Growing an Instagram account takes time and effort. Whether you’re running a personal account, a blog, or a business profile, it can be difficult to know what to post, when to post, and how to get more likes and engagement. There could even be mistakes that you don’t realize you’re making that are standing in your way.
We’ll break down some common mistakes so that you can avoid them in the future. These Instagram mistakes could be hurting your chances of finding new followers and getting likes and comments. Correct your mistakes to help your account flourish.
Sharing the Wrong Content
Your content is the driving force behind your Instagram account. If you’re posting the wrong kind of content or poor content overall, your account will suffer. Your posts should be what attracts people to your Instagram account, not what scares them off.
Posting low-quality content will hurt your engagement and very likely result in the followers you already have unfollowing you. Your posts should always feature high-quality images, well-focused shots, and clever, relevant captions.
Aside from just posting bad content, you may be posting the wrong content for your specific account. If you’re just using a personal account to share with friends and family, then it’s really up to you what you post. If you run a business or brand account, or an account that supports another blog or website, you should only share content that is relevant to the business, brand, blog, website, etc.
Sharing irrelevant content will confuse and scare off followers and their likes. If you run an account that’s all about dogs, you wouldn’t suddenly start posting diet tips. Keep your account on-brand, and before sharing anything ask if it is relevant to your account. If it’s not relevant, don’t share it.
Not Using Hashtags
Hashtags may seem silly, but they are actually vital to anyone trying to grow their Instagram account. Using hashtags will make it easier for new followers to find your posts and profile. Hashtags allow your posts to appear on the page for that hashtag, and can also help your posts get featured on Instagram Explore pages.
The important part is that you use the right hashtags for your account. Throwing any generic hashtag on a post won’t help you find new followers or get more likes, and it could actually hurt your account if Instagram perceives your post as spam.
Research and find the best hashtags for your industry. Hashtags should be relevant to your brand, business, the topic of your account, or location. Check out competitors and see what hashtags they use for reference. Sources have said that 11 is the optimal number of hashtags on Instagram to improve reach.
If you don’t want hashtags cluttering your captions, there is an easy solution. You can use spacers, like bullet points or other punctuation, to create space in your caption and hide the hashtags lower. Another option is to leave the hashtags as a comment: if you’re commenting on your own account, the hashtags will still work on that post without making your caption look messy.
Posting at the Wrong Time
If you believe that your content is great, but you’re getting little response in terms of likes and engagement, you may be posting at the wrong time. Posting at the wrong time can lead to poor engagement, which is a factor in the Instagram algorithm that could lead to your post being placed lower on followers’ feeds. A post with little engagement will not make it to the Explore page or the top post sections of hashtag pages.
Studies have been done to find the best time to post, but the results vary. The general idea is that you should post when your followers are most active. If you run an Instagram business profile, you can check your Insights to see when followers are most likely to be online.
Consider who your followers are and when they’re most likely to be scrolling through Instagram. Avoid obvious bad times, like when they’re likely to be asleep or at hours of busy activity. Weekday afternoons tend to see the most engagement, but it differs by each account.
Buying Fake Followers
If you bought fake followers in an attempt to grow your following and get more likes, you’ve probably been burned. Buying fake followers is bad for your account because they’re fake. This means they won’t like or engage with your posts, hurting your overall engagement rate. Instagram is also cracking down on fake accounts, so it’s likely that the followers you bought will be deleted soon anyway.
If you want to grow Instagram followers, do it the right way. Most people don’t have time to grow their accounts on their own, but there are safe ways to pay to grow your following. Hire a social media consultant or pay for an organic Instagram growth service. There are tactics to find real, engaged followers. Cheating the system never works, and ultimately hurts your account and reputation on Instagram.
Posting Too Often or Not Enough
Posting too frequently can blow up followers’ feeds. This can annoy your followers, leading to fewer likes or worse, unfollows. No one wants to follow an account that is constantly posting, especially if their content isn’t interesting enough to keep up with frequent posts.
On the other hand, if you post too infrequently, it can also hurt your account. Followers may think that you are inactive, or may decide there’s not enough incentive to follow you without more posts.
There isn’t a set rule on how often to post on Instagram. Some accounts can get away with several posts a day, while others are better off posting once a week. Gauge what’s best for your account by testing out different amounts. If you find that posting every day results in fewer likes throughout the week, then start posting less. If your weekly posts are getting great feedback, try twice a week and see what happens.
Stop Making Common Mistakes
Fix these mistakes to help improve your Instagram account. Focus on your followers and consider what they’d like to see in terms of content when to post, how often, and what hashtags best fit that content. Keep your focus on creating a quality Instagram account and it will grow in due time.