The Instagram algorithm tends to give people a huge headache, as it gets more and more strict and creator-unfriendly in the sense that it is limiting the organic reach for basically every user that’s trying to spread their content to a wider audience.
In this post, I will cover exactly what is preventing you from growing your Instagram account's reach, and the strategies to apply in order to get your account from zero to hero.
Here's what's ultimately preventing you from growing your Instagram page and its reach:
- Black hat strategies, such as:
1- Logging into your Instagram account from many different locations
If you’re logged in from lots of different locations, your page will be perceived as a stolen page or as a spammy page, which highly harms its health score and increases the likelihood of it being deleted by Instagram.
2- Using banned hashtags
This is a tricky one, as many people are not rather aware that this exists or aren’t familiar with the referred hashtags.
Using banned hashtags will cause severe damage to your page’s health score, which can easily translate into a shadowban.
3- Using the same hashtag sets over and over
Not only will this harm your posts’ performance, as they won’t rank on bigger hashtags due to spammy behavior that’s associated with constant hashtag set repetition, but it will also harm your page’s overall performance, as its health score will drop significantly.
Make sure to use different hashtags and hashtag sets in the space of 24 hours, otherwise, you’ll have a hard time getting that momentum back up again.
4- Mass commenting
If you’re applying the strategy of commenting in lots of big pages of your niche, and you do it abusively, you’ll become action blocked, which lowers your health score, temporarily compromising your page’s performance.
5- Mass liking
Just as with mass commenting, liking too many posts or comments will results in a temporary action block, which can be severed if you keep practicing this action consecutively after your block is gone.
6- Replying to too many comments in a short time period
I often recommend replying to comments on your post, as it maximizes your engagement levels, although don’t do this abusively – keep it moderate and reply to a maximum of 10 comments per 1 or 2 hours, otherwise you’ll almost instantly get action blocked.
7- Messaging too many people in a short period of time
This comes down to the whole point of the last 4 bullet points: by sending the same message to a lot of people in a short period of time, Instagram’s algorithm will perceive this behavior as botting / spammy behavior, blocking such action very rapidly.
The secret is to manage your page as a human. Keep your actions to a moderate, healthy pace, and your page will stay on top of its game, and it’s health score will thank you – and so will Instagram’s algorithm, by allowing your posts to rank higher on hashtags and, eventually, on the explore page.
8- Using Panels
Many people use this as a shortcut to have a big following base or to have a lot of likes on their posts, although don’t take this route by any means.
This is the worst thing you can do to your page, as it may be deleted by Instagram – they’re very strict with any source of fake followers or engagement providers – or (at best), your page’s health score will drop massively and there’s no way that your page is getting back to its normal momentum.
What good is it to have 10k followers without any engagement? That won’t bring any good to your page, nor to your brand, if that’s the case that you’re trying to grow it through your Instagram account. It’s much better to slowly but steadily grow and be at 1000 real, loyal and engaging followers.
9- Using any form of automation
Instagram very easily detects any form of automation these days, so make sure to play by the rules and manage your page as organically as possible.
10- Posting content against Instagram’s ICG (Instagram Community Guidelines)
If you post content that includes sexual content, violence, drug use, alcohol, nudity, etc., your post will most likely get deleted and your page can become shadowbanned or even be deleted by Instagram.
You can check what kind of content you can’t post on Instagram’s Privacy and Safety Center.
Here's how to drastically boost your page's health score, and, consequently, its growth:
- Use White hat strategies:
Apply strategies that are healthy towards your page’s performance and that do not compromise its health score or even its existence.
By obeying to the rules, in this sense, your page has only to benefit from it, as a slower yet consistent growth is a million times better than a fake and worthless growth that is not worthwhile.
Do it by:
1- Providing high value content:
Provide content that is engaging and that tells something about you or your page. Content that has an element of entertainment or any other form of interest to your audience.
Do not be lazy with your content output, otherwise your audience will also be lazy when it comes to any sort of engagement (if they even do engage).
2- Keeping people in the platform:
Publish content that is strictly niche-related, so that Instagram’s algorithm allows it to be spread out to a wider audience that is also interested in the same type of content, according to their behaviors.
It is their goal to keep people on the platform for as long as possible, and if you optimize that process through your content, Instagram’s algorithm will benefit your page.
3- Engaging with your audience:
Do this and you will ultimately optimize your engagement levels, as well as create a sense of community around your page.
It is not rare to see pages completely ignore and disregard their audience. Take a few minutes to reply to your dm’s and comments and to ask questions to your audience through stories or through your captions on your posts. Count them in and show them that you care, they will appreciate it and most likely become more and more loyal to your page, so it’s a win-win situation.
4- Acting like a consumer & a business within the platform:
Post content consistently and interact with pages within your niche on a daily basis. Keep your page’s activity at a steady pace, without abusing Instagram’s features.
Instagram privileges human behaviour on the platform and activity should be reciprocal. As a business, you want to showcase your products or services, so you are keener to put out content. Although, it is also as fundamental to engage with other users’ content to show that you are a page that portrays consumer behaviour as well, in terms of content.
This ensures that your page’s activity is at a healthy level, while reinforcing your niche categorization.
5- Posting fresh content, content that is new to the platform:
Fresh is the best. That does apply to your content output these days on Instagram. As you publish content that is new to the platform, you are contributing to its diversity and interest, which is rewarded by the Instagram algorithm.
You’re also provided new content to your audience and they will thank you for that, as the platform is already flooded with lots of unoriginal, reposting content.