Dos and Don’ts on Instagram: what to do and what to avoid at all costs

Every day, we try to bring you in-depth info about the inner-works of Instagram that can work wonders for your business. So far, we’ve talked about how you can create an Instagram Bio that will increase your followers-base, how to turn Instagram into a funnel for your Newsletter, how to make emojis your best friends, how to finally be displayed on the Instagram Explore page, all while discussing everything about Instagram Stories, hashtags and the algorithm behind it all…to begin with!

We’ve touched so many topics, tools, and features that it would take days only to mention them all. And since our “training” has been so intensive, we believe this Friday we should take it easier and shift perspective. A fresh perspective is always a good idea! Today, we’re not going to focus on details. Instead, we’re going to take a step back and look at the whole picture and go through some DOs and DON’Ts that should be the basis of everything you do on Instagram. We promise it’s going to be fun, light and enjoyable!

DO on Instagram: Constantly check your Instagram Insights

A successful Instagram strategy is one that is flexible enough to allow room for maneuvers. Because no matter how well-documented an initial strategy might be, the world out there is unpredictable. And the best way to adjust to this unpredictability is by constantly checking your Instagram Insights.

Here you’ll find enough data to see whether or not your initial strategy is working as expected, which tactics you should continue following and which tactics you should ditch immediately. From the number of profile views to impressions, website clicks and top posts, you can instantly dig into the results of your efforts and see where (and if) there’s need for change.

DON’T on Instagram: Buy followers

Even if it might sound like a good idea at the beginning, trust us, it’s going to turn into your worst nightmare. We know, we know! You’re doing it under the pretext that “it’s going to look good” when potential followers show up and see that your account already has a strong base of followers. However, this mentality is setting you up for failure.

A bought followers-base will create zero engagement and will most certainly include some accounts you wouldn’t want your business associated with, EVER! So, instead of directing your efforts towards buying risky followers, redirect them towards creating a thoughtful strategy that will organically get you the right followers who will engage and make you proud!

DO on Instagram: Show your human side

Instagram works best for those accounts that promote authentic, everyday life content, as users aim to respond better to posts which they can relate or aspire to. That’s why a very artificial and promotional account will probably leave followers unimpressed. They want to feel like they could be part of your narrative and if they won’t find a way, they’re going to let you know with the “unfollow” button.

If you don’t want this dreadful scenario to become reality, make sure the posts related to your product/service are rooted in a human insight and alternate these with behind-the-scenes content. This will humanize your account and give your followers something to relate to.

DON’T on Instagram: Post like there’s no tomorrow

Because there is a tomorrow. And a tomorrow after tomorrow. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to have a lot of things to share and communicate. But, for the love of avocados, don’t share and communicate them all at once! This won’t be, in any way, healthy. All that you’ll succeed in doing is spam your followers and push them closer to the unfollow button. Believe us, they won’t have the patience to scroll through an Instagram feed that’s been hijacked by you an entire day!

Instead, take your time to create a long-term strategy and establish a steady, consistent post rate. This will gain you more attention, engagement, and followers, even if at first it might seem counter-intuitive. In case you have relevant content that requires same day posting, we suggest you use an Instagram Carousel or go for a streak of Instagram Stories.

DO on Instagram: Frequently change the link in your Bio

We’ve covered the whole affair of Instagram Bios, and as we did, we strongly made our case: the link included in your Bio is meant to change constantly to reflect your present marketing efforts. Since Instagram doesn’t allow for links in your captions, this is the perfect way to have your campaigns or tactics rolling on Instagram.

Thus, don’t look at your Instagram Bio link as a “set in stone” thing but as a variable. This way, you’ll be able to put “Link in Bio” in various post captions and mix things up to keep ‘em fresh and keep the followers rolling in.

DON’T on Instagram: Post photos you’re not completely satisfied with

Instagram is, first and foremost, a visual platform. Thus, the biggest heresy you can commit is to post photos that are…well, unappealing, to use the softest word possible. Sure, these photos might send the correct message, but if they are blurry or shaky or wishy-washy, they will only score negative reactions.

Thus, make sure all the photos you post are top quality and adhere to a cohesive feed aesthetic, no matter what. We suggest you revisit our articles about how to create a coherent Instagram feed and, if you need a bit of inspiration, don’t hesitate to check out our article about perfectly cropped Instagram feeds. And, as always, the Preppr tools are at your disposal to make your life and strategy on Instagram easier.

DO on Instagram: Take the time to engage

Engagement is a 2 ways street: if you want followers to start conversations and keep the discussion going, then you must do your part. Don’t make the mistake thinking that you can get away with solely posting. You should also make some strategic efforts to engage with your followers’ accounts and nurture relationships with them.

Oh, and that’s not it. Your engagement efforts should also take into account current clients as well as potential followers. You should always attract new users through engagement.

DON’t on Instagram: Be too promotional

Sure, the whole purpose of your Instagram account is to promote your business, be it a service or a product. However, if you’re pushing too hard and are constantly too sale-sly, followers are going to unfollow faster than you can say “PURCHASE TODAY!”. There are a time and place for everything and there’s a fine mastery in selling without appearing too pushy.

Yes, building a presence on Instagram is half art, half selling abilities and some awesomeness powder sprinkled all over.

Final thoughts

If you want to build a solid Instagram account, make sure to start (and continue) with these vital DOs and DON’Ts. Oh, and we kept the best DO for the end: Have loads of fun and enjoy every step of the way!

And on that note: go enjoy your weekend and bring on the creative energy!