Outdated Instagram tips cause creators – just like you – to waste a lot of time and resources. If you’ve been following all of the “best practices,” we have bad news for you: they may be doing more harm than good.
Instagram wants the best experience for its 1.3 billion users.
Creators who focus on offering the best content have a better chance of building their brand and getting followers. We’re going to outline the tips that once worked well but have since become obsolete.
8 Outdated Instagram Tips To Stop Following – And What We Recommend
Some of the tips for Instagram that you should stop following are:
1. Uploading Reels Daily
Creators were encouraged to upload content every day. So, influencers spent countless hours creating Reels every day. But we have good news: you can stop posting daily Reels. Instagram’s algorithm needs time to promote and understand your Reel.
So, what should you do?
Post Reels on alternate days. Reels are still great, engaging posts that people love. You just need to scale back the posting frequency and spend the saved time creating other great forms of content.
You can even schedule your Reels ahead of time.
How To Schedule Your Reels Ahead of Time
Instagram has a free Reels and post-scheduling tool if you have a professional account. You can switch to one of these accounts by following this guide. Once you have a professional account, you can use the app to:
- Schedule content 75 days in advance
- Schedule 25 posts / Reels per day
You can schedule your post like normal, but you’ll need to tap Advanced Settings and then Schedule to select when you want the post to go out. Instagram has a great guide on using this feature that you can find here.
2. Using 30 Hashtags
Hashtags have been promoted as one of the best ways to categorize content, but in 2024, they’re going to work a lot differently than they did in the past. You only need to use 3 – 10 hashtags instead of 30.
And you’ll save so much time on posting, too.
How To Find Hashtags To Add To Your Instagram Posts
Not sure where to find hashtags to add to your posts? You can use the following resources to find hashtags for your posts:
You’ll find a ton of other tools that work just as well as the three above. If you want a quick method for finding hashtags without using tools, just open up Instagram and search for #yourtag.
As you’re typing, you’ll see recommended hashtags and how many posts each tag contains.
3. Only Posting Videos or Reels
If you’re only posting videos and Reels, you’re missing out on opportunities to build your profile. Yes, these types of content do get a lot of attention and go viral, but your followers want to see a wide range of content types on your account.
Instagram’s Adam Mosseri even alluded to this in a Q&A where he mentioned that:
- Instagram overfocused on video
- Recent changes balance photo and video recommendations
- Photos will remain the main focus of the app
Insta spent a lot of time trying to compete with TikTok in 2022, making videos too much of an integral part of the platform. Start posting more photos, and you’ll find your follower count and engagement rise.
4. Using Engagement Pods or Follow-for-Follow
Everyone wants fast followers and to have an audience that “hears” them online. To achieve this goal, a lot of people join:
- Engagement pods
- Follow-for-follow groups
Both options may lead to followers, but they’re often unengaged and not authentic. In the end, the time you spent trying to game the system would be better spent on creating great content and engaging with other accounts.
5. Pin Your Most Viral Content
Instagram launched its “pin post” feature back in 2022, and immediately, Instagrammers started recommending that you post your most viral content.
The idea is that your most viral content serves as social proof. When people visit your profile, they’ll see that your pinned post had thousands of views or likes.
But the reality is that the people who visit your profile have probably already seen that viral post you pinned.
What To Do Instead
Treat the “pin post” feature as a chance to build relationships with potential followers and introduce yourself. Rather than pinning viral content, pin your most valuable content. Which posts provide the most value to potential followers? These are the posts that you want people to see first.
6. Teasing New Posts in Your Stories
Many Instagrammers follow this piece of outdated advice: teasing their new posts in their Stories.
In theory, it sounds like a great strategy, but in reality, you’re just training your followers to skip your Stories. Why? Because if they already follow you and watch your Stories, then they’ve already seen your new post.
There’s no need to show it to them again.
Eventually, your followers will get tired of this kind of Story content, and they’ll skip your Stories entirely.
Keep in mind that Instagram tracks the engagement on your Stories, so a dip in your views or watch time can impact your visibility.
What To Do Instead
- Use your Stories to create deeper connections with your audience
- Create unique, separate Stories content so that viewers watch it all the way through
7. Following and Unfollowing People
If you’re still using the following/unfollowing strategy to grow your audience, stop this practice today.
What is the follow/unfollow method?
- You follow a bunch of accounts to get their attention.
- They follow you.
- Once they follow you, you unfollow them.
There’s no real benefit to this strategy for anyone. There’s a good chance that the people who followed you will unfollow you once they realize that you did the same.
When building your following on Instagram, the goal should be to attract followers who are genuinely interested in your content – not just following you because you followed them.
So, don’t waste your time on the follow/unfollow method and instead, focus on creating great content that attracts the right people to your account.
8. Niching Down
What’s the one piece of advice that everyone gives to new creators on Instagram? Choose a niche. And that’s great advice because choosing a niche will help you attract the right people to your account and tell Instagram what you’re all about.
But many people also recommend going beyond choosing a general niche and niching down even further.
The theory was that choosing a sub-niche would help you stand out as a creator. Having a niche also makes it easier to establish yourself as an authority.
While this strategy can work for some creators, having too narrow of a niche can be:
- Constraining – you don’t have a whole lot of freedom when creating content
- Detrimental to your account
In the car example above, if you only focus on one specific make and model car, then you’re going to be sharing the same kind of content over and over again.
However, if you stick to just the “classic cars” niche, then you have more freedom to create unique and interesting content that your followers love.
The Instagram algorithm is now favoring more broad niches rather than narrow ones. So, definitely choose a niche, but don’t niche down so far that you’re limiting your reach.
If you’re still following these outdated Instagram tips, STOP right now. As we move into 2024, the Instagram algorithm will likely continue to change, and you’ll want to put these bad practices to rest now.