The Truth About 10 BIG INSTAGRAM MYTHS
Could Instagram myths be holding you back from growing your business?
From Instagram’s shadowban, to your posts only being shown to 7% of your audience, we’ve heard lots of rumors about how Instagram works.
Unfortunately, believing these myths can prevent you from taking full advantage of Instagram. Here are some Instagram myths that simply aren’t true. 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 the rumor mill, your posts could be “shadowbanned” (blocked from the Instagram feed) for using the same hashtags over and over, 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 official — this Instagram myth is completely false!
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.
“I do not give Instagram or any entities associated with Instagram permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future,” the post read.
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!
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 rumor, Instagram has been actively restricting the reach of 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.
View this post on Instagram
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 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.”, the thread reads.
And just like the shadowban claims, Instagram clarified that they never hide posts from your audience: “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.”
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.
But we do know that the Instagram algorithm favors genuine conversations.
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 more about providing quality conversations, rather than quick, short replies.
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.
In fact, we’ve seen brands go from strength to strength on Instagram — without spending a ton of money on ads.
For example, you can use Instagram’s built-in features, like product tagging, to seamlessly integrate shoppable posts into your feed.
Instagram Stories can also be a huge 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.
Using the same 30 hashtags over and over again is not only boring (and not helpful to your Instagram strategy) but it will only lead your followers to the wrong type of 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 goal is to engage with your audience the way you would if you had the time. We’re big on taking ownership and responsibility for our work, and it shows in everything we do.