It has taken me 3 months to finally finish and publish this post. The reason being the fact that not everyone likes all these “negated” posts that tell you “what NOT to do”, myself included. But sometimes these posts just have to be written regardless of how uncomfortable they may be for the readers and even the writer. By no means am I claiming to be some social media guru (I am quite far from that actually) but actively running my instagram account for almost 2 years with quite a number of followers and seeing many things that rub me in the wrongest of ways, I think I have earned some balls to talk about these Instagram mistakes and reduce the amount of this mess we bloggers/grammers have to deal with.
Before I start with these 5 Instagram mistakes to avoid, let me begin by saying it is not the end of the world if you have committed any one of them; I myself learned by making some of these mistakes and I’m not ashamed to admit. But this post is here to point them out to you so you can learn from them just like I did – and to enjoy some baby’s breath flower eye candy while you read 🙂
1. Advertising on people’s posts: Whether it is your own blog, or your business, it is hardly classy to advertise that under someone’s instagram post. We know sometimes running a business has it’s messy parts where we have to be shameless, but this is not one of them. This is when you leave comments like “For your photography needs visit www.mywebsite.com” without engaging the poster in any way at all. Many people would most likely delete your “ad” and just block you especially if you are one of those that participate in spamvertising (repeatedly posting such comments on multiple posts including those that are unrelated to your business- spam advertising). It is uncomfortable and distracting both to the poster and their viewers. Of course there are times when it is okay, when the poster actually calls for people to list their businesses under their posts or asks to be directed to certain businesses in an area. Except for times like that, try to stay away from advertising your business on other people’s posts.
What to do instead: Continue doing what you do and let your work speak for itself. You can also ask your friends/clients that truly believe in your business to help promote your page on their pages. Another common way to get your business out there is to increase your social media (instgram) presence by engaging both with your followers and your following.
2. Always asking for follow backs: Have you ever heard of “KFB”? If not you are one lucky Instagrammer! For people like me who have had to deal with this I keep wondering why people won’t change and stop this nagging social media attitude. “KFB” means “Kindly Follow back” and believe me when I say there are some people who only leave comments like this on social media. Perhaps you have never heard of “Kfb” how about “S4s” or “SFS” (these mean shout out for shout out)? These are just variations of ways people beg for new followers on other people’s posts. What is probably most annoying is that they say nothing else, not even “hey nice photo!” Personally this is my major instagram turn off. Don’t be caught begging for follow backs except it is for…actually I can’t think of any good enough reason for this behavior.
Hahah! This Instagram post by Jide Alakija really cracked me up!
What to do instead: Like mentioned above, try to engage the account holder with meaningful comments and conversations. People are most likely to respond to you when they can tell you are a real human being who has something to offer (great instagram photos) as opposed to a spammer who only asks for followers.
3. Not giving credit to photos used: Have you ever been attacked for not crediting a photo properly? Well I have and trust me, it is not pretty, especially when the owner of the photo is not very nice about it. It is always advisable to avoid sharing photos without giving credit. Especially when you have a lot of followers, the owner of the photo is more likely to call you out than when you don’t because the chances that he/she would see your pictures are much higher. I know it can be really difficult to resist not sharing that pretty perfect photo because you can’t find the photographer, but try your best; it could save you from a possible instagram mess with a not-too-happy-photo-owner.
What to do instead: In the case where the photo is found on Google or places like pinterest, you can google image search (download the photo to your computer and upload it into the google search bar under images) to find out the photographer. It maybe a long shot but sometimes this actually works and then you can post the photo and add “Photography by Xxx”. In the case where the owner is on instgram, easy to use apps like the Photo repost app quickly help you repost the photo with great quality and the owners instgram names already copied, all you have to do is paste it. Lastly if your effort to find the photographer has been unsuccessful but you still want to post the photo, admit you have no idea who owns the photo and you would like to know. I tried a #TellMeThePhotographerSoICanGiveCredit hashtag and on a few occasions it actually worked and the photographer seemed pleased, yay!
4. Leaving rude comments: I am thankful I don’t see much of this anymore but back when I started I definitely saw a lot. We all know there are some really negative people in this world and those that are hardly pleased with anything. With running a wedding blog (and instagram page), most of the photos posted are of real life people in relation to one of the days dedicated to celebrate something as beautiful as love. There should be no reason for negative comments as it could be very hurtful to the individuals. Granted, it is not every style of wedding or idea posted that one would like, but it doesn’t mean he/she has to be hateful about it. There may be cases where the followers are asked for their opinions, but I believe one can give an answer without being hateful/rude.
What to do instead: So you see a photo which you perceive as really weird and you can’t think of anything nice to say, how about you scroll along and “not double tap” that photo? By that you have communicated that you are not a fan of the photo without hurting anyone, I think that’s a win, win!
5. Allowing rude comments: Now in the case where some people still go ahead and leave rude comments, it says a lot about the account holder if he/she leaves such comments (and not address them) or even fuels the hateful comments – some people feed on controversy because they believe it gains them more traffic, not me. I know that we can not address every single negative comment especially when so much instagram activity is going on, but the ones we see, I believe we should make an effort to address.
What to do instead: If you are the type of person that believes in conversations and engagement, you can always strike a conversation with such hateful commenter and bring the focus back to the beauty of the picture which is most likely the reason you posted it in the first place. Some may not be up for back and forth conversations so there is the option of just deleting such comments immediately and moving on. And if you have noticed the particular commenter has a pattern of leaving negative comments, it might be easier to block him/her once and for all because #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat!
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Like I said above, these are just the top 5 instagram mistakes I have noticed (and some of them I have even committed) and learned not to do. How about you? How has your instgram life been? Any pointers to share based on your experience? Then comment below so we can all learn to be awesome on my favorite social media – Instagram!
PS: For the Wedding inspiration post of the day, I am guest posting on Maven Bride! Be sure to check out the Lavender Rustic wedding Inspiration board I have on there today 🙂