If you know anything about social media marketing, you know just how tough it can be to keep up with ever-changing social platforms. From testing hiding like counts to all the innovation from Stories, Instagram specifically has gone through a lot of changes over the past few months.
In our most recent #SMTLive Twitter chat, we wanted to do a roll call of sorts as to how everyone has been dealing with these changes.
What followed was a pretty clear consensus about the changes marketers love, as well as the ones that haven't been so popular - here's a recap of the discussion around the gradual transformation of the Facebook-owned app.
Before we got into the nitty-gritty of these updates, we wanted to see how important the platform is as a whole to the #SMTLive community.
@5FoldMarketing uses Instagram as a window into their company culture, which seems apt, as behind the scenes content has been all the rage on the platform lately.
For our company, Instagram is a tool catered more towards future employees and showing off our company culture. Our target market is not really using Instagram as of right now, so we tend to keep the data/stats geared more towards Facebook. #SMTLive #5FoldMarketing— 5 Fold Marketing (@5FoldMarketing) October 22, 2019
@bellas_anita has found that Instagram works well for smaller scale businesses.
I often work with small local businesses and Instagram is getting much more traction it seems than FB #SMTLive— Anita Bellas (@bellas_anita) October 22, 2019
What's the update?
Being that Instagram is still pretty central in many different social media strategies, we figured there are some updates marketers are bound to be more excited about than others.
@bellas-anita is excited about the new innovation on stories.
All the innovation on Stories - really helps to humanise a brand #SMTLive— Anita Bellas (@bellas_anita) October 22, 2019
@5FoldMarketing is excited about the new update that will make Instagram's Stories tools way easier to use.
We're super excited for the new 'Create Mode'. We are hoping this will take our Insta game to the next level and that we can continue to create a better social media product for ourselves and our clients ???? #SMTLive #5FoldMarketing— 5 Fold Marketing (@5FoldMarketing) October 22, 2019
The list feature might be one of our personal favorite updates -- learn more about it here.
Yes we just learned about the list feature as well thanks to you guys! I think this will really help us work around the algorithm to reach followers who are potentially falling into the "Least Interacted With" list. #SMTLive— 5 Fold Marketing (@5FoldMarketing) October 22, 2019
@CCrossJohnson made the point that Instagram Stories has edged Snapchat out of their strategy.
A2: I've been enjoying creating better stories. It's a relief to no longer have to use Snapchat. Although for some reason, I still can't use music on the business accounts I run. #SMTLive— CourtneyCrossJohnson (@CCrossJohnson) October 22, 2019
With all these exciting updates on such an innovative platform, there are bound to be a few that miss the mark with social media marketers.
For instance, @5FoldMarketing had an issue with shadow banning on the platform.
Hmm not sure we can give great advice on this right now, but will definitely look into this and share our advice in the recap of this chat. #SMTLive -- If anyone else has dealt with this issue, please share!— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) October 22, 2019
We did some research, and here's what we found about Instagram and shadow banning hashtags. Apparently, you can find out if you've been shadow banned by searching your posts under the hashtag you believe to be affected. If your posts don't show up, you might be a victim of a shadow ban. Additionally, check with some of your followers (perhaps friends or family) and have them look to see if your posts are showing up under these hashtags as well.
Shadow bans happen when Instagram believes that you have broken one of their rules. The rules have only gotten tighter as Instagram works to protect against spammers and bots, so something as simple as overusing a hashtag or using a banned one could trigger shadow bans. If you believe you have been the victim of a shadow ban but can't figure out why (because again, there could be so many reasons), do some research, then check with Instagram customer support to figure out what the exact issue is and how it can be remedied.
girl RETWEET— 5 Fold Marketing (@5FoldMarketing) October 22, 2019
On a lighter note, we couldn't relate more to the above tweet.
There's nothing like an IRL success story to inspire innovation on social. Here are some of our favorites that users on #SMTLive shared this time around.
We love a good Instagram takeover! Behind the scenes content seems like it's been all the rage this year, and these takeovers are a fun way to get in on the trend.
A4: We do "takeovers" with some of our more... humorous teammates. We always get great engagement, replies, views, when he comes on. I try to keep it to once a quarter so his allure doesn't run out. #SMTlive— CourtneyCrossJohnson (@CCrossJohnson) October 22, 2019
Again, behind the scenes content rocks. If you want to build your brand on Instagram, there's no better way to do it than literally showing your audience the actual real life people behind the brand. @5FoldMarketing couldn't have said it better here: "People want to see real people doing real things."
A4 - This isn't a huge win, but we have noticed that our more personalized posts (actual photos of our employees and office life) seem to do better than stock photos or quote images. People want to see real people doing real things ????????— 5 Fold Marketing (@5FoldMarketing) October 22, 2019
That's it for this week's #SMTLive recap - we hope you learned a thing or two about Instagram and continue to have success on the platform as it grows and changes.