Instagram: What not to do

1.) BUY FOLLOWERS

This is probably the worst thing you can do. All of the followers you buy will probably never engage with you, as most are inactive or fake accounts anyway. This actually hurts rather than helps. First of all- everyone can tell that they’re bought because your engagement won’t match up. Second, companies will almost never work with accounts when they have bought followers. The point is to grow an authentic following, and buying followers is just the opposite. This also includes paying for services that “grow” your account for you. (yes that’s a thing)

2.) OVER-DO GIVEAWAYS

Posting too many (loop) giveaways can actually make you lose followers that were previously very involved and  enjoyed your account! It’s annoying and spammy. I suggest to limit your giveaways to no more that 2-3 a month. I think brand giveaways are different because they only have to follow you and the brand instead of 20-40 accounts.

3.) FOLLOW / UNFOLLOW

Ever get followed by a big account, only to be unfollowed days later? Did you feel upset about it? Most people do, and that’s exactly the reason you shouldn’t do it. It makes people feel bad and like all you are to them is a number. I was and still am always getting followed + unfollowed by other accounts only trying to grow. Once I realized their tactic, I didn’t think it was the best way, so I continued trying to grow differently.

After a while I had a few people tell me to try it, and that they had a lot of success with it. I gave in, and did it. For a period of time followed and unfollowed many accounts. And while yes, it worked, I felt terrible whilst doing it. I stopped a few days later. I definitely regret doing it. I just think there are better, more authentic, and more kind ways to grow.

4.) FOLLOW ACCOUNTS ONLY FOR FOLLOW FRIDAY

I did this at first when I was smaller because I didn’t view FF’s the same back then. I thought it was just a way to get more followers, not that you necessarily followed the account. I was so unaware of so many things in the beginning.

Since learning what it was really about. (to share others that inspire + uplift) I decided I would never do a follow Friday without first knowing everyone in it. I had to be sure that account aligned with my values, and was truly someone I felt I wanted to share.

I have done quite a few follow Fridays where someone in it unfollowed me a couple days later. I was kind of disappointed by that. I chalked it up to the fact that maybe I posted something they didn’t agree with… until I did not one, but THREE more follow Fridays with one of the people… only to have them follow and unfollow every time. It has taken me that many times to decide to never do one with that girl again. Point of this story is– Don’t be that person. Stick to sharing accounts you truly love!

5.) GIVE UP

If blogging / influencing / creating content is what you’re passionate about- don’t give up!!! Even if you are growing slowly. Keep giving it your best. Even if it takes years! It has for many bloggers I know. Imagine if after just one-two they gave up? Never stop working on your dreams!

Its easy to get discouraged, and feel like you’ll be stuck on a certain “number” forever. Stop worrying about the numbers, and start worrying about your content!! Are you proud of it? Could you do better? What could you change? Do you like the way you edit? Do you engage enough? Am I putting in enough time? Those are all the questions you should be asking. The less you focus on the numbers, and more you focus on improving yourself, the faster you will grow!

Make it happen for yourself!

6.) USE THE SAME HASHTAGS

Not many people know this, but using the same set of hashtags can actually get you shadow banned. (for those who don’t know- being shadow banned means that your posts don’t show up to those not following you, under the hashtags you use– rendering them useless.) Posting the same ones over and over and over appears bot-like to instagram. Hence they don’t allow your posts to show up under the hashtags you used. Don’t make that mistake, not only to not get shadow banned, but because it also decreases your accounts visibility. If you were only going to the same few places everyday there’s only so many people you could meet. The same applies for hashtags. The more new ones you use, and switch up, the more accounts or people you will meet.

7.) BE IN ENGAGEMENT GROUPS

I was in wayyyy to many engagement groups in the beginning of my instagram days. Before them, I would hardly get comments on my posts. I joined them so that I would have more comments, which I thought would help me grow faster. What really happened was I got way too many comments for how many followers I had, and not only that, but the comments weren’t very authentic. People would only comment right before they were going to post and because they were in a hurry, it made the comments seem forced, and unnatural. This is just my opinion anyway. Honestly, I don’t believe that engagement groups help you grow. It may help increase engagement (Hence the name) but the engagement isn’t “real” so why do it? I’d rather have 2 authentic natural comments on a post than 100 “forced” ones.

8.) WORK WITH COMPANIES JUST BECAUSE THEY ASK

It’s okay to say no to companies that you don’t agree with. Maybe you don’t like the products? Maybe you don’t think your followers would like them? whatever the reason, its OK. Be selective with who you choose to work with + associate yourself with. You’ll thank yourself later.

I used to say yes to almost every collab opportunity because I was so excited companies were noticing me! Even if I didn’t really LOVE the product. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but I don’t know if I loved them. I am so much more selective now, and it’s definitely for the better. I mainly only do paid partnerships now, unless its a product I really love. I’d never post about something I wouldn’t buy myself. I have started to really value my time, as I’ve come to learn how much goes into creating good content.

Don’t over-do collabs as well. You may have opportunities to have tons of partnerships every week with products and companies you love, but try to space them out, and not post too much sponsored content. you should have well over half of your content not sponsored.

9.) IGNORE YOUR FOLLOWERS

As most of you who follow me know, I try to answer every question I get when I can. It’s extremely rude in my opinion to not answer or at least try to. I know that when you have tens of thousands of followers it gets hard, but I think its important to try answering as many as you are able. This also applies to responding to comments.

10.) STEAL OTHER PEOPLES WORK

It’s okay to be inspired by others photos, and also try to recreate them. When it comes to instagram there is a fine line between being inspired + being outright in-authentic. When you try to take credit for the idea, or do the EXACT same thing as someone else… Those are things that cross the line. I find it helpful to scroll through photos on Pinterest, so i’m getting inspired by all kinds of different pictures. Usually theres a couple that really stand out, and then I “recreate” it in my own way + with my own touch. A lot of my ideas come from my own little brain as well. 🙂

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3 Comments

  1. March 30, 2018 / 7:24 pm

    you have always inspires me!! thanks for your honesty

    • April 1, 2018 / 2:00 pm

      That means so much! thank you, and of course! 🙂

  2. Allison carlson
    February 27, 2019 / 1:12 pm

    I love this Sabrina! You are so awesome!

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