Behind the Quest: The tricks being used to grow on Insti

Behind the Quest founder Sara Melotti is calling bullshit on Instagram.

Describing herself as an artist, a former dancer, a photographer, a writer, a traveler and a dreamer, Sara began her blog in October 2015 and begun on her path of travelling the world and creating content.

But despite 32K Instagram followers to her name, Sara has become disillusioned by the whole Instagram “game” – recently penning a post she describes as a “no bullshit guide to what’s really going on”.

In the post she explains that “What once used to be about content and originality is now reduced to some meaningless algorithm dynamics and who has the time and the cash to trick this system wins the game.”

So what are the tricks people are using to grow the numbers? And what IS really going on?

Sara explains…

1. Some influencers are buying followers, likes, comments
Husskie’s take: PEOPLE please don’t do this. It’s incredibly obvious when you look closely at the followers and likers (and these days, you better believe that brands are starting to take a very CLOSE look. I’ve had many conversations with brands about this, and it doesn’t matter if you’re buying small or big numbers – it’s been noted).

2. Follow/unfollow, like and comment on random people
Husskie’s take: I don’t really see a problem with liking and commenting on random people if they are accounts with content you like. This is how you build an IG community in the first place!

3. Use robots such as Instagress to like, comment and follow people on your behalf
Husskie’s take: I do understand why some people do this, but it’s pretty hard for your robot to form real engagement (and it’s pretty easy to decipher which comments are from a robot and which ones are authentic). At the end of the day, a robot isn’t going to make a super close connection to someone who will support you when the program gets shut down (like what apparently recently happened to Instagress and Massplanner).

4. Go to popular IG spots
Husskie’s take: Well, why not! They’re popular for a reason.

5. Get featured by Collective Accounts
Husskie’s take: Collective Accounts are themed accounts that repost pictures from other people. If you can get a feature in one of these – it can do great things for your numbers. Unfortunately it can be rather tricky to be featured and Sara warns: “There’s an ungodly amount of ass kissing going on with features accounts so don’t feel bad if your work never gets featured, it just means you aren’t kissing the right ass!”

6. Join comment pods
Husskie’s take: This is where groups of Instagrammers join up together to comment on each other’s pictures. This happens a lot and is quite harmless.

7. Join WhatsApp and Facebook Group Chats
Husskie’s take: This is where people make large chat groups on Facebook and WhatsApp where everyone in the group then likes each other’s pics on Instagram. The benefit of this is that people in those groups look like they have an extremely high engagement.

So there you have it – these are the games being played. But for Sara, she’s putting a stop to the games. “I’m quitting all the bullshit, I’m done playing games, I want to do this the right way. Now you have all the info I have, and you can make whatever you want with it. You can use this to play the game and join the [Instagram] mafia or maybe, just maybe, you can keep playing clean and know in your heart that the system is flawed and corrupted and you can do your best to make Instagram all about stories and creativity and the art and The Work again…”

Click here to read the Sara’s full article on Behind the Quest.

All images: @saramelotti_

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Sam says:

    I personally think this is a helpful post to small and upcoming brands. Instagram is still a legitimate way to get free (for the most part) PR about what you have to offer, but its crazy that for followers to find you, you have to employ all sorts of tricks. While there’s nothing wrong with most of them, I think organic engagement is still best! 🙂

    • Husskie says:

      Thanks so much Sam! I definitely think that while it is time consuming, organic engagement is what will end up getting the results – be that buying a product, getting readership to a blog etc. Yelena

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