As a social media manager, a lot of the work I do is on Instagram. This platform in particular relies heavily on client participation. Unlike other platforms, I can’t generate content on my own. Instagram users are required to post original content, and it’s all photos or videos. So why would someone on the other side of the country need to hire me? Why can’t they just post the photos themselves?
Because it’s all about the hashtags.
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, which is a great way to get your post more exposure. Hashtags help like-minded people find your content when they do a search for a specific hashtag or go the tag page. But coming up with 30 hashtags can be difficult on its own, let alone also having to use with the most relevant terms that Instagram won’t block!
Have you ever heard of a shadowban? It’s when Instagram disconnects user photos from their hashtags. A shadowban hides your Instagram posts from users who don’t follow you. When you use Instagram for business, this can be problematic because your engagement and follow rates will drop. The problem is that users can’t really tell if they’ve been shadowbanned because everything looks normal. Users only discover their photos are banned after noticing a drop in engagement.
Instagram for Business released a statement recently about shadowbanning concerns. Here are the takeaways:
don’t use the same hashtags over and over
don’t use generic hashtags
don’t use hashtags that are off-brand
make it clear that the photo is your own
don’t be inappropriate
When I post on Instagram, it takes me about half an hour per post – sometimes more! I make sure to tag everyone who needs to be tagged; I always list locations; I make sure there are no misspellings or inaccuracies; I ensure I’m using the proper format (single post vs. collage vs. slideshow); and I go through the process of selecting high-frequency hashtags. As you can see from my example below, just because we’re in the limousine industry doesn’t mean I use #Limo in every single post! In fact, I make it a point not to overuse it.
After I post to Instagram, I decide if it’s appropriate to share on Facebook. I never share Instagram photos on Twitter because Facebook owns Instagram, so if you share from Instagram to their competitor (Twitter), it populates as a link and not an image, which looks incredibly sloppy! I then check to make sure none of my hashtags were blocked and monitor the post over the next few days to ensure the post analytics are on track and the account hits its post goals.
Using Instagram effectively is much more than just posting awesome pictures. The strategic work a social media manager does is invaluable to overall client goals.
If you would like to learn more or talk about your Instagram or social media strategy, please reach out to Aleja at email@example.com.