Let me save you some time and money. Most of the courses and books will waste your time by teaching you things you can find on YouTube or Google for free. Then usually conclude by throwing in a “secret” about how to gain real followers super-fast. You won’t like the secret, I know I didn’t. You need to pay for shoutouts! This means shoutouts from an account with say 100K followers will set you back $20-$50 a pop. A shoutout from a 1M+ followers account will set you back $1000. That’s a lot of money to dish out for something that’s not guaranteed.

They also tell you that you need to form engagement groups and that you will see good results from it. Unless your engagement groups are in the exact same niche and they all have high numbers of followers along with great engagement rates, they will be useless. You’ll have to put in some time researching people to invite to your engagement group and hope everyone participates. I’ve been a part of several of these groups and truth be told, most of them don’t last longer than 2 months. People get tired of liking and forcing out comments on posts that they truly don’t care about.

Instagram algorithms are very smart, and they start categorizing comments as not-relevant to their engagement calculations. So even if the Engagement Calculator on Influencer Marketing Hub is showing you good engagement for an account, that doesn’t mean Instagram agrees. Repeated likes and comments on every post are being discounted by algorithms, but not by other calculators. This is very important to understand if you are running a company and are looking for influencers to promote your brand. Looking up engagement rate without digging deep, will not paint the true picture of what is really going on.


Before I go any further, I want to make sure you understand Instagram’s vision. Instagram is more than just a platform, it’s a community. By signing up for an Instagram account, you agree to be a part of a community and abide by a certain code of ethics. Instagram expects members of their community to participate and bring value to one another. This isn’t unreasonable considering the opportunities that are afforded by this platform. If you don’t contribute or are suspected of engaging in shady activities to boost engagement, you will get penalized.

Instagram is evolving every day and it’s getting smarter too. Black-hat (shady) tactics used to work before, but now most of them don’t. The community has cleaned up a lot and in order for you to stay relevant within the platform, you must play by their rules. Keep it clean, keep it classy and keep it engaging.

Since I got that off my chest, let’s start learning some things about our beloved social media platform.