Instagram engagements have been on the decline for some time now, but it’s not all pessimistic and fatalistic. A lot can be attributed to Instagram’s ongoing efforts to eliminate bots, spam, and comment pods.
It took almost four years for Instagram to reach its first 300 million users. In June 2016, there were 500 million active monthly users. Between 2016 and 2107, they added roughly the same numbers in a year. And as of September last year, the platform has 800 million active monthly users.
Such an accelerated increase leads to saturation. Saturation leads to intense competition for opportunities to appear in user feeds. In any case, saturation or bot removal is important to find a way to improve engagement.
First, let’s look at the cause of this downward spiral.
- Poor quality audience
One of the biggest issues affecting engagement rates is the lack of quality followers. It’s usually good to have a lot of followers. Unless the follower is an inactive or fake user. Fake followers, whether intentionally or unintentionally, reduce engagement rates.
This is how the Instagram algorithm evaluates engagement:
First, your new post will be visible to a small percentage of your followers.
Measure the number of Instagram likes and comments and compare them to the engagement of previous posts.
If the engagement of the new post is higher than that of the old post, it will be visible to the rest of the audience.
On the other hand, low engagement indicates that you may have fake followers. You may also lose the opportunity for other viewers to see your posts.
They are fake inactive profiles, so they rarely interact with the post. And as a result, your engagement rate will skyrocket.
Buzzweb regularly checks audience quality and helps eliminate fake followers
- Shadow Forbidden and Banned Hashtags
Recent changes to Instagram’s algorithms have led many users to use comment pods to cheat. Comment pods are a fraudulent way to improve engagement. Instagram then applies shadow bans to users it thinks are part of the comment pod.
Hashtag restrictions are another reason for low user engagement. The platform classifies them as NSFW or spam (like #beautyblogger and #follow4follow) and reduces the visibility of posts. When your account is flagged, it will be checked for suspicious activity and, in some cases, shadow banged.
- Automation and Bots
Instagram is cracking down on many automated websites such as Instagram and Mass Planner. Such apps create bots that help users engage with their followers. They are like little robot clones of users with similar styles and interests.
They are not fake accounts that you care about. Automatically appreciate and comment on posts posted by others to artificially increase the engagement of those accounts. Those who use automation tools will also be affected if their followers use automation tools. Engagement can be low because there’s no way to appreciate everyone’s posts in the feed.
- Hashtag Suppression for Business Accounts
This results in a new algorithm that behaves differently for each user account. To see posts related to a particular hashtag, users must follow a particular page to see them, unless it is the top post.
This rule especially applies to accounts such as trading and trading. Basically, accounts that operate within certain algorithmic rules may find it difficult to be picked up by certain hashtags.
There is a 33% drop in post-interactions compared to the previous year. Photos saw a 27% drop in likes and comments, and a 39% drop in videos. The main reason behind all this is Instagram saturation.
User base and posting frequency have increased. More content is displayed in the feed because users are following more accounts than before. Frankly, there’s a lot more material to hold on to. Intense competition for this affiliation eventually led to an overall decline.
So what are all these solutions?
- Strategic Use of Hashtags
Hashtags, when used properly, are a great way to gain popularity with your target audience. Help other users find, follow and interact with your Instagram account. However, the use or abuse of popular random hashtags on the platform doesn’t end anywhere.
The method shown in the feed is to use popular hashtags associated with your target audience. Examine the hashtags your audience is using and take advantage of them. Feel free to create unique and creative hashtags for your posts. Make them yours The narrower the range, the more attractive the users.
Show Darryl Jones and his view of the world with toys using his creative photos and hashtags. I’m pretty sure this is for Star Wars fans.
Adding compelling captions to your posts is the key to getting your followers. However, the easiest way to encourage people to work with a post is to add a subpoena to the caption. The way the Instagram algorithm is currently working, it is likely to show highly engaged posts in your user feed.
Let the viewer think. Ask them a question. Or what do they think about the new product? Then use the comment section to ask for an answer. This is a great and organic way to increase engagement.
Check out the Best Vacations post above. They often post captivating pictures of such vacation spots. They keep the CTA simple and ask people to tag their friends. A fairly cheeky and original way to increase their engagement and gain more followers.
- Optimum posting time
Posting during peak hours is another easy way to improve your engagement rate. The idea is to post when most of your target audience and followers are online. By doing this you can maximize the audience of your post.
Of course, peak hours will vary depending on the type of target audience and time zone. If you have a business account, you can use Instagram Insights to find out when your followers frequently visit your app. You can experiment at any time by posting at different times and finding the best times to post.
- High quality material
Now, this is a recommendation that comes straight from the horse’s mouth (in this case the page). Instagram for Business responded last year to a problem with a user’s new hashtag search policy.
The point is that people want to pay more attention to the quality of their content to increase their engagement. Instead of focusing on hashtags, they suggest developing the right growth strategy for your target audience. This demonstrates their commitment to fostering and encouraging genuine engagement.
- Instagram Story
More than 80% of people prefer branded live content than regular social media posts. That’s why you need to take full advantage of the Instagram story feature. By including hashtags related to your story, you can reach more people and grab their attention.
But more importantly, they are a great way to introduce yourself in a real way. Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look and bloopers to pique their interest. Another trick is to share the story of a live event. Instagram Stories are a sure way to collect more likes and comments in real time, thereby increasing your engagement rate.
Instagram is constantly evolving and changing algorithms to make it a better and more attractive platform for users. It’s true that engagement has dropped recently, but shortcuts like bots and comment pods don’t help in the long run. They only give you a false sense of security.
Instead, focus on the tips above, as they are evergreen and can withstand the test of time and algorithmic change.
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