Okay, the time has come for us to stop being dinosaurs and living in the golden age of what Instagram was, instead of what it is right now. Before we could get away with just taking a picture, and adding a cute filter to it with a caption quoting dead greek philosophers #love, — but, very quickly Instagram evolved into one of the biggest platforms used by creators and businesses to date. The old way of doing things no longer works ESPECIALLY old digital marketing strategies.
5-6 years ago, you may have thought these tips helped— and to be fair they probably did, considering how badly optimised the Instagram algorithm was— but in 2022, these strategies are hurting the performance of your page and content.
We’ve listed 5 outdated Instagram tips that you should not take with you into 2023.
Tagging random people in your content
You should not be tagging random people in your content. This could be anything from posts, Stories to Reels. The concept of tagging strangers in your content originated from the idea that the more you tag people, the higher the chances, of them noticing your content, engaging with it and ultimately giving you a follow, are.
DEBUNKED: This method of farming clout has proven time and time again to no longer be relevant. What actually ends up happening — you start becoming annoying. That and they may not even end up seeing your post, to begin with. So STOP!
INSTEAD: Tag brands/products/people who are relevant to your content. For example, if you have used a product or followed a cooking tutorial created by a celebrity chef.
You could also use the Reels Remix feature if you are trying to get the attention of a specific person. Bear in mind (especially if they’re large brands or content creators) they may not see your content. However, if you remain consistent and engage with their content, chances are you will eventually get noticed!
Sharing your content with random people in the DMs
The treachery continues! Cut this out entirely, similar to tagging random people in your content, sending them DMs will annoy them too. Again, the reasons for doing this stem from the idea that the more people you send your content to the— yadda yadda yadda— you know the rest.
DEBUNKED: It doesn't work. What ends up happening is you’ll start to annoy people and eventually flag your account for spam (let’s face it, it kinda is spam). Not only may you get flagged for spam, but the people you are sharing your content with via DMs may restrict or block your account. So just cut it out. It does way more harm than good, to be honest.
INSTEAD: only share your content in DMs if a person has asked you a question (via the comments or direct messages) about something you have covered in a previous post.
Additionally, there is no harm in sharing newly published content to your Instagram Story with a call to action to check the entire piece of content out. TIP: make sure you convince your audience of the value your content will bring them.
Using generic hashtags
These are usually hashtags that are big and have a lot of spam within them or are not really relevant to your niche. People use generic hashtags in hopes that it may attract more eyeballs to their content.
DEBUNKED: what actually ends up happening is you’ll end up getting a lot of spam comments on your posts and when you use these generic hashtags, your content will get lost among the millions of posts and people attached to using that hashtag. Examples of generic hashtags include #coffee, #foodporn, and #travel— these are way too big and may have tons of spam attached to them! The likelihood of your post being one of the featured posts for this hashtag is a solid minuscule.
INSTEAD: do your hashtag research and make sure that your hashtags are relevant to your niche or brand. Also, make sure those hashtags do not have spam posts associated with them and that they have the perfect amount of uses—not too many and not too few.
Following and Unfollowing
If there’s a foolproof way to become hated by IG users, its this doing this sh#$.
Surprisingly, many people still do it and in 2023 we have to tell you, it needs to stop. About 7 years ago this was a great way to start off your account— following a whole lot of people and then unfollowing them after a few days
DEBUNKED: these days, Instagram will temporarily restrict or ban your account for spam-like activity. This technique is ineffective and low-key mean to the people you’re doing this to. You may think they wouldn’t notice, but they do and they’ll end up just unfollowing you anyway.
INSTEAD: use Reels, it’s honestly the best way to grow your account, especially since Instagram's algorithm highly favours Reel content.
Another technique is to follow people within your niche or who you are interested in. Engage (genuinely) with their content and build up a relationship with them where you exchange information or insights. Instagram will then categorise you guys as “similar creators” and eventually suggest your content and page to that person’s followers.
The most devastating one on our list, and I’m sure many are aware of this, however, some may not be but — DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS.
If you’re thinking about it or if it was suggested to you— we are here to tell you that it’s so dangerous for your page’s growth. Believe us, we understand how tempting (especially as a new account) it can be to spend a few pounds and get thousands of followers, you may think there’s no harm in it too.
DEBUNKED: this is what happens when you buy followers:
- - Instagram will suspend/shadowban/delete your account if they suspect you have bot followers. It’s not a correct practice on IG and the sudden jump in followers can send a red flag directly to Instagram (especially if you are a new account) which will result in an immediate ban, suspension or deletion of your account.
- - The followers you buy aren’t real, the like-to-follower ratio will be obvious to those viewing your page and will result in your brand seeming disingenuous/untrustworthy.
INSTEAD: Work on content that Instagram loves and loves to push. This is the best way to boost your follower count. Reels (as mentioned previously) are absolutely favoured by the algorithm and it is your best chance at growing. Create content consistently according to your niche, provide value and entertainment to your followers and be creative!
Make sure to leave these 5 outdated tips in 2022 as we slowly approach the New Year. Stop spamming people with tags and DMs of your content, use relevant hashtags, stop being a @#$%& with the follow/unfollow technique and definitely STOP buying followers!
Growth takes time, but building an organic, loyal audience is worth it! Good luck!