day off because I'm busy but I'm learning to ignore it as it's just a platform that has a lot wrong with it at the moment aha! x

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  4. Some great tips, thanks Emma, I need to save mine to notes as constantly having to type them is a pain. I have realised that if you click edit on a photo you can also copy and paste the hashtags that way too xx

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment KerryMay! :D Yeah I found that method is useful too, definitely use notes so then you can use different ones everyday and hopefully get some varied/better engagement that way! xx

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  5. thnks for sharing, instagram has become a nightmare these days , i needed to read this.

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    1. Thanks for the comment hun and hopefully it's made you feel motivated and more positive about the platform :) xx

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  6. Thanks for sharing! I love using Instagram but the new algorithm has definitely has some negative impact on both my account and my motivation to work hard on making my feed look good! I'll try these tips ^_^

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    1. I'm sorry it has made you feel negative towards it and hard to motivate yourself, it's definitely had that effect on me sometimes. Hopefully my post has given you some advice to move forward with the platform, i'm sure what you do put on there is great! xx

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  7. Great article with some good points, it reall helped me :) Thank you!
    Ejnets in Lisboa

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    1. Thanks for your comment, glad it helped you hun! :) xx

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  8. These are great tips. I really enjoyed reading and learning from them. I didn't know of the 30 min group thing. Very interesting.

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    1. Hi Adisha, yeah me neither and since using the past couple of weeks it has improved my engagement quite a bit :) xx

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  9. Instagram has been so tricky lately. Thanks for all your tips.

    ❥ tanvii.com

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    1. I know it really has, it's quite frustrating! I hope it gets better tbh :) Thanks for reading the post and leaving a comment xx

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  10. These are some great tips! I hadn't thought about taking pictures in bulk before - what a neat idea. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Paula, Yeah it definitely helps! Just gives you some kind of backup if you don't have anything and sometimes I even use quotes from Pinterest, they do well for engagement too! xx

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  11. Great thoughts Emmie! Thanks for sharing with us. I am in a few pods and see how it helps engagement, however also feeling like I engage mainly with these groups vs. others as well. It's time consuming to say the least. I continue to pause daily to make sure I'm doing it for the right reasons..what is the positive outcome? And if it weren't available to us, what other creative business strategies might I use to truly capture an audience I desire....always thinking!

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    1. Yeah it's quite a difficult one to crack isn't it? I've had a few brands approach me from IG alone, I just need to be more engaged in other accounts beside the four walls of a IG pod xx

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  12. Great tips! The Instagram algorithm has really been getting me down lately, but these are easy, practical tips I can really use! Thanks!

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    1. I think it's been getting everyone down, hope these tips really helped you! :) xx

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  13. Thanks for sharing! Super helpful!

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    1. No worries Rachel, thanks for your comment! x

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  14. Thank you for all this info! I'm a new blogger and loved Instagram before I started blogging. Now I have a hard time understanding it on the other side. You made it so much easier to wrap my brain around!

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  15. These are such great tips!! I've been on IG since it first came out back in 2012 or 2013. It's definitely a love/hate relationship for most of us haha!

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  16. Such great tips! I need to get in the habit of using more hashtags. Is there an easy way to figure out what hashtags have been shadow banned?

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  17. Lots of great tips here! Taking photos in bulk is the one that constantly bites me in the butt. I have the worst time planning out an instagram calender like I do with my blog. Then I wind up with two days and nothing to post because I didn't plan ahead.

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  18. I really have to do a better job of posting every day on Instagram. I have been posting about every 2 days and it's just not doing enough. Thanks for the tips!

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  19. Thanks for these tips! The last one is my favorite. :)

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