HOW TO OVERCOME THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM

How to overcome the instagram algorithm
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Let´s be honest, nobody actually likes the new Instagram Algorithm. Why? Because nobody knows exactly how it works. But whether we like it or not, it´s here to stay. At least for a little while, and all of us dedicated “grammers” out there just have to deal with and try to overcome it. One thing we do know about the algorithm is that similar to Facebook, the new algorithm favors posts with high engagement. Meaning that the more likes, comments, saves, and shares you get on your content, the more people will see your posts. So here is how to overcome the Instagram algorithm

The Instagram engagement went down 33% in 2019, which meant that most of us realized it was time to get creative. There are different ways of hacking the algorithm, but today we will talk about one of the weirdest ways to hustle on “the gram”. This method might feel cringy, but it will double the likes on your photos and help your posts perform better.

Are you ready for an Insta Life Hack? Are you ready for The Kardashians? What do The Kardashians have to do with Instagram you might ask? Well, they are the Queens of Instagram, and unless you´ve been living under a rock the last few years: you would know. So, let´s get started. 

HOW TEENS BUILT A SHARING ECONOMY OF LIKES

We dare you to take a minute, or ten, to glance at Kylie Jenner´s Instagram account. You will notice tens of thousands of one-word comments on every single photo: “lb, first, f4f”. Just look at the example of Kylie Jenner´s dogs. The photo has over 300,000 comments – and we´re guessing that most of them say “lb”. If you don´t already know what it means, we till tell you and explain why teens are using it. 

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“Lb” is short for “like back”, and teens all over the world are commenting it on profiles of celebrities to help each other out. Teens use Instagram very differently than adults and businesses do; they favour likes and comments over followers, and will even delete posts that doesn´t get the engagement they want. So, like we explained earlier, to help each other out on Instagram the teens gather around celebrities like the Queen herself, Kylie Jenner (and the rest of the Kardashians), to create a sharing economy of likes. 

If you´re a teen and you want to get more likes on your content, all you have to do is visit a recent post on Kylie Jenner´s Instagram and click to view the comments. But hey, you don´t have to be a teen to try this out – Ifuzer doesn’t judge, Instagram is for everyone. Find a user that comments “lb”, go to their profile, like a photo, and they´ll like one of your photos back. Repeat this until your thumbs get tired, and watch your engagement grow. It´s awesome to see that the teens have created their own community where they help each other out with engagement.

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In Kylie Jenner´s comments, you´ll also find a few other phrases besides “lb” that refer to a more specific likes-for-likes scenario. One of Ifuzer´s faves is “row”. When a user has commented “row”, it means that they are asking for an entire row of three Instagram photos to be liked/commented. 

HOW WE USED THIS STRATEGY

This teen “lb”-phenomenon has been happening for years. Kylie even tweeted her disapproval of it way back in November 2012, but that did not seem to have any effect at all. So, one of our co-workers decided to use Instagram like a teen to try and hack the Algorithm.

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First, he tried to start about by just liking other teen´s photos, which was supposed to feel a little awkward at first – but he got the hang of it. He got a lot of likes on a photo he wanted to, depending on how much time he was willing to spend on it. But being an adult, he did´t have unlimited time on his hands, and wanted to speed up the process a little bit. The idea was, that if he was able to generate a lot of engagement on his posts shortly after sharing it, it would signal to Instagram that it was of importance, that it was engaging and his post would be moved higher up in people´s feeds and be shown to more people.

With that in his mind, after posting a photo on Instagram, he made his first comment on Kylie Jenner´s Instagram (sorry, Kylie). He chose to comment “first” instead of “lb”, because he wanted to direct the likes only to his recent photo. After commenting, he watched the likes roll in, with about 5 likes from people he did´t know or followed him per minute. Teen code says that he was then supposed to like their first photo back, which he tried his best to do. Because Kylie gets tens of thousands of “lb” comments, his comment quickly became lost in all of the others and the likes stopped after a little while. And, because of that, he found that it was better to take a minute or two to go and like other teen´s photos first, and then they would return the favour almost instantly. In order to keep the engagement steady, he would go back to Kylie´s comments again, and repeat until he was fully satisfied.

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One of the photos he experimented with, doubling his average likes on Instagram

The goal itself wasn´t to just get likes on Instagram, because likes from random teen didn’t have a value, to him. Instead, he was trying to generate a short burst of engagement soon after a post in an effort to trick the Instagram Algorithm we all hate, into promoting his post to the top of his followers feed. And it worked! The posts he tried this with all received 50-120% more likes than on my average posts, and he noticed that his posts had a longer lifespan than usual, with receiving a steady amount of likes for 3-4 days after he posted it. Likes on his photos went from around 110 likes per photo to 220+, with only about 20 of those likes from teens, meaning that the vast majority of his Instagram engagement was from his real followers. So while likes from random teens may not be of value to you, they will be able to help you gain more exposure with your own followers. So yes, it really is a weird Instagram Strategy to consider.

THE QUESTION IS: IS THIS A STRATEGY FOR YOU?

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If you´re using Instagram for business, commenting “lb” on a teen´s Instagram photo probably isn´t right for you. Remember: while activity feature on Instagram may not be a popular feature with adults, it´s still there, and people are able to see what you´re “liking” as a brand. For tips on how to increase Instagram engagement for business, you can check out this blog post. But if you´re using Instagram for yourself, and you really want your followers to see your latest selfie, why not kickstart your post by liking a few teen´s photos? The adults won´t notice, and Ifuzer won’t judge!

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