One More Reason Why I Don’t Suggest Instagram for Your Business

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It never fails – at every workshop I do in San Luis Obispo for the local SCORE (Service Corps. of Retired Executives) chapter, someone inevitably raises their hand to ask, “What about Instagram?”.

See,  I talk shop about Google+, I open eyes on the opportunities of LinkedIn, I even give a nod to Pinterest, and of course cover the basics of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but in my 3 hour social media workshop, I don’t talk about Instagram.  And when I explain why, someone in the workshop always tried to argue the points with me.  Bad idea, folks.

I try to be nice and kindly dismiss Instagram as a tool that has no proven track record to give value to the time of a small business owner compared to other platforms.  But when someone tries to argue, I start pulling out the big guns.  Here is one of them.

I was recently shopping for some gravel.  No big thing – until I came across a local website with an Instagram feed that was improperly set up.  Their website was full of smut.  In shock, I quickly emailed the company owner and explained what I had found and how it had happened.

I looked at your code and you’re running the app Instafeed.js for your Instagram feed, but you (or your webmaster) took the default code and did not substitute in your information.  By default, the app pulls a hashtag feed for “#awesome” and at night, when smut companies can get away with it and people are more likely to take the bait, they flood Instagram with smut.  During the day, these are flagged more quickly and taken down, so you won’t see so many if you look at your site during the day, but look at it at night, like right now, and you’ll see the bad stuff take over.

I offered my services to fix it, but they replied and said they had someone already.  I told myself I wouldn’t do business with them unless it was fixed within a few days.  A few days have passed and it is still publishing smut for all the world to see.  Here are a few examples with the details blacked out:

  So there you go, one more reason why I really don’t think small businesses need to be fussing with Instagram.