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In the past couple of years one term in the Influencer Marketing landscape has been rising steadily: micro influencers or Micro Influencer Marketing.
In this article we will shine light on what is meant by the term “micro influencers”, why brands should collaborate with them and how to do Micro-Influencer Marketing efficiently. We are confident that you will find inspiration to take to your next marketing campaign meeting.
What is a micro influencer?
Who is a micro influencer differs a bit depending on who you ask. Some say it is anyone who has between 10 000 and 500 000 followers, others say between 1000 and 1 000 000 followers. In any case when one talks about micro influencers one does not talk about individuals who count their followers in the millions.
Micro influencers are not that widely followed, often because they are not such famous people or are operating in a niche. Thus, they attract a smaller audience, or smaller than what the Influencer Marketing branch has been used to.
The why are the companies now started to move away from these mega-stars and the possibility to reach millions? Why can a person with 40 000 followers on Instagram be a better choice than an individual with four million followers?
Why are micro influencers more effective than larger influencers?
1. Micro influencers have a higher engagement rate
According to many studies, when the amount of followers rises, the engagement rate starts to go down. For example a study by Influencer Marketing Hub states that one can expect a person with less than a 5000 followers to have an engagement rate of around 5,7%. Compared to that a person with up to 100 000 followers can only expect to have an engagement rate of around 2,4%.
The more followers a person has, the harder it is to engage a significant amount of followers. Millions of people have very varied interests which can’t be addressed in one post or story. This means that the brand collaborating with a big influencer is also paying for followers who might not even be interested in the offering.
With micro-influencers however the situation is different. They most often work in a tight niche by posting mainly only about one topic, let’s say fitness or beer brewing. This in turn means that almost all their followers share the same passion and interest. So when a micro-influencer is promoting a product which fits their lifestyle, it will also fit rather perfectly to the lifestyle of their followers.
Plus, an individual who has not yet risen to such an influencer stardom might also feel a lot more closer than a megastar. The deeper the relationship between the influencer and their followers, the more influential the person actually is.
2. Micro influencers are not as expensive
Bigger influencers have traditionally been receiving a lot of brand collaboration offers in their channels. Therefore, they know their value and will charge brands accordingly.
Smaller influencers do not yet have such a big follower base to be able to justify high prices. Thus, with micro-influencers brands can not only reach a more engaged audience but also with a fraction of the price associated with larger-scale influencers.
Of course as micro influencers get more popular, they will realise that they can also charge more. But at least for now they are a very cost-efficient choice.
3. Micro-influencers do less advertisement
More brand collaborations also mean more competition among the companies. Smaller-scale influencers who don’t yet do such a large number of promotions have not yet saturated their audience with advertisement. Thus, every brand collaboration can have more impact.
With bigger influencers there might even be a sign of promoted product fatigue. This can make the person not really care about what they are promoting, let alone bother to check what they are posting.
Thus, the more advertisement an influencer does the less authentic they can seem to become. As stated previously: the power of micro-influencers is based on higher engagement which is a result from high trust and authenticity. So they also need to pay attention that they don’t engage in too many brand collaborations which might turn off their followers.
How to find the right micro influencers?
Let’s say you have decided that the smaller-scale is the way to go. Let us therefore guide you with a few tips on how to find the right influencer. Just keep in mind that when it comes to micro-influencers, both the quality and quantity matter.
1. Look for influencers whose lifestyle fit with your brand and product
The main thing is of course to find a micro-influencers whose interests fit with your brand and product. That’ll make sure that the influencer’s audience will also be interested in your offering.
Be specific. For example if your beauty product is all-natural and vegan, you need to find micro-influencers who are all about vegan and natural products. Just any micro-influencer interested in beauty has already too broad an audience.
You can for example use hastags which are relevant for your product, to find influencers working in the same niche. Different influencer platforms also help the search, as they provide a pool of influencers from which to choose.
2. Calculate the engagement rate
The next step is to check how many followers the person has and calculate the engagement rate.
