7 Things You're Doing Wrong on Instagram

things you're doing wrong on instagram

You never realize how tough it is to grow a social media presence until you do it intentionally from scratch. Instagram is super hot and especially with the new stories feature, we need to all be on the platform killing it and converting followers to readers and customers.

 I remember way back when I would post going out pictures and wait until the perfect time to post, usually between 8 pm and 11 pm on a Friday or Saturday night, to get the most likes. Now it’s the complete opposite. I’ve been so concentrated on Instagram for business for TBH, that I really don’t spend much time on my personal account. Truth be told, I don’t have much to post over there because the majority of the time, my head is buried in my laptop and those followers over there are still looking for turn up pictures and traveling rather than girl boss quotes.

Now on TBH’s Instagram I need to make sure that the followers know what TBH stands for and what kind of content they should expect from me. Each social media channel is a reflection of your brand, rather you tweet about Love and Hip Hop or Grey’s, everyone is looking at your brand as a whole. I have finally gotten into the swing of things with TBH’s Instagram and gaining the presence that I want it to have and will be moving on to growing its other profiles to have the same impact.

There are many things I’ve realized that people are completely missing and then wondering why their pages are stagnant or they get zero engagement. It's not about follower numbers, it's about engagement. If you're not getting over a couple of likes and never any comments, you have low engagement. If you have 10,000 followers and only get 50 likes, you still have low engagement. Most likely you're struggling and your posts aren't good for various reasons.

It’s not your followers, it’s you. Step your Instagram game up!
— @TheBronzeHustle

People are scrolling by your photos looking like this because you keep making the same mistakes over and over:

annoyed gif

1. You’re running a “shy page”

What I mean by a “shy page” is one that posts and runs. They don’t interact for one reason or another, they just post and hope for engagement. For us little, growing brands (not the Oprahs and Coca-Colas) but the brands that have had to start at the bottom in this day in age, have to actually interact with people to get noticed. You need to stick around before and after you post on Instagram or even better, get on a different time and interact with followers you don’t usually see on your timeline.

2. You don’t comment anyone back

Now, if you run a page with less than 5000 followers, you should be able to send comments back to people. Even if it’s just a “amen!” or an emoji. When you don’t comment back to people it makes it seem like you don’t care about them. It’s almost like when people text you and you never respond so they just stop texting you to begin with. If you don’t respond to my comment on your page ( and now you can 'like' the comment!), I might as well stop leaving them and leave you with zero engagement. 

Make sure you're responding to at least some of your direct message responses to your stories too!

3. Your bio makes no sense

I’m going to same something that might rub you the wrong way- stop loading up your bios with emojis. Some here are there is fine but more than a few and your page reads like a middle schooler who just got an iPhone.

If your bio isn’t direct, then your brand probably isn’t either. Which means you’re not targeting anyone and just shooting blanks with your posts because no one can tell what your page is for. I also just posted a blog post about how your social media bios should read, click here for more info on the topic.

4. You don't post things related to your brand

sephore instagram account

Sephora does an amazing job posting on brand without being too repetitive. The post short makeup tutorials, new brands and women who are using the products.

If you have a natural hair blog, why do the people in your graphics have blond hair and blue eyes? If you're a food blogger, why are you posting shoes? Unless it's spot on with your brand or at least related to your brand, don't post it. If you're a inspirational hair blogger than sure you can post things not related to hair. But seeing 12 pictures of your kids in between 2 pictures of hair pictures will most likely turn everyone off. Speaking of pictures...

5. You keep posting the same picture or graphics over and over

I mentioned this in another social media blog post a few months back along with even more dos and don’ts.

bad instagram account

This is an actual screenshot from an Instagram account! The fanned out money pictures and begging for "business" is annoying and I don't even follow them. 

On social media period, we don’t want to see the same thing over and over. It’s the same thing with business as it is with personal pages. I don’t want to see you in the same exact dress in the same exact picture 6 times and I don’t want to see the promo for your event or product in the exact same image 6 times either. This goes for similar images too, I follow a woman on Instagram (I’m still wondering why as I type this) who puts the same huge product on every single one of her “flat lays.” It’s in the same spot and I know she’s doing it for branding purposes but every single picture she posts looks the same, rather she changes up the words or not and I scroll past. If you sell necklaces and they’re all laid out in a line in every post, you’re being just as repetitive as the club promotion people are.

6. Your promotions are annoying your followers

People may actually want to attend your event or buy your product but every time you post you’re screaming in sales talk and it’s turning them off. Usually the people who do this are also committing the sin above of posting the same thing.

If you’ve been on any social media channel longer than a few months than you know by now that there are ads integrated into our timelines. These ads are meant to mimic the posts that are already there to an extent so you read them and they don’t scream “advertisement.” Magazines have been doing this for years with advertorials that give tips just like a magazine article would, but in the form of a softer ad.

When your post screams for sales, no one reads it because no one likes to be blatantly sold to. You need to give valuable info your audience cares about, sadly when I see your necklace image again with the price, I don’t care. But if you gave me 5 tips on storing jewelry for travel, maybe I would stop and read your ad for your Etsy shop. I got kind of long winded on this and created an entire blog post on how to post promotions on Instagram within your everyday posts.

7. Your captions aren’t captivating

,I mentioned back in one of my first webinars, “Being an Influencer,” with Jonna that you are apart of your brand. Yes, you have your own brand but pieces of you should be evident in your posts to draw your audience in. This goes for all the content you produce from newsletters to blog posts to social media.

Here’s an example of a bland Instagram caption:

I just wrote a blog on the things you’re doing wrong on Instagram. Go read by clicking the link in the bio.

Here’s an example of a better Instagram caption:

Good morning! I just finished up some blog posts on the blog, go read about the things you’re doing wrong on Instagram by clicking the link in the bio.

Here’s an example of an excellent Instagram caption:

Good morning! I just received some awesome makeup in the mail and I unboxed it all for you on my Instagram story! If you’re unfamiliar with stories, you can get to them by clicking on the profile and the colorful circle around the photo means there’s a new story and just like Snapchat, they’re only up for 24 hours. I know you’re probably over so many algorithm changes and updates so I created a post about how to take advantage of the new stories feature! You can read about it by clicking the link in the bio. Have you started posting stories on Instagram yet or are you sticking to Snapchat?

Many people mention keeping your Instagram captions short because people are there to see photos etc but I’m a firm believer that although something may be long, it can still grasp attention, especially when it shows personality. Some people never read captions period on Instagram and that doesn’t mean you don’t need a good one.

The example above gave a CTA (or call to action) that I think almost every single Instagram caption needs. Now if there’s a #girlboss quote, you may not post a CTA but if you’re directing them to a blog post or your new story, let them know. The example above provided good, useful information for people who may be new to stories and lead them to her story and her blog post. She even gave them a tip on how she’s using the feature before they even have to click on the post. Now if her blog post had a free worksheet for using stories as a content upgrade, even better because now she has subscribers and something else she could’ve added in the caption.

If you're ready to take things up a notch for your brand, enroll in our new free monetization course and start making cash outside of just relying on social media!

Author: Shay Duriel Davis, the Creator of The Bronze Hustle and Hustle Hive Elite