Over the past few months, you may have noticed that your Instagram engagement rates (the number of likes + comments + new followers you get on posts) are going down, even if you haven’t done anything differently. Why?
Instagram is cracking down on fake follower accounts – they’ve used software to auto-detect and remove fake accounts before, but now their software has harnessed machine learning tools to pinpoint falsely inflated engagement rates.
As a creator & social media user, it’s important for you to know how to spot fake followers & comments, too. Here are a few giveaways:
- Nonsensical, often emoji-filled comments that have little or nothing to do with the actual content of a photo + caption.
- Generic comments like, “Pretty pic!” or, “I love this”
- An account with tons of followers but terrible content – OR an account with only a handful of followers, but that follows thousands of accounts.
Buying more followers & likes/comments on Instagram is tempting – we get it. You need more followers & a higher engagement rate to attract more followers, get featured on the Instagram community page, and attract the interest of brands for sponsorships. We’re here to tell you, don’t.do.it. There are tons of services (i.e. FakeCheck.co, IG Audit, etc) that brands use to detect fake followers & engagement.
So, how can you naturally increase your Instagram enagement rate?
- Schedule your posts for when your audience is most active on Instagram, which increases the likelihood of comments & likes. This means that the Instagram algorithm will be more likely to prioritize your posts in your fans’ feeds.
- Include a clear CTA (Call to Action) in the text of every post. “Leave a comment telling me which new palette you want me to try!” “Comment below with your fave holiday cookie recipe, I want to bake something fun this weekend!”
- Be active on Instagram Stories. There’s no confirmed correlation between using IG stories and getting prioritized in feeds by the IG algorithm, but it definitely seems to be the case. Plus, IG Stories are a great way to plug your regular IG photos, IGTV videos, and content on your other social media channels.
P.S. Need help calculating your engagement rate? Try this easy formula: