How to Not be Annoying on Instagram

Can I vent for a second?

This once self-proclaimed "Instagram addict" has quite frankly, had enough. Instagram isn't fun anymore, but I'm not giving up on it yet. Here's me doing my part to Make Instagram Fun Again (MIFA?)... because right now, it's anything but.

Stop Leaving Annoying Comments

Whether you're using an automation tool or not, comments with just emojis or jovial hashtags/sayings (#slay, awesome!, heart-eyes) are not cool or helpful. They're annoying. I know I'm guilty of the three emoji comment sometimes, but at least it's not the preteen-ish catchphrases. If you're my age or older and you're commenting this on random accounts, just stop. It's embarrassing. As for the others, if you think something is awesome, that's great... but write a comment that's a little bit deeper if you want people to respond. I ignore any and all comments (that aren't from people I follow) that are 1-2 words or emojis. Even if the user meant well, these comments look like spam (and let's be real - they probably are.)

*Carry on with the silly sayings if you write them to your friends (not like you need my permission.) I'm talking about the people who do this to actively bait new followers...

Stop Following to Unfollow

I can deal with a spam comment here and there. But I CANNOT handle a follow to unfollow. It looks painfully desperate. If you want your account to grow, there are plenty of organic tips out there. Scamming people into thinking you're interested in them is rude, unethical, and downright shameful. The worst part is: like comments, I now ignore most of my new follows, too. It's sad - I know I'm missing out on great potential relationships, but I'm so terrified to get unfollowed that I feel like I can't trust anyone anymore.

Stop Using it Like Snapchat

I can't tell you if there's a right or wrong way to use either platform, but if you have accounts on each, why not use them differently? Like... why am I watching the same thing on your Snapchat and Instagram account? I'm admittedly horrible at both Instagram Stories and Snapchat, but people with niche audiences or large followings can really benefit from having distinct strategies for each. And while we're at it... if you're a business or brand, you need a strategy for your stories, not just an idea to share random snippets of your life (although that is arguably a strategy...)

Stop Using Irrelevant Hashtags

You're allowed a maximum of 40 hashtags on Instagram. That is... a lot. I know that hashtags are a great way to build your following, but using ones that are irrelevant yet popular is deceptive and of course, annoying. There are plenty of hashtag and keyword tools on the web that can help you uncover tags that make sense for you and your brand (and I promise you, #tagsforlikes is not it.)

Stop Being a Snob

So maybe your Instagram blew up overnight and you're suddenly an Insta-celebrity. Do you unfollow all of the people who helped get you to where you are, or continue business as usual? There is nothing - not a spam comment, a follow to unfollow, a Snap posted to Insta... NOTHING that annoys me like an Insta Social Climber. Instagram, like every other social media platform out there, will someday lose its mojo. Your humility, your grace, and your expertise are the things that will keep your personal brand strong, not just your follower/following ratio. Be a nice person. Follow back the small guy (if you like their content, of course.) And most importantly, never let your ego get to your head.

What are the most annoying things you've dealt with on Instagram lately?

ANNOUNCEMENT: Freelance Friday is a new series I'm launching on my YouTube. I'll be discussing all things small biz, social media, and entrepreneurship - make sure to subscribe to be notified when the first episode goes live this Friday, February 24th.