Jodie and I are slightly obsessed with Instagram. There, I said it (well, wrote it.) Ever since we started posting on IG over 2 years ago we’ve been pretty much attached to our phones. The plus side of this addiction has been multifaceted and has resulted in growth, organic growth that we have translated into our blog, earning free product, and monetary compensation with sponsored posts. However, we both learned by trial and error making many Instagram mistakes along the way. Over time and with the ever-changing landscape we have learned a lot, and we find great joy in sharing it with you.
Just in case you are new to us and don’t know us from Instagram, Jodie is my identical twin sister. She can be found @jodie.thedesigntwins and I am Julie @julie.thedesigntwins. We would love to connect with you there, so be sure to follow us and reach out to us. We try to always answer our DM’s and comments.
During our time on Instagram we haven’t just been “hanging out”. We have been purposeful in our posts and highly engaged with our followers. We have also spent time analyzing what works for us and what does not work in this ever-evolving platform. These 10 potential mistakes come from our experience, our on-going research, and our analysis of Instagram.
10 Instagram Mistakes You May Be Making
Instagram Mistake #1: Not Engaging Enough
This is the NUMBER ONE key to growth on Instagram. In the past the more followers you had the more people saw your account and the more you continued to grow. This is no longer the case. How is engagement measured? By the number and quality of comments. Instagram is reacting against the robotic infiltration of their platform.
How do you get your followers to engage? Start a conversation. Make it interactive. Ask a question. Draw them in. Keep it real, relevant, fun, and ENGAGING.
Instagram Mistake #2: Not Answering Every Comment
I can hear you from here. Really? I have to answer EVERY comment? It’s up to you, but you are hurting yourself if you don’t. Each comment counts, and that means yours too. I know it takes time, but engagement is the new King. If you want to be Queen follow this advice.
Also, when you answer them makes a difference. Don’t post and run. Post when you have time to stay with your post and answer your comments. This encourages conversation. It shows to your followers that you are there and ready to reply. It encourages more followers to comment.
Instagram Mistake #3: Commenting Using Generic Replies
Quality of engagement can actually be measured. Advanced technology exists and is used by Instagram and by companies deciding who to hire to represent their brands. Because of the influx of artificial growth and engagement (people buying likes and followers) Instagram has made it a high priority to track this. What does this mean? It means numbers no longer cut it. It also means that repetitive, non-personal replies are interpreted as potential robots. Replies like “beautiful” or “nice” or emojis are easily produced by robots and therefore no longer carry any weight.
Mistake #4: Commenting Using Fewer Than Three Words
Along the same lines as generic commenting, this is a fairly new change brought on by the influx of artificial/bought engagement. Your comments need to be longer than three words for IG to recognize them as real.
Instagram Mistake #5: Skipping Hashtags
Hashtags remain as powerful as ever on Instagram. Even though the decor community on Instagram has burned itself out on hashtag games from saturation and overuse, Instagram still runs on hashtags as a way to find people and to be found. Stay up to date with your hashtags. Make them as relavent as possible to your post and to the audience you want to attract. Use all 30. There’s no reason to skimp.
Mistake #6: Over-Editing Your Posts
We’ve all seen this, and many of us have learned the hard way, us included. Do not over saturate your posts so the colors look fake and like Disneyland. Don’t go to the other side and over-brighten, over-whiten so you can only see a haze of white. There are great examples of successful people who are doing a fabulous job all over IG who you can learn from. Post bright but clear, realistic photos. Studies reveal that Instagram prefers this as well.
Instagram Mistake #7: Posting Inconsistently
To build a solid following you should be there when your followers are there. They are showing up, so you better too. Be reliable and consistent. This is how you build a relationship. If you are going to post once a day, do it at roughly the same time each day. If you choose twice a day, the same thing goes. Get on a schedule and stick to it.
Mistake #8: Compromised Quality
It’s better to not post at all then to compromise quality. This is a quality over quantity game, unlike some other platforms. You’ll lose more than you gain if you do this.
Instagram Mistake #9: Having Text on Your Photos
Get rid of the text overlays on your photos. It’s distracting and most people on Instagram do not like it. Remember, Instagram is a visually driven platform. Don’t compromise the aesthetics if you want to grow. If you have to put text on occasionally for some important reason (a giveaway or announcing a new hashtag) then don’t let it stay on your feed. Remove it as soon as possible.
This goes for watermarks too. Let’s face it; if someone wants to use your photo they are going to. In today’s world they can crop it/edit it out anyway.
Mistake #10: Posting Outside Your Theme or Niche (Or Not Having One)
Your content should tell a story. In order to tell that story, you, the creator, need to know your own story. Some refer to this as a theme or niche. Your theme should be clear the moment someone glances at your feed. Your name, your bio, and your top 9 need to clearly reveal who you are and what you are about. You have two tenths of a second to grab your audience’s attention before they click away forever. No pressure.
Why Should You Correct These Instagram Mistakes?
No matter who you are or what your reasons are for spending time on Instagram, if you are reading this article you want to grow. You have something to say, something to show, and you want to be seen and heard. Of course you do. The only people aren’t interested are private accounts. It comes down to time and how to make the most of it. We promise you will see an increase in your Instagram success by following these fairly simple tips.
The absolute #1 key to success on Instagram to remember is…
Engagement = Growth
We wish you great success!
With love and gratitude,
The Design Twins, Juie & Jodie