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9 Myths about Instagram Promotion



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If you decided to choose Instagram as one of promotion channels in the Russian market, this article is for you. We will tell you about the most popular fallacies and ineffective promotion methods, which are often suggested by local agencies to their clients.

Myth 1. Giveaways Will Give a Great Influx

Giveaways with the petrification of Russian TV presenters (Buzova, Sobchak, Borodina) or other celebrities with multi-million accounts are madly popular in Russia.

The mechanism of such giveaways is quite simple: one creates a separate account for a giveaway (where all terms of participation and a list of sponsors will be stated), chooses a celebrity, and finds 10-20-50 sponsors who pay dozens of thousands rubles for the participation. There is a suggestion for subscribers of the celebrity’s multi-million account to subscribe to all sponsors on the list. In a week or two, several prizes of great worth are announced at stake (as a rule, these are iPhones or large amounts of cash). Indeed, during the giveaway a big number of people subscribe to your account.


The giveaway is over, and you see people unsubscribing en masse (60%-70% at best). This toll will unlikely bring you customer who are ready to buy or use your service, except perhaps when you offer cheap everyday goods. When we divide the cost of the giveaway into the number of the subscribers left, the price per 1 subscriber will be impracticable. Besides, Instagram algorithms will not salute you for the unsubscribed, having lowered your post priority, and the coverage will drop.

The alternative for such promotion can be native ads with bloggers (ideally, topic-specific ones).

Myth 2. Account’s Visual Integrity is a Key to Success

Instagram bloggers love the word ‘atmospherity’, meaning the uniformity of color palette, objects, shapes, colors, plots. Newcomers are suggested to use one filter for all pictures.

However, ‘polished’ accounts, where the whole gallery has a single style and no particular message, put off users more often. Subscribers vote for ‘live’ pictures and an element of surprise when scrolling the feed down.

What do you think, what picture will attract more attention?

Myth 3. Pictures Do Matter on Instagram—Text Doesn’t!

Today, texts on Instagram are not less important than pictures. Even threadbare selfies are treated in a more positive way when accompanied by meaningful words, while errors of orthography, style, or punctuation, improper usage of winged phrases, and pointless questions to provoke a wannabe discussion will kill the most artful pictures.

Myth 4. Inscribed Pictures Are Ranked Lower and Might Be Blocked At All

This statement is only partly true. If you are going to advertise a post with a legend, make sure it corresponds to Instagram’s advertising requirements. In all other respects, the text volume in your pictures does not affect their ranking in the feed at all or even conversely entire traffic to the post.

Myth 5. You Need to Post As Much As Possible

Aim at quality rather than quantity. When seeking a large coverage, remember that every post must be a small step to achieve a generally set goal. A content strategy will help you with your goal setting.

To maintain organic reach, we recommend to post at least once in 2 days.

Myth 6. No Promotion without Stories and IG-TV

Posting stories have a positive impact on the reach—that is really true. However, the use of these tools, as well as posting in the main feed, must be justified by a strategy and also follow a particular goal. What tasks will stories and vertical video solve? Can you do without them? Do you have any resources to create content for IG-TV and stories?

If you cannot clearly state your business needs in these publication formats, you had better spent your budget on targeted ads.

Myth 7. Use of #Hashtags Will Give You More Likes and Subscribers

Okay, try to recall when was your last time you were looking for a picture by hashtags? These cases are relevant when you went to a concert yesterday and want to look at pictures of other people from the same event the next day. Alternatively, you are a marketer in a company and want to track mentions of your brand on Instagram. Besides, unique hashtags mentioning brands are effective when organizing contests. But still, hashtags today are more of a marketing tool to track an event rather an opportunity to get new subscribers.

Myth 8. Posting Is Most Effective in the Evening

This myth came from other social media where the peak activity is definitely in the evening when users come home from work or school. But Instagram does not work this way. Firstly, Instagram is a social network with the almost 100% use from mobile devices, so people can check posts at any time. Secondly, while the feed used to be in chronological order, now the post sequence depends on a profile’s popularity and on whether this user checks your page for no special reason and likes it actively. That is why such facts are no longer of relevance.

Myth 9. You Can Do Without Ads

MassFollowing, MassLiking, and Spam Commenting keep widening. Yes, this is not cheating, and today Instagram does not fight with automated subscriptions and likes. These services can be used as an addition to an advertising campaign, but not replace targeted advertising. Firstly, they will not give you an increase in subscribers (due to Instagram limitations on the daily number of likes, subscriptions, and comments). Secondly, filters do not let you clearly identify your audience; as a result, the effect from such actions will be little (if any).

Targeted ads on Instagram, even with small funds, can let you make much highway, helping you reach really interested clients and not just other account subscribers.

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About the Author

Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva

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