As stated in the study by Influencer Marketing Hub, a person with 30 000 followers should on average have an engagement rate of 3-4%. So he or she should get around 1000 likes and comments per post. In smaller countries where there is less competition the percentages can be even higher.
Keep in mind that these numbers are just averages, but your target influencers should still preferably hitting at least these numbers.
Search also for previous brand collaborations the influencer has been doing, and compare their engagement rate to the average engagement rate. If it is not significantly lower, then the audience seems to be okay with the influencer promoting products.
If however the sponsored posts always perform way worse than the non-promoted ones, then proceed with caution. The audience might not be into paid posts from this influencer.
3. Stay on the lookout for fake followers
Fake followers in Influencer Marketing is still a big problem. However, there are a few ways to make sure that the followers are at least mostly real humans.
An individual with a lot of fake followers has often a suspiciously high amount of followers compared to the amount of posts. It takes time to generate a large following, so a sudden rush in the amount of followers indicates that they have been bought.
Also if the influencer’s engagement rate is significantly lower than what is average to that many followers, then it also can indicate a large number of fake followers. Bots don’t engage.
In addition, you should make sure that the content the influencer posts are mostly their own. For example Instagram is full of accounts which have grown their follower base by just copying popular content from others.
However as bot accounts also just follow people hoping for a follow back, people can gather bot followers even without buying them. Lot of people don’t check regularly what kind of followers they have. But it should be done on occasion, as bot accounts can be kicked off from the follower list.
Finding the right micro influencers for your products does take time and effort. Luckily there are nowadays many services on the market which make finding the right micro influencers very easy.
How to make a micro-influencer marketing campaign successful?
Micro-influencer marketing campaign does not differ a lot from a bigger influencer campaign. The success factors are similar, but it is never a bad idea to repeat them:
1. Set tangible goals
Do you want to reach a new audience, make more sales or to strengthen your brand image? The goal setting will determine the whole campaign scope from the amount of the influencers and the tone of the posts all the way to the technical implementation.
2. Collaborate with a large number of micro-influencers
Don’t settle for just a couple of micro-influencers. There is always strength in numbers, so you should always have your products in the hands of as many suitable influencers as possible.
And if you are worried about not been able to develop a relationship with such many influencers, you don’t have to be. Micro-influencers can help you scale your Influencer Marketing efforts while at the same time you build a relationship with a few bigger key influencers.
3. Take care of all contract and legal issues
With micro-influencers you also need to create a contract regarding the collaboration. This is important for example regarding usage rights for the influencer’s content.
4. Write a specific brief
In order to avoid any misunderstandings or mistakes, create a very detailed brief for the influencers. Things like how to mention your company, which hastags to use and how the product should be present ensure that your brand will be presented the right way.
5. Set the technical aspects
You need to set up all the possible technical requirements like elements like discount codes and influencer-specific links. The links need to be added to the influencer’s bio or to their stories as CTAs.
You might also need to create a separate landing page just for the campaign.
Also remember to set your Analytics or any third-party analytics provider to track the visitors coming through that link.
6. Let the influencer have some freedom
Not only does the product need to match the influencer and their audience, but the post needs to also match the style of the individual. If the post comes straight from your marketing department without any reference to what the influencer is used to posting, then most likely the audience will not respond well.
7. Measure and analyse your campaigns
The metrics need to be determined in the goal setting phase. In that way at the end of the campaign it is easy to look at the numbers and determine whether the goals were hit.
If sales are your goal, then direct purchases and clicks from the bio link to your shop are the ones you need to measure. Don’t forget to dig into your attribution data to determine if the campaigns have been involved in the sales process indirectly.
Metrics like reach and engagement rate, or cost-per-engagement, are important if your goal is more brand awareness and consideration. But even when sales are your goal those metrics can be important micro conversions.
8. Re-use the influencers’ content
The influencers are content creators, who have the skills to make great pictures and write compelling texts. You should always consider to pay also for the usage rights for the influencer’s posts after the campaign. In that way you can receive high-quality content to be used on your own social media channels or on your website as testimonials.
