Over the years as Instagram has changed and grown, we’ve all heard countless conflicting tips on the best ways to grow your Instagram. Today, I’m going over all the outdated Instagram tips and strategies so that you don’t have to waste your time anymore.
These may have been tips and tricks you heard about in the past, but PLEASE let’s leave them in the past!
Outdated Instagram Tip #1: The Follow/Unfollow Method
First things first, what’s the “Follow/Unfollow Method”?
This method is when you follow a bunch of people to get their attention and get them to follow you. Then when they follow you, you unfollow them… Shady stuff.
I sincerely hope you all know this is no longer common practice (nor should it have ever been), but if you didn’t know, now you do.
It’s safe to say that everyone on Instagram is trying to grow. Just like you! And by people getting other peoples’ hopes up and playing with their feelings and playing with their goals and dreams… I’m not going to stand for it
Let’s stop teasing and getting each others’ hopes up just to unfollow each other. We all hate it when we lose a bunch of followers, so why do the same?
Plus, you want people to follow you because they want to follow you, not because you followed them first. That could negatively affect your engagement rate.
You want people to choose to follow you because they want to be a part of your journey and they’re excited to press that “follow” button.
Outdated Instagram Tip #2: Engagement Groups
Full transparency, I was in an engagement group 4 years ago and this is why you should learn from my mistake.
I know it may be tempting when you get a DM inviting you to join “like-minded people growing their following” but JUST 👏 DON’T 👏.
In case you didn’t know what “Engagement Pods” or “Engagement Groups” are, it’s when a group of people comes together in a group message, typically all in the same niche. In the group, you’re required to post each other’s content to “trick the algorithm” into saying, “Hey this is good content, let’s send this post out to more people!”
of other people in your niche and you’re all required to post with each others’ content to “trick the algorithm”
These groups are pointless in so many ways:
1. It’s a waste of time.
You spend all of your energy engaging with people in your “pod” instead of people in your target audience.
You could be using that same time to engage with people who are already following you or finding new people to engage with.
2. It feeds the algorithm the false data
Yup, this method could result in the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish.
It feeds Instagram’s algorithm false data about what content you’re interested in and WHO should be interested in your content. Ouch.
3. It puts an un-needed pressure on your shoulders
You should have the freedom to engage with whoever the heck you want, whenever the heck you want.
4. It will ruin your engagement long-term
Finally, when you inevitably reach “burn-out” and decide to leave the “pod”, your engagement will plummet, telling Instagram your content is no longer valuable, making it that much harder to grow.
I totally understand being in a group chat with friends and collaborating with other creators, but engagement pods are not it.
Outdated Instagram Tip #3: Borders on In-Feed Posts
Y’all. We want to take up as much space as possible on Instagram.
When you put your photos in a border, you’re limiting yourself on the property you own. If you owned 1,000 acres of land, are you going to build a tiny 500 square foot home? NO! You’d want to use all the property you have.
Let’s get rid of borders on posts and start using the full dimensions Instagram gives us to capture people’s attention!
Dare I say… don’t even use 1080 x 1080 anymore…
It might just be me, but every time I’ve posted a photo in the square crop as opposed to the portrait… it doesn’t perform as well. I always post my pictures in 1080 x 1350 to take up as much space as possible to capture someone’s attention when they’re scrolling.
Outdated Instagram Tip #4: Posting Every Day
Let me start off by saying if you can post every day, then by all means, go ahead and post every day. I’m not saying it doesn’t work.
What I’m saying is there’s this unneeded pressure that people feel that they need to post every day. You don’t need to post every day in order to grow on Instagram.
You’re able to create your own consistency and post whenever that looks like for you. Whether it’s 3 times a week, 4 times a week, Monday through Friday, go for it.
To feel like you have to post every day just isn’t “it” anymore.
That pressure is what we want to leave behind. The strategy and the results that people see from posting every day is true, but the pressure where you feel like you have to post every day should be left behind. It’s a waste of energy.
Let’s use our energy to create great content that we love and feel proud of.
If you want to know what my posting strategy is you can watch this video here, where I share with you what I post, how often I post, and all of my posting secrets.
