Recently, an article was published on rainylune.com where the author breaks down her response to a conversation with an Instagram rep and the advice he provided about how to succeed on Instagram. This article has gotten a lot of exposure in some Facebook groups and people are asking me about it so I wanted to share my opinions on this.
I do want to point out that I am NOT in any way discrediting the author of Rainylune or her experience. I am merely adding my interpretation of the circumstances based on my experience and knowledge of Instagram. If anything, I’m calling out Instagram and the rep she spoke with, not the author herself.
Ok, now that we’ve covered that, let’s break this down!
In her article on Rainylune, the author mentions that she was approached by Instagram to have a call with one of their Partnership team members could help her grow her account. Now, let’s be fair – we all know I love Instagram. But, I’ve been approached by Facebook to have an “ad specialist” help me before and it’s just as salesy slimy as a timeshare presentation. I’m pretty sure, based on her article, that she had the same experience with the Instagram rep and that’s why the advice the rep provided her is questionable at best.
That being said, let’s break down what she shared in her article.
The Algorithm Rewards Your Behavior
The first key point that she points out is that she was advised that Instagram rewards (or punishes) your account with reach and exposure based on your own activity on the app. Her analogy is pretty perfect: “Think of it like the algorithm is grading you in a class. One test alone doesn’t determine your whole grade – there’s still participation points, homework, classwork, projects, and more. You’ve gotta participate throughout the class as a whole, not just show up for one test and get an A on it.”
Well, yup. This is completely true.
I’ve been teaching this in my presentations for YEARS. Instagram will not reward post and ghost behaviors – meaning if you show up to post something then leave and don’t log back in until the next time you post, Instagram will NOT reward you with good post reach. They want you active on the platform. That means logging in regularly to check the feed, look at the Explore page, watch some Stories, check some DMs… whatever you feel like doing. But you need to be active on the platform. It can be 5 minutes a day here and there. A few times a week. There’s no set rule or schedule (that I know of), but it definitely helps if you are actively utilizing Instagram as that account if you want reach and exposure on your own content.
It’s All About Reels
Duh. I’m sorry, but this is Facebook’s MO, and therefore, IG’s MO as well. Whenever they launch something new (Stories, Live, IGTV, Threads, Reels…), they go ALL IN on that new feature. Meaning, if you use that new feature, you get more exposure. They want to build up the content and the user engagement on those new features so they absolutely get priority placement.
If you want to create Reels right now, yes, you’ll get more reach. Yes, you’ll get more engagement. But you know what? In a few months, that’ll taper off and everything recalibrates – until the next new thing launches.
So NO, Reels should not be your end-all, be-all strategy right now. They work, they’re fun, go for it if it works for you. But do NOT abandon all else on IG only for the short term gain of Reels.
In her article, the author does mention that posting one Reel a week helps boost the performance of all her other content for the week. While I haven’t tested this or seen this in action for myself, I wouldn’t doubt this to be true. Again, Instagram is going to reward the star students who put in the extra effort and right now, Reels is that gold star effort.
Use All the Things
The next takeaway from the Instagram rep’s advice was to basically go all in on Instagram and use all the things all the time. Of course he did! That is literally his job. Again, timeshare resort vacation package lock presentation style. If you want “this”, you just have to do all of “that”.
They want us to create Reels, Stories, IGTV videos, feed posts, videos and photos, go Live… do all. the. things! Do it all and we’ll give you the gold star. Shut the fuck up. Now listen, I’m the brown nosing, goody two shoes student that always got straight As and did all the extra credit work in school. I know, you can roll your eyes But chances are you are the only one in your business, or one of only a few, that are handling ALL of your marketing, to include Instagram among everything else. And, you may even be the only person in your entire company doing literally every aspect of your business. You do NOT have time to create 20 or more pieces of Instagram content a week.
So, don’t do it.
Look, I’ve used Instagram for years. I’ve built new accounts from scratch. I manage small accounts and large accounts. I work with clients around the world with accounts of all sizes.
You know what actually works?
Creating relevant content for your audience that stands out in the feed – whether that’s the home feed, Stories, IGTV, or anywhere else.
If people see your content and like it or interact with it in ANY way (even just stopping to look longer), your posts will continue to appear in that person’s feed. You’ll continue to get reach, you’ll continue to serve your audience what they actually care about, and Instagram will drive results for you. Plain. And. Simple.
Shout it from the rooftops with me! YES!
Consistency is 100% key to success on Instagram. Now, consistency doesn’t mean frequency – it means showing up repeatedly and regularly. It means posting once a week every week. It means posting twice a month, every month. It means doing a Story every day over and over.
You get to choose the frequency. Pick what works for you and your schedule and your business and your content and so on.
But show up consistently.
That doesn’t mean 3 times this week, once next week, take 3 weeks off, come back with 8 posts in one week, go down to one post the next week… This is bad. I’ve been telling you this since at least 2014.
Was there anything earth shattering in this news about the algorithm and how to get more reach? If you’ve been reading my posts, watching my videos, and listening to my trainings, then nope. Nothing new here! But it is good food for thought and a good reminder to focus on what really matters – serving your audience and stop chasing the vanity metrics.
If you want to master all things Instagram for your business, check out my on-demand course that will teach you what you need to know right now to be effective on Instagram.