You have questions about Instagram, I have answers! Because Instagram changes so much it can be really difficult to keep up and know exactly what works, what to do, and how to navigate this platform. To help you out I've gathered 30+ of the most common and frequently asked questions I receive and answered them below. Enjoy!
Questions about HASHTAGS
1. Should I put my Instagram hashtags in the caption or comments?
Your hashtags will work the same regardless of placement. I prefer to put them in my comments to keep my caption clean and my audience focused on my content, but it’s totally up to you!
2. Will using all 30 hashtags get me shadowbanned?
No! This is an ugly rumor that’s been circulating for some time. Instagram wouldn’t allow the use of 30 hashtags if they deemed it to be spammy behavior. It’s how you use them that can get you into trouble. You should absolutely use all 30 hashtags to capitalize on Instagram growth!
3. Why are my Instagram hashtags attracting bots and competitors?
If you’re using irrelevant hashtags or hashtags with millions of posts in them, you’re only going to attract bots (if you attract anyone at all). Using hashtags that are too niche will bring more competitors than customers to your page.
4. What’s a good percentage of impressions from Instagram hashtags?
There are so many variables that will affect the percentage of impressions you get from hashtags (which ones you used, how many you used, when you posted them, how many followers you have, etc.)
So I think what’s important is just keeping an eye on them and if you notice that you get very little impressions from hashtags, you’ll want to change up a few of the ones you’re using. Read my blog for Instagram hashtag dos and don’ts.
Hashtags are the #1 way to attract targeted users to your feed. Want to sell more product? Book more clients? Inspire more people? Well you have to be seen first! Learn my fool-proof method for conducting hashtag research that leaves you with a powerful list of tags that massively increases your engagement, followers & paying customers!
Questions about FOLLOWERS/GROWTH/ENGAGEMENT
5. How do I gain Instagram followers fast?
Quick growth comes by knowing your audience, creating content that resonates with them, and engaging with others! Seeing real, targeted Instagram growth is key. As tempting as it may be, purchasing followers may grow your following number, but not only is it against Instagram’s terms of service to do so, but you’re not guaranteed to gain followers in your target audience.
6. Why am I losing Instagram followers?
Losing followers happens for numerous reasons. If you’re not creating content that resonates with your audience or using the right hashtags, you will lose followers. If you are concerned with losing Instagram followers, read my blog to learn how prevent it from happening and start finally seeing Instagram growth!
7. Does having ghost followers hurt my Instagram reach?
Having an excess of ghost or bot followers can cause your real audience to miss out on your posts and drastically decrease your engagement. If you can determine who your ghost followers are, I suggest removing them to help improve your reach, engagement, and overall Instagram growth. But don’t trust an 3rd party app to do this for you as they are not approved by Instagram!
8. How long does it take to get to 10k followers?
Results will be different for everyone. Certain niches grow much faster than others (for example, a beautiful model will likely be able to grow quicker than a personal coaching brand) but with daily effort the average person can get there in 6-12 months. I encourage you to understand that the amount of numbers you have doesn’t necessarily relate to your success. Many people make consistent monthly income with less than 10k followers! Try to focus less on vanity metrics and put your effort into creating great content and engaging with your ideal audience – that’s how you see real, targeted Instagram growth.
9. Will using Instagram Ads kill my organic engagement and reach?
Yes and no. If you are relying on ads as your main driver for Instagram growth, you’re not likely to see much in the way of organic engagement. Instead use ads as a compliment to your organic strategy for promoting specific or limited-time offers rather than gaining likes and comments.
10. Do I have to follow everyone that follows me on Instagram?
Definitely not! This is where people get caught up in follow/unfollow. Only follow accounts that you are genuinely interested in and accounts that align with your target audience.
11. What’s a good follower/following ratio?
There’s no ideal follower/following ratio to stick to, but it’s definitely better to have more followers than you are following. If you’re a new account this ratio might be skewed for a while, but that’s okay.
