Stop Doing These Things to Grow Your Instagram Account in 2023
By Corey C. Walker
If you’ve been on Instagram for a while, you’ve probably noticed a ton of changes over the years. I’ve been on Instagram for a long time and can remember back when it was just a single photo editing app.
Instagram has definitely evolved into one of the biggest platforms used by creators and businesses. With that evolution have come so many more ways to use the platform to grow. As these new changes come about, so do the strategies people use to grow. Some of them used to work fabulously, but sadly, are no longer viable in 2023.
Let’s review them so you can be set up to crush the rest of your year!
Only posting single photos or graphics
As I explained earlier, Instagram used to be the place to go to edit and post your single photos. However, with the creation of stories, reels, LIVE and more, a single image is easily passed over. Not only that, the Instagram algorithm places single images down toward the bottom of what they will show.
If you’d like to grow your account, using a combination of different types of content will work better. Using reels and stories regularly will help you be seen much more than a single image post. Does that mean you can’t ever post them? No! But it is good to mix things up, and lean into video more than before.
Waiting to use new content types or features
This suggestion is a follow-up to my first suggestion but goes a little deeper. When Instagram creates a new feature (like reels a while back) it wants people to start using it right away. So, it typically pushes that feature higher in the algorithm so more people will see it and use it. If you see a new feature come out, give it a try and embrace it. The creators that jumped on reels in that first year not only got the advantage of more views right away, but they also became experts while everyone else kept doing the same old thing. Now, a lot of them have stepped up their game with even better reels while other people are just learning the basics.
Using the follow/unfollow method
I think this method has slowed down in popularity quite a bit, but I still run into people that do this from time to time. The follow/unfollow method simply has you follow hundreds of accounts in the hopes that many of those people will follow you back. Once you get the follow back, you unfollow them. It’s just trickery, and yes, it might result in a bigger following, but if you are following that many people at once, you’re probably not doing the research into whether they would be a good follower for you anyway. You might get a little ego boost by having 500 more followers, but if your goal is to reach a specific audience that would like your product or service, having random followers won’t help you.
Overall, stop obsessing over your follower count. If you have a worthy product or service that people want, they won’t care about how many followers you have.
Using engagement pods
Engagement pods are groups of people who all agree to like and comment on each other’s posts as soon a
s they are posted. A group chat is formed via Instagram DM, and you share a link to your recent post so the other members of the group can like it ASAP. I participated in one of these many years ago, and it is such a time suck! If you have a large pod, you’ll be getting DMs all day which ruins your productivity. I am a big fan of using your brain power effectively, and if you are expected to react quickly (to trick the algorithm into thinking it’s a hot post) you will be in and out of DMs constantly, ruining your focus.
It might seem like a good idea in the beginning, however, instead of taking the time to engage with your ideal audience or customer, you are spending all of your time engaging with people in the pod. Depending who is in the pod, they may not even be a good customer for you.
Tagging people in your posts that aren’t in that post
I have had this happen to me, and it is ANNOYING! The way it works is this…you post a photo, and then tag a bunch of different accounts, hoping it will make your post get seen and commented on by more people.
Let me be clear, it does make sense (and is perfectly acceptable) to tag specific and relevant accounts on your post. For example, you can tag the restaurant where you got that amazing poke bowl if you are posting a
photo of the bowl, or a friend that’s in the post, etc.
However, if you post a photo of your desk and start randomly tagging 20 people that have nothing to do with your desk, that’s a no-no. In fact, I’ve blocked accounts for doing that to me before. Just don’t!
Now that you know what NOT to do, contact me so I can help you grow the right way!
Corey Walker is the co-author of Instagram for Dummies, and Instagram for Business for Dummies. Corey is available for 1:1 consultations, podcast appearances, and special projects. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need help with Instagram Reels? Click here for my “Create Instagram Reels that Convert eBook”.