Outdated Instagram Tip #5: Using Hashtags in Stories
You can absolutely use hashtags in stories for fun, like “#NoFilter” or everyone’s favorite “#Blessed”. But to try strategically using hashtags in stories to increase your reach isn’t a thing anymore.
If you were to look up a hashtag in search, most people don’t even see a “stories” option to scroll through stories with that hashtag.
So trying to use hashtags in your stories to increase reach? We can leave that behind us as well.
Outdated Instagram Tip #6: Covering Up Posts or Reels in Stories
We see this a lot when somebody has a new post or a new reel and want to share it in their stories. They’ll press the “share” button, put it on their story, and put a big gif or text in front of it so you can’t see it.
It’s kind of like clickbait title trend on YouTube a few years ago where people were like, “I BOUGHT A NEW CAR,” and they just rented a car for a day. Very similar vibes going on with this method people use on Instagram.
It was a thing people would use to create suspense about what the post is, but at this point, we’ve all seen this done.
Our attention spans are too short for this to still work. It’s too much of an inconvenience to click the post in the middle of watching everyone’s stories.
What people are loving on Instagram are transparency and authenticity. To cover up a post in your story and say, “In order to see what this is, you have to click here and check it out on my page,” is no longer effective or real to your viewers.
Everyone is going to swipe right past that story faster, which lowers your Viewer Retention Rate. And that tells Instagram your stories aren’t important.
If you leave your reels uncovered in your stories you still get those views and it tells Instagram it’s a great story, which pushes it out to more of your followers.
Outdated Instagram Tip #7: Using Periods “.” to Space Out Your Captions
Remember the days on Instagram when you would write your caption and try to space it out, then when you’d post it, Instagram wouldn’t let you space out different paragraphs so it was all jumbled together?
To get around that you had to either use an app that would generate the spaces for you or use periods to space out your captions.
If you didn’t and had jumbled captions, that was a big deal. That was back when we believed we weren’t allowed to edit our captions without that decreasing our engagement.
(By the way, that’s another myth. You can absolutely edit your captions without it affecting your engagement.)
Remember those days? Good times, good times.
Well, Instagram has upped their game. You can now space out your captions like a normal human being with the “return” key. It’s that easy.
Gone are the days of putting periods, dots, or emojis in-between our paragraphs in order to space out our captions.
Outdated Instagram Tip #8: Tagging Multiple People on Your Posts
This used to be a strategy around five years ago, back in 2017, when I was doing portrait modeling.
In those days, in order to get more people to see your post, you would tag a lot of larger creators within your niche.
If I wanted to get featured on a big portrait account, I would tag 20+ accounts in hopes of capturing their attention and having them repost it.
If they didn’t repost, then my photo would be seen under their tagged photos section. And juuuust maybe their followers would see it and follow me.
… Yes, that was an actual strategy… But not anymore!
It’s still normal to tag brands of clothes you’re wearing or products you’re using. That makes sense. But to tag a bunch of larger creators in hopes of reaching their audience, just doesn’t work anymore.
Take this from somebody who’s on the receiving end of this where I get a lot of people tagging me randomly in posts.
I love when I’m tagged in a post of someone sharing what they learned from me or giving credit for one of my posts or videos. But for someone to tag me in a photo of an acai bowl with the caption, “Happy Saturday!” just doesn’t make sense. (And yes, that actually happens.)
Also, it won’t reach my audience. As a creator, I have full control over what posts get seen in my “tagged” section. Creator accounts on Instagram are able to approve or deny tag requests. If the post is too irrelevant to my niche or my brand, it’s not going on my “tagged” feed. And the same is true for any other creator out there.
Any Other Outdated Strategies?
Those are my eight outdated Instagram tips. If you were doing any of those, make it your goal in 2022 to leave it behind and use other beneficial strategies. There are plenty out there.
Leave a comment at the bottom of this post if you’ve heard of any of these tips or if any of these shocked you.
Were you still doing it and you had no idea it was old news?
Do you have any ideas of other tips you’ve heard that should be old news? Let’s start a thread of all the tips we need to leave behind us!
And if you need new ideas on growing your Instagram, take my online Instagram course or just check out my other posts. I have plenty to share with you to help you grow on Instagram.
Follow your joy!