You’re a savvy social media manager who knows how to successfully wield the power of Instagram … except lately, you’ve heard things. Instagram rumors abound, and you think that maybe some of them are actual facts.
So, how can you determine fact from fiction? The world’s foremost Instagram marketing expert Jenn Herman recently went live on Social Pulse Weekly and debunked the most popular myths in circulation right now.
1. If you have over 10,000 followers, Instagram knocks down your post reach
Jenn Herman: “That’s a big fat NO. There is no punishment for being a business profile, there’s no punishment for the number of followers you have.
“The reality is, as your audience grows, you get more casual followers. When you had 100 followers, they were probably all diehard. They loved everything you did. When you got to 1,000, they’re probably still good, loyal ones. But you have more casual followers as you get to 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000.
“It has nothing to do with the size of your account and being punished for reach. It’s usually more to do with the saturation level that you will see reduced reach. That’s perfectly normal.”
2. The first hour after you post on Instagram is the most critical for commenting or responding
Jenn Herman: “That’s totally not even true. It doesn’t even factor into anything.
“You need to be replying to people who ask you questions because that’s part of community building. There’s no limit that you have to do it in five minutes or an hour. That doesn’t matter.
“Whether or not you respond to everybody does matter.
“The way the algorithm works, your content ranking is based on each and every one of your individual users. It’s not a popularity contest. Which means if Jennifer likes all of my content all the time, I’m always going to rank as one of the top posts in her feed when she logs in. So, Instagram is already ranking me for Jen’s feed. Now, if she logs in five minutes from now, five hours from now, five days from now, Instagram has already determined where to put my content in her feed based on everybody else she follows.
“My responsiveness to my content has no impact on where I fall in that feed because it’s based on her. It’s based on her interaction with my content. It’s not about my responsiveness or how anybody else interacts with my content.
“So being responsive in the first hour does not rank you higher in people’s feed. Because that determination has already been made before you even got one comment the moment you posted it. Those determinations are being made by the algorithm and artificial intelligence in the background.”
Jenn Herman: “It’s a legit myth. (And if you want proof, go look at my Instagram account because I use the same hashtags all the time, over and over again.)
“This is just kind of constantly going around the industry and understood to be true … and it’s not.
“Instagram wants you to use hashtags. They let you use up to 30! They want you to use them, they want you to show up in search. They don’t care where you use them. If they don’t care where you use them, it’s not going to impact you algorithmically.
“I use things like #instagrammarketing, #instagramstrategy and #instagramtraining because that’s what I do! And I’m not going to not use them because that’s what I do so people can find me. And I don’t get punished for that. I get incredibly good reach.
“So, there’s absolutely nothing that says you will be punished for using the same hashtags over and over again … Use what works for you, and enjoy the benefits of your hashtags.”
4. You should go live every day, even if it’s just for two minutes, to get Instagram to add to your quality score
Jenn Herman: “First of all, there isn’t technically a quality score. Advertising has quality scores, Facebook advertising does … but who wants to go live every day?
“Why would you go live for two minutes just to do a story? For live video, you want to be on as long as possible and bring an audience. You want a structure for your live videos. You don’t want to just go live because you’re randomly going, right?
“People stop watching if you’re not providing value in your live videos. Everything should have a strategy. Spontaneous content is great once in a while, but not ‘just because.’ And if you only go live for two minutes, you’re going to have maybe two or three people show up—if you’re lucky. What kind of community building is that?
“If you’re on for 20 minutes, and you have an outline and you’re going to go through a topic or through a tutorial or showcase a new product, if you have actual dialog and banter back and forth conversation, that’s ‘meaningful interaction.’
“Going live for the sake of going live … is not going to do anything for you except waste everybody’s time. And I would think it probably actually hurts you. Because if you’re going live and people are tuning in and if you’re doing things that don’t actually benefit your audience, they’re going to stop paying attention to you.”
5. You shouldn’t edit your caption or location for at least 24 hours or it’ll knock down your reach
Jenn Herman: “Your ranking is determined the moment you post your comment.
“So, if you want to change your location or add a location, go for it. We’ve all posted and gone, ‘Oh, seriously, I have a typo in the first sentence!’ So, jump in there, and edit it. It’s fine. It’s not going to affect anything.