Examples of successful micro-influencer campaigns
You don’t have to take our word for it, as the internet is full of successful micro-influencer campaigns for you to get inspired by. There are also examples of influencer campaigns gone horribly wrong, for you to make sure not to repeat the same mistakes.
You need to determine what success means to you, but whatever you do, let the individuality of the influencer shine through! Remember, they are the one who have the power over their audience, not you.
We hope that our tips were useful to you and that you now feel more confident with micro-influencer marketing. However we also understand that the post most likely did not answer all our questions. So don’t hesitate to ask a question in the comments, call us or send us an email!
In our “Employee interview” series we want to show what working at INFLURY is like, and of course present our amazing employees!
The first person to start the series is Arianna, an Influencer Marketing Manager.
What made you apply for INFLURY?
I didn’t actually apply here myself. I got a Linkedin message from the CEO Levin, asking me to have a call with him about a job opportunity. So I took a look at the website and thought that what they do is a very cool approach to Influencer Marketing. That’s why I decided to have a chat with him to see what he was offering.
Describe what you do on a daily basis
As an Influencer Marketing Manager I am responsible for the development and execution of various campaigns for our international clients. I lead a small team consisting of Junior Influencer Marketing Managers and interns, who support me in campaign management
My tasks include creating engaging and creative influencer campaign strategies for various brands who want to promote their products through influencers. I also manage and monitor all the phases of the campaigns – from choosing the influencers and shipping the products to the content review.
Besides campaign management I am also involved in improving the existing processes of the campaign team. So I do a lot of coordination and management in order to improve the team’s workflows.
How is it to work at INFLURY?
Everyone is friendly and there are no “labels” or hierarchy. As an employee you are free to communicate everything: every concern, every doubt, every idea. There is always someone willing to help or to listen.
What is that one thing you appreciate the most?
The openness towards new ideas. INFLURY is a very open-minded place to work as there is no fear for new suggestions or chancing the status quo if that leads to improve the processes.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned so far?
To not be afraid to express myself. Communication is often a big pain point for companies as people are often unsure about what they can or can’t say. But at INFLURY is not like that all as communication is valued very high, whether it’s criticising or complimenting.
If you could choose any brand or a person to do an Influencer Marketing campaign with, who would it be and why?
It would be any humanitarian association or a company dedicated to a good cause! It’s amazing to see how well also influencers react when it comes to charity or to sensitive actions related to environmental issues, animal protection and similar topics.
It’s very gratifying to contribute to such causes with Influencer Marketing. It proofs that marketing can be a very powerful tool if applied the right way.
Can you tell a funny anecdote or a memory from the office?
I have a lot of fun memories from Friday evenings at the office. We used to always stay long on a Friday, drink a beer and maybe go to grab a bite all together. For sure, INFLURY is not a boring office!
Alongside taking good care of our campaigns at work, what do you like to do on your free time?
I really enjoy working out and practicing yoga. It clears my mind after a whole day sitting in front of the laptop.
If you got intrigued by what Arianna has to say about working at INFLURY, feel free to take a look at our open positions! We are always looking for motivated individuals to help us build the company.
The Influencer Marketing industry may come to be the definitive milestone in the catalogue of advertising for the decade. However, it is still experiencing some serious concerns, which hinder companies from taking part in it. For example it has been estimated that influencer fraud will cost companies over a billion dollars in 2019.
In this article we will highlight and explain some of the main concerns for advertisers doing Influencer Marketing, and ways in which these issues can be combatted.
What are the 3 major Influencer Marketing Problems for companies?
The main problems can be divided into three categories: fraudulent behaviour, rising Influencer Marketing costs and the time-consuming management of the campaigns.
Fake followers might be one of the biggest concerns companies have when dealing with influencers. In order to encourage collaborations with brands, some aspiring influencers result in shady behaviour such as buying followers who are not actually real people.
The influencers might also not be aware that they have fake accounts. For example on Instagram certain bot accounts will follow you in the hopes of a follow back. If an influencer does not check all their follower accounts and clean the bot ones, they might end up being followed by fake followers even if they did not want it.
