How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Avoid the Instagram shadowban” With Candice Georgiadis & Shervin Mohseni
Avoid the Instagram shadowban: Many people are not aware of the Instagram shadowban, but it can be your worst nightmare. The Instagram shadowban will prevent your hashtags from being discovered, and your followers will be the only accounts that can see your posts. As a result, your account reach will be limited and your account will not grow. The shadowban can last for up to 2 months. Instagram allows an account to use 30 hashtags, however you should only stick to using 15–20 hashtags per post and the hashtags should be diversified. Instagram will view your account as a spam account and will likely shadowban you if you post 2–3 times a day and utilize the same 30 hashtags on each post.
I had the pleasure to interview Shervin Mohseni. Shervin is a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Southern California. He has over 3 years of experience in the digital marketing field. He is currently the owner of The Source of All.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
About three years ago a good friend of mine and a current business partner moved to Los Angeles. He had a successful business importing, distributing, and wholesaling smoke shop products throughout the United States. He decided to expand his business by opening a wholesale warehouse in Los Angeles. At the time, I was working for a family member who owned a textile business in Downtown Los Angeles. Although I loved the textile industry, I felt I learned as much as I could about fabric and wanted to learn something new. As a result, my friend presented a business opportunity to me where we would start an online retail business selling the inventory stocked in his warehouse. This was my introduction to the digital marketing world.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
With over 3 years of experience in the digital marketing field, I have been able to dramatically increase traffic to my websites through social media marketing. I’ve been able to grow accounts and expand reach by posting on Instagram 2–3 times a day, using influencers, utilizing hashtags, promoting giveaways, and engaging with my followers. In addition, I’ve been able to utilize social media to benefit my SEO by connecting with influencers within my niche who run high traffic blogs.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
As a young and eager entrepreneur, I always wanted my first business to be a hit, however I quickly learned that isn’t always the case. What I did learn was that I could monetize off the digital marketing skills that I had learned during my first year in business. There were many neighboring wholesale businesses around us that were noticing how many online orders we were shipping out from our warehouse. As the new kid on the block, many of these businesses were approaching me and asking questions about what I knew and how I did it. A light bulb went off in my head, and I realized how valuable my skills were. I realized I could monetize off these newly learned digital marketing skills (building websites, SEO, social media). As a result, this led me to start my marketing consulting business. The moral of the story is never put all your eggs in one basket, and learn to have multiple streams of income. I’m blessed to have learned this at a young age.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest and biggest mistake I made with my first eCommerce store was purchasing backlinks from someone in an SEO forum. At the time, I didn’t completely understand backlinks, and believed that any link pointing at my website was valuable regardless if it was relevant or not. At first, these backlinks helped improve my keyword rankings and traffic to my website, however a year after, my website traffic from organic search dropped by nearly 80%. I then ran a backlink audit, and noticed I had backlinks from spam websites and PBNs (private blog networks). This is a big no-no in the SEO world. Work hard, build a quality backlink portfolio, and avoid shortcuts, otherwise you’ll suffer in the long-run.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
In my opinion, Instagram is the most effective social media platform for a business to use in order to increase their revenue. Instagram allows a business to put an image behind their brand. Regardless if a business is marketing an inferior or superior product/service, if their Instagram visuals are appealing and managed well in terms of growth and engagement, there’s a high chance they’ll receive traffic on their website from Instagram. In addition, Instagram can allow a business to connect their product/service with bloggers and influencers. Influencer marketing through Instagram can allow a business to dramatically increase their reach, which can lead to more traffic to their website. For example, I recently direct messaged and connected with an Instagram influencer in my niche who has around 50k follower. I noticed she had high engagement on her posts, and felt it would be extremely beneficial for both parties if I sent her a few products in exchange for a post and shout out on her Instagram with our product. The results were astonishing. Not only did we sell 50 units of the product she marketed for us, but it allowed her to increase her engagement and following on her Instagram because she was posting content her followers connected with.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
1 Influencer marketing: Running a product giveaway campaign with an influencer within your niche can be the easiest way to grow your account and build traffic to your website. The influencer should specify rules within the caption of the post, such as; “In order for a chance to win you must be following @, like this photo, and tag 3 friends in the comments.” By utilizing this caption in our last influencer campaign, we were able to grow our account by 500 followers in less than 24 hours.
2 Consistently post quality content 2–3 times per day: Have you seen those meme pages with millions of followers? Have you noticed how many times per day they post? There’s a reason why these accounts are continuously growing. Instagram’s algorithm favors accounts that post regularly and engage with their following.
3 Use Hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to expand reach and grow an Instagram account, however it’s important to only use hashtags that are relevant to what you’re posting. Analyzing the hashtags your competitors are posting can be a great way to create a list of diversified hashtags. You can also manually search hashtags on Instagram and view how many times each hashtag has been used. Avoid using hashtags that are broad and have been used millions of times. At the end of the day, you want people to see your post.
4 Avoid the Instagram shadowban: Many people are not aware of the Instagram shadowban, but it can be your worst nightmare. The Instagram shadowban will prevent your hashtags from being discovered, and your followers will be the only accounts that can see your posts. As a result, your account reach will be limited and your account will not grow. The shadowban can last for up to 2 months. Instagram allows an account to use 30 hashtags, however you should only stick to using 15–20 hashtags per post and the hashtags should be diversified. Instagram will view your account as a spam account and will likely shadowban you if you post 2–3 times a day and utilize the same 30 hashtags on each post.
5 Use Instagram to improve SEO: Many influencers on Instagram run high traffic blogs, and any SEO expert knows that receiving a backlink from a high traffic website is extremely valuable. Therefore, you should find influencers within your niche and reach out to them to see if they’re willing to backlink to your website in exchange for something.
6 Use the Instagram story and swipe up feature: The Instagram story feature allows your business to maintain visibility in your followers’ feeds, and allows you to connect with your target audience. The swipe up feature can create a landing page for the product/service being promoted on your story. With one swipe, it can allow a follower to go from viewing your story on Instagram to landing on your website and purchasing a product.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
In today’s world, I feel people are too hard on themselves. If I could inspire people to do one thing, it would be to give at least one stranger a compliment every day. You never know what people are going through, and by providing something as simple as a compliment can potentially inspire someone and help them get through their day.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
Since I am a marketing junkie, if there was one person I could sit down and have a meal with it’d be Gary Vee. I view Gary Vee as the most successful marketer of our generation, and I would love to sit down with him to pick his brain for at least an hour.