Instagram Do & Don'ts

It’s that golden hour glow and your frappe is looking fabulous on that mahogany coffee shop table. You push aside your chewed pencil and arrange your laptop carefully. You want everyone to know you work hard. Then at the tap of finger and an internal debate between your vsco filters, you upload it onto the ‘gram with #blessedlife as your choice of caption.

13 likes. Ugh.

So, Instagram challenges aside, let’s be real – running your own social media account is a real challenge. Cheesy line but true. I started the Instagram game back in 2013. That is a truly dark place in my feed. I’ve learned a few good lessons along the way: what to do and what NOT to do. Honestly, I’ve seen how making good choices online benefits YOU, your bank and your brand. So without further ado, let’s get into some sound advice for your next post.


Use bots, or that follow/unfollow nonsense. It deeply saddens me to inform you that 8% of ALL Instagram uses are fake/bots accounts. Despite the fact Instagram has been knuckling down on these criminals ( I joke), the reality is: 8% of your following are probably fake accounts. Why is this a problem. WELL. The money you spent to make yourself look good online actually hurts your potential to earn money in the future from actual followers. The problem is obvious here. Moreover, using bots to comment/follow or doing anything inauthentic online makes your engagement take a nasty hit. Why? Because those comments/follows aren’t genuine. And people can tell. Engagement boosts your chance of the algorithm favouring you. No engagement makes the algorithm dislike you more. You see the terrible cycle of events here? Build a supportive online audience organically through good conversation and content instead.

Bad/boring photos or captions. Show up and say something significant. Stop people in their scrolling tracks. The real secret here is to ENGAGE. Start a conversation. Post quality words and images people actually want to look at. Your brand is your baby – look after it online. Tip: start with a question your potential clients will probably be asking, address a need/concern, share something relatable, funny or encouraging.

Compare or criticise. Don’t set fire to your good vibes and mental health. It’s so easy to roll your eyes or feel a heavy pang of self-hatred when you see your size 2 model-friend boasting about her beach life in the Bahamas. JUST STOP. Be intentional about making yourself and others feel GOOD. A self-love policy is a must. You’ll see how it’ll lift your mood and insta-game.


Engage. I’m going to go a bit deeper into this. I like to think of social media as a conversation. There’s a bit of back and forth. Listening to them and then having your turn to share your story. So what am I getting at? Go engage with others. Like, comment and connect with THEM. Stop waiting for people to come to you. Here’s the social media science: Increasing your engagement by interacting with other accounts = algorithm starts to like and favour you = your posts pushed up and are seen by more people = more potential clients and followers. BOOM. Simply put: if you’re making the effort others – others will be make the effort with you.

Be yo’self. People are more interested in YOU as a person rather than the thing you do. Be the same lovely human being you are in real life AND online. Your authenticity and vulnerability will allow people to see the real you. It creates trust, connection and bolsters your brand in a major way. In the long run, it’ll create a tribe of loyal followers, vendors, supporters and customers.

Spend time away. Sometimes social media becomes that dark abyss we have to climb ourselves out of. There has been plenty a time when I’ve had to tell myself enough is enough. Social media is a part of lives, but it’s not real life. Recharge, reconnect and refuel yourself with a new found inspiration elsewhere. Be honest with yourself – why are you using social media? Is it for validation, entertainment or a distraction from what you actually need to deal with. When you’re ready to go back online, chase after a more positive purpose.

The next time you are scrolling and snapping away, think before you post. Ask yourself: How can my brand contribute to a happier, healthier online community? Chase after your dreams, and start there.