We all know that Instagram is a huge social media platform and everyone is trying to crack the algorithm to grow fast. People are so caught up in figuring out the quickest way to grow, which has created some crazy myths about instagram that need to be cleared.
Instagram seems to be the new thing for bloggers to use to grow their brand and many articles written by bigger bloggers focus on “this is how you grow fast” or “you have to do this to look professional”. Well, I want to change that and set the record straight about some common myths floating around about instagram and its get rich quick tactics.
These are myths that I hear people asking about all the time and telling others ” YOU HAVE to do this” which is such baloney. I am here to tell you, you do not have to make your instagram fit into the standard mold that bigger bloggers have created. You can be unique and DO NOT have to spend a ton of money and time to create an amazing instagram account that will showcase your brand.
So, lets get into it and start uncovering all the instagram myths!
11 Myths About Instagram
1. Follow/unfollow will help you grow.
Yeah, not in a long shot buddy. This is fake growth. I see people doing this ALL THE TIME and it is honestly so annoying when they spam your account and follow and unfollow you like 10 times in one week. It’s obvious people who do this are just looking for high follower numbers and don’t really care about the actual community they are building. These are also the people who never engage with your content because they are so busy trying to grow their own. I promise you, this is not the way to go to build a real community for your brand.
If you really want people to be engaging and learning from your content then stick to only following other accounts that truly inspire you. I never keep tabs on other accounts and refuse to play these games.
Meaning I do not use any follow/unfollow apps and have no idea if people follow then unfollow me later and honestly I do not care. You should keep your focus on engaging with accounts who’s content you enjoy and interact with others that respond to your content.
Don’t go on a man hunt to find out if they followed you back. It very well might be that they do not enjoy your content and that is totally ok, because you only want people who really like your content to be following you so that they will want to engage with you more.
2. You will be penalized for being in pods
There was a rumor floating around for awhile that having pods in the DM section of instagram could be hurting your account but I did not find this to be true. I actually grew really fast when I was in more instagram pods but it was kinda like selling your soul. Pods can be overwhelming to keep up with and if people in your pod are no longer posting the content you enjoy it can feel like a burden to even like and comment, which is why I chose to leave all pods.
I left all instagram pods about 1 month ago after keeping up with them became more annoying then fun. Plus, I felt like the comments were generic and not the real engagement I was looking for. When I left all the instagram pods I saw a huge drop in likes and comments AT FIRST, but then when I continued to post more consistently and reaching out organically to other accounts and I saw a huge return on engagement.
So, really if you find an instagram pod you enjoy then do not be afraid to join, but just be aware that they can be time consuming.
3. Telegram will help you gain a true following
HA, false this is my favorite myth out there. People swear that if you want to grow you need to be on telegram which is not true. First for those who don’t know what telegram is, let me explain. Telegram is a separate app from instagram that many instagrams started using to create “instagram engagement pods” so that you can get more likes and comments on your instagram posts since instagram algorithm only shows yours content to about 7% of your followers.
And yes, if all you are looking for is a bunch of likes and comments from random strangers who could care less about your content, then sure telegram is right for you. But if you are looking to build a real community with people who are actively checking your account and blog, then steer clear of this app.
I do have some blogger friends who swear by this app to grow fast but when I participated in this app for about 2 months I grew quick but I realized it was all fake spam accounts that started following me and it became a pain in the butt to keep up with all the rules of these pods (the administrators over these telegram pods are crazy and will hunt you down if you do not follow rules).
I started to realized that yeah I was getting 500-700 likes on pictures now but I also saw that my true engagement was all fake. Plus, the telegram app was a toxic environment with people yelling at each other for not liking pictures in order or quick enough (yes, it was that pathetic).
In the end, people who were actually following me were less likely to engage with my content now which defeated the whole purpose of having a real community.
So, if all you want is likes and comments from strangers then telegram is the app for you, but if you really want to build a true brand community then I would suggest sticking to the slower lane of only using instagram.
4. The more followers you have the more money you will make
This is not always the case my friend. True engagement is what really matters here. Yes, if you want to promote a bunch of stuff you do not really care about and lie to all your followers that “this product is amazing” when really you just got sent it for free, then sure inflating your following numbers to get more free stuff might be the path for you. But personally, I do not care for this tactic and believe it is so obvious when someone is just shoving products and giveaways down your throat for their own personal gain. This is when I will actually unfollow those accounts because I do not trust their content anymore.
If you really want to make money and be financially stable with just your brand, then living off free stuff is not going to get your there. You need to focus on only promoting products and topics that truly are in line with your morals. You need to also focus on coming up with a product or way to make money so that your can be making an income. Whether it be developing an e-book or a course for people, you need to create original content that represents your mission and will enrich the lives of the people who view it.
5. Focusing on growth first and community second
Ok, so this is kind of repetitive with everything I’ve said before, but I’m really trying to make this sink in for you so that you don’t make the mistakes I’ve made in the past.
You can definitely gain followers quickly by buying them and make it look like you are legit with high numbers but realistically you will not truly have a community and this is a short lived tactic to get rich fast. If you are truly trying to build a brand you need to give it time to grow and build off real people and real interaction.
To be clear I never bought any followers or likes but I did use Telegram for 2 months which inflated my account with fake likes and comments and damaged my true engagement scores.
