Recently, I set up an Instagram account for my business.

(Yes, I know I'm super late… and yes, I realize as a social media manager having an Instagram account for business would have been a fab idea. Well, I'm here now, aren't I? :-P)

In almost 4 months, I have generated over 600 new followers, been asked to be featured as a guest influencer on Believe & Be Awesome, got 78 CTA (Call-to-Action) clicks on my bio link, and at least 7 people to join my mailing list (that I know of).

A photo posted by Andrèa Jones (@onlinedrea) on


Besides that, I've been managing client Instagram accounts for 2  years with experience starting from literally 0 followers to accounts with over 13K+ followers. Let's just say I have some experience with the platform.

So be prepared for this epic list of my 50 Do's & Don'ts of Instagram! Reader beware, some of these may seem like common sense… but you'd be surprised how many people still don't follow these simple rules of engagement.

  1. Don't create an account if you don't like Instagram.
  2. Do add a profile picture that reflects you or your brand.
  3. Do fill out your bio with relevant & interesting content.
  4. Don't forget to add a link to something important.
  5. Do follow accounts that you enjoy.
  6. Do follow those who inspire you.
  7. Don't follow someone you don't like.
  8. Don't follow someone only to unfollow later if that person doesn't follow you back.
  9. Don't buy followers.
  10. Don't worry about how many people you follow.
  11. Don't worry about how many followers you've gained.
  12. Don't get caught up in the numbers game.
  13. Do focus on building quality relationships with other users.
  14. Don't spam comments.
  15. Do leave a comment if you mean it.
  16. Do start a few conversations.
  17. Don't say anything hateful.
  18. Do post content promoting your business.
  19. Don't over-post (stick to the 80/20 rule of promotion)
  20. Do update your account consistently.
  21. Do share images that inspire.
  22. Do add text to your images.
  23. But don't forget to proof read!
  24. Don't wait until the last minute to snap a pic.
  25. Do take extra pictures for later.
  26. Don't forget a CTA (Call to Action) with your posts.
  27. Do post topical content.
  28. Don't share the same thing over and over again. #boring
  29. Do share season's greetings!
  30. Don't be fake…
  31. Just be YOU!
  32. Don't over share personal information.
  33. Don't believe everything you see.
  34. Don't be a negative Nancy…
  35. Instead practice positivity!
  36. Don't be afraid to join the community.
  37. Do browse through industry related hashtags and find new accounts that interest you.
  38. Do use hashtags that are related to your image & your audience.
  39. Don't use short-tail or popular hashtags. Instead, use focus on more specific, long-tail hashtags that will allow you to stay higher in the search for longer.
  40. Do invite users to like or leave a comment (if you don't say it, how will they know what you want them to do?)
  41. But don't be needy. (Give – give – give – give – then ask)
  42. Don't create a giveaway with no products to giveaway.
  43. Don't promise things you can't follow through on.
  44. Don't DM trying to sell your products. #notinterested
  45. Don't forget to follow Instagram's Term of Use.
  46. Do use relevant hashtags in your posts (or in the 1st comment).
  47. Do give credit where credit is due!
  48. Do tag a friend in posts they may find helpful.
  49. Don't tag people you don't talk to or who aren't related to your post at all.
  50. Do repurpose content! Have a post that did well in the past? Reshare it as a #tbt (throw back Thursday)
  51. Don't be afraid to experiment with different types of posts and different times of day.
  52. Don't forget why you started your Instagram account.
  53. Do HAVE FUN!

Instagram Fun

Social media is supposed to be fun! Don't let selling products or promoting yourself take away from that. At the end of the day, it's not about your or your products. It's about connecting with individuals in the virtual space in such a way that has never been done before in history.

And like everything in life, you have to work on learning Instagram to be successful. Instagram — and social media in general — is an ever-evolving medium. There are no experts, only those who have happened to learn or do more than you.

So let me ask you: what are your Instagram Do's & Don'ts? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment and share so we can all learn more.

If you're looking for a guideline for how to grow your social media audience, download the below social media check list!