In the world of Instagram, where every click and caption counts, mastering the art of managing your Instagram Business account is crucial. We’ve talked at length about steps you should take to improve your handle’s performance on Instagram. What’s equally important to keep in mind, is what you shouldn’t do with your handle.
Instagram’s moderators (now largely artificial intelligence) are getting stricter and sharper day by day, which is why your Instagram Business account needs to be ‘clean.’ While software that can help you with your engagement activities, and tools to increase followers seem appealing, they can slow your account growth by a LOT.
Instagram offers significant opportunities for businesses. According to a study commissioned by Meta and conducted by Ipsos Marketing, it is the #1 social media platform for brand engagement. However, it’s important to note that with this potential comes the responsibility of adhering to Instagram’s guidelines to maintain a successful business account.
Don’t be surprised if you’re indulging in activities outside of Instagram’s guidelines and you face shadowbans and complete bans!
However, not every activity you should steer clear of involves illegal tools and software. Let’s discuss all the things you should avoid with your Instagram business account
1. Don’t post and disappear
The first piece of advice is to be consistent. Virtually anyone who’s had success growing on Instagram will give you this advice. Creating quality content is important, sure, but equally important is delivering quality content regularly.
It’s the same principle that goes with creating anything digital really, be it blog posts or videos. If you’re great at writing blogs, but only write a couple a month, that inconsistency is going to act as a serious bottleneck to your growth. Even if you aren’t seeing immediate growth, keep at it. Did you know Marques Brownlee posted dozens of videos before he had even 100 YouTube subscribers? He’s now at over 14 million and is probably the best-known tech reviewer on the globe.
Pushing consistent Instagram posts doesn’t just have to do with reinforcing your brand’s messages and giving your followers more opportunities to engage, it also ties into Instagram’s algorithm. The algorithm strongly favors accounts that post consistently, to show up in users’ feeds and explore sections. You will then reach a greater number of potential customers. So while this may not be essential for a personal account, it is an absolute must for a business profile.
To ensure you stay on schedule, always have a content calendar ready for the following week or month. If you’re ever out of ideas, Predis’ AI-generated Content Calendar will do the job for you!
2. Don’t add dozens of Instagram Stories in a day
There’s a lot you can do with Instagram Stories. Create unique filters, engage viewers with polls and MCQs, and, as the name suggests, tell stories! On an Instagram Business account, you can even add simple swipe-up links to take viewers straight to your website or particular products. When done right, they can be a powerful tool for driving traffic and generating interest in your business.
The stories are great. But don’t overdo them.
Creating Stories is enjoyable for sure, as they can be less professional and visually perfect than posts that stick on your feed. However, a few Stories every day is the sweet spot, and more than this is simply overkill. Having too many Stories at the same time might be too much for our short attention spans to handle, and your viewers are more likely to skip them altogether (Stories can be skipped with a simple swipe). It’s similar to seeing very long pieces of text and letting out an internal yawn.
If you have lots to tell your audience, space it out! Plan your Instagram Stories in advance so they can go out consistently and in good order.
3. Don’t put out purely sales-y content
Sure, increasing sales may be the ultimate objective of you starting and growing an Instagram, but at no cost can this be made evident, even if you have a dedicated Instagram Shop. No Instagram user wants to follow the handle of a brand that only posts images related to their products and services. You have to share photos and videos with genuine value, and then manage to keep them engaged.
For this reason, when starting out with your Instagram, first spend time researching the kind of content your audience likes to consume and strategize on how you are going to deliver this.
Again, keep in mind the short attention spans of today’s Instagram users and their constant need for change. Complement your product/service posts with other content like general news related to your industry, BTS, memes, collabs with other handles, and ANYTHING else that you think will keep things fresh. Even posts completely unrelated to your business can do well, while this may not seem like an intuitive way to grow for business owners.
Think like there’s no box in the first place. If you’re ONLY on Instagram for selling products, it isn’t going to work out too well.
We understand that it is necessary to promote your products (at least to an extent) through Instagram posts. To do this, try to establish an overall theme to your Instagram feed, and blend your products into this theme. Here’s an example.
This is the Instagram feed of a sustainable clothing brand called Tentree. Notice how they’ve centred on an overarching theme of nature and travel, and blended their clothing with this theme. The people on the feed wearing the clothing products, look like regular people in nature, rather than paid models.