12. I bought Instagram followers in the past – should I start over with a new account?
It depends. If the only followers you ever had were bought, you’re basically starting at 0 already so in this case you can either remove all the fake followers and start fresh, or just save the time by creating a new account. If you bought followers on top of having real ones you might be able to salvage your account. Keeping in mind that if your engagement is really poor it could take a while to start seeing Instagram growth again. In any case, moving forward you want to make sure you never buy followers again (!!) and focus on engaging with your target market, every single day. Instagram wants to see that you’re a real person that uses the app as it was intended.
Your Instagram account wont work for you unless you reach the right people. Learn the exact methods I use to grow my accounts to over 400k targeted, engaged, and profitable users who not only support my content by liking and commenting, but click the link in my bio, sign up for my email list, and purchase my products, practically on autopilot!
Questions about TOOLS & AUTOMATION
13. I’m new to Instagram. Which tools and programs should I be using?
Good news – you can become an Instagram pro with the right strategy, tools, and equipment! To learn about products I personally use and love, check out my list of 50 Instagram Tools You Need to Rock Your Account & Biz! Bonus – you can shop for the products right from the page. Have the tools but need the strategy and guidance? Check out Infamous to Influential!
14. Does using an Instagram post scheduler hurt my reach?
Technically no. As long as the scheduler you’re using is approved by Instagram (I suggest Later) Some people have mentioned seeing less engagement when using a scheduler, but I think that’s because we tend to “set it and forget it” when we schedule posts. You still need to be available to engage before, during, and after you post!
Questions about STRATEGY
15. Do Instagram pods work?
Pods can be beneficial for Instagram growth, but in order to be successful with pods you need to have an engagement strategy in place without relying too heavily on pods. Read my blog post to learn the truth about Instagram pods and if they really work to increase your engagement.
16. Should I use a personal or business Instagram account?
Unless you want to see analytics and run ads, a business account isn’t necessary in the beginning stages of growing your Instagram account. Once you hit 10k followers you can make the switch to see analytics and enable brand partnerships if you choose to work with influencers.
17. Is follow/unfollow a viable Instagram strategy?
In short – no. It’s a cheap, quick, scammy way to quickly grow your following. We need to stop assuming that our audience can’t see right through follow/unfollow, because they can. If you are creating great content and you know who your target audience is, you won’t need to waste time playing the follow/unfollow game. Instead, focus on creating great content and only follow accounts that you’re genuinely interested in to see true Instagram growth.
18. Do I really need a theme for my Instagram page?
It’s more important to have cohesion rather than an overall theme. You want your photos to compliment one another. Your feed doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s about your pictures making sense together, the focus of your account being obvious, and branding. An account that has a branded feel to it is going to be much more successful than one that is randomly put together.
19. How do I find Instagram influencers to work with?
Reaching out to influencers and micro influencers is a great way to build relationships and see real Instagram growth and monetization opportunities! Instagram is the best place to seek out potential brands to work with, but if you’re coming up short there you can sign up for a program like Snapfluence.
20. How do you repost images on Instagram?
There is no internal method to reposting images, however you can easily screenshot the photo and re-upload as an image. Alternatively you can use a 3rd parry app like Repost to copy the photo and caption. Remember: always ask for permission from the original creator before posting!
You can share posts to your Stories directly from Instagram! Check out my blog & video to learn about Instagram’s New Updates for 2019!
21. Should I tag other Instagram accounts in my photos?
Only if they’re relevant to the post! It’s considered spam if you tag people that aren’t featured in your image. Instead, stick to tagging accounts that actually appear in your posts such as your friend, the company that you bought your shirt from or the hotel you’re staying at.
Questions about ACCOUNT STATUS
22. How can I get verified on Instagram?
Instagram has certain criteria they look for when determining who gets verified. It’s important to note that you cannot pay a third party service to verify your account. Check out my video to learn how to get verified on Instagram!
