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How NOT to Use Instagram

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

When it comes to using instagram, there are many tips and tricks we can give you that in theory, would lead you to success. However, you’re likely reading this because you’re not a brand expert. Maybe you’re uncertain about why your instagram isn’t working, maybe you’re trying yet things aren’t adding up to be as proficient as you had expected, or maybe you haven’t even started yet, but sometimes advice on what to do does not prove to be as easy to implement as experts make it seem. So today, we’re going to go over our top three no’s of social media, and hopefully that will lead you away from preventable setbacks, and then make applying our true tips, much easier.

Do not post just to post or because you want to “get in front of your audience”. It is tempting to think that the more you post, the more you will be seen and thus more engagement with your brand. However, your audience want’s to see content that is relatable to them, and if they are seeing you consistently post fluff, or even post the same thing, time after time, they will quickly dismiss future posts that may be of use to them - and last thing you want to do is create a space where the followers that you do have, disregard you. Instead, be intentional about your posting habits. Plan out what each post seeks to achieve. Are you trying to sell a new product? Are you updating customers on an important seasonal change? Are you trying to get your audience to have a good laugh? What the intention is, is entirely up to you and how your brand seeks to connect, however, less is more, and keeping it varied helps keep your followers attentive.

Don’t overuse hashtags. Hashtags are a tool to help put the algorithm in your favor and get more eyes on you, but also allows you to quickly and easily assert the purpose of your brand and objective of your post. With that being said, having too many hashtags quickly turns into looking like spam. You are not seeking to earn everyone’s eye, but rather targeting your core audience, which has more nuance and complexity. Finding the line between being specific enough with your hashtags to set you apart, but general enough that it gets you more eager followers is the line you must toe. To help you with this, do a little digging. Look into what hashtags your competitors are using, search some of the phrases you want to use, and if you find content that fits your niche, well done. If you find content that is unrelatable, do a little more digging. Pro tip, keep the number of hashtags you use to around 10, it allows you to get more nuanced but is still approachable and concise to those reading your post.

Don’t use poor quality images. This “no” encompasses a broader range, as it refers to staying away from images of poor resolution, to photos that are generic or overall uninteresting, to photos that look like your 65 year old mom took three summers back at a cookout. Instagram is an ocean of creativity and beautiful photos, therefore, you’ve got to make sure you have at least a a little bit of game. The photos should be clear, balanced and serving a purpose. Generally, taking photos with natural light, and using more natural filters, or slight photo alteration (if necessary) is the safest bet. As mentioned earlier, having an intention to the post will help you here as well, as it’ll give you a concept to work with, rather than digging through photos and trying to find the one that somewhat works. Put a little bit of thought into which photo you choose, it will pay off the moment you add it to your social media. Additionally, and maybe the most important part, make sure that your photo is set to the appropriate instagram dimensions (1080 X 1080px). This is crucial for ensuring that your text is legible no matter how the viewer is reading it, and guarantees that your photos are true to the original image without any stretching, contorting or cropping issues. If you have an image that is larger than the 1080x1080 dimensions, be sure to crop it to said dimensions, to the section of the photo that is the most compelling. If you have an image that is smaller than the the dimensions, do not, and I repeat, do not, stretch it to fit - this will ruin the resolution and warp the photograph, which looks good on no screens.

Instagram is a beast, and can be daunting. But do remember, just as it is important to be knowing what you should be doing, also know what you should not be doing - do not post for the sake of posting, do not post generic hashtags or too many, and do not use poor quality images. If you tackle all aspects of your posts, from the images you choose, to the rhetoric you speak to the routine in which you post in, you will be posting with purpose, which is always the first step, and will hopefully lead you away from engagement difficulties down the line.


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