6. You have to pay money for a lightroom preset to grow
God, the amount of money I have wasted on presets, it seriously makes me cringe.
VSCO is free and can edit photos great. Facetune can sometimes edit even better than most expensive presets and it’s FREE. Check out Jillian Harris’s tutorial on how to edit pictures with facetune and you will never turn back.
Many presets need A LOT of tweaking to make it look good which is frustrating if you pay a lot of money for them. It’s about being genuine and sticking to your niche more then anything. I know some large accounts that don’t use presets and they do just fine because they only talk about their niche and they have taken a LONGGG time to build a real community. We are talking YEARS people. Real communities are not built overnight, you need to give your brand time to grow through word of mouth and beneficial content to your readers.
7. Using stories is pointless.
NOPE! Stories are huge right now. If you are noticing a stunt in growth right now then start posting at least 5 times a day on stories and your will be surprised how many followers you gain. Stories are constantly popping up and people are more likely to click through those then going through feeds now so make sure you are active on stories.
Make sure you use hashtags and locations to get more people seeing your stories who don’t follow you. Also don’t worry about posting perfect pictures. I find more people tune in and engage with my stories when I’m at my most raw (aka- no make-up on, looking like a hot mess, and talking about my day or something random). I think people like instagram stories more for this reason because it’s so authentic and is a nice break from all the curated feeds.
If you want to create curated insta story boards then you can use Canva for their free insta stories template but I would recommend keeping this to a minimum. I find people enjoy the quick “in the moment” stories more appealing.
8. You do not need to seek out similar people in your niche.
FALSE. If you want to build a strong community with like minded people who engage with your content, then you need to start finding other accounts in your niche and interacting with them and their followers. Obviously if their followers are interested in your content then they would most likely be interested in yours as well if it’s the same niche.
This is how a true community is built. The more you interact then the more interaction you will receive. I however, try to keep my time on instagram to a minimum now because at one point I was selling my soul to it and spending HOURS on it and felt so anxious and terrible about myself.
I think only spending max 30mins-1 hour a day on instagram is all you need to engage, check in, and then spend your time being present in your real life. The more time people spend on social media the more they compare themselves (which I definitely did) and the less like they are to be happy and content. I actually wrote a whole post on this and what you can do to fix it, HERE.
9. You must post everyday to grow.
YEAH, Not true. Many people are out there saying that posting once a day on your feed is the best way to grow because people will be continuously seeing your content. However with the way Instagram algorithm is set up now, your 3 days old pics might still pop up on people’s feeds so really the life of your posts is way longer now.
So as long as you are still posting to stories daily you will continue to grow. I used to post everyday on my feed and it was burning me out trying to come up with content for everyday, and then I cut back to only posting 2-3 times a week on my feed and I realized I was still getting just as many follows and engagement. The only time engagement really drops off is when I completely stop posting on stories. So, the key really is stories here.
10. Purging your account of spam bots will hurt your engagement.
NOPE, the complete opposite is actually true. When I used telegram for 2 months I gained so much fake engagement and so many spam/bot accounts started following me. It was killing my engagement score and statistics of my site so I quit telegram and went on a purge of my followers and removed over 2,000 spam/bot accounts. That’s right 2000! Yes my follower count went down by that much but what was leftover was higher engagement and the statistics of my site were a better representation of my target audience.
If you think about it, removing spam accounts is a great way to make sure people who will actually like and comment on your content get to see it! Instagram only shows your content to about 7% of your followers so at least if that 7% are real accounts with people who will actually want to engage with you then you will have a better chance at a higher engagement rate which is what brands and company’s truly care about. No one cares if you have 100K followers if most of them are fake spam accounts from foreign countries with people who are never going to engage with your content. Think of the long term benefits of real followers and take your time growing.
11. More followers on Instagram means more blog traffic.
NOPPPPPPE! Not the case my friend. I completely understand the drive to want to grow fast on Instagram because I used to be there and was slaving away doing anything to grow fast because I thought it would improve my website traffic and help my brand grow quicker but that was not the case.
The more and more I grew on Instagram the more I realized it was doing absolutely nothing for converting to blog traffic. My monthly views on my blog did not change one bit and in fact dropped because I stopped posting as much on my blog and put all my time into Instagram. It was such a waste of time.
When I finally realized I was going about this all wrong I significantly cut back on Instagram and started focusing on posting consistently on my blog once a week. Within 4 weeks my blog traffic TRIPLED! That right TRIPLED! I’m telling you Instagram is not the answer to website success if you are looking for the true answer to huge blog success it is in Pinterest. I put all my effort into my website and Pinterest, and the payback has been amazing!.
This is probably to biggest myth of all about Instagram. If you want a lot of blog traffic then focus on YOUR BLOG and promoting on PINTEREST! Trust me the return is incredible.
So there You have it, a complete list of the most common myths about instagram right now. All these myths I’m sure everyone has heard before but trust me I have tested them out first hand and they are definitely not facts.
Instagram is always changing and always will be, but the one true constant that will stay to help you grow is true authentic engagement with others. Focus on staying true to yourself and interacting with the people currently following your accounts. The growth will come later and you will be much happier with the real community you grew.