Instagram Advice: Quit Doing These 6 Things
We're Instagramers over here. That's such a loose term, isn't it? By that we mean, Instagram is one of the two social platforms we go hard on. We always say...
"Be really good on 1 or 2 social media platforms, instead of really average on 7."
It's a top tool for us. We use it to show off our work, chat about our team, give advice, promote projects, etc. We get some lost souls that reach out to us all the time for advice. Common questions and comments in our inbox, in our posts' comments or from clients in our studio look like this...
- "I'm so inconsistent because I have no idea what to post. How do you figure out what and when to post?"
- "I hate the way my feed looks. How do you get your images so bright?"
- "I only have 356 followers and the new algorithm killed my engagement."
- "Writing is hard. It takes to much time to come up with a photo and a caption and when I do I only get like 15 likes."
- "Your feed looks so good... how do you do that?"
1. Quit having a boring bio.
Oh heeeeeell no. You cannot complain about struggling with followers when your bio is boring, bland or non-existent. Or, it's the same bio that you put there 4 years ago when you first got on to Instagram. Even worse, it's some inside joke that no new follower would really understand.
Time to get rid of the boring and start being FABULOUS. Write something clever; tell people who you are and what you do. Use an emoji or 6. You get a 150 characters to WOW someone that lands on your profile - make those words matter.
TIP - Write your bio in the Notes app on your phone. That way you can hit enter/return to start a new line or sentence and when you copy/paste it over to Insta, it'll look beautiful.
2. Quit using your handle as your "Name" in your profile.
Well that's confusing. So, let's breakdown your Insta profile right quick. Here are the different parts
@____ (ours is @hellobigidea). Make sure yours can be found. When handles get super long people will stop searching, lose interest or move in another direction.
Your profile image, your logo, etc. should be significant. If you're using a logo, make sure it fits in the circle space allotted. We recommend using your stamp or having a social logo specifically for this spot. If you're using an photo, make sure it's about your face and not too far zoomed out.
A place to tell people what you do! This spot on Instagram is the MOST under used real estate. This is one of the three things that shows up in a search (see image below!). Don't just put your business name here. For example, we've used Brand, Web Social - to tell people immediately what we do.
We touched on this above, but you get 150 characters to WOW your reader. If they are on your profile this is the point where they make that decision to hit "Follow" or not. If your bio is irrestible, why would they NOT hit follow?
At the very least, include a link to your website. If you create a post on Instagram about your blog, update the link to match. Some people create a page on their website to put here just for Instagram.
3. Quit overusing quotes.
We love a good quote! These can really be relatable little nuggets of information for your followers to engage with and make your feed look super sexy. However, ever other post in your feed shouldn't be a quote graphic.
4. Quit butchering graphics (especially to promote discounts).
Ok.. ok... we're designers so our eye is a little bit more critical than your average follower but it's pretty safe to say that posting an Insta Story or Snapchat screenshot is less than ideal.
*Opinion* - don't post discounts at all! Discounts scream - "I don't value my own work so you shouldn't either!". Errr... maybe that's a little harsh. But if you're looking to build a stylish lasting feed and you post a big ol' 40% off - that lasts! Now you're followers know you discount so they are going to be on the lookout for a discount. This mainly deals with service based sales rather than product based business. But still, big butchered discounts look spammy, cheap and don't scream "high class" or "upscale".
If you have a discount, post in your story daily. Or post a slideshow and make the discount information not your first image. Another option is to just post your discount only in the caption.
5. Quit using other people's images to promote yourself.
Oh please, please please... do know use someone else's content that they created to promote yourself. This happens to us ON THE REG. Just yesterday we had to ask for photo cred from someone that used our image to promote their holiday discount. We're betting you're not working your tail off so that someone else can use YOUR image to promote THEIR product or service. This would be where the golden rule would come into play - "treat others the way you want to be treated".
Of course, if you're giving a good honest shoutout to that person or sharing how much you love them and their work - not promoting yourself - that would probably be an okay time to share other's images.
6. Quit being inconsistent.
Posting to social media, especially Instagram, regularly is HARD. Sometimes you're really good and then fall of the wagon for a bit. Then back up but never have a really good game plan. Sound familiar? Been there before!
Enter - Planoly.
Oh what a lifesaver this tool is. And if you haven't used it before, you need to. Start working smarter and not harder - that's the name of the game. Plan out your feed and your captions. Start getting ahead of the curve but leave room for the in-the-moment photo option as well. Mark out a day each week that you put your feed and posts together. Start throwing images into your queue so you are never left without something to post.
You'll be shocked how much your engagement and following rises when you pop up in your followers feed more often.