Instagram is turning ten this year, and with over one billion users on the platform, it looks like it’s only going to continue to grow from there. With new additions such as the missing like button, IGTV, AR tech, and more, Instagram is evolving to meet the future head-on. 

That being said, there are still some unspoken rules about what to do and what not to do on the platform. Whether you’re a casual browser, a gamer, an influencer, or a business, these simple rules apply to everyone who uses Instagram. We’ll cover common etiquette on the platform, as well as some other behaviors that shouldn’t be perpetuated. 

Do Remain Genuine 

The more genuine you and your content are, the more people will appreciate it. Social media has created this idea that everyone else’s lives are perfect through the guise of perfectly edited photos, half-true posts, and more. The fact is, no one is perfect, and no one’s life is perfect. Perfection is an abstract concept, and something we only perceive to be real and achievable. The users in your feed aren’t perfect, and although you don’t need to be afraid to alter images a bit, it’s important to retain some authenticity in everything you post. 

Authenticity drives emotional connections, which last much longer than connections based solely on aesthetic pleasure. 

Don’t Post Just for Likes 

Posting whatever content you think will get you the most likes is just bad practice, as it’s impossible to predict how many likes a post will get, and people catch onto such practices rather quickly. Let’s say a follower came to your page to discover some awesome guitar tutorials and valuable information on improving your technique. The first few posts were just that, but they didn’t get many likes. A week later, the user starts posting sad attempts at humor in order to drive up their likes; and they’re doing it poorly.

Would you continue to follow a user that didn’t stay true to themselves, and instead tailored their content for maximum likes? This seems shallow and most users won’t appreciate a sudden shift in content solely for gaining likes. Even if you get the number of likes you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll lose some followers. 

Be yourself when you’re posting, even if your posts aren’t getting thousands of likes! You can always buy followers from ViralRace if you find yourself lacking high-quality users to interact with your content. 

Don’t Give out Personal Information 

Cybercrimes are a threat to anyone who uses the internet, and Instagram users are no different. It can be quite exhilarating to meet new people on the web, but the fact is, not everyone out there has good intentions. While it should go without saying that you should never post or give out personal information on social media, unfortunately, people do it anyway. 

Keep your information to yourself, and don’t be too eager to hand out things like your phone number to strangers. 

Do Focus on Engagement Rather than Followers 

Too many people get tied up in the number of followers they have, and while this is a valuable metric, it’s no the be-all-end-all for your Instagram success. 

Engagement is a better metric to keep track of because it tracks how those followers are interacting with your content. Are they paying attention? Sharing posts? Liking posts? Watching videos all the way through? This information is infinitely more valuable to you than how many followers you have. 

Don’t Overuse Hashtags

According to a study conducted by ViralRace, hashtags are pretty much essential to any successful Instagram account, as they’re the little beacons that guide people to your content. In the mass of content that’s posted to Instagram each day, your hashtags are differentiating factor that sets you apart from everyone else. That being said, it’s easy to abuse hashtags and be less than efficient with them. Each post should only have about 8-10 hashtags at most, and each hashtag should be relevant to your content and creative. 

Don’t overload your posts with hashtags. Keep hashtags intentional and relevant to what you’re posting to get the best results. If you’re just copy-and-pasting hashtags from popular posts, you’re not really trying, and probably won’t get great results. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Creative With Your Content 

There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with your content, as long as you remain true to your channel and yourself. Your followers probably won’t unfollow you if you change your content up slightly to be more creative, but if you’re just changing for the sake of likes, you’ll lose followers. Coming up with rich new content can be challenging, but keeping your creativity up and making compelling content is simply the best way to grow your page and generate loyalty. 

Many people get too scared to try something different with their content, and this can lead to stagnancy. Followers are more likely to unfollow your page because you’re posting the same thing for weeks on end rather than posting new content each day or week. Truly diving into Instagram is a lot of work, but can pay off big time if you do it right. 

Do Be the Best You Can at Your Niche 

What makes you unique is that you’re an authority in what you post. You want to become the go-to page for whatever your niche is, whether it’s traveling, beauty tutorials, book reviews, or any other venture. Being the authority means people trust your word and will likely suggest your content to friends and family; effectively expanding your overall reach and growing your page even more. 

If you find yourself posting content that falls in a vague category, try to specify it a bit more. For instance, if you’re posting travel content, pick a specific place to be an expert on. 

If you’re posting food content, pick specific foods or cooking methods or diets you’re especially familiar with or good at. The more specific you are, the more you’ll stand out from the crowd and be able to branch off from the vagueness of your general category.