It is time for the second instalment of this mini-series, whereby I tell you how I do Instagram! The algorithm has hit me pretty hard this week with more and more penalisation of photos taken on camera rather than on a phone. But I won’t let it get me down, it is just another hurdle I am going to have to jump over!
All About The Community
Last weeks post was all about the actual content you are sharing, but this week is all about the community that you can find on Instagram!
Should You Be Using Pods?
First of all, I should probably explain what a pod is! So, basically, it is a massive group message whereby you send links to your latest post and you have to like and comment on all of the posts sent to this group. Pods are usually located on the messaging app Telegram.
I used to be in quite a few pods, some of which had up to and sometimes exceeding 100 people. As you can imagine, going through all of these posts and trying to come up with a relevant and engaging comment for each and every post is incredibly difficult and time-consuming.
Instagram now also monitors where traffic is coming from, this means if they see that over 100 people are visiting your posts from a telegram message you are likely to be shadowbanned. This is because Instagram is very much against inorganic engagement.
When I left the pods I was in I, of course, saw a drop in followers (this was at the end of October). Since then through using hashtags and engaging with the posts on my timeline I have organically brought my followers up to over 1000 and I am now beginning to see the same amount of likes that I was getting whilst in the pods.
We all use hashtags on our posts but are we using the right ones? Did you know that Instagram actually shadowbans posts when certain hashtags are used? They also make it harder for your posts to be seen if you are using the same hashtags all the time. Honestly, this is a battle that I don’t think anyone is going to be able to win!
The advice that I have been given is to use hashtags that target the audience you wish to be seen by. In order to do this, I tend to stick to my ‘niche’ hashtags. For example, I am a beauty and lifestyle blogger so I will use the hashtags #lbloggers and #bbloggers. I will also use the hashtags that are connected to blogging groups accounts such as #bloggerstribe #goddessblogger. You will also want to be seen by a local audience so find out what your local blogger groups hashtags are. I live in Gloucestershire so I use #glosbloggers and #cotswoldbloggers.
There are also some more general hashtags that often used by bloggers that can aid with engagement. My current favourite is #shinyhappybloggers which was ‘created’ by the lovely DorkFaceBlog. This hashtag has reinforced the community on Instagram trying to beat the algorithm, unfortunately, we probably need a couple more hashtags to be ‘created’ in order for this to even slightly happen but for now, I will keep liking and commenting on as many of the posts using this hashtag as possible!
Share The Love
Yay, you have posted a gorgeous picture on Instagram but don’t leave the app just yet! Now you have to share the love! Liking and commenting on other people posts is not only going to put a smile on other creators faces but it also gets your name out there! I love liking other people post and often sit there for an hour going through my timeline and the hashtags that I follow. Now, I will admit I am pretty rubbish at leaving comments, I often forget! But if you are a good commenter make sure they are more than four words in length and actually relevant to the picture!
You know the game, and you hate the game! The follow to unfollow gang are literally the worse! So what can you do to combat it? Unless you actually like a person’s feed don’t follow them, sounds simple but you will often feel guilty for not following. Do they have 40k followers but only follow 300 people? They will unfollow you!
The only way to track these people is to download a tracking app. I use Followers Insights from the google play store, it is free but you can pay for extra features. With these apps, you will have to remember that they aren’t always 100% accurate so you use them at your own risk! By using these apps it has made me realise that it isn’t just the big accounts using the follow to unfollow game, in fact, I have had several accounts with quite a small following doing it recently.
So that is part two of how I do Instagram! Are you finding these posts helpful? Let me know in the comments!