No matter if the influencers have fake followers willingly or not, it is still an issue. As brands are paying for the exposure to a certain number of individuals, with fake followers they are paying for nothing.
However, it is not easy to distinguish influencers with fake followers. A brand needs to undertake in extensive research of the influencer’s followers’ demographics, engagement rate and the follower growth rate, in order to determine a fraudulent behaviour. And even these are not full-proof methods. Combined with the extra time this adds to the creation of the actual campaigns, the prospect of undertaking such investigations becomes unappealing to businesses with limited resources.
Fake Brand Collaborations
Influencers can also result in faking brand collaborations in order to build a track record of successful campaigns. This means that these individuals have produced content that indicates a brand collaboration, without there actually being any. So for example a brand is be tagged in a post which it has not paid for.
Although the brand itself may not have an issue with this, the practise is still misleading. In an industry which is already plagued by fake followers, another way for the influencers to fake their popularity does not do any good in building the trustworthiness of Influencer Marketing as a respectable business.
In many countries there are already regulations for how to mark sponsored online content correctly, but it still does not mean that all influencers (or those aspiring to be one), are following the rules. Again, brands need to investigate a potential influencer’s account and posts further to determine her or his credibility.
Rising Influencer Costs
Influencers are aware of that they are on demand for brand collaborations, and popular individuals are bombarded with different requests. Hence, they know their worth and are charging brands accordingly, leading to increasing prices. But there is no common ground on how influencers should be charging for posts, meaning there is a lack of transparency when it comes to the costs of Influencer Marketing.
One thing is clear: the more followers the individual has, the more expensive s/he is. However, in terms of ROI, the larger influencers do not represent the best solution for most brands. Thus, more and more brands are focusing their Influencer Marketing activities on micro or nano influencers, with less than 10 000 followers. These influencers, although smaller, have a more targeted follower base. This often leads to a better brand fit, more engaged audience and a more affordable price.
Of course, due to the increasing demand for these smaller-level influencers, their prices are also set to rise in the future. And without a clear, common system system to which the price for a post is baed on (for example CPM), the fees of different influencers might differentiate a lot.
The Time It Takes
Creation of an influencer campaign takes a significant amount of time, and especially so when dealing with smaller-scale influencers. As mentioned previously, possible fraudulent behaviour makes the research for suitable influencers longer than it already can be.
And after you have found the fitting individuals contract negotiations and endless emails come into play. On top come the checking of posted content and gathering campaign metrics from various sources.
As the operational side of Influencer Marketing takes such a long time, there might not be enough time to really think of the campaign strategy.
How to Tackle Influencer Marketing Problems Automatically
Influencer Marketing has largely been a manually conducted activity. Manual research of influencers, manual contacting and negotiation, manual analytics. However, automated tools and platforms are more and more being used to counter some of the issues in the Influencing marketing industry. These solutions aim to reduce the negative effects of the problems previously discussed.
Combat Fake Followers
Some tools can be used to scan the influencers’ profiles. This aims to identify and flag possible for example fake followers with looking into the follower growth rate or engagement rate. These programmes make it thus easier to discount certain influencers to be automatically from the campaigns, or to double-check them manually later.
The benefits of automatisation in fraud prevention frees the campaign managers’ time to concentrate on the core aspects of the campaigns. More time can be spent on the actual campaign idea, and the campaigns can also be put live faster.
Other tools are tailored for the campaign management by making the the campaign creation process more efficient.
This can mean for example making it easier for a brand to locate suitable influencers, both from an engagement and brand fit point of view. Followers and audiences can be easily matched with the brand’s target market, enabling the participation of a large number of influencers.
Another tools can also help making the actual posting faster. Templates for posts and creative briefs eliminate misunderstandings, missing elements and make it easier to have a cohesive campaign even among multiple individuals.
Some tools also offer the chance to collect all the campaign analytics, such as reach, likes an bio link clicks easily in one place. There is thus no reason to rely on manually filing excel sheets, or example.
