How not to use Instagram

If you’re on Instagram and have a public profile, you know about the unending amount of spam and emoji comments you get each time you post.

It’s frustrating as a social media marketer to see the amount of spam and comments that are just meant to get your attention. It is rare to see a whole lot of engagement.

On a typical post you’ll see things like:

  • Nice pic
  • Cool account
  • 🙂
  • Amazing photo
comments on instagram

Generic comments from a recent post

Why are there so many comments like this?

That’s because there are a lot of people trying to get your attention on Instagram. People are moving away from the limited exposure of Facebook. They want their posts to be seen by as many people as possible. It used to be that you could like a post and or follow an account and see tons of follow backs.

Now, people have become a little more creative. When you 50 likes, 10 new follows, and 3 comments you want to see what those comments say.

That’s the strategy companies and individuals are using to grow their Instagram following.

They use apps and other tools to auto comment and auto like posts with certain hashtags. Just look up “auto like Instagram” and you’ll see 8.6 million results.

Does this strategy work?

Sure, it can work. But that’s if you’re just looking at having a high number of unengaged followers. It’s like buying likes on Facebook. Do you want 1000 fans from a country your company doesn’t even serve? Or 100 fans that actually use or enjoy your company?

I’d pick the 100 fans, but there are many businesses and marketers out there that still see a high number of followers as a gauge of success.

What is a better strategy?

A much better strategy is to actually take time to identify potential customers usually by hashtags. You have to be careful about what hashtags you are searching. Something very common like #love or #smile is going to get you way too wide of an audience.

If you’re a clothing company specializing in minimalist designs, you’ll want to search hashtags like #minimalism #minimalist and look at other suggestions like that.

Also search for companies in your industry and see who is following them. It is likely that someone following your competitor may want to follow you. But you need to be careful not to like every single follower of a competitor. You will end up following fake accounts, bots, and other unsavory profiles.

When you decide you want to follow someone, make sure you are commenting on a photo of theirs. Make it a genuine comment, not just, “Hey like your pics”. It should be specific and detailed and lets them know that you enjoy their posts.

Also, avoid self promotion. Anytime I see self promotion from someone commenting, like”Cool stuff. Check out my page”, I automatically block them. They obviously don’t care about your company.

Just comment how you’d like someone to comment on your personal pictures.

Resources

How to Create an Instagram Marketing Strategy
Sprout Social

52 Tips: How to Market on Instagram
Wishpond

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About MARKIT Group

MARKIT Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing and public relations firm with an emphasis on social media, reputation management and monitoring, as well as brand management. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla., with offices in New York, Pittsburgh and Charleston, S.C. www.markit-group.com.
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