What can you do?
We all probably know by now how broken the Instagram algorithm has become and how disappointing it is when you work hard to create a good post and it does not get seen by your followers. The team at Nightstorm Digital has done a little bit of testing over the past year or so to identity certain actions that might be the reason behind shadow bans and decreased engagement.
First of all, it appears that using engagement chats or other big group chats to interact on each others post by sending the post to the chat after you have uploaded can be damaging. This is because it apparently can get flagged for spam. Now this “Theory” has not fully be proven and it’s shown different results for different account, however it’s something to keep in mind. A way around this can be to, instead of sending the actual post, say something like “Hey, I just posted” or “new post”.
Secondly, encourage people to save or share your post. This is because the save and share function are the most powerful engagement indicators for the algorithm and can help you boost the exposure of your post, especially if done right after you have posted. One way to do this is if you know a few people who you can tell to save and share your posts and you do the same for them. This small boost in the algorithm’s favor can help give your post the kickstart it needs to gain bigger traction and get put in front of your other followers.
Third, do not use the same hashtags for all your posts. You need to switch it up a bit. Also, make sure to use more specific and niche hashtags. Instead of using #musician , use for instance #trapartist or #risingpopartist … Find hashtags that are not over saturated but still have decent volume.
Forth, use the analytics on your page to determine the best time to post. Is it in the morning? Evening? Find out and use it to your advantage. Instagram provides very deep and insightful analytics that you should use.
Fifth, engage with your followers. If they leave a comment, reply to that comment in a proper way to spark further engagement from that user.
Sixth, do not use any automation tools or fake services. This will most likely permanently kill your page and the only way to get out of it is to create a whole new page, so stay away from all of it. If you want to pay for engagement, then run native Instagram ADs from within the platform or from certified AD providers.