Even though this post is titled “5 Things You Should Never Do on Instagram“, it is probably better stated “5 Things I Would Never Do on Instagram“. Since your Instagram account is yours and yours alone, you can really do whatever you like, assuming you follow the terms and conditions of use that is! But lets assume that you are reading this article because you want to be successful on Instagram. I’ve written a previous article on rules you can follow to rapidly grow your Instagram following, but for this article I’m going to share the real No No’s that are sure fire ways to stop your Instagram growth dead in its tracks.
#1 Rule: Never, ever, ever ask someone to follow you!
Nothing irritates people more on a daily basis than people who post comments on their photos for the sole purpose of asking to be followed. I can’t tell you how many “Nice pic. FOLLOW ME?!?!” comments I’ve seen. It really doesn’t even matter how tactfully you ask, people at best will ignore you and at worst will block you. I can’t even think of an exception to this rule so just don’t do it.
#2 Rule: Never steal someone else’s pictures and post them as your own.
I know, you probably just gasped in shock and horror but the truth is people do this on IG all the time. A few months ago there was a rash of incidences that caused a small meme on IG which resulted in the popular page being overloaded with pictures with overly huge watermarks on them. One of my photos with a giant watermark obscuring the image made it to the popular page! Stealing someone else’s photos and passing them off as your own is such bad form. It’s kind of sad that I even have to post this one.
#3 Rule: Don’t SPAM your follower’s feeds all at once.
It annoys me when people do this. I haven’t seen an image from them in a week and then in 5 minutes they post 10 images all at once. As I’ve stated in my other article, I think it works to your advantage to post throughout the day, at least a couple of hours between each post. If you are only posting your best images then you can probably cut your postings to one or two a day. Lately I’ve been posting once every other day or three. I’ve actually had multiple people tell me they’d wish I’d post more. That’s way better to hear than someone telling you they wish you’d post less, or worse dropping your stream from their feed because you just overloaded them.
#4 Rule: Don’t post what you had for breakfast, or what song you are listening to right now, etc.
This one is controversial because a lot of people see Instagram as a sort of Twitter for pictures. I personally look at it as a way to share my love of photography with others and to get immediate positive feedback on my work. If you want to post pics of the food you are eating right this moment, or that weird guy on the bus who sat across from you, or you want to post a picture of the tail lights of all the cars who are stuck with you in traffic, try out this app. I recommend using Instagram as a portfolio of your best moments in life, not your most mundane daily activities.
#5 Rule: Don’t get caught up in the Follow for Follow game.
I see so many people who put in their personal info block above their feed “Follow me and I’ll follow you!” Do you know what that tells me? You don’t give a lick about my photos, you just care about your own growth. Right out of the gates you are coming across as selfish and unwilling to put in the work to grow organically. Besides that, if you read my post about making the Popular Page on Instagram you’ll know that gaining followers simply so you’ll follow back produces ZOMBIES. Zombies do not help you, in fact they hurt your chances for making the Popular Page. If you don’t care about the Popular Page and all you really want is a bunch of followers who never like your photos or give you feedback on your work, then go right ahead and play this game but I’m telling you it is a slippery slope…
On this blog I try to be positive and tell you what you should do rather what you shouldn’t do but with the massive growth of Instagram and the extreme bad behavior I constantly see on it, I really felt it necessary to put these rules out. I hope you find them just as useful as the suggestions I’ve made about growing naturally, and having popular photos.
Any Don’ts you think I missed? Feel free to comment and share with the rest of the community! I’m @appdaptation on Instagram. If you like what you’ve read on this blog, consider popping by and saying hello on Instagram!