We're always chasing after instagram followers, putting in the maximum effort to increase the number of our following.
But we fail to take a beat and really think about the biggest instagram mistakes we make that's actually costing us followers.
Randomly losing followers on instagram is actually not as random as you think. There may be a common pattern you're doing that you might be unaware of.
So if you're constantly asking yourself "how can I get more followers on instagram?" or "why am I losing instagram followers?" I may have the answers for you!
I've seen time and time again typical repeated mistakes, and if you truly want to beat the instagram algorithm watch out for these common instagram mistakes..
1) POOR QUALITY PHOTOS
I understand that we're not all pro photographers and some of us barely understand how to use the camera on our phones.
But low quality images or a lack of good photography presence is the easiest way to prevent people from following you.
Some tough love here, but instagram exists to be visual, and if you're not delivering that then you're defeating the entire purpose.
Here's an example of a good quality image versus a poor one:
IMAGE ON THE LEFT IS WELL LIT AND SHARP, WHILE THE IMAGE ON THE RIGHT IS DARK AND BLURRY.
I know how you must feel - following these major influencers thinking "DANG, do they just have photographers chasing them all the time?".
Here's a little secret for you...
Most of these #instaworthy photos are either shot by the influencer themselves, taken on a phone camera and yes there are some odds it was taken by a professional photographer as well.
I got some amazing news for you though - YOU CAN TAKE FREAKIN AWESOME PHOTOS YOURSELF TOO!
If you have a phone with a functional camera, all it needs is a little preparation and creativity on your part.
2) NOT HAVING A THEME
Fact of the matter is, 90% of users will determine whether to follow you or not based on the first 9 photos they see in your instagram feed.
So you really gotta make those 9 photos count.
Better yet, you should really make all your photos count.
Generally what this means is, your photos need to look amazing individually and in your overall instagram feed.
Let's test the waters shall we?
Which from the below feeds are you most likely to hit follow on?
THE ONE ON THE LEFT OR THE ONE ON THE RIGHT?
My guess is you choose the seamless feed that balances the white and teal on the right, correct?
Why is that the case?
Because having a theme is visually pleasing to the eye and brain. It's magnetic and creates a visual story that people are drawn to.
3) POSTING INCONSISTENTLY
Posting inconsistently on instagram is by far one of the worst instagram sins.
Nothing is more annoying than following an account that is quite for days and suddenly post 9 photos all at once.
It's improper instagram decorum.
When you post consistently, you indirectly tell your followers what to expect of you and you're delivering on the promise of showing up for them.
The best instagram practice is to at least post once a day. If you're one of those people who struggles on what to post, I got a little tip for you...
4) IMPLEMENTING THE FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW METHOD
This is one of the most annoying things on instagram to date. The follow unfollow game actually harms you more than it does good.
In fact, instagram will temporarily ban your account if you've followed or unfollowed a massive number in a short period of time.
The follow/unfollow method will get you a completely unengaged and uninterested audience. That's not to mention the fact that...
Instagram will detect what you're doing and could shadow ban you, preventing your account from being seen all together.
This is one of the easiest ways to have instagram punish you by pushing your content down avoiding it from being seen by non-followers.
So how do you intend on getting followers if they can't see your posts?
You're doing yourself and your instagram account a major disservice by implementing this strategy because you come across as 'sleazy'.
It's all together an annoying and uncourteous tactic, PLUS it will not get you followers that are genuinely interested in what you're offering.
5) BUYING FOLLOWERS
Speaking of the follow/unfollow technique, buying instagram followers is another MAJOR NO-NO!
Nothing in life comes easy, neither do instagram followers.
Buying instagram followers may beef up your number, but you will regret it if instagram catches you, because you're increasing the chances of either getting shadow banned, or even getting banned from instagram all together.
This is not only damaging your chances of actually getting real followers, but instagram will seriously penalize you.
Buying instagram followers is no different than paying an escort for a date.