How to Tackle Influencer Marketing Problems with INFLURY
Although Influencer research can be done with tools, there is still a lot of steps which need to be done by humans:
- Reach out to Influencers
- Contract & Legal
- Quality Assurance (often called “Content Review”)
- Reporting & Analysis
Thus, successful Influencer Marketing campaigns demand a lot of time and thus also a lot of personnel. Which in turn means there is often only a few influencers per any given campaign, as there just is not enough people to take care of a bigger amount of people. Scaling the campaigns is thus difficult.
In order to truly scale your Influencer Marketing efforts, you will need a large team handling all the aforementioned. Or you need pay for an agency to take care of it all for you. Or, you can hire a mix between a software, platform and agency, to truly help you make Influencer Marketing successful.
After running a lot of campaigns with our clients, we have worked hard to automate our process even more. Today, you can set up a predictable Influencer Marketing campaign, executing your concept, without having you to worry about the above-mentioned steps.
If you are curious how you can get with cost-effective Influencer Marketing campaigns, then we should definitely meet! Our Influencer Marketing Experts can create a free content strategy for you in order to showcase how we could help your brand. Just schedule a meeting and we will contact you!
How do the digital marketing people in Germany see Influencer Marketing? What are the most prominent questions and concerns that marketers have related to it? By talking with dozens of marketers from a variety of industries at DMEXCO, our sales team could pin-point a few of the most pressing themes in Influencer Marketing.
How to find the right influencers
The theme of the conference this year was “Trust In You”, and most of the questions our team received fit with it perfectly. Influencer Marketing means companies have to practically trust their brands in the hands of strangers, so they had a lot of questions regarding influencer quality.
How to spot influencers with fake followers was a big topic. Companies can’t of course have their products advertised by people whose audiences are not real humans. So being able to filter out those kinds of fake influencers is crucial.
Another popular discussion topic was influencer match. How to find the influencers who have the best brand fit? Or it should actually be asked this way: which influencers’ audience could be interested in the company’s offering? The answer has two sides: the influencer needs to talk about topics which match the company’s product or service and their audience needs to be engaged enough.
Many studies of influencer types and their engagement rates have shown, that when the amount of a person’s followers increases, the engagement rate decreases. So they are able to truly engage less and less people in relation to their followers.
This means that the company’s offering is seen by a large amount of people who are not really interested in it. Thus, the most engaged audience is the audience from so-called micro-influencers, who work in a tight niche.
How to drive sales with Influencer Marketing
Driving sales and revenue is in the end the main goal of all marketing efforts. However, people have been struggling to do it with Influencer Marketing, as it was discussed at DMEXCO.
Many marketers seem to have difficulties seeing Influencer Marketing as a part of the customer journey. There is a lack of knowledge on how to use it to reach marketing goals, from growing brand awareness to advertising to existing customers.
And based on the discussions, we can identify the problem as the following:
Influencer Marketing is not treated as Performance Marketing
There seems to be a misalignment with what marketers want to get out of Influencer Marketing and how it is done. It is often perceived as a performance-based effort which needs to be measured, but many people still act like they are doing brand marketing. This makes it hard to generate sales and revenue as the actions are not aligned with the desired outcome.
Marketers appear to think it is more important to have a good personal relationship with all their influencers instead of aiming for campaign results. Therefore it can be hard to scale Influencer Marketing efforts as one can only have a very deep relationship with a limited number of influencers. This in turn leads to a lack of measurement, as there just is not enough people to take care of it.
As Influencer Marketing is being balanced between brand and performance, it does not seem to have established metrics. Engagement metrics such as likes and comments are important, but they are soft, more brand-related metrics.
If Influencer Marketing is really seen as a part of Performance Marketing, its effect on revenue and sales needs to be measured accordingly. And with today’s technology there are ways of doing just that.
What kind of companies could do Influencer Marketing
Quite a few German digital marketers also seem to have a bit old-fashioned view of Influencer Marketing. They think it is something for beauty products or fashion companies only, and thus are hesitant to even get started with it. Our team also talked with companies who are offering a service and don’t quite realize that it can also be advertised as a product.
