THE REALITY BEHIND 9 BIG INSTAGRAM MYTHS
Could Instagram myths be keeping you away from developing your business?
From Instagram’s shadow ban, to your content only being displayed to 7% of your followers, we’ve witnessed lots of rumors about how Instagram algorithm works.
Unfortunately, believing these myths can prevent you from taking full advantage of Instagram. Here are few Instagram myths that are absolutely untrue. So, stop believing them, and stop spreading them as if they were factual.
Instagram Myth #1:
Instagram is Shadowbanning Business Profiles
We can finally put a stop to this rumor: there is no such thing as an Instagram shadowban! (as long as you follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines of course!).
According to few sources, your posts could be “shadowbanned” (Not shown on Instagram feed) for using the same hashtags again and again, or liking too many posts.
According to Techcrunch, who attended an Instagram whiteboard session with reporters, the Instagram team responded to many of the most common questions and conspiracy theories about how the algorithm and feed works.
And when asked about the shadowban conspiracy, Instagram stated that “it doesn’t hide people’s content for posting too many hashtags or taking other actions”.
Instagram Myth #2:
Switching to a Business Account Negatively Impacts Your Engagement
This rumor has been around since Instagram launched business accounts back in 2016, and was recently reignited when creator accounts came onto the scene earlier this year.
But we’re here to debunk this one too — there’s no reason why your engagement would be impacted if you switch to a business account!
In fact, there are so many bonuses to switching to a business account that it’s worth considering the move — you could have access to better Instagram analytics, swipe up links in Instagram Stories.
And even if you do experience a short-term dip when you switch, with a business profile you’re armed with more knowledge and features, so you can be so much more strategic about your future growth strategy.
Instagram Myth #3:
You Need to Post to Instagram At Least Once a Day to Stand Any Chance at Growing
Let’s make this very clear— this Instagram myth is absolutely untrue!
Instagram is (and always has been) about quality over quantity, so even if you can only post 3 times per week, that’s A-OK — as long as you do it well!
Plus, there are ways for your brand to be consistent on Instagram without having to actually be on Instagram —
We at Staiir helps users by creative eye capturing content specifically created for their profile. We schedule posts, stories according to the best time of the day, using best hashtags and trendy captions.
As a business owner, you have about a million things to do every day, but handling your social media pages doesn’t have to be one of them.
Check out our earlier work here and create your own plan.
Instagram Myth #4
Instagram Can “Steal” and Use Your Photos in Any Way They Like
Remember when posts like this went viral, with celebrities like Pink, Julia Roberts and Usher sharing it:
This hoax dates back to 2012, and it’s been rumbling along ever since.
The truth however, is that you already granted Instagram all of those rights from the second your signed up and created your account — it’s all part of the Instagram terms of service!
Instagram’s Terms of Service
The Instagram T&Cs state: “We collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content, and message or communicate with others.”
So by signing up to an Instagram account, you’ve agreed (even if you didn’t read through it all!) that Instagram has permission to “collect” your content.
According to Instagram, this information is used to improve the product, run research projects, improve the quality of ads you’re seeing in your feed and most likely improve the Instagram algorithm so you see more relevant content.
So unfortunately, once you’ve agreed to Instagram’s T&Cs, re-posting a hoax chain-post doesn’t revoke any of the permissions you’ve already granted.
Instagram Myth #5:
Instagram is Deliberately “Only Showing Your Posts to 7% of Your Audience”
This myth spread fear among brands and influencers alike — to the point that Instagram themselves released a statement to set the facts straight!
According to the myth, Instagram has not been showing posts to 7% of a profile’s total following.
In order to counteract this, brands began sharing a text-based post highlighting the conspiracy, and called on users to like and comment on that specific post.
But it’s time to put this to rest — it’s a total MYTH! As Instagram explains on Twitter:
We’ve noticed an uptick in posts about Instagram limiting the reach of your photos to 7% of your followers, and would love to clear this up.
— Instagram (@instagram) January 22, 2019
“What displays first in your feed is calculated by what posts and accounts you interact with the most, as well as other deciding factors such as the time of posts, how much you use Instagram, how many users do you follow, etc.”