23. How do I know if I’ve been shadowbanned?
Though Instagram has publicly stated that shadowbanning is not a thing, many people are still dealing with shadowban restrictions. A shadowban can occur for many reasons, but the most telltale sign is when your photos don’t show up in any of your hashtags. Note that decreased engagement or followers is NOT always due to a shadowban, and the online “shadowban testers” are inaccurate. Read my blog about the Instagram Shadowban and how to remove it from your account.
24. Has the Instagram algorithm changed?
Instagram is always tweaking their algorithm but if you are creating interesting content, using calls to action and engaging with your audience, you don’t have to worry about anything! Instagram prioritizes content based on engagement so by creating content that speaks directly to your target market, you’ll get the best results and a boost in the algorithm! If you’re seeing a dip in results, it’s likely not because of an algorithm change but rather your Instagram strategy. To determine who your target market is and how to create content just for them, check out my course Infamous to Influential!
25. Instagram disabled my account – what can I do about this?
Instagram typically only disables accounts that violate their terms of service. Unfortunately, if you’ve done that, you may not be able to get your account back. Every once in a while this can happen by mistake, in which case you can reach out and appeal the case by following this link.
26. Does Instagram throttle reach for business accounts?
Simply having a business account doesn’t impact your reach and engagement, however many people have noticed a decrease in organic reach after running ads. As long as you’re putting out content that gets your audience engaged, you’ll see Instagram growth regardless of your account type!
Questions about MONETIZATION
27. Can I actually make money on Instagram?
Absolutely! You don’t need to be a huge brand or influencer to make money on Instagram. We can all make money on Instagram with the right strategy. I share practical tips on how to make money on Instagram in my blog!
Questions about FEATURES
28. Why am I missing some features from my Instagram Stories?
For one reason or another, Instagram doesn’t typically roll out features across the board. Sometimes updating the app helps but it’s not a guarantee that the new features will appear afterwards. They don’t provide much information about how or why they introduce new features, so you just need to stay patient!
Questions about my COURSES
29. How are your courses different from any other Instagram course?
In each course, you’ll learn detailed step-by-step processes that tell you exactly what to do to see results on Instagram. Rather than me just telling you what works and promising you a certain amount of followers and sales, you’ll learn actual techniques and important marketing strategy. You’ll discover how to use Instagram as a tool to grow your business rather than focusing on popularity. My 3 accounts (@instawithalex @menandcoffee & @womenandcoffee) have over 450k followers and bring in monthly income, and I teach you the exact methods I use to achieve this level of growth and success on Instagram! It’s much more affordable than many Instagram courses, too!
30. How quickly can I expect to see results?
The answer to this is entirely up to you. If you buy the course but fail to implement any of the practices you won’t see results. However, if you watch the videos and implement the steps you can start seeing Instagram growth in as soon as 24 hours! I have had many students tell me that by making one small tweak from the course, they’ve seen an influx of new followers & engagement almost instantly!
31. How long do the courses take to complete?
• Hashtag Hero has 1 hour of video content and will take about 1 hour to conduct your own hashtag research. After that you won’t have to revisit the process for at least 30 days.
• Success by Story has 4 hours of video content that can be implemented as you watch!
• Infamous to Influential has 3 hours of video content but implementation is ongoing. I suggest spending around 15-30 minutes a day implementing the course content.
32. Are your courses only for business accounts?
No! While I do teach how to use Instagram as a tool for your business, anyone looking to grow their Instagram can learn and grow from my Instagram courses. I have students that range from athletes, to MLM sellers, to real estate brokers and beyond!
33. Do the lessons only work for accounts in English/Canada/USA?
The techniques I teach are not specific to a geographic location, language, or account type. I teach advanced marketing techniques to apply on Instagram, so what you learn isn’t specific to one area! I do however speak in english and at this time do not include subtitles for other languages. If this is something you would be interested in, please let me know!