7 Mistakes To Avoid When Using Instagram
Everyone has their ideas on how to start using Instagram these days. There are plenty of posts and seminars put out by self-proclaimed instagurus claiming to have the magic formula.
While I’m enjoying the fact Instagram is getting more mainstream attention, I’m far too often shaking my head at all the nonsense I see.
With all due respect to these folks, and anyone who disagrees with me, there’s something that needs to be said about how people are approaching Instagram. Just because you’ve had some success in Social Media DOES NOT mean you know what you’re doing on IG.
It’s an entirely different beast altogether and it’s not meant to be managed like the other networks.
First things first, before anyone is ready to attract more followers… AND KEEP THEM… we need to break the bad habits far too many users still practice while thinking they’re doing it right.
You can either get mad and continue treading water thinking you’re right or you can reevaluate your strategies so your page becomes more appealing to the masses.
To enlighten you by the unwritten rules to using Instagram, here are my 7 mistakes you should NEVER do.
DON’T Post Too Frequently
This isn’t Twitter, or Facebook. You don’t need to post every 5 minutes to get noticed here. In fact, very few things are as likely to get you unfollowed than posting 3 selfies, 2 pics of your dog, and a pic of your lunch within a short period of time… even if the pictures are decent.
I typically post 2-4 times per day a few hours apart. If you post more often, just space it out AT LEAST an hour between each one; don’t piggy back them
DON’T Be Inconsistent With Your Content
I understand it can take time to discover your niche, but find one and stick with it. If you look at most successful instagram pages, they all have a theme. The reason a majority of people don’t attract new followers, or continually lose them, is because they post random pictures with no rhyme or reason to it.
When a prospective follower visits your profile for the first time, they’ll be more likely to click that button if your individual photos look good together as a whole.
DON’T Follow Too Many People
Remember, Instagram is the cool network and it’s just not cool to follow more people than the number of people following you (followers ÷ followings = your “cool ratio”) I’m being serious, despite how high-schoolish this sounds, it makes a big difference.
Personally, I attracted noticeably more followers each time I trimmed my followings…from 1900 to 1200 to 900 down to 400.
Point is, I’d recommend following AS FEW Instagrammers as you deem necessary to still enjoy your experience. The higher your cool ratio is, the more popular you’ll be perceived to be. Believe it or not, many Instagrammers look at that before they even look at the pics in your feed.
Ideally, when using Instagram a 2:1 ratio might be the ante to play the instagame these days… then set your sights on 3:1
For starters, go to the stats section of iconosquare when you’re finished reading this. It’ll take a few minutes to generate your metrics. Once complete, go to the community section and click on the little magnifying glass on the right of breakdown to see your “followings who don’t follow you back”
This is the easy part, folks, I have 22 right now. If you don’t love either them, or their pics, make the cut.
DON’T Build Your Page Using Other People’s Content
Instagram is THE MOST rewarding platform for content CREATORS. Yes, there is a place for curation and there are several popular “share” pages suggesting users to follow. What you don’t see, though, are the estimated 27.3 bazillion indistinguishable, soon-to-be abandoned, accounts with 3 followers who thought it’d be a good strategy to use a repost app twenty times a day.
Sure, sharing someone’s picture on occasion is fine, provided you give proper credit. Otherwise, you’re stealing and will surely end up being shunned in the community.
The takeaway is other users want to see what you can capture or create, not what your friends can do.
DON’T Post Crappy Images or Words
Look, I didn’t start out as Ansel Adams. Well, I’m still not there yet, but I realized early on that Instagram is about quality, not quantity. If you don’t care what people think about how your using Instagram, that’s fine, keep posting out-of-focus tilted horizons which make our heads spin.
If you want to get noticed, start taking more pride in your work. Don’t be lazy and post sloppy pictures.
Don’t point and shoot… think and shoot, instead. Take multiple pictures from different angles and use the best one.
And let’s face it, editing your pics makes a difference. So download snapseed, pixlr express, and/or photoshop express and start making your images stand out. But please note you shouldn’t over edit them, either. It’s a fine line but one you should be walking
Also, in a similar vein, I’ve seen an increasing number of users who solely (or mostly) post textgrams (quotes or words). It’s like the new rage, I guess, but I don’t get it. People are on IG to be visually stimulated. They want your story through images, not someone else’s retreaded quote on a pink background.
If you have an audience who also likes to read, that’s what captions are for!
DON’T Buy Fake Followers
It may work on other networks, but with the level of engagement on Instagram, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. When you have 80,000 followers yet only have double or triple digit likes on your posts, it raises eyebrows and red flags.
Once you’re labeled as a cheater, it’s difficult to regain respectability.
Don’t NOT Use Instagram For Your Business or Brand
Look, I know the ROI is difficult to calculate and the performance measurements are less tangible, but Instagram is THE BEST way to engage with your customers and find new ones. The visual space forms opinions and sets the buying seeds with your mere presence if you do it right.
If you can’t do it right, contact l contract the services of someone who can! Many brands should be able to attract 50,000 followers within the first year. It’s not hard if you know the right people
Ok, I think that covers most things that will annoy others and detract from you.
I’m sure I missed or didn’t include some things that bother you when using Instagram, so feel free to add to the list. Also, if you disagree with any of these, I’d love to hear why and if you’re largely successful using these strategies.
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