Anyone who knows me... knows how obsessed I am with Instagram strategy. In 3 months our JoAnne Design Co account skyrocketed from 300 followers to just over 3,000 and... that's just scratching the surface.
Jo.Co has taught two local businesses to duplicate these results on their profiles with AMAZING personal and professional results. One of which profited $4,000 in sales in just one month of implementing the proper strategy.
That being said, Instagram is always changing... and I've noticed a massive decrease in engagement this month. Upon further research I'd like to share with you the results, and how I've adjusted my account to be back on the up-and-up in just 5 hours.
Have you noticed decreased engagement?
#1) The Shadow Ban
There is a lot of speculation... does it apply to your ENTIRE account... or just the hashtags? Well good news is, from what I'm seeing it's just the hashtags that are bringing you down.
What is it?
The shadow ban is the new hip lingo that really means Instagram is taking down what they see as "spam". They will block your content from being seen organically aka. less real and new engagement.
I spent an hour last night testing my images using a handy shadow ban tester and tracking the patterns. Why were some of my hashtags "ALLOWED" while 90% were "BLOCKED from PUBLIC VIEW"....?
Paying attention to what hashtags were being rejected I noticed one, completely apparent trend. Every hashtag listed in my comments were banned now as spam but the few times I used a hashtag in my actual CONTENT... it was A-okay.
So here's the deal, start posting your hashtags 100% in your main content section. Avoid blocked hashtags, and COMPLETELY avoid reusing the same hashtags for every photo. Mix it up, trust me, it'll make the difference immediately.
Below is the website I used to track which photos were banned:
#2) The Dreaded Business Profile
This is something that I switched to right as the option rose. Naturally, Instagram will give you PLENTY of pop-ups asking you to switch, even on your Facebook you may notice these same notifications. Switch, Switch, Switch! (They say). Please read WHY I decided to ditch the biz profile and went straight back to personal.
What is it?
Instagram is owned by Facebook. This year they launched a new exciting feature for businesses to "utilize" to track their insights, promote images and adverts, and of course add immediate CALL + LOCATION + DIRECTION BUTTONS on their profiles. Handy right? No.
Here's the issue, we all KNOW Facebook handicaps businesses from organic reach. They prioritize family and friends so businesses who aren't paying for ads... well.... good luck. Why is Instagram URGING you to switch to a business profile? Think about it. They are wanting to track and apply those SAME handicaps so you're Insta posts aren't as visible. More importantly, your account will be a target, they will find more reason to shadow ban and limit your reach. Sucks right? Yup.
Switch back to a personal profile ASAP. Perhaps reconsider the switch back to business... after you've hit your target and follower goals. Right now, you don't need the torment. Their teeny-tiny analytics insights and direct click buttons... aren't worth it.
Try just adding your website in a link instead. A VAST majority of your audience who want to go to your website, won't call your look at your location on insta... they will go to your site and see who you are. So don't stress the loss of those otherwise useless buttons.
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#3) Abusing the limits
Most of you aren't abusing the limits... or wouldn't know how to if you tried. But for those of you serious about fast growth (like me) you may have very well tested the patience of this platforms limits before.
Remember the limits and don't over abuse them EVERY-DAY.
Approximately 150 Likes per hour. 60 Follows or Unfollows per hour. Maybe back off on your lower performing days from following all together and just engage, (Mondays- Tuesdays for me). This will get you back in the good graces of Instagrams watchful eyes.
#4) No... are you STILL using BOTS?
IT's obvious Bots means you're using computers to do the work for you... you grant them access to your account... Instagram can see who you grant access to.
On a Desktop go to your settings and revoke access to all accounts that are computer based. If you're still looking for help, considering outsourcing a Virtual Assistant on FIVERR or other international platforms. You'll hire someone to support you, they are a real person... and you can tell them your limits. Typically an international VA only costs $5.00 per hour... or less.