Today we’re going to talk about 5 things you should NOT be doing on instagram.
I don’t usually like to come at things from the negative side because I don’t think negativity serves anyone! BUT, as I was thinking about tips I could give regarding Instagram strategy, the list for things NOT to do is a lot shorter than things TO DO so we’ll start here.
Okay so I feel like this one should be obvious but I see this happening so often. Sure, who doesn’t want more followers!? It definitely sounds great to have a huge number next to your name and under your photos, right!?
BUT WHY DO YOU WANT FOLLOWERS?
If you’re listening to this podcast (or reading these show notes!) it’s because you have a business (or want to start a business) which means you’re probably using Instagram as a TOOL. So, followers for you should lead to more money...more sales, more clients, etc.
That will not come if you’re buying followers, because the followers you are purchasing are fake accounts that will follow you and then never engage, never become a client, and never purchase from you.
Then, you’ll have a larger number of people following you, but what about your engagement?
Your engagement measures how much people are taking action when they see your posts (i.e. liking, commenting, sharing, saving) and bot accounts won’t be doing any of that. So, because you have a lot of followers and none of those fake accounts are acting on your content, IG sees that as a signal that your audience doesn’t love what you posted, and then the followers you do have that are real people may not even see it at all.
SO...it just becomes a vicious cycle and it’s NOT. WORTH. THE. MONEY. AND. TIME.
Have a huge CTA in each caption.
It’s important to encourage and invite your followers to engage with your posts, but you should start every single caption with “double tap if” or “comment below if."
It’s better to mix it up!
USE STORIES TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR POST
Some great ways to encourage engagement through your STORIES is to have ongoing giveaways!
Get on regularly to chat with your audience, and let them know that each month or week you hold a giveaway to reward your followers that are staying engaged with your posts!
The Rambling Redhead is a hilarious lifestyle blogger/influencer with a home decor emphasis, but she’s on her stories all of the time sharing about monthly giveaways that reward engagement.
Tiny Red Ruby: She makes amazing jewelry (that I’m obsessed with) and has been hosting giveaways each week All someone needs to do to enter is engage with her content, AND she rewards/incentivizes past customers by having a special round of the giveaway just for them! The last day of each month, if you post a photo of the ring you have from her and use a specific hashtag, you’re automatically entered to win the giveaway!
Another great way to drive traffic from your stories is to just share a little tidbit about the post on your story and encourage them to come share! So maybe if you’re sharing something throw the post up in your story and add a small caption like “do you feel this way to?” so they are intrigued and come check out the post!
This one is literally one I learned the hard way because I didn’t realize what a bad idea they were! I totally had friends get together a year or so ago and we were all excited to support eachother and comment on eachother’s new posts, and then it grew to a larger group and MAN I met some fun girls through the comment pod but it was not good for my exposure.
Pods can be created through a group chat on IG itself, or in other apps such as Telegram or GroupMe. Usually the rules are that, when you posted something new, you share the link to the group chat and asked for people to like or comment something in particular. However, in order to be allowed to post your link, you have to go back through and like the posts from everyone who had posted in the last 24 hours.
Instead of your account showing up on the explore feed for potential clients and customers, you’re stuck in a loop of what is basically your “competition.”
So, if you’re a florist and you get together with a bunch of other florists on IG and engage with each other’s posts like crazy. Which may seem awesome at first because you’re getting new likes and comments on your posts, but then IG sees this as a sign that those are the types of accounts that like your content. So Instagram assumes that florists are the type of people that want to see your posts, and it will show your account in their explore page rather than showing up in the explore page for potential brides or whatever other clients may actually book your services
POST + GHOST
This one can be pretty tempting and I’ve been guilty of it before because life gets busy, right!? And maybe what Instagram says is your “optimal time to post” is right in the middle of your commute or while you make dinner every night so you’re not about to push pause on life to engage on Instagram, right!?
Well, this can be a huge detriment to your posts!
It’s always a good idea to engage a few minutes before and after you post to show up for your followers! When people are liking and commenting on your post soon after it goes live, Instagram sees this as a sign that your audience is loving your content! You should be available to respond to comments and keep the conversation going. This will help your engagement as IG counts your comments as well as those of other people, and it helps foster growing relationships with the audience that’s interacting with you!
Use HUGE hashtags
We’ve all heard that hashtags can be beneficial but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it! I once worked at a company that, when they started their social media they just searched “top instagram hashtags” and started using all of the best results which were things like : #instagood #love #fashion #photooftheday
#love has over ONE BILLION uses. Which can sound very impressive, but hashtags are only REALLY useful if people can easily find you through them! Hashtags are a great way to categorize your photo in a way that someone could find you. Thing of your hashtags as your SEO strategy for Instagram! If you use a keyword that your potential client might use to find you...you’ll pop up and things will be working perfectly!
The best way to do that is either to be featured on the hashtag, which means to have a good amount of engagement compared to others using the hashtag. So with #love you’d have to be getting more likes, comments, shares, and saves than the other billion people to stay in the popular/featured section of the hashtag.
The other way to show up would be to have one of the most recent uses of the hashtag. So, your image could pop up first in the #love hashtag if you were the most recent person to post, but since so many people are obviously using it, that wouldn’t last very long!
I always like to look for hashtags that are used between 25k and 100k.
This way you know that they’re being used by other people who may be interested in your account (and vice-a-versa) but also they’re not so huge that your post will get lost
I have had so many clients find me, and I’ve made some of my closest friends through IG and it can be a magical place where dreams come true so long as you don’t fall into the crazy traps that come from chasing followers!
So, just to recap…
- DON’T buy likes or followers. The large number may sound awesome but it literally doesn’t make sense for your business
- Mix up your calls to action so they don’t all look the same and feel spammy in your caption
- Get out of comment pods and start being seen by potential customers
- DON'T just throw a post out there and then hide away! Engage with your followers and keep the conversation rolling!
- DON'T use huge hashtags that your posts will just get lost in! Shoot for some in the tens or hundreds of thousands that you can keep showing up in and be easily found by potential clients/customers