What you should and shouldn’t do on Instagram
I’m fascinated with Social Media. I’m analyzing human interactions and the process every single day how it works on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn or even Twitter. I’ve read, watched and tried hundreds of opinions about Social Media and here are my thoughts which work for me. You can take everything or just your favorite ones. My advice is to always try -> fail -> conclusion, try -> fail -> conclusion. I’m not very pragmatic person, but in this topic I try to be as much pragmatic as I can so I rely on stats. If something works, I continue doing it. If something doesn’t, I stop and change it.
Let’s start with the things that in my opinion you SHOULD never do on Instagram:
Using bots and illegal programs on Instagram
Guys this is my absolutely numero uno on the list what you shouldn’t do. Buying programs that will spam people on Instagram with random and irrelevant comments or liking bot is the worst idea ever. You will get banned. Trust me you will. Sooner or later you will. Instagram is working very hard deleting thousands of accounts every single minute that use bots. Do you want to wake up one day with no account that you were working for since you can remember?
The second reason, your personal branding will hurt very much. We all see those fake, spam comments under our profiles and our first reaction is “another spammer”. People while seeing you on the Social Media next time will have allergic reaction. And you want to make people love you. This isn’t a way.
This one can be related with the previous point. Don’t spam guys. 99% of comments I see on the Instagram are spam. It doesn’t work. The end of story. If you want to get someone’s attention you need to try harder, but we will speak about it later.
Don’t write spam comments like:
“You are hot”
“I love your photos, can you visit my profile and like some pictures?”
“I have the special offer for you! Visit our website and check this out!”
This is the worst “hard selling technique” ever. It doesn’t work. People hate it.
Don’t talk in a negative way
Instagram is a place to share love. You can be cynical and skeptical about that. It means only one thing. It isn’t a place for you. People come there to share love, to share their common passions, to support each other, to be proud of being a mom or a fit lover.
You need to understand one thing. There are million of different people on Instagram and it’s not your business to judge them.
Does this girl show her boobs and ass on Instagram? Is she a bitch? No she isn’t. Maybe she has very high self-esteem and she loves showing her body, because she is proud of herself and she believes that we born that way so why we shouldn’t be afraid of showing ourselves.
And maybe she is a bitch. It’s not your business. As soon as you will understand that the less toxic your life will be.
Don’t judge. Don’t hate. Don’t comment and don’t even open your mouth if you don’t have anything nice or kind to say. You have no idea how many people killed themselves or live in depression due to that kind of comments.
Don’t let me wrong. I really appreciate the constructive critique. But there is a huge difference when someone writes me personally and says:
“Hey Michal, I hope you won’t feel offended, but there is this and that. Hope that it’s useful for you. By the way I love your work so much!”
and public comment like:
See my point?
You have no idea how much hate speech I’ve heard since I’m out there. I mean on Social Media.
Be careful with your politics and religion views
I never speak about my politics and religion view. There are two reasons:
I’m totally not interested in those topics
You can hurt someone with different view
But from another hand you can find people who think the same way like you. However I wouldn’t speak about it unless it is a very meaningful part of your life.
If you upload someone’s photo on your Instagram Feed make sure to tag them. Don’t show it as your own.
If someone starts discussion with you or worse hates, don’t argue. Just be kind. If it doesn’t work just ignore or block him or her.
Don’t post the same content too often
If you want to use the same photo or content wait some time and change something, e.g. color on black and white or show the same content in a little bit different way.
Follow and unfollow
This is just so poor. I see so many people making this mistake. Don’t do it. It frustrates people so much!
Ufff..Ok there are probably other things that you shouldn’t do that I’ve forgot to mention, but those above are the most critical in my opinion.
So what you SHOULD do on Instagram:
Tell in bio who you are, why you are here and attach the link to your website (if you have one). Keep it short and specific. You can add something cute and personal as: “Cat Father” if you want.
If I had to choose only one the most important point this is it. Consistency and patience. You need to post every day. 1-3 images per day, but not at once, at least with 4 hour break.
Min. 6-7 insta stories per day every day. You show people your life, who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, how you work, what you think, what you feel. You don’t have to show everything. I appreciate my privacy too. I’m very selective when I post something personal.
Show your personality
Whether on Insta Story or Feed in the description or in photo show who you are. If you are silly, be silly. If you are romantic be romantic and don’t be afraid to be. You will start attracting similar people to you and repel different. No matter what you do we want to surround with people with similar values.
So important! Engage with people! Reply to every single comment. If someone appreciates you by kind word just say “thank you!'“ Visit his or her profile and say something nice too! If someone asks you about something, answer. Visit people’s profiles with similar interests and comment their stuff, BUT in an honest way. Take your time to examine themselves and write something personal. If you don’t have anything personal to say, say nothing. The more often you comment in a personal way people’s profile the more REAL followers you will have.
Ask and listen
Use your descriptions and Insta Stories not only to talk about yourself, but also to ask and engage. Ask people if you should buy this or that, what they like, what they would like to know, if you can help somehow. Empathy.
Give people free content and educate. Speak and teach about things you love. No matter if it’s photography, food, fit, vegan share your knowledge for free. You will start attracting many people like you. You can do it in so many ways. Infographics, speaking, descriptions, YouTube, Podcasts or articles (like this).
If you are a writer, write longer descriptions under your images. You’ll be surprised how many people read this. Also, the longer description the wider reach. I have no idea why…
Such a powerful tool. Probably the most powerful on Instagram. If you start live everyone sees it in first line. It’s hard to be live but it is worth it…
Become a photographer
If you are not a photographer become a one. Instagram is a visual application. You can gain so many benefits if you start making better photos. The best thing about this point is that you don’t have to buy an expensive camera. You can take great photos just using your phone. If you are curious about learning some photography basics DM me and I’ll advise you something.
Use additional apps
Use additional apps to make your Insta even more rock.
My favorites are:
Unfold, HyperType, Adobe Clip, Lightroom, Zedge, InShot, VSCO, VHS Cam, Pixaloop, Quickshot, Hyperlapse
Use relevant hashtags
You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Use them all, but relevant. If you are a fit lover think like people who would like to loose weight and who love fit too. If you are a wedding photographer think like a bride and what she can type on Instagram to find her dreamed photographer.
Save your hashtags in some notepad. I use Evernote.
Have few different sets of hashtags and use them differently.
Don’t use hashtags with million followers.
Use 10 hashtags with 10-20k posts, 10 hashtags with 20-50k posts and 10 hashtags with 50-200k posts.
Use 1-3 hashtags on your Insta Stories. You can hide them under the sticker or by changing the size or color.
Add location to your posts and Insta stories. More people will see you.
Tag people in your posts and on Insta Story. Share their content.
Care about real people
Don’t care about number of your followers. The sooner you start focusing on real engagement with real people the quicker you get more followers.
I think that’s it! If I had to summarize everything in one sentence it would be:
Be kind, consistent and damned patient.
Thank you for reading <3