Instagram is catching up with Facebook very quickly. Just a year ago, the average time spent on Instagram was 27 mins and Facebook was 50 mins.
One year ahead, a user spends an average of 48 mins on Instagram (77.77% rise) and 58 mins on Facebook (3.6% rise).
You and I cannot ignore that Instagram is gaining more popularity and love every day. Soon, we may start hearing news that users spend more time on Instagram than they do on Facebook.
With this thing said, I don’t see any reason on why you should not focus your business on Instagram. If you say that your customers are not on Instagram then they will be after some time. You better start focussing on Instagram right now.
With all these said, I am going to tell you the five things that you must not do with your next Instagram post.
1: Never post any Image with less than 15 hashtags
I see this mistake very often that businesses post an image that has around 2-3 hashtags. This is the worst thing that you can do.
Instagram does not have a “share” button like Facebook. So, the only way a post can be seen to someone who is not following you is on see it on his “Explore” tab. And, the “Explore” tab is nothing but very intelligently curated posts that revolve around certain hashtags.
So, the more hashtag you have, the better will be the visibility.
Pro tip – If you think that putting all the hashtags in the caption makes the caption dirty, you can put all the hashtags in a comment. In this way, your caption will stay clean.
2: Photo is Dark
Another mistake that I see very often. Instagram has a white background. If your image is very dark or not properly lit, it does not look good against the white background. Not looking good means less engagement.
There are many free photo editing software exist. You can use any of them to brighten the photo.
Pro tip – the pro users of Instagram (the so-called Instagram models who have more than 500K followers) mostly use Adobe Lightroom to edit their photos. You can say that Adobe Lightroom is a little brother of Adobe Photoshop which is more easy to be handled by common people.
3: Posting Motivational Quotes
I see that all new Instagram accounts post motivational quotes. This is not the best way to start.
Instagram is now flooded with motivational quotes. The quote that you are posting now has already been posted a milllliiiooooonnnn times.
The new trend I am seeing nowadays is to post actionable knowledge. You can post facts, statistics, test cases, tips, etc. in a well-designed form. These posts are getting more than 30% engagement than the boring motivation quotes.
Here’s an image from @thesocialstudio.
Pro tip – Use canva.com to design your Instagram posts for free.
4: [Controversial] Using Instagram Filter
Gone are the days when people used filters to make it more aesthetic. Now things are back to basics.
Post an originally edited photo. Don’t flush away the original colors with Instagram filters.
If you look at the Instagram account of celebrities, they don’t use any filter. They post photos with original colors.
If you are thinking that all of the photos of celebrities are photoshopped then you are mistaken. Photos from a photoshoot are photoshopped but the photos that they post of their day-to-day life are rarely photoshopped.
Do you see any Instagram filter in above six posts? Not to mention that the @therock has 114 million followers (9th most followed account on Instagram).
You may not agree with me on this point, and this is exactly why I have written [controversial] in the beginning.
Pro tip – It’s better to edit the image in a photo editing tool first and then post on Instagram rather than using an Instagram filter.
5: Posting More than 2 Photos a Day
Newbies think that Instagram works the same way as Facebook and Twitter do. They can post multiple times a day to keep their followers engaged.
Instagram’s algorithm works differently.
Whenever you post something on Instagram, Instagram rapidly shows your post to 10% of the test group. From there it checks the engagement rate. If it’s good then it will show your post to more number of people. If it doesn’t then your post will be shown to less number of people.
If you post multiple photos in a day, Instagram will start to show your image to less number of people unless it receives a good response from the test group.
Pro tip – Many big companies posts 2-3 times a week on Instagram.
Let me know your thoughts. I will be replying to the first 10 comments personally.
Name – Vaibhav Sharan, Twitter – @maybevaibhav
Bio – I am the co-founder of I Innovate magazine – the magazine for the new age and hungry entrepreneurs. My magazine provides painkillers to entrepreneurs’ day-to-day problems.