In a running series, we would like to give our top do’s and don’ts on different social media platforms.

Do: Remember that Instagram is an image first platform. Unlike Twitter which is heavily text-based, Instagram is all about the visuals. It is not uncommon to see some posts without copy associated with them. (although I strongly don’t recommend doing this) So keep this nugget of info in mind with everything you do on Instagram and in the back of your head as you build out your Instagram strategy.

Don’t: Use spam bots. Spambots are tools that integrate with Instagram to like, comment, post and do a host of other things automatically. These bots allow you to essentially run your account on auto-pilot. Although these bots do work as advertised, you run the risk of two very negative side effects. First Instagram is likely to notice the fraudulent activity faster than you would think and delete your account. Second, users on Instagram are far too savvy, they will see straight through your “fake love”. This is likely to leave a bad impression of you and your brand to the user.

Do: engage organically. Think beyond just posting to your account. Go deeper, join the conversation, and truly engage your users. Use hashtags to find other posts in your product/brands wheelhouse and leave comments or reply to other users comments. This is the best way to truly engage people at a deeper level. Instagrams last few updates show that the company is heavily promoting users to chat it up in the comments, as they added a thread feature.

Don’t: Be on Instagram because everyone else is. I have a hot take that is contrary to popular opinion. Not all companies/brands should/need to be using every social media platform. Certain platforms work best for certain products. I recommend truly thinking about which social media platform works best for your brand and doubling down there instead of trying to force a circle into a square.

Do: Be analytical. People believe that content marketing by nature cannot be analytical. To that I say, even the smartest people on earth once believed it was flat, so I don’t chastise their silly thoughts. On Instagram, you certainly can track what times you post to eventually learn the best times for you to reach your audience. You can also keep a running list of what you posted and how many likes or comments each style of post receives. Then look for similarities and lean your strategy to that type of content.

Don’t: be something you’re not. Don’t follow the ocean currents on Instagram. This is a fast way to post cringe-worthy content. Don’t use slang you don’t know the meaning of, or do a viral “challenge” or hashtag you don’t know the origin of. This is a quick way to be one of many brands that have had to issue apologies or delete content after receiving backlash.

Thoughts? Questions? Agree or disagree? Feel free to let us know in the comments and a branding or digital marketing professional from Pow Wow will be happy to continue the conversation.