When it comes to best practise on Instagram, there are many rumours that circulate the creator community.
We see how it happens. Instagram launches a new feature or functionality, users get confused about what it all means – and rumours, myths and conspiracy theories begin to spread.
We wanted to crack these rumours once and for all, so went live on our Instagram with Alexander de Leon, Instagram’s Product Marketing Lead. He shared his insider knowledge to debunk five top Instagram myths.
Myth #1: “Paid Partnership tags will reduce my reach and engagement.”
Instagram’s response: Alexander confirmed, “From all of our internal data, there is no evidence that suggests using the Paid Partnership tag will affect your post’s organic reach or engagement.”
However, he did share his “unofficial working hypothesis”.
“In many cases, it isn’t the Paid Partnership tag leading to a decline in engagement, it’s the post itself. Your audience expects a certain type of non-sponsored content, so when they get sponsored content, it can sometimes be a little jarring, causing a different response. This can especially be the case when brands sap all of the creativity out of collaborations, leaving you little creative control, which comes across as inauthentic”
Solution: “Always be transparent with your audience and proactively disclose all of your paid partnerships so your followers can expect this type of content from you.” That’s why Vamp gives its influencers creative control over their content to encourage authentic brand partnerships.
Myth #2: “Shifting from a private account to a business or creator account will hinder my engagement.”
Instagram’s response: Alexander confirmed “there is no truth behind this claim, nor is there any internal data to back it up.” Switching from a private account to a business or creator account will not affect your organic reach or engagement. Instagram’s different account types are only there for users to gain further account value and insights.
Solution: Creators should switch to a creator account and use its features to increase their engagement. Insights on your post performance and follower activity will help you tailor your content and scheduling. Plus there’s a DM inbox that’s easier to manage the hundreds of daily messages you receive.
Myth #3: “Instagram’s algorithm prioritises certain features and content in the feed.”
Instagram’s response: “Instagram’s algorithm is customised to each individual user” explained Alexander. “There’s also machine learning that’s applied to understand what content an individual may like” So if a user regularly engages with makeup tutorial videos, their algorithm will recognise this trend and start to surface similar content to their feed. It will prioritises the content that a user frequently engages with, because it knows they are going to like it.
Solution: To help surface your content into the feeds of more followers, Alexander suggests to focus on “creating exceptional content that more followers will engage with and share with others.” Other great tips include engaging in community management and encouraging your audience to turn on post notifications so they don’t miss anything.
Myth #4: “Creating every type of content Instagram has to offer will benefit my accounts performance.”
Instagram’s response: According to Alexander, this one is actually true. “Instagram has found that the most successful creators on the platform are those who use all of the different features available. This includes in-feed posts, Stories, IGTV’s, Lives and in some markets, Reels.”
Solution: Instagram encourages creators to use all of the different features available to help build your audience and return data which is going to help you understand how your audience responds to different content types. For example, if you notice your audience responds better to Reels content over in-feed videos, you can pivot your strategy and start to create more Reels content to increase engagement.
Myth #5: “There’s an optimum number of hashtags to use, and using too many may affect your discoverability.”
Instagram’s response: “No data suggests that there is an optimum number of hashtags to use. Adding 14 instead of 15 will not have any effect on your posts performance. Although hashtags do help the discoverability of your content – if used correctly – they shouldn’t be relied on as the main growth driver.”
Solution: Users who scroll through hashtag feeds, or follow certain hashtags, are already engaging with that type of content. So avoid using lots of hashtags – that aren’t relevant to your work – just to try get in front of the eyes of more people. This won’t secure engagements or follows. Instead, research different community hashtags that are relevant to your content niche. For example, #dametraveler for travel bloggers, #manipulationteam for adobe photoshop artists or #flatlaynation for flatlay photographers.