January 26, 2019
By: Katelyn Grubb, 36 Degrees North
If you’re trying to increase your following on Instagram, chances are you’re buying into certain trends that are actually hindering your progress.
Desiree Yearby, a PR specialist and adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University, recently taught a class at 36 Degrees North on how to develop your personal brand on social media. During the class, she addressed some key Instagram faux pas. Here are the four things she says could be hurting your following, rather than helping it.
1) You’re using way too many hashtags.
Hashtags are a great way to link your content to other similar content on Instagram. This helps your potential followers cut through the clutter and find your page. But hashtags weigh heavy. Using too many of them can hurt your standing in the Instagram algorithm (plus excessive hashtags look tacky and detract from the overall image or message you’re sharing). Keep them purposeful and limited.
2) You’re deactivating your page.
Never do this. Whether you’re taking a hiatus from social media or going through some rebranding, NEVER NEVER NEVER deactivate your account. Instead delete the app, block the website or find another way to stay away from it. Deactivating your account messes up the algorithm that you’ve already created, meaning it affects who will see your posts once you get back on. This could lower your views and interactions long-term because Instagram thinks you don’t exist and therefore won’t show your content to your followers.
3) You’re “mass liking” or “mass commenting” on other people’s posts.
That just doesn’t help. According to Desiree, Instagram monitors who you’re responding to with likes and comments. If they think you’re liking or commenting too much, they can put a temporary block on your account to keep you from trolling. Instead, she suggests you create a daily routine (i.e. 3 likes, 2 comments and 1 interaction per day). This will help keep you relevant on social media without sending Instagram into a whirlwind.
4) You’re posting Instagram profile collages.
Sure, they look cool when you view the “big picture” on an Instagram profile. But the individual posts that make up that collage tend to get fewer likes per post- jeopardizing your algorithm as a whole. Dez says “your success within 10 minutes of posting determines your success of a post,” so don’t sabotage yourself by posting a bunch of collage segments that won’t elicit likes. Stay away from the Insta collage unless you’ve already established your brand and have a consistent following (like our friends Maroon 5 (see above). Those guys go to town with their collages…)
If you want to learn about other Instagram strategies or have social media questions in general, follow Desiree on Instagram at @dezzgotsteeze or check out other upcoming social media workshops at 36 Degrees North.