Also a few offline retails came to talk with us about how Influencer Marketing could work for them. So bridging the gap between online and offline worlds with carefully set KPIs is a growing theme.
Our sales team also talked with a lot of niche and DIY companies, who have already done Influencer Marketing successfully before, and were now looking for ways of scaling their efforts. So it seems that Influencer Marketing is not just for big companies anymore, and definitely not just for beauty and fashion brands.
B2B Influencer Marketing, meaning advertising products or services via online professionals, was also a topic that was discussed quote a lot. However, as professionals are not interested in growing their influence through paid efforts, there is nothing happening in that field yet. But the theme is already there, so we will wait and see how it will develop or if it will fade away.
Influencer Marketing seems to be a new topic for many of the marketers at the conference, so they don’t know exactly how to approach it. The lack of a systematic, performance-oriented approach and clear metrics make it hard to scale.
Also, the market needs to move away from the relationship focus. A company does not need to have a deep relationship with all the influencers they are cooperating with, in order to successfully do Influencer Marketing. A shallower relationship with many smaller-scale influencers makes it possible to scale Influencer Marketing activities and at the same time nurture a deep relationship with a few brand ambassadors.
All in all, our team was happy to be able to discuss with so many German digital professionals get a better understanding of the questions a lot of companies have. If you happen to have any questions regarding Influencer Marketing, you can at any time shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Or if you want to have a consultation about whether or not Influencer Marketing could be something for your company, just schedule a call with one of our experts! They are more than happy to help you.
Last night Instagram Meme Pages were deleted by the Social Media. A minimum of 30 Instagram-Accounts posting memes have been removed from the Social network. Due to violations of their terms and conditions the Meme-Pages have been deleted, Instagram is saying.
“These accounts were disabled following multiple violations of our policies, including attempted abuse of our internal processes,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot in an email statement.
this is the endgame. 40m+ followers and over $600k+ in accounts lost in two days. @instagram @facebook fucking own up to what you did and rollback, you can’t stay silent in this. peronally lost 600k+ followers for no good reason. #reactivatespicy #memepurge pic.twitter.com/xpgy8KrH2d— Ben (@spicymp4) July 27, 2019
Here is a list of some deleted Instagram-Meme accounts:
Instagram is designed with two goals in mind. Maximizing the time you spend using the platform and monetizing this presence by selling your attention to advertisers. The more time you spend on the app, the more money they make. The Instagram algorithm was built to keep you on the app for longer. The posts that captivate us the most are those with “high engagement statistics”. The algorithm is designed to rank your feed, showing these posts first. This means that accounts you like and engage with will often be displayed at the top of the feed. The algorithm is constantly changing, as the company tweaks the criteria for what constitutes an “engaging” post, but we are here to help you to take full advantage of the system currently in place.
The History of Instagram
In order to understand the functionality of the Instagram algorithm, it is useful to consider the history of the company. When the app was released in 2010, it went from a handful of users to the number one free photography app in a matter of hours. By December of the same year, Instagram had over 1 million users. Shortly after the release of the Android version of the app in 2012, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for a whopping $1billion. By December of the same year, the new management was already causing controversy with changes to its Terms of Service. Facebook enabled Instagram to sell its users’ photos without notification or compensation. This policy was later retracted due to an overwhelming consumer backlash. Despite this rocky start, Instagram continued to grow exponentially under the new management throughout the next years.
Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram influenced the way that the app was designed on a technical and conceptual level. For example, the app began to utilise a storage technology called Cassandra, developed by Facebook. Another notable change came in March 2016, with the implementation of the Instagram algorithm.
History of the Algorithm
When Instagram first came out in 2010, the feed was simply organized chronologically. However as the company grew, and the popularity of the app skyrocketed, it became harder to keep up with the sheer quantity of content. So they decided to implement an algorithm to help organize that content more effectively. The goal was to show users content more relevant to them which not only makes the overall experience of Instagram more enjoyable but again keeps them using it.
