Anybody thinking that Instagram is just for staged food shots, sunsets, and selfies is mistaken. The number of monthly Instagram active users is growing at a very fast rate. Over 95 million videos and photos are shared on this platform every day. And, these videos and images get over 4.2 billion likes.
With so many users actively involved in the activities of this social network, it’s an opportunity for brands to reach out to more prospects and generate sales. But, how do you do this? Why are your posts not getting the attention you desire? Well, it all boils down to the things you do on Instagram.
In March 2016, Instagram switched to algorithm-based feed from a chronological oldest-to-tweet news feed. The Instagram algorithm can predict the care you give a post. Essentially, Instagram feed is not based on just the accounts you follow. It’s also based on what and who you like.
So, the post that the Instagram algorithm thinks you will like appears will feature in your feed. When you post something and it gets tons of comments and likes, Instagram algorithms assume it’s of a higher quality and with engaging content. Therefore, to succeed on Instagram, understand how its algorithm work and use its features wisely.
It’s also important to know what you should not be doing on Instagram. Some of the things you’re doing on Instagram could be the reason you’re not getting the following you desire. Here are some of the things you’d better avoid doing on Instagram.
Posting Sub-Par Pictures
This doesn’t mean that you have to strain to come up with a photo that can be featured in the National Geographic. It simply means you should look at your photos before you upload them on Instagram. Critique your pictures and have a keen eye for what is Instagram-worthy.
The best Instagram photos invoke emotions. They are unique and they show users something new. So, if you post food photos, make sure that the audience will feel hungry after seeing it. If you post a travel photo, make sure that it will give the audience wanderlust.
Going Too Off-Brand
You can post anything you like if you just want to share great photos with relatives and friends. However, if you want to market a brand or achieve a wider appeal, settle for an overarching style or theme. This will ensure that your followers know what to expect from you.
If you own a restaurant, followers expect you to specialize in food photography. If you’re in real estate, followers expect you to post photos of buildings. For an educational account, post photos that relate to learning.
Not Captioning Your Photos
The reason your photos are not attracting the engagement you desire could be due to a lack of captions. So, if you’re not captioning your photos, consider adding just a little text. This can be all you need to help people understand what you’re sharing.
In some cases, you can use a question as a caption. This can be a great way to start a conversation based on the photo you share. You can also use a call to action or share a short story. Nevertheless, avoid leaving the caption section blank.
A caption should not comprise popular hashtags only. You will get spam followers and comments if you go overboard on non-specific hashtags. Therefore, use relevant hashtags only. That means using the hashtags you are confident that your target audience is always searching for.
It’s important to avoid using non-existent hashtags or inventing yours. Instagram doesn’t have concrete rules about the use of hashtags. However, the rule of thumb is to use a maximum of 5 relevant hashtags.
Ignoring Your Followers
People comment on your posts for a reason. Therefore, don’t ignore anybody that comments on your post. Be comfortable and interact with your followers. This is the best way to get true fans. Some of them will even start sharing your posts when they realize that you’re acknowledging and appreciating them.
Other people might approach you with interviews or collaboration requests when you become popular on Instagram. The insights and questions you get from these people can boost your creativity.
Don’t pepper-spray your followers with many posts at once and then disappear for weeks. Just like any other social network, Instagram is about interactions. You need to connect with and engage your followers.
Nobody wants to follow an account that clogs up their feed one day with countless photos and gone the next day. If you disappear for a week or more, people will have forgotten about you when you reappear. Some may have even un-followed you.
Therefore, publish new posts on your Instagram account consistently. 1 or 2 posts per day are enough to help followers know you and understand your theme or style.
Following People that You Are Not Interested In
Some Instagram users think they can grow on this platform by following as many people as possible. They hope that the user they follow will follow them back. Although this works in some cases, it is disingenuous and time-consuming.
To grow on Instagram, use it the right way. Search for fantastic, creative, and relevant accounts to follow. Only follow Instagram profiles that you genuinely love.
If you have a business Instagram account, you can access useful analytics. These analytics show a breakdown of the demographics of your followers. They provide information on the location, age, and sex of your followers. You also know when your followers are most active.
The analytics also reveal the reach and impression of what you post. Thus, you can tell which posts resonated. Paying attention to this information will enable you to come up with the right posts that will appeal to more followers.
The bottom Line
To succeed on Instagram, you need to do certain things and avoid others. These are some of the things that can hinder you from growing your popularity on this social network. If you’re doing all or some of them, stop right away to enhance your growth and popularity on Instagram.