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Okay, time to get real with everyone. You know I like to have some #realtalk with y’all. If I hear the word “shadow banning” floating around my Facebook feed, or blogger groups, or another blog post about it I’m going to start telling people to get a life. Are you as sick of it as I am? I honestly feel like people are creating a hysteria over something that nobody really has any idea about but yet everyone is now the authority on it. If you’ve been living under a rock or for the people who stop by this space with their morning coffee for a quick break from work. A shadowban is what the new theory as to why everyone’s Instagram engagement has tanked. If you want to know my honest opinion, it’s tanking because hello Instagram is bought by Facebook. Remember the days you could share a story on your regular Facebook business page that you humbly created for your blog and it would go mini viral (at least 10-15k views) just because it was interesting and people clicked on it. Those days are looooonnng gone. The only way to get that kind of engagement now is to pony up those funds. Instagram is following in those footsteps and we aren’t dumb, it all started when they introduced the “business accounts” availability for your Instagram page. Ohhhhh….isn’t this so official! Everyone was so quick to jump on it without fully realizing there is now an option to “promote” your post. Aka start revving up that paypal account because Instagram wants your money now to be seen.
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Now someone with too much time on their hands came up with this newest click bait hysteria to get bloggers all jazzed up with the “shadowbanning” issue. Apparently, your hashtags are following into the same algorithms that if your post isn’t creating a lot of movement with likes or comments in the first 15 minutes of going live, it deems it not important and your post will not show up under that latest hashtag. There is also a lot of other theories that if you are very active, (or acting like a “bot” program) that you are being penalized as well. Don’t use very popular hashtags because yours will get buried, take a few days off of Instagram to “lift the ban“, etc. Everyone has lots of ideas to try to help drive that engagement back up.
Guys. Can everyone just chill the hell out! I know a lot of people rely on Instagram to grow their brand and land deals but seriously y’all have a life right? Like a real breathing most likely job, family, health, friends, and fun things that you like to do. Instagram is such make-believe. It’s pretty, curated, and a great place to get inspiration but it’s not real life. I’ve had a few things going on behind the scenes around here and have taken a few days off of the gram as I like to call it. Guess what? Every time I open my app, my follower count continues to rise, people come back to see your posts, and life goes on. Enough with the telegram groups, or I heard someone write about a “mafia” group the other day. All schemes of people trying to “outsmart” the system. Trust me. You’re not. Those algorithms are insanely advanced and no bot system or 30o person comment pod is going to crack it.
Here’s what I can tell you.
The posts that do that best for me are my highest quality shots. I already know if a post is going to be successful or tank. Here are a few examples of my top performing pictures in the last two weeks.
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Start analyzing what is making people stop on your post and giving it that engagement. Is it colorful? Does it show your personality? Maybe you are smiling in it? Do you have a new bag that people are lusting over? For me, everything pink and girlie is majorly trending for the Spring.
Here is the last piece of advice. Put the effort into what you can control. What platform do you own? Your blog. So many people have been pooh-poohing blogging lately. “It’s dead” “People want quick, mindless, and pretty“. “Nobody takes the time to read“. Well, you know what? I make the most amount of money through my blog. I have taken the time to grow this platform and develop true relationships on here. Instagram is so superficial. “Love that dress on you girl” “Yum, that looks so good“. Half the time you are probably talking to someone’s virtual assistant anyways. Blogging is a place to have real conversations and foster relationships. I have “met” so many amazing women without ever having been able to reach out and give most of you a hug. However, I have life events that I share with my blogging friends that I haven’t even told to my in real life friends. Isn’t that crazy??!?! I also get the most amount of Rewardstyle clicks and sales through this platform, remember this post?
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So that moral of my story today is stop spending so much time and energy on such an uphill losing battle. Create content you are proud of and put the time into writing good quality blog posts. YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER THAT. Not some 18-year-old silicon valley guy (I always think of that movie the Intern) who is tinkering away making algorithms that could one day take away an entire platform that you have put all your eggs into that basket. I don’t believe Instagram is going anywhere but it’s certainly is not going to have the same reach it did a year ago and that is a fact. Also, I switched my account back to personal. I miss the analytics but I do think it makes a little bit of a difference with the posts that are more popular. The business account, I always felt like there was a cap on my engagement and I never gave them a dime to promote. What are your thoughts on “shadowbanning” and Instagram right now? Have you gone back to your roots with blogging during all this craziness with Instagram? Tell me what you think!