Is Your Instagram Engagement Down?

Is Your Instagram Engagement Down?

January 21, 2021

If you’ve been in a #MOOD ever since Instagram took away the Recent Hashtags tab in November during the election and stayed there through what we’ll lovingly call the “December Drop” in engagement, we’re here for you. (Isn’t that what businesses are supposed to say now-a-days? ????) But for real… we are.

Every year in December, Instagram rolls out shiny, new changes to everyone’s favorite thing: the algorithm. Add in the distraction of holidays, and this leads to an annual period of low engagement across the board.

Is There Something Wrong With Me If My Engagement Is Down?

This is really annoying, but it’s nothing new, so trust us… there’s nothing wrong with you if your engagement has been down, and it will level out eventually. But in the meantime, we have some tips that may help you boost your engagement, and maybe even get it higher than it was before the recent slump!

Before we get to our #tips for boosting engagement, let’s bust some algorithm myths we’ve seen circulating the interwebs. Is it too soon to say #fakenews? Got it. Let’s get to the list.

The Current Top 3 Instagram Algorithm Myths:

Myth #1 — Instagram Will Punish You If You Edit Your Published Posts

There’s a rumor out there that Instagram will punish you if you edit a post after it is published. There’s even a popular post with what we’re guessing is just anecdotal evidence showing two posts with drastically different engagement, one of which was edited. Here’s the thing. Instagram will not punish you for using a feature they provided to help you. There is tons of evidence showing that editing posts doesn’t hurt engagement. And at the end of the day, if Instagram didn’t want people to edit their posts, they would have never added an edit button. Looking at you, Twitter.

Myth #2 — Instagram Will Punish You If You Use Too Many Hashtags

Here’s another case of “why would Instagram punish you for using a feature they provided?” Instagram currently allows accounts to use up to 30 hashtags per post. If they wanted you to use 10 hashtags, that would be the max. So our advice is to maximize reach by using as many hashtags as you can.

Myth #3 — Instagram Will Punish You If You Use A Partner App To Schedule Posts

Different rumor, same answer. Instagram allows a few official partner apps to schedule and auto-publish posts to their app. Official Partner is code for $$$. Considering Instagram is making money through these apps, it’s highly unlikely that they would punish the apps on their platform. That’s just bad business.

The Current Top 3 Instagram Algorithm Boosting Tips

Tip #1 — Be Consistent

It’s no secret that the algorithm encourages posting as much as you can. But if you don’t have the margin to post quality content every day twice a day (because literally who does?), the next best thing to posting all the time is to be consistent over time. Our advice is to post consistently at the same time over a long period of time, post 3x per week on the same days each week, or posting every other day. Do this for a while and see if anything changes!

Tip #2 — Use Reels

Specifics about the algorithm are usually debated, but one that is agreed upon across the board is that Instagram Reels are currently boosted and favored in the algorithm. If you’re not posting Reels, the algorithm is going to punish all your posts. If you post Reels, the algorithm will reward you with engagement across all of your posts, not just Reels. So if you have the margin, get your creativity on.

Tip #3 — Use #AllOfTheFeatures

Instagram likes when you use all of the things, and we mean all of the things. Feed posts, Stories, Reels, IGTV, Shoppable posts, lions, tigers, and bears… oh my, that was a dad joke. Sorry. Anyway, this includes special features on Stories like the “I Voted” sticker, polls, sliders, etc, etc. So buy in… do all the things… make a deal with the Devi— Okay too far. I think we may be in a #mood, too.

Final Thoughts

We know this seems like a lot. If you can’t do it all, don’t go crazy trying to keep up with the Algorithm Joneses. Just do what you can when you can. Try some of these tips. A little change is better than nothing. And as always, if you’ve thought about outsourcing social media for your own sanity and to maximize your ROI, we’d love to help!

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