Busting Common Instagram Myths

There are a lot of misconceptions out there that make using Instagram to grow your business a lot more complicated than it has to be.

Nikki Gillingham, Social Media Director, KWIB

June 23, 2021

There are a lot of misconceptions out there that make using Instagram to grow your business a lot more complicated than it has to be.

Social Media for Business - how can something so simple (I mean, even the kids use it!) be so confusing?! The truth is, there are a lot of misconceptions out there that make using Instagram to grow your business a lot more complicated than it has to be.

Let’s go over five of the most common ones, shall we?

Myth #1: The Algorithm Is Always Changing

The truth is, the Instagram algorithm hasn’t changed in years! The algorithm is made up of a number of different pieces, all working together to try and make an educated guess about what you (and your followers or ideal clients) want to see. It makes this guess based on things like, who you follow, who you interact with, who is on your close friends list, your location tags if you use them, etc.

The algorithm is constantly learning and changing what it shows you based on your actions in the app (just like Netflix does!). 

Myth #2: Hashtags Should Go In The Caption (or Comments)

It doesn’t actually matter where your hashtags should go - comments or captions. What’s more important is that you’re actually using them! Instagram lets you use up to 30 per post, and I recommend using as many of those 30 as possible! Use hashtags that describe the photo, are niche-specific, relevant to the content in the caption, and location-specific.

Personally, I like to put the bulk of my hashtags in a comment, while including up to 3 in the caption if it makes sense. If you do put them in the caption, separate them from your content with a few lines.

Hashtags might get a bad rap, but they help get your content in front of new eyes, so it’s important to use them. A tool like Flick is a great way to speed up the process and is worth every penny of the small investment.

Myth #3: Shadowbanning

Straight from the blog of Adam Mosseri earlier this month: there is no shadowban.

What he does say is that posts that go against community guidelines are taken down, and that Instagram is working to do better at explaining why content is removed, and to fix their mistakes when they remove content that shouldn’t have been.

Instagram does not prevent people from seeing your posts. If a post goes against the community guidelines, it’s simply removed.

Directly from Adam Mosseri’s blog:

“We can’t promise you that you’ll consistently reach the same amount of people when you post. The truth is most of your followers won’t see what you share, because most look at less than half of their Feed. But we can be more transparent about why we take things down when we do, work to make fewer mistakes – and fix them quickly when we do – and better explain how our systems work. We’re developing better in-app notifications so people know in the moment why, for instance, their post was taken down, and exploring ways to let people know when what they post goes against our Recommendations Guidelines.”

Myth #4: A Chronological Feed Would Serve Us Better

Instagram launched in 2010, and a chronological feed made sense when there were so many less people using the app. Today, there are so many users and we all follow so many people that a chronological feed would make it impossible for us to see what’s really important to us.

The algorithm, as mentioned above, does its best to guess what we want to see most based on how we use the app.

Myth #5: Editing or Deleting a Post Will Hurt Your Engagement

Instagram will never punish you for using tools it gives you. Fix that typo, delete something you’re not happy with, and move on!

On the same token, using the tools it gives you will actually help increase your reach (and therefore your engagement, if the content is good). Use hashtags and location tags in your posts, and in stories use the stickers available to you: create polls, ask questions, use the location tag, and so on. The more people that interact with your content, the more Instagram shows it to more people (that’s how posts go viral). So use those stickers, and encourage that interaction!

More questions about Instagram and how to use social media for business? Book a 60-minute Strategy Session with me and ask any questions at all that you might have, or check out my online course, Content Equals Clients, which walks you through exactly how to create and execute on your own customized social media and content marketing strategy.

KWIB Members receive 20% off Content Equals Clients using code kwib2021.


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