Because it's insincere, non of your followers will be engaged, and more likely than not a big portion of your followers will be fake accounts - another thing instagram majorly penalizes.
The results showed that gaining organic followers got them a little under 4% conversion for their sales (which is fairly good since the typical conversion rate is 1.5% - 2%), while bot followers got them exactly 0%
So I'd really think twice about buying followers :)
6) TOO MUCH SELF PROMOTION
We all hate ads don't we? Having it pop up on our instagram account is no different.
If you came across as too self-promotion(ey), get ready to lose some followers.
If you're constantly pushing your products or a sale, people will instantly become disengaged and disinterested.
Instead, you want to offer VALUE that will help your audience. The best ways to do this is by providing or offering:
Showing them a shortcut
If your instagram content do not hit any of those 4 things, you're not giving much reason for someone to follow you.
This doesn't mean to not promote yourself or what you offer all together, just balance it out by using the 80/20 method...
This means, providing VALUE for 80% of the time while self promoting for the remaining 20%
7) NOT INTERACTING OR ENGAGING YOURSELF
It's called social media, because the whole point is for you to be social. If you're not responding to DMs, comments or likes, you're limiting that human connection - which believe it or not, people crave for.
But this is not just limited to being non-responsive...
If you're not voluntarily engaging by commenting or liking photos yourself, people won't take notice of you.
Think about it this way.. if you're at a party and you're hiding in a corner waiting for someone to come talk to you, is that tactic really going to work?
Or would it most likely work if you grab a drink and start a random conversation with someone?
Which is going to get you more noticed?
Sitting idly by the sidelines hoping someone will like, comment or follow is a technique that will leave you disappointed.
Instead, reach out and take the "first move".
While on that note, encourage people to interact and engage with your posts by either posing a question or offer something insightful.
As you can see in my below post, I wrote a fun little fact about Indian Weddings and why brides get henna and hide the groom's initials in her mehndi (if you wanna know why, read the caption below).
It's entertaining and educational, and actually got responses through likes and comments.
8) NEGLECTING CAPTIONS
This is a far too common mistake. Instagram caption limit can reach up to 2,200 words - that's like an entire blog post.
And it's that long for a reason, because you SHOULD be utilizing it.
Captions can seriously compliment your post by creating a backstory to your image. People LOVE stories and learning more about what you're posting.
My captions are usually long and I'm extremely unapologetic about it and my analytics speaks for themselves.
Photos that have no or meaningless captions are less likely to get engagement than photos that do have captions.
Here's a little snippet...
This is an image with a super generic caption:
It gathered 70 likes, 0 comments and only 1 save.
Alternatively, this rich caption filled photo got 158 likes, 16 comments and 15 saves.
So yes, captions will really UP your instagram game. Good captions will include:
A relatable story
An inspirational element
Try to hit one of those 4 things and you're golden.
9) USING SPAMMY HASHTAGS
Spammy hashtags are nothing other than SPAMMY! First off, they actually won't get you found and secondly, you're coming across off as needy.
If you think people aren't taking notice of your hashtags, guess again.
Spammy hashtags like #followforfollow or #followme is no different than a clingy girlfriend. It actually dissuades you from following that person, much like the guy who's trying to break up with his girlfriend.
The whole idea of hashtags is to get your content found, and using spammy hashtags like that is just a complete waste of hashtag use (considering you only have 30 hashtags to utilize).
Instead, download this FREE guide that tells you exactly step by step how to effectively use hashtags that instantly gets you found and ranked in the top posts of Instagram's explore page.
Now that we've covered the 9 most major instagram sins, let's stress on the importance of VALUE and ENGAGEMENT because that's what instagram is after.
Instagram's algorithm favours content that is relevant to audiences and ranks a whole lot of engagement, so by avoiding things like: spammy hashtags, a lack of caption use and the follow/unfollow method, you're already a step ahead in the instagram game.
So what do you think? What were your major takeaways? Are you going to take more time and intention in capturing more #instaworthy photos or are you going to be a better storyteller with your captions?
Let me know in the comments below...