And as per the shadowban allegation, Instagram stated that they never curtain posts from your followers: “We have not made any changes to timeline algorithm, and we never cover posts from users you are following – on the off chance that you continue looking over, you will see them all. Once more, your feed is customized to you and develops after some time dependent on how you use Instagram
While it can be frustrating to see some post perform better than others, or your engagement rates drop, it’s comforting to know that there’s nothing shady going on behind the scenes.
Use any drops in engagement as an opportunity to learn about what your audience likes and dislikes, and strengthen your strategy for the future!
Looking for strategic ways to get more eyes, profile visits (and likes!) on your posts?
Try our Automation Service service, with 5 days free demo.
Instagram Myth #6:
You Need to Respond to All Comments Within 24 Hours
If you’re always scrambling to reply to your comments as quickly as possible, then we’ve got some good news for you.
Apparently, replying to all comments within the first 24 hours has no difference on your post performance.
In any case, we do realize that the Instagram calculation favors real discussions.
So if you’re actively responding and engaging with the comments on your posts, that’s a positive signal to the algorithm that you have a “relationship” with that profile. In short — it’s a sign that you’re actual friends!
Check out how mega-brand Lululemon makes sure to always check in on their Instagram 3M audience to respond to comments, questions and insights from their followers:
So with that in mind, it’s increasingly about giving quality discussions, as opposed to snappy, short answers
Instagram Myth #7:
There’s No Way You Can’t Make Sales or Capture Leads Without Spending $ on Ads
There’s no denying that Instagram has moved towards a more commercial model in recent years.
However, that doesn’t mean that you need to spend money on Instagram to drive traffic and sales from the platform.
Truth be told, we’ve seen brands go from solidarity to quality on Instagram — without spending a huge amount of cash on promotions.
For example, you can use Instagram’s built-in features, like product tagging, to seamlessly integrate shoppable posts into your feed.
Instagram Stories can likewise be an immense traffic driver for your business. With Instagram Stories links, you can pair engaging content about your product with the direct link your viewers need to shop — making it a simple user journey from browsing to shopping!
Instagram Myth #8:
Instagram Will Penalize Your Posts if You Repeatedly Use the Same Hashtags
There’s no denying that the Instagram algorithm is one smart cookie — it knows how to recognize spammy behavior and identify accounts that are hacking the system to get more likes.
While using hashtags repetitively will not be penalized, it’s important to always be strategic and genuine with your use of them.
Hashtags are a valuable tool to grow your following, but you should always use them correctly.
Utilizing a similar 30 hashtags again and again isn’t just exhausting (and not helpful to your Instagram strategy) but it will only lead your audience to the inappropriate content.
Your hashtags should be used as an aid — to help your audience and potential followers find content that interests them!
The best rule of thumb is to analyze your hashtags based on their relevance to your post — will it help people discover your post? Does it accurately reflect what you’re talking about in your caption?
Instagram Myth #9:
The Instagram Algorithm is too Hard to Beat
Can you actually beat the Instagram algorithm?
It’s a question that’s caused a lot of confusion (and frustration!) for brands on Instagram since the controversial move away from a chronological feed.
For many, it seemed the Instagram algorithm was making it harder than ever to reach target audiences, get more followers, and improve engagement on your posts.
But the fact is that once you understand how the Instagram algorithm works, you can use it to build a killer Instagram strategy and continue to grow your account!
And trust us, we’ve seen thousands of accounts successfully grow on Instagram, thanks to a strategic content plan and clever posting on their account!
Instagram Myth #10:
You Have to Be a Professional Photographer to Post to Instagram
Since Instagram is a visual marketing platform, your images and videos definitely matter – but that doesn’t mean that you have to be a professional to create an eye-catching feed!
While outsourcing your content creation is always the best option. We at Staiir help our clients with professional content creation.
Our well-trained, dedicated Content Specialist will be the one finding and sharing content for your accounts. They spend hours designing and posting relevant content to share on your accounts. Their objective is to interact with your target users the way you would do if you had the opportunity and time. We’re enthusiastic about assuming proprietorship and liability for our work, and it appears in all that we do.
About the author
Harshil is founder of Staiir Social Media Marketing agency. He started his career as a software engineer in 2014 and moved to digital marketing to help small & mid sized businesses grow.
Find him on Twitter @harshil240.