In my messages about Instagram, I spend a lot of time explaining what you should do if you want to see success. However, there are other things you might be doing which actually hinder success.
Here, then, are the eight things NOT to do on Instagram.
Don't use an awkward username
If you make your username hard to find, people won't be able to find and follow you. Use the same username as your Twitter handle and make it something easy to recognize, whether it's your real name or your business name.
Don't set your profile to Private
Unless you are using Instagram solely for personal reasons and don't want to network, do NOT set your account to Private.
Don't post without a caption
No matter how stunning the image is, it needs a caption. Posts with captions get higher levels of engagement - they are a pathway to interaction with your audience.
Don't overuse or misuse hashtags
Hashtags are extremely important on Instagram and should be used on every post, to increase reach. Choose 10-15 relevant hashtags to include in your caption. Don't use popular hashtags like #tagforlikes or #onedirection or #love. Actually, by using general hashtags, you end up not showing your photo on any hashtag.
Don't ignore your followers' comments
When people take the time to comment on your posts or ask questions, do not ignore them! Respond (using their @username to notify them) and thank them or answer their question. When used regularly, comments will significantly improve your relationship with your audience.
Don't steal content
Just because you like another Instagram user's photo doesn't mean you can post it as your own. If you want to include user-generated content (UGC) in your strategy, have users tag you or use hashtags on their posts. When reposting, always, always, always provide proper attribution.
Don't use images from Google searches
Just don't. Instead, you may like Unsplash.com
Don't buy followers
They won't serve you in any way. On the contrary, they'll ruin your chances of reaching the popular page and they won't actually like or comment on your posts.
So there you have it. All the things I recommend you DON'T do on Instagram in order to be successful!
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Asia ZukowskaCo-founder, River by Colibri IO