4 Reasons Why I Stopped Boosting on Instagram

The numbers were weirddd

My previous post about boost groups for Instagram is my second highest read post ever.

I’ve had influencers I don’t know contact me after reading it to get involved and witnessed more than one online community emerge in response to it — to better manage a group of groups, with the shared goal to increase following and battle Instagram’s algorithm changes.

After close to a year of being involved in various forms of boost groups, I left all of them.

These are the reasons why:

  • It stopped being fun
  • Time became an issue
  • Some posts were really off brand
  • My engagement wasn’t increasing

Instagram is still a source of fun and information gathering for me. The more boost groups I was in, the more I was spending my time on the platform robotically commenting on others’ posts. Sometimes, I didn’t even like the post. This cut down my time exploring accounts showcasing artwork or travel destinations.

There’s only so many pictures of caffeinated beverages or selfies from the same angle that can inspire me to create a genuine comment. This exacerbated the issue and increased the necessary amount of time online because:

  1. More people were involved in the groups, so the sheer volume of comments I had to create grew
  2. It became harder and harder to write anything sincere

It also increased the amount of times I rolled my eyes for seeing comments that had nothing to do with my post like, “I love this!” or “Yes, babe, yes!”

Then there were posts that were crotch shots of male groins in scanty swimwear and nude bodies. When I was trying to build my business account, I was not about to boost any of that. I had to be more selective with what content I comment on, lest I misrepresent my brand.

I’m all about body positivity and believe that embracing one’s sexuality is a form of true empowerment. That doesn’t mean I want to interact with any of that on my strictly professional accounts, under my business name. There was also this thing with my own beliefs and personal love of using profanity — I just don’t want that on my business channels. My personal? Totes fine.

It became challenging to control who was added to groups, too. There’s still no way to remove someone who’s inactive or problematic. Best believe there were people who only participated when asking for a boost without giving back. There were also people that waited a week to boost , even though we made it very clear that time is of the essence.

Instagram categorizes posts as more popular when they receive engagement within the first 10 minutes of posting. After 24 hours, it cannot be boosted via comment or like. It’s frustrating when a little community bubble cannot be moderated. There’s only 15 spots per direct message, so if 5 people are inactive, that’s 5 less people who could be boosting your post daily.

Most importantly, my numbers stopped improving. They actually got worse.

Either Instagram realized that users were participating in bubble groups or they just ~happened~ to change the algorithm again.

If you look at some of your favorite accounts, scroll down a few weeks and you will see a significant decrease in their amount of likes and comments. Popular accounts are being throttled just like the little guy, sometimes much worse than.

But — there’s still a way to rank higher in the algorithm.

Right now, using Instagram stories to post content and going live in app is the most effective way to show up on the explore page. I’ve had great results since taking the advice of my friend, Eugenie, aka Feral Creature, and using stories more to create content. No matter how mundane or silly, I encourage you to get in the habit of sharing more behind the scenes action with your followers.

That’s what people really want. Curated to hell feeds are beautiful, but the genuine connection is now lacking. Instagram and Facebook are valuing video over picture posts, so become a Boomerang wiz, too. It’s fun and easy and considered video. Even if you don’t post to your main feed, you can create them in your stories or save them to share at a later time. My husband has gotten pretty good at them. (Thanks, Nick!)