Okay, I’m just going to address the elephant in the internet here. Instagram is amazing, but it’s a bit of a beast. There are millions upon millions of people trying to gain traction, get followers and build businesses on Instagram.
Awesome, go for it. In case people think I’m being obtuse, obviously I am doing the same each day!
BUT there are a few shitty tactics that people consistently do, and I just wanted to kindly bring your attention to why you should avoid them like Gigi Hadid avoids cake.
1. Posting other people’s photos without crediting the owner of that image/content. No I haven’t taken you back to 2009, and yes this still happens!! Shocking I know, and I know that a lot of my audience are very savvy on this because they’re sick of having their content stolen, or perhaps they’ve heard me rant about this before, but if not, listen up:
Crediting where you got an image from will not take away from your engagement. If you CONSISTENTLY re-gram great quality photos that your audience love, your audience are NOT going to unfollow you and then go follow those other pages. They are going to continue to follow YOU because YOU are providing them content that they want to see. So there is literally no reason to not credit where you go something from.
If you don’t know where it’s come from there’s two things you can do; if it’s a picture you can reverse google image it and it will tell you the original author and from what platform they posted it, or if it’s a quote you can type it into google and the author will come up, most of the time it’s a twitter account so you’ll just search them in Instagram and tag their IG handle.
2. Paying for followers: I can only assume people do this because they want to give the illusion that they have a popular and active account, and you know what, at first glance it 100% works. It’s hard to tell these days who’s bought their followers and who hasn’t. But you know how you can tell? When you don’t have a genuine audience and when you’re trying to connect with your tribe or successfully sell a product and you don’t know 99% of the people on your ‘gram. Trust me it’s not worth it. Instead of skipping the queue and buying your followers, you’re better off putting your time and effort into developing a banging insta strategy that works and grows you an authentic tribe!
3. Commenting on everyone’s content: A great way to get your profile noticed is to comment on your followers posts, or in the explore feed. But if you want to develop a genuine audience you need to do more than just comment love heart emoji’s on people’s content. If you’re going to go to the effort of doing that, why don’t you just take a few extra seconds to actually look at their content/read their caption and write something meaningful or that STARTS a conversation. You’ll be surprised how many collaborations come for engaging in meaningful conversations. P.S Instagram counts comments of 4 words or more as non-spam so if you’re constantly just commenting “Love this” or emoji’s, it may affect how your profile rates in the algorithm.
4. Shouting out to a “new post” in your stories. Okay, so some of you may not know what I’m talking about, but there’s a trend where you put the latest photo you’ve posted on your Instagram and then cover it with a gif or a picture and tell your audience to go look at it. I guess there’s nothing really bad about it, but personally I think it’s using “click bait” techniques and I’m not a fan. You should have really strong strategies for your insta stories and your Insta feed anyway, and ideally your followers will be seeking out your content, and relying on being funnelled to it from your stories! You may agree or disagree with me on this one, but and the end of the day it’s my blog.
5. Tagging random people and brands in your photos! When you tag an account in your photo without content, it's a super spammy strategy. More often than not it's going to damage a future relationship rather than start one. There's a few thing you should check before tagging someone, and if you can't answer 'yes' to a least one of these things don't do it!
- Does this brand/account actively look for content to repost?
- Is this a photo of that person/their brand/product etc.?
- Is this a friend or business content of yours that you know likes to be tagged in your content, or you do it for each other?
- Is the person/brand you're tagging in your account going to be genuinely interested in that specific photo/content?
Remember, just because other people do something doesn’t mean you have to, and at the end of the day it’s honestly not about the number of people that follow you, but how engaged they are and if they are following you for the right reasons! Use the above tips to give yourself the best chance to build yourself an authentic and engaged following!