As many of you noticed, I started a new Instagram account (@FreedomEvermore) a few weeks ago. Even though I have 10K+ followers on my Planet Manel account, I decided that Freedom Evermore is my main account from now on. Now you might think, why would you do that? Many Instagrammers would love to have 10K+ followers and starting over, means that I will lose all these followers (and losing the SwipeUp, which I admit.. I do miss!). This is true. But I have a very good reason. Instagram was not giving me any joy anymore and I will tell you why.
Why did I start a new Instagram account?
I started Planet Manel to stay in touch with like minded people and to promote my blog. In the beginning it grew very slowly, then it grew very quickly for a while and then it slowed down a bit more again. Which was fine, because I kept the same group of people I was interacting with and it was fun. But then from about April/May this year my interaction went down down down. I didn’t know why, because I wasn’t doing anything different. Because of this I was less and less active. I didn’t post as much anymore and I didn’t really comment on anything anymore. Less people were seeing my posts, I lost followers and I went from 250-500 likes a post to 30-40 likes. I maybe got 1-2 comments on every post and only a few DM’s a week. The fun was gone and for months I was not motivated enough to be active. When I saw that more people had this problem, I started to research it a little and found out that this is becuase of the algorithm that Instagram changed, around spring time. For a while I tried really hard to beat it and to get back to where I was. A lot of my followers stopped following me over the summer and I felt like it was an impossible job to get back in touch. So I started to play with the idea of starting something new, but I wasn’t sure for a long time. However, bit by bit I started to see benefits if I would. I was also able to start fresh, create a new style and to grow a super strong community from the start. So about a month ago I decided that I was going to give it a try. Great decision!
When my Planet Manel account really started to grow (a few years ago), I was spending a lot of time on my phone and I wanted to reduce this. I thought by buying likes (that were given automatically on the hashtags I provided), I was still able to give likes, whilst spending less time on my phone. And this worked for a while. I actually met lovely people through this, but I also noticed that I got more distant from my followers this way. So I maybe did this for about a year and then stopped it again. I think, because I did this, my account was seen as dodgy and the algorithm hit me hard in the beginning of this year. Even though I stopped paying for likes ages ago. So please learn from this.. and never do this. It doesn’t work long term and eventually it takes away all the fun. There is no winning.
Let’s beat the algorithm!
When starting my new account I researched and learned more about the algorithm. I don’t want this to happen again, so I prepared myself from the start. I also really want to build a strong community. I do not only want to focus on the relationship I have with my followers, but I want my followers to be a real group of like minded people, with lots of interaction. This way we can use Instagram to help each other, to inspire each other and to motivate each other. I want to make it fun again! Many of you told me that you suffer from the algorithm and this is why I decided to write down everything I know and this way we can help each other. I divided it into 2 simple sections ‘What to do’ and ‘What not to do’. There are tips to work with the algorithm, but also tips to make your account more attractive to people. Let’s make Instagram fun again and use it the way we want to; let’s spread positive energy! Are you with me?!
WHAT TO DO:
-Post every day: Try to at least post once a day. This will make sure that the algorithm (and your followers) knows your account is ‘active’.
-Post videos: Instagram really is upping their video share. They want you to spend as much time on their app as possible. Pictures make someone stay for a few seconds and videos can makes people stay minutes.
-Swap your personal account to a business account: this way you can keep track of the analytics and, for example, make better choices of what and when to post.
-Post when people are most active: Check where most of your followers are from and makes sure your post when they are awake and active (popular times: early morning after waking up, lunch time and around dinner time).
-Use hashtags: use popular hashtags that are resonating with the picture you are posting and with what your account is about.
-Use Instagram Stories: Post a few stories a day, throughout the day. This will keep your followers see you a few times a day and they are more likely to connect with you.
-Encourage your followers to turn on notifications: By turning on notifications, the person makes sure they will not miss anything you post. This way your posts will not get ‘lost’.
-Go live from time to time and save it: this way you automatically move to the beginning of everyone’s stories.
-Tag locations: This makes it easy to find things for your followers. This doesn’t only make your post more interesting, but it also will show your picture to everyone who looks at that particular location.
-Pre write and plan: Plan your posts. This way you will be more consistent. Write your posts (a week or weeks) in advance and make sure you have enough content to go with it. There are even certain apps that will help you with this. They will help you showing what your account will look like and you can also schedule your posts. This will help you with timing, but also with spending less time thinking and writing during the day. This way you can focus on interacting a lot more.
-High quality pictures: A high quality picture will attract more people to your post/account than a poor quality picture. Simple as that. Bright pictures often do better than dark pictures, but you can mix it up as well.
-House style: Before posting anything, create a house style. Use the same: filters, colours, fonts etc. Make sure that your followers will recognise your style. People are also naturally attracted to things that look pretty and in harmony.
-Overall look: More people will be attracted to your account when the overall look is better. This is also part of your house style actually. Choose a few colours and stick with it. Show harmony and just make it look attractive.
-Meaningful posts: Make sure that your posts mean something and add something to someone’s life.
-Ask away: Ask questions in your posts, this way it will make your followers think about what you wrote and it is more likely they will write a comment.
-Comment: Many people don’t know, but comments are more important than likes. I personally think they are more fun too! Comments make you more visible and visible for longer.
-Be personal and real: I like it when I can see the real person behind the account and so this is the same for your followers. Make sure that people can see you and you being real. Post pictures and videos of you, your life and of what you are all about. You can make it as personal as you want of course, that is all up to you.
-Shoutouts/tagging: Show your love, appreciation and support by tagging people and giving them shoutouts. I really like this and I also discovered a lot of really inspiring people on Instagram through this.
-Run contests, challenges and giveaways: This is fun and makes your followers more engaged, also with each other! It also makes you visible for the followers of your followers and this way you can meet more awesome people.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
-Pay for followers or likes: Never buy followers or likes. When the algorithm picks up on this, your account will be listed as spam and this is no good. You will be less visible for everyone.
-Edit your post: You can edit your post, but wait 2 hours after posting. So please wait with adding/taking away things or with correcting any spelling mistakes. The algorithm finds this suspicious and it results in you moving down, what makes you less visible.
-Comment with just emoticons: Instagram do not recognise an emoticon as a comment, so always make sure you add text.
After reading all this, I hope you can see that the most important thing on Instagram is to be real and interactive. And if you think about it, and what you will notice when you apply all this, is that Instagram will be so much more fun this way. So in a way I think that the algorithm helps you. I hated it at first, but it also showed me that the way to enjoy it and to get more out of it, is to be more active and real. I now get more likes, comments and DM’s with 150+ followers than I got with 10K+ followers. My followers can see me again and I can see them. I met so much beautiful people through this within a month. It also challenges me to actually read things and to actually be inspired and be motivated. So, instead of trying to fight it, go with it!
Did you know all this and are you already applying some of these things? If yes, great job and let’s connect. If not, try it out and let’s connect! Let us all connect! See you on Instagram! I want to thank you for reading this and I hope it will help you. X