When Instagram first introduced the algorithm, people were, to put it lightly, discontent. A petition called “Keep Instagram chronological” on Change.org even gained around 70,000 signatures in only 24 hours. However, since the algorithm was implemented, users have been more actively engaging with the community, liking and commenting on more photos.
How it Works
Your Instagram feed is unique, personalized based on the posts you like and interact with. The algorithm uses machine learning to predict the posts you will like the most, based on your past engagement. Even if you follow the same accounts as someone else, you will not see the same content. The feed is based on how you have previously interacted with posts. Tech Crunch
So how exactly does the algorithm work? After a post, the algorithm shows that post as a percentage of total followers. This process measures the level of engagement, in comparison to similar posts from the past. This data is used to predict engagement from each of your followers compared to all other posts, from all of the other accounts they follow, since they last opened the app. Hacker noon. Every time you log in and see the home feed, it resets to display a new set of posts.
There are three main factors which determine the order of your Instagram feed: interest, proximity in time, and relationship. The first refers to the prediction of your in potential interest in a post, given your past behaviour on similar content. The second factor, is when the post was shared, with priority given to more recent posts. Lastly, your relationship to the person sharing the post affects its ranking. Posts shared by people you interact with frequently, by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos, are pushed to the top of your feed.
In addition to these main factors, there are three other features that influence post rankings, these are frequency, following and usage. Frequency refers to how often you open the app. The algorithm adjusts to show you what it considers to be the best posts uploaded since your last visit. The number of people you follow also influences your feed. The more people you follow, the bigger the pool of posts for the algorithm to choose from. So you will generally see less content of any individual accounts. How long you spend on the app also determines if you’re seeing a small selection of posts curated by the algorithm at the top of your feed. This provides a comprehensive view of the content posted by the accounts you follow. As you continue to browse, you will eventually see all of the content posted by the accounts you follow.
Is Instagram “shadowbanning” users for using repetitive hashtags?
- Shadowbanning is “the act of blocking a user’s content on social media sites, in such a way that the user doesn’t know it’s happening. If you’re shadowbanned on Instagram, your content won’t appear on anyone’s feed unless they already follow you.” When the algorithm was first released, many Instagram accounts were affected by a mysterious glitch in the app, which was shadowbanning posts if users repeated the same hashtags too often––which Instagram considered as spammy behaviour.
- Although Instagram doesn’t openly admit to shadowbanning, there is a possibility that the algorithm does limit the visibility of accounts that display spammy behaviour. In order to avoid being potentially shadowbanned, make sure that you do not use automated posting tools or bots, and that you’re not using broken hashtags
Does posting more hurt your performance in the Instagram algorithm?
- No. Posting more often will not hurt your account’s performance in the feed. However, if you post several times in a row, there is a high likelihood that another account’s content will be placed in between your posts.
Does the Instagram algorithm favour specific kinds of content?
- There are many theories about the algorithm favouring specific post formats, specifically recently released features, in order to promote Instagram’s latest innovations. However, this is just an urban legend. Instagram’s feed ranking method does not favour users who use Stories, Live, or other special features of the app. Furthermore, feed ranking does not favour the photo or video format uniformly. People’s feeds are sorted based on what kind of content they engage with most. Thus, if you never pause while scrolling to watch videos, you might see fewer of them.
Click here to read our tips on how to beat the algorithm!
In order to optimize your Instagram account to achieve the best possible performance. It is key, not only to understand the Instagram algorithm but also why it exists in the first place. The Instagram algorithm is built to keep you on the app for longer. It uses machine learning to predict and rank the posts you will like the most, based on your past engagement. Why? The company is seeking to prolong your time on the app in order to make a profit. Instagram makes money by selling our time and attention to their clients, advertisers. The algorithm is constantly changing, as the company tweaks the criteria for what constitutes an “engaging” post, but this article will show you how to take full advantage of the system currently in place.