“Again, Instagram is not monitoring this stuff. These are not things that affect any sort of performance and they’re not going to punish you for changing your content in correcting a typo. That’s a good thing!
6. You shouldn’t delete and repost your photo
Jenn Herman: “This is really common with younger users, not necessarily businesses. And it’s moved over into the influencer space, where they will post something and, if they don’t get the level of engagement that they want, they will delete it and repost it when they think they can get better engagement.
“It’s purely gaming, right? They just want to have high numbers. If they have low-performing posts, they think it looks bad. And they would rather delete it and start all over again rather than just accept the fact that the post just didn’t perform well.
“No, you shouldn’t do it because it’s just stupid. It’s a waste of time.
“If you have a low-performing post, it’s probably a variety of factors. And [from a user perspective], if I take the time to like your content and I interact with it, and I leave a comment or do something … and then, two days later, it shows back in my feed, I wonder, ‘Where are my comments? Why is this in my life? I know I already engaged with this content.’
“So, it’s not helping your existing audience. You’re basically telling me that my original comment and everything wasn’t good enough for you. SO, now you had to go and search for it again.
“It’s probably going to hurt you in the long run. And it’s actually better to look at what’s going on with the content. Why was that post performing poorly? Was it the time of day? Was it competing with another high-performing post?
“Just start paying attention to how your content is performing and see what’s working, what’s not working, work with your insights. There are so many things that tie into why those posts perform poorly then just trying to redo it and hope that it’s going to do better next time.
7. Instagram is prioritizing the alt-text feature.
Jenn Herman: “Tere’s nothing to show that this is getting prioritization.
“However, it will help you to do this. So, you can add alt text to any image on Instagram.
“Alt text, for those of you who don’t know, is basically that text description of what is in a photo when a photo doesn’t load and use that weird little text description that’ll tell you what it’s supposed to be.
“The algorithm isn’t necessarily preferring this type of content. But, [using alt texts] can help you with searches … Eventually, we’ll all probably see that alt texts will actually help with Google searches …”
* * *
In addition to busting myths in the live show, Jenn Herman share insights about:
Her stellar hashtag strategy (so you can start using it now, too)
The amazing benefits of using location tags on Instagram
Creating an Instagram bio that makes sense
If you didn’t catch the live show with guest Jenn Herman, you can still watch the show recording at your leisure.
Social Pulse Weekly brings you incredible marketing experts and today’s latest social media news and developments. Tune in every Friday at 2PM ET to keep your finger on the pulse of social media.
Scared to death that your Instagram strategy looks more like a horror film? Tune in on Friday the 13th as Jenn Herman, acclaimed Instagram Expert and Camp Agorapulse counselor helps us keep from running through the woods alone.__ABOUT JENN HERMANJenn Herman is a social media consultant, speaker, and globally recognized Instagram expert. She is the forefront blogger on Instagram marketing and her blog, Jenn’s Trends, has won the title of a Top 10 Social Media Blog over multiple years. Through her blog, consulting, and speaking Jenn provides tips, resources, and training for organizations of all sizes that need to structure their social media strategies. Her business background includes Administration, Sales, Human Resources, and Marketing and she enjoys bringing all these skills together to help you grow your business. Jenn has been featured in Inc., Fox News, Yahoo Finance, HuffPost, The Verge, CBS Radio LA, and numerous other podcasts and publications. She is the author of “Instagram for Business for Dummies”, "The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Instagram” and “Stop Guessing: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Social Media Strategy.”__ABOUT JENNIFER WATSONJennifer is the social media manager for Agorapulse, a podcaster and speaker. She has a diverse background from working on camera to executing digital strategies. Jennifer is a dynamic talent with a passion for every aspect of digital media from building brand strategies, creating content plans, to getting executive buy-in. She motivates audiences from the stage and drives engagement, including launching numerous Facebook Live campaigns for the biggest weather brand, garnering millions of views. She has been featured in Chief Content Marketer Magazine, and on stage at Social Fresh, Social Media Marketing World, Social Shake-Up to name a few.__ABOUT AGORAPULSEAgorapulse is the #1 rated Social Media Management tool! It helps businesses and teams manage all of their engagement and success on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. You can learn more and start a free trial of your own at https://www.agorapulse.com.
Posted by Agorapulse on Friday, September 13, 2019
Read more: agorapulse.com