How To Use Instagram Without Going Insane

Here are my top tips to help you maintain your sanity while using Instagram. Instagram is a great way to engage with people around the world who have similar interests to you. I have an account where I post my own travel photos:@authorlovestravel. But, unfortunately, Instagram also has many fake accounts and people whose main priority is to develop a huge following.

Here are my top tips for avoiding the most frustrating pitfalls.

1. Spot the bots

Instagram has millions of bots. These are fake accounts and you are sure to be followed by quite a few of them. Luckily, they are easy to identify. The profile will usually have an unconvincing name and the supposed person will often claim to have an impressive job such as a surgeon or petroleum engineer – or simply to be a “caring” person. The account will usually have just a few posts with no captions or captions only one or two words long. Alternatively, the account may be marked as private. The best approach is to go to your settings button and report that account as spam. Instagram will block them from your site and, after investigating, will often send you a message a few days later to say that the account has been closed down.

2. There’s no need to follow everyone

You are not obliged to follow someone because they followed you. I suggest that you take a look at their profile and posts, and only follow people with similar interests to you. For instance, apart from family and friends, I tend to follow people with accounts about travelling or writing. When making a decision, look at the number of people that person is following. If that is far less than the number of followers they have, they are not likely to be interested in genuine engagement.

3. Be polite and friendly

When someone likes your photo, it is considered polite to take a look at that person’s latest post. It’s also nice to reply to any comments you receive and comment on other posts occasionally. But be alert to comments consisting only of an emoticon or one or two words, such as cool shot or love your feed. They are probably written by an automated service, so you can ignore them or give a one-word response. I suggest that you ignore or delete comments from anyone asking you to follow them or any other comments that you don’t like.

4. Stick to your sphere of interest

Life will be easier if you stay focused on your sphere of interest. Following people will tend to attract further followers, so if you are, for instance, a lifestyle blogger who has followed an account focused on gardening, you will attract more followers with gardening accounts who won’t stay with you in the long term.

5. Don’t be fooled by follow – unfollowers

Unfortunately, there are many people on Instagram who will follow you in the hope that you will follow them. Then they will unfollow you within a few days or weeks. That tactic has been allowed to flourish because Instagram does not have any easy way for you to see who has unfollowed you. To avoid falling prey to that sort of behaviour, I suggest that you download the free version of a followers app and log into it occasionally. You will quickly be able to see who has unfollowed you. With the press of one button, you can immediately unfollow everyone on that list. That will eliminate the problem.

However, it is quite okay to unfollow someone if you have a legitimate reason for doing so, such as no longer being interested in their posts.

6. Don’t use automation

Never be tempted to use automation or other artificial means to try and gain followers. Is that really what life is about? Nobody wants a phoney follower or to interact with a bot, and making use of those services may get you banned from Instagram.

7. Don’t worry, be happy

Don’t worry about the number of followers that you have. Instagram is meant to be about interacting with people, not gaining a following. Most important of all, keep your time on Instagram to a minimum as it can be quite addictive and time-consuming.

Did you find this information helpful? Let me know what you think.

Thank you for stopping by. I’m an author who loves writing thrillers, and you can find out more about my books HERE. My latest release DEAD DRY HEART has been receiving great reviews at Amazon and Goodreads.

This is where you can find me online:


Instagram: @authorlovestravel  – Sharing my travel photos from around the world

Facebook: Toni Pike – Author


Twitter: @piketoni1    Toni Pike

Linkedin Toni Pike – Linkedin


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Text and Image copyright © 2018 Toni Pike  – All Rights Reserved

6 thoughts on “How To Use Instagram Without Going Insane

  1. Terri Webster Schrandt

    This is great advice and much appreciated, Toni! I know you have a great following with your travels! I get inspired by many photographers! I also read that posting a little about your image, like a little blog post is also effective. I’ve seen too many images with no explanation or hashtags!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Natalie Ducey

    This is a wonderful share, Toni. Thank you. I’m using it more and really enjoy the engagement. 🙂
    Love following your travels. Thank you for the free ticket to see places, cultures, and people I may never see otherwise. Cheers to you and sharing the journey! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Toni Pike Post author

      Thank you so much, Natalie. I’m glad you’re enjoying Instagram, and it can be fun so long as we don’t spend too much time on it. I’m so pleased you’ve been enjoying my travels, I’ve been very lucky. Toni x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ali, The Mindful Gardener

    Thank you for this Toni. I have been through a similar process with all social media – Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram. I don’t get it for ages, maybe up to a year, then I start to get it as a consumer, and spend too much time there, but don’t really understand its workings. Especially the ‘followers’ bit. Where my Twitter followers never goes down, I notice that Instagram varies massively, which must be people unfollowing a day or two after following. Your advice has helped to reassure me that these were not my target audience and I should not give this much attention.
    Instagram is incredibly addictive isn’t it? I like that it is a positive space. I have given up on the angry shouting space that is Twitter. But it has the same pitfalls for being a place that can eat away at your real life, and so needs careful management!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Toni Pike Post author

      I agree with all your comments, Ali – it can be very addictive and time-consuming, so we all need to carefully watch that we don’t overdo it. You’re also right not to worry about those who unfollow soon after following you.



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