Try building a feed like this, rather than blatantly posting product images. Admittedly, this takes a lot more effort, but you will end up with a beautiful-looking feed that users would want to follow.
To get inspiration, spend time exploring other handles in your industry.
4. Don’t use ANY automation software for user interaction.
Social media managers are split when it comes to automation software. Some claim that they help catalyze the growth of new accounts and allow you to spend less time interacting, while others refuse to do anything that’s not within Instagram’s Community Guidelines.
While some backend automation software (like software for scheduling posts/Stories/Reels) is great, most frontend ones are spammy. Ever recall reading the comments on a public page’s post and it’s taken over by people promoting their own pages? Looks spammy and shady, right? Those are automated bots. You can also use them to DM and engage on your own handle.
It doesn’t mean you should.
Anything that violates Instagram’s APIs can and will get you banned. You’ll have to acquire your follower count through a new handle all over again. This would be a huge shame, especially if you had previously spent precious time and effort in scaling your Instagram Business account.
Don’t gamble with your Instagram profile growth, especially if your marketing strategy is dependent on it. Going out of the bounds of Instagram’s guidelines is a HUGE gamble.
5. Don’t buy followers or likes
Before trying to ‘buy’ followers on Instagram, you’ve got to ask yourself why you need those followers in the first place.
You’ll need them to support your brand and actively engage with your content, right? Buying followers may seem cheap and convenient in comparison to spending time growing your Instagram organically and spending money on ads. However, these followers won’t really be active; you’ll just see your follower count grow with virtually no change in likes and comments.
Imagine a user (potentially your target audience) seeing over 10,000 followers on your profile, but only 30-40 likes on each post. What kind of impression do you think that will create for your brand?
6. Don’t forget to engage
The difference between online marketing and traditional marketing is that online marketing has the potential to be a two-way street. It’s not just you presenting information to your audience anymore, as it gives you the opportunity to interact with those who want to see your content (potentially with each one of them). If you aren’t willing to do this almost on a daily basis, you should rethink your goals with Instagram as a business owner, and ask yourself why you really need to have a handle.
Engaging also gives you the opportunity to ‘humanize’ your brand. Engage with courtesy and good humor to remind them that the brand they know so well is run by actual people who care about you as followers and customers.
Healthy, proactive engagements go a long way in building a solid brand image.
7. Don’t take too many actions in a short period of time.
Instagram isn’t explicit about this at all, but taking too many actions in too short of a time period can get you shadowbanned. And if you’re unaware, taking ‘actions’ on Instagram is basically an umbrella term used to cover liking, commenting, posting, following, unfollowing, and DMing on Instagram.
DMing and commenting on posts from other handles are always a vital part of an initial Instagram growth strategy. If you’re going to be using these, you should know their limits
There’s a lot of argument about what the exact limit of taking action is. However, the truth is, there is no standard limit. It will be different for each account. There are supposedly many factors that determine how many actions can be taken by an account, but it essentially boils down to how ‘warmed up’ your account is.
For new accounts with limited posts, followers, and likes, the permitted number of actions will be far less than for bigger, more established accounts. Again, there is no standard limit for either kind, but if you’re managing a profile that is only a few weeks old, you wouldn’t want to cross more than 20 DMs/comments/likes/follows per hour.
If you have to do more than this, you should space it out to avoid the risk of getting shadowbanned!
The rough guideline mentioned here states 20 actions per hour. Since this is not an official guideline, you’ll want to be on the safe side and take even fewer actions. Start by DMing and engaging with only a few people every day for the first few weeks of your account being active. If possible, DM known contacts and ask them to reply, as this builds some credibility in Instagram’s eyes.
There is a lot of vagueness around this topic and countless accounts have been penalized due to it, so you must tread lightly!
8. Being on Instagram when it isn’t the right platform for your business
A common mistake many businesses make is jumping into Instagram without considering if it aligns with their brand. Not all social media platforms are a universal solution, and this particularly holds true for Instagram. While it can be highly effective for certain businesses, it may not be the optimal platform for everyone.
To begin with, it is important to understand that creating accounts on every social media platform is not essential. Instead, focus on identifying your target audience and their preferences. For instance, Instagram may not be the most effective platform for every type of business, especially if your audience does not engage with visual content or if your products or services do not have strong visual appeal.
