Ever since we started dreaming up Oh My Digital two years ago, we’ve been on a mission to bring transparency and honesty to the world of digital marketing, A.K.A cut out the BS. For every amazing digital marketer we know, sadly there are 15 cowboys spouting misinformation. It’s no wonder most business owners are left feeling totally bamboozled with all of the conflicting advice out there. One of the tactics we see rumours about the most would have to be marketing through Instagram. Over the years, Instagram has slowly started to address these and confirm they are untrue, so this post today is based on what we’ve heard straight from the horse’s mouth, as well as our own personal experience building our own profile and managing numerous Instagram accounts for our clients.
So in the interest of less BS, let’s jump right into the good stuff!
MYTH 1: You can be shadow banned on Instagram for using certain hashtags
There is an (unfortunately common) belief that accounts will be penalised or have their content hidden by Instagram if they use certain hashtags on their posts. Now, Instagram will put the brakes on you if you are being genuinely spammy (e.g. sending the same direct message to more than 30 people at the same time or unfollowing 100 accounts in one day) or if your account has been reported and proven to contain explicit or inappropriate content, but your account is not going to be terminated because you added #dogsofinstagram to a post.
Instagram will also occasionally block results from showing on some hashtag searches if they are inappropriate or frequently being used on inappropriate content. When people report being shadow banned, usually they are just experiencing the effect of their content not being seen because a hashtag they are using has been blocked – it is not that their actual account or its content is being hidden at all.
With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to search up a hashtag before you start using it – even seemingly innocent words can have unexpected double meanings online. So just be mindful of what you’re using, switch up your hashtags regularly and you won’t have to worry. Ultimately, shadow banning is NOT a thing.
MYTH 2: Instagram favours personal profiles
This is also but a mere rumour. But where did it come from? Originally, Instagram accounts could only ever be set up as a personal profile. That is, everyone from Coca Cola to your Aunt Sally had the same type of account. Now with the option to convert an account into a Business profile, brands can have contact buttons, engagement insights and plenty of other little goodies that make it easier for potential customers to engage with your business while also allowing you to measure the effectiveness of your posts.
Somehow, somewhere, some people who did convert to business accounts believed they were suddenly receiving less engagement. But was Instagram really punishing business accounts? No. How can we tell? Well, for one, Instagram made the following statement “Instagram does not give extra feed presence to personal accounts or business accounts”, and secondly, it just doesn’t make any damn sense.
Rudimentarily speaking, Instagram’s business model is to make money from brands advertising on its platform – so it simply doesn’t make sense for them to do anything that would drive brands away. In fact, Instagram needs to make brands love it as much as possible, which is precisely why they brought out features like business profiles and insights in the first place. Case closed!
MYTH 3: Instagram only shows your posts to 7% of your followers
Sorry but this one is just completely made up. Instagram is not trying to limit the amount of people who see your posts, and the 7% figure is completely plucked from thin air, but it is true that 100% of your followers will not see 100% of what you post.
It’s not because anyone is out to get you, it’s just simple mathematics. Imagine 1000 people follow you, and each of them is following an average of 500 accounts that each post daily. That’s 500 posts each day in their news feed – is it really realistic to expect that every single one of your 1000 followers is going to look through 500 posts every single day? No way!
So some posts will always go unseen, but if you’re posting great quality content that’s relevant to your target audience and they fit a demographic that is active on Instagram – then you will have the best possible chance of your posts getting seen by your followers. Simples!
We hope this post has helped you feel more confident using Instagram for your business.
We know all the conflicting advice about platforms like Instagram can get overwhelming, so we’ve put together all the learnings that helped us turn Oh My Digital into a full-time business and get 50% of our leads through Instagram into an online workshop for you. It’s self-paced so you can access the content anytime, and you’ll even get to join our alumni group for ongoing help and advice throughout your training and beyond!
Want to join us? You can learn more or enrol here
About TDP’s Guest Contributor….
Hayley is the pro at strategy, big ideas and data. She has been working in the marketing industry for over 8 years, mainly in the retail and agency space, specialising in digital marketing. Her passion for coming up with unique strategies for small businesses and startups to implement and use to build their businesses makes her a unique part of the Oh My Digital team. Her other loves include her cocker spaniel, horror movies, red wine and her ridiculous pink Toyota Yaris.
Katy is the content queen who uses her storytelling writing skills to take on unique brand perspectives and give Oh My Digital a balanced marketing team. She’s a marketing professional who has worked across a wide range of brands including non-profits, professional services, lifestyle and technology. Today she helps small businesses and startups build their brand online and grow their business through digital marketing. She loves dogs, coffee and rap music (in no particular order).
Thank you Hayley and Katy for sharing your valuable Instagram tips and providing reliable information about 3 common myths for all of our women in business out there!
Stay up to date with all the latest from Oh My Digital, who help biz owners build their brand online with no BS advice and strategy on Instagram!