If you’ve been using Instagram for a while and not getting results, I hear you.  It can be tricky if things aren’t working for you and you can’t understand why.  But it could just be that you’ve got the wrong information! Believing the wrong things about Instagram will get you the wrong results.

But with a ton of information out there it’s hard to know what’s really true.  And this could be damaging your results on the platform.

Here I’ve put together three big myths about Instagram

It’s a sales platform

Repeat after me…”INSTAGRAM IS NOT A SALES PLATFORM”.  Now you might be a bit confused I’ve said this.  After all, you might have bought a product after seeing it on Instagram, you may have sold products on there and you might even have an Instagram shop.  But hear me out.

Yes it’s true that you might be able to sell the odd product on Instagram. However this should not be the primary reason for using Instagram.  The main reason you’re on Instagram is to find and engage with new customers who may one day buy from you.

Most people use Instagram to socialise, to find new accounts to follow and learn about and maybe even look at products (window shop), but they usually hang out with you a while on Instagram to get to you know before they even think of buying.

Instagram is instead a CONNECTION TOOL and a shop window for your brand.

To increase your chances of getting sales you need to be inviting people off the app and onto your email list, which is where the sales really happen.

That’s where you build relationships with your customers until they’re ready to buy.

So don’t get discouraged if you’re not selling on Instagram. You’re not really meant to.

The Instagram algorithm is out to get you!

I know, I know, I know.  Sometimes when you’ve only had one person like your post (and it’s your Mum), you might think the Instagram gods are out to get you and want to stop your posts being seen.  “It’s a conspiracy!” you might think.  But this is paranoia! 

Yes sometimes it can be hard to get your posts seen on Instagram, but the app is NOT out to get you!  Think about it, they WANT you to succeed, so you will use the app more.

People moan a LOT about the Instagram algorithm, when they should be trying to understand what the point of the algorithm is, and how to make it work for them.

The Instagram algorithm was introduced a few years ago for one reason: to encourage people to share more quality posts.  When posts were merely chronological, people started pumping out loads of content to be seen more.  The more you posted, the more chance of you being seen.  And what inevitably happened, is the QUALITY of those posts suffered.  I mean, it was definitely a case of quantity over quality.

The people at Instagram noticed this and wanted to make the app a place for QUALITY content, which is why they introduced the algorithm.  This means that now your post is more likely to be seen, the more people engage with it. 

The more likes, comments and shares you get, the more it will be shown to other people.

This is actually amazing news for two reasons: 

  1. We don’t get bombarded with a load of tosh when we’re on Instagram.  People have to post quality content for it to be seen, so it encourages people to put more time and thought into their posts.
  2. You can use this to your advantage and post fewer, quality posts but still grow your following.

You have to spend all your time on Instagram to make it work for you

Nope.  You really don’t NEED to spend all your time on Instagram to make your account a success. As we’ve just learned, the Instagram algorithm was introduced exactly so you don’t have to spend all your time on there.  It’s definitely quality over quantity.

However, those clever people at Instagram do really want you to spend ALL your time on the app, so it’s all too easy to get sucked in.  Very quickly, that 5 minutes you were taking to post your latest post turns into an hour of finding out the latest celebrity gossip or lusting over some gorgeous jewellery.  Sound familiar? Full disclosure: we’ve ALL been there!

So the best way to avoid this is to avoid the Instagram app as much as you can!  Plan your posts out in a scheduling app (I use Plann).  You can create and save your posts and schedule them to post to Instagram automatically.  The real bonus of this is that you can batch create your posts just ONCE a week in about half an hour and not worry about it again until the next week. 

If you’re honest with yourself, when you go in and post throughout the week, how long are on Instagram for? Half an hour each time?  That means you might be spending up to 7x as much time as you need to, just hanging out on Instagram and not achieving very much!

That’s why I say a scheduling app is an absolute must if you’re serious about growing your Instagram following.  If you want to save your time you can get a free, no commitment trial for Tailwind here.  Why not give it a go and see if you like it?

So there you have it – three myths about Instagram that might just have been holding you back.  Now, you can go and crush those Insta-goals!

Have you heard any more myths about Instagram?  Let me know in the comments below…