The three main factors which determine the order of your Instagram feed are interest, proximity in time, and relationship. Interest refers to the algorithm’s prediction of your potential interest in a post, given your past behaviour on similar content. When the post was shared also influences its placement in the feed––with priority given to more recent posts. Lastly, your relationship to the person sharing the post. Posts shared by people you frequently interact with are pushed to the top of your feed. In addition to these main factors, there are also three other features that influence post rankings: frequency, following and usage. (For more information on how the Instagram algorithm works check out our article: ‘Everything you need to know about the Instagram Algorithm’).
There is no universal ‘hack’ or formula that you can use to beat the Instagram algorithm, however, there are certain things you can do to make sure that your content performs well in the feed. This being said, here are our 5 best tips to grow your account using your new found understanding of the Instagram algorithm.
Always post when your audience is most active on Instagram.
If you randomly post at times when fewer of your followers are on the app, your content is less likely to gain engagement quickly and the algorithm is more likely to push your post down the feed.
Use the ‘insights’ feature of your Instagram account to monitor when your audience is most active on the app. Unfortunately, this is not available to personal accounts yet. This means that in order to access this tool, you will need to use a ‘business’ account on Instagram. You can switch your account from personal to business in the settings tab. The insights section is a native analytics tool. It is useful because it provides data about your engagement statistics as well as audience activity and demographics.
Apps such as Hootsuite and Later can also be useful in order to gain more insights and statistics about your account as well as schedule your content to automatically post at a specific date and time. This way you can save time and plan ahead with what and when to post.
Measure your engagement data to gain an understanding of your audience’s interests.
In order to be able to measure and analyse your engagement statistics using the Instagram insights tool, you need to be frequently creating new content, or you won’t have anything to measure. Once you have posted a variety of content at different times and tried a few different strategies and techniques, you will then be able to start analyzing your strategies. You will be able to measure which posts perform the best and which ones your audience engages with most to get an objective understanding of what captures your audience’s attention. It is then up to you to analyze this information and figure out a pattern.
Focus on creating fresh and unique content.
To be favoured by the algorithm, one needs to create content that is highly differentiated, within a category that isn’t saturated. It is crucial to be as unique and compelling as possible, within your content category. The algorithm determines a post’s ranking depending on the likelihood of engaging a user, in comparison to everyone else they follow. So, if there are many users creating content similar to yours, it lowers your chances of being ranked highly.
This is why it is key to create content in a category which isn’t saturated. An easy way to find out how many people are also posting about your chosen topic is by looking at the number of posts under the most popular hashtag about your topic. The more posts there are, the higher the saturation of your chosen topic.
Create engaging content.
Because we know that the total percentage of our audience, depends on how a small percentage of them engages with each new post, we have to maximize the engagement potential of every post. You can create engaging content by using a variety of different formats, leveraging hashtags, humorous captions, posing challenges or questions to your followers, etc.
One great example of how to do this is a Call to Action (CTA). Some of the most popular Instagram Call to Action formulas include “double tap if….”, “tag your friend who…”, “comment your favourite…” etc.
In order to optimize your engagement potential, it is important to use all of the resources and tools available on the app including stories and the live feature. That way you keep your content varied while still maintaining a consistent presence in the feeds of your followers and attracting new viewers.
Engage with your community
After you have created unique and engaging content, it’s time to make sure that it is seen by interested users. Keep in mind that the first hour after you post is crucial––the more likes and comments you receive during that time period, the higher your post is ranked in the algorithm.
In order to maximize the engagement potential, it is crucial to be active within the Instagram community. By following other users and liking and commenting on posts related to your account, you increase your visibility which helps you gain new followers and increase the engagement on your own posts.
Using hashtags correctly is crucial to increase your reach, as well as your community
Another way to maximize engagement and increase traffic to your account is cross-promotion. This means promoting your post on other social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat.
Although the algorithm is constantly being updated, the overall goal of the company does not. Remember, Instagrams primary goal is to make money. If you want to grow a following you must consider this. But most of all, take time with your content, think creatively and produce content that is
To understand what changes can be applied to the Instagram algorithm in the future, it is essential that you first learn about the history of the Instagram Algorithm.
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