Consider the age demographics of your target audience when choosing social media platforms. If your audience is primarily older, platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn might be more appropriate. It’s important to allocate your time and effort to platforms that are well-suited for your business in order to maximize the effectiveness of your online marketing strategy.
9. Don’t set your profile to Private.
If you set your Instagram Business account to private, it may hinder the growth and engagement of your brand. The main goal of an Instagram Business account is to connect with your audience, increase brand awareness, and encourage engagement. However, achieving these objectives becomes challenging when your profile is inaccessible behind a private setting.
Using a private profile limits the visibility of your content, hindering your ability to reach and attract potential customers or followers. On the other hand, with an open business profile, anyone can discover your content, follow your account, and engage with your posts. This helps expand your audience and promotes organic growth.
In the highly competitive world of social media marketing, maintaining a public Instagram Business profile is essential for establishing a robust online presence and building genuine connections with your audience. By keeping your account accessible and transparent, you convey a willingness to engage and foster meaningful relationships. Private accounts can potentially send the wrong message, suggesting a lack of transparency.
10. Don’t use a strange or hard-to-understand username on Instagram.
When it comes to your Instagram Business account, selecting a username may appear trivial, but it plays a crucial role in defining your brand’s online identity. It is essential to steer clear of peculiar or cryptic usernames.
The first impression is crucial, and your Instagram username is often the initial thing potential followers and customers encounter. If your username is vague, overly complex, or hard to comprehend, it can confuse people and discourage them from engaging with your brand. Keep in mind that simplicity is key. Choose a username that relates to your brand or business name, making it easy for users to find and remember you. This straightforward approach not only boosts recognition for your brand but also builds trust and accessibility.
Having a clear and relatable username on Instagram can enhance your discoverability. When users search for topics or hashtags relevant to your industry or niche, a username that aligns with those interests increases the likelihood of your profile appearing in their search results. Moreover, it simplifies the process of tagging your brand in your posts and sharing your content, thus amplifying your online presence.
11. Don’t overuse hashtags or use ones that don’t fit your post.
Strategic use of hashtags is vital to increase visibility and engagement on your Instagram Business account. However, it’s just as important to avoid excessive hashtag usage or choosing ones that are not relevant to your post’s content.
Using too many hashtags in your posts can appear spammy and overwhelming to your followers. While hashtags can boost discoverability, using an excessive number can distract from your message and give off an unprofessional impression. Instead, prioritize using a concise set of relevant hashtags that directly relate to the content of your post and appeal to your target audience. This approach ensures that your posts reach the right people who are genuinely interested in what you have to share. Well, you can automate this process and save time. Check out the Free Hashtag Generator by Predis AI today!
Additionally, using irrelevant hashtags is a common mistake that can damage your brand’s image. It is crucial to select hashtags that truly reflect your content and industry. Using trendy or popular hashtags that have no relevance to your post is deceptive and can result in reduced engagement and credibility.
12. Don’t forget to add a caption when you post.
While it may seem like a small detail, adding a caption to your Instagram Business posts is actually crucial. It not only helps engage your audience but also effectively conveys your brand’s message.
Captions add context to your visual content. While a picture can convey a lot of information, a thoughtful caption can bring depth and significance to your posts. It’s a chance to share the story behind your brand, communicate your message, and foster a connection with your audience.
Captions are a valuable tool for increasing the visibility of your posts. Instagram’s algorithm takes into account the text in your captions when deciding who sees your content. By including relevant keywords and phrases, you can enhance the chances of your post appearing in users’ feeds and searches.
If you’re struggling to come up with interesting captions for your Instagram posts, you must try Predis AI Caption Generator today!
13. Don’t give up
This is as important as any of the other tips mentioned here, believe it or not!
Growing an Instagram Business handle (while staying within their guidelines) can take a lot of time, especially if you’re just beginning to establish your brand. This is true for organic posts and ads as well. They usually take some time to gain traction.
Do yourself a favor and stop having unrealistic expectations! As long as you deliver genuine value and stick to the basics of Instagram’s best practices, you’ll be fine.
Live long and prosper!
Are there any actions you’ve taken on your Instagram Business account that have landed you in trouble? Share them with us, so we can spread the warning! We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re a marketer, don’t forget to tap into the fresh new field of social audio apps as well!
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