instagram tips mindset

Things to Avoid Doing on Instagram as a Teacher Seller

What NOT to do on Instagram


I see this all too often– You are desperate to have your business grow and you want results fast! I mean, I cannot blame you! I am also a business owner and I too want to see results. As humans, we want instant gratification, it is just in our nature; however, we oftentimes want to see results so quickly that we resort to “strategies” that are actually hurting our progress. 


Have you seen this before? You post content on your feed and then a new notification comes up–yay! You have an engagement and someone enjoyed your post. You take a look and you see “Love this! Follow me, I follow back”. 


Or maybe you have seen this example: 


You are tagged in a comment on instagram and see that it is a “follow train”-- you know those right? Where you follow all of the “hosts” and then you comment and others will follow you.

When you see these examples above, do you sit there and think “Wow, I want to buy their product” ? Or are you more or less annoyed? 


Probably the latter, right? The problem is, that often people resort to these strategies to build their instagram accounts but it results in an audience that do not truly care about what you have to offer and that you do not have a true connection with. So what should you avoid doing on instagram? I am so glad you asked! Grab your coffee, a pen, and let's dive in! 


Here are the top three DON'TS when it comes to instagram. 


No No Number 1- Careless Tagging 


We often hear how important it is to tag others in your posts. By doing so, you get more engagement and you show up on their friends “ for you” page. However, if you are not careful, this can do more harm than good! 


Yes, by tagging someone in a post you will get eyes on your page, but you need to be careful when doing this as well. What you do NOT want to do is tag someone on a post that has nothing to do with them just so you can get more eyes on your page. 


Here’s the thing—- if someone is following you, they will engage with your content when they feel they can relate to it. If they are not, tagging them can come across as spammy and could actually result in loss in audience. The last thing you want to do is lose followers that were originally interested in your product or services! The goal is to gain and maintain an audience, not drive them away. 


When you are not sure if you should tag someone in a post, put yourself in their shoes? If someone else tagged you in the same post, would you find it spammy? Or would you find it informational and be appreciated.  How you answer that question will determine if you should tag in that post or not. Tagging can be a useful strategy with instagram, but you want to be sure it is indeed strategic and not careless. 


No No Number Two - Not Being Authentic

Another big mistake people make on instagram is commenting on posts they do not resonate with, JUST to hopefully get a follow.  In order to be successful on instagram, you need to be authentic. It is easy to spot someone who is not authentic in the comments. 


Here is an example: You make a post that you spend a lot of time on. You created the content, made a caption with a call to action, and even sourced the materials that you created. You posted it and someone commented saying “Love this!”. Do you appreciate this comment– of course! However, do you feel that person was truly engaged with your content? Probably not. You know they are hoping to interact so you will follow them down the line. 


Now I want you to think about that example again– what would you do in this situation? Would you check out their page and follow them? Or are you going to move on to another comment? I think I know your answer.


Now picture the same scenario, except this time there is a comment that says “I totally understand this! Your resource is cute and would really help teachers out. I especially loved the real world example!” Would you check out their page and possibly follow them? You are probably more likely now. 


So what’s the difference? In the second example, the reader senses authenticity. They know you took the time to read their caption, look at their content, and they found value in your resource. 


Be authentic with your comments, do not just comment to comment– it will pay off in the long run! 


No No Number 3- Asking For Follows 


I saved the best for last. This one can REALLY hurt your engagement on your instagram account….asking for follows.  I am sure you have seen these comments before. Comments on posts that say “Love this! Follow to learn more about this topic” or follow for follow?”. 

You may have also seen follow trains. These two can be a huge hindrance to your growth on instagram. With follow trains, you have a series of “hosts” who you must follow. Once you follow them, you then follow everyone in the comment thread and add a comment yourself. The idea behind it is that everyone follows everyone in the comments and you gain followers quickly. 


Are both of these strategies an effective way of gaining followers quickly? Yes they are! However, in the long run, they will hurt!  What these strategies result in is you having thousands of followers on your account who do not believe in you, your product, your message, and do not engage. This can actually hurt your reputation as a business owner. Think about it. If you were interested in buying a lesson plan on the Civil War, and you found an account that had 15k followers you would probably assume they had great lesson! But what if they had 15k followers but had only 3 likes on their posts and barely any comments. This gives the impression of a “spam” account and you may start to look elsewhere for your resource. 


People buy from those they trust, not those who are popular. So do not ask for followers– it may take time, but they will come! You want to be authentic! 

What else would you like to know about building genuine connections with your audience? Let us know in our Thriving Teacher Facebook Group!


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