Instagram today has over 1 billion active users, and since 2010, when Instagram came into the world of social media, many top brands, social media influencers, celebrities and entrepreneurs have taken advantage of this platform to engage with their audience.
And the social media strategies adjusted to this change immediately.
One of the reasons for Instagram’s popularity was its visual content and the fact that visuals attract more people. The attraction marketing and engagement to reach the right people became the core strategy for the big names of almost every industry to create a brand for themselves.
According to a study, Instagram photos are shared 15x more than those on Facebook, which means that it has more engagement than any other social media platform.
It is, hence, more than clear that using Instagram to reach the audience can be a crucial step for any business.
However, just like we make mistakes in life, we also tend to make them over social media.
Everybody makes mistakes. Some mistakes though, get a little too public. Instagram mistakes are one of those that cannot be hidden from the masses.
You wouldn’t want to be one of those who make such mistakes though, right? Thus, we came up with some of the most common Instagram mistakes that businesses make and how you can avoid those to create your brand image better.
Common Instagram mistakes and how to avoid them in your marketing
Here are some rookie mistakes that people make over Instagram, and we bring you the solutions that can save you from making these mistakes too!
Buying likes and followers
Did you know that you can rent guest for weddings and events in Japan?
Sounds strange, yeh? We can’t see a point of bringing in fake guests for a personal event.
Then why would you want to buy fake likes and followers for your Instagram account? What’s the purpose of faking the number of likes if all of it comes from robots and you aren’t engaging with a real audience?
When you buy followers for your Instagram, what you get it quantity and not quality. Your purpose of being on Instagram is to engage with people and help them know about your brand, but it won’t happen at all if your audience isn’t even real!
Successful social media brands connect with real people. Channel your efforts and money towards Instagram paid ads or hosting contest to boost the number of followers and win more engagement with people who are actually interested in your brand.
Do you ever ignore the sales reports for every sale you make, or the campaigns you run? We don’t think so. Then why would you ignore the Instagram analytics?
Just like it’s important to analyze the customer’s data and track the metrics to know your business’s progress, it’s also necessary to track your Instagram analytics to know how your audience is engaging with you and what you can do to increase the same.
Obsessively track the metrics to repeat the success you achieve with certain actions. Maintain the database in one platform really helps and most of the digital marketing agencies use a CRM for this.
Understand what you’re doing is right or wrong and plan your next move accordingly.
Using too many hashtags
Everyone loves donuts, but there are only too many you can have! Anyone who has ever tried eating a lot of donuts at once knows that there really is such a thing as experiencing too much of a good thing.
Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should use all those hashtags each and every time.
Using excessive hashtags can play with your account’s credibility. You MUST NOT use hashtags to manipulate users or Instagram algorithms.
Posts with 11 or more hashtags receive nearly 80% interaction as compared to those that contain just 2 hashtags (41%).
Choose the right hashtags- the ones that are popular as well as VERY specific, and align to your brand’s marketing strategies.
Having no strategic plan
Everything we do in life needs a plan. And following that plan is what leads us to our goals. The same principle applies to Instagram marketing as well.
Do you want to direct the traffic to your website, you want to grow your followers, or you want to grow more sales on your Instagram shop? Having a goal is a good first step towards strategizing your plan of actions.
Pick a destination for your road trip. What we mean is, don’t roam around and waste your car’s gas. Choose where you want to reach and then work accordingly.
Set a goal to start, then plan a strategy to fulfil that goal. That way, you’ll always be guided at every step and driven by a purpose to reach somewhere.
Visuals are what make Instagram what it is. And good visuals make a user click the ‘follow’ button on any profile.
Your Instagram profile tells a story about your brand, so deciding what your grid says about you is of utmost importance. Posting irregular visuals, scattered images and inconsistent content confuses users and makes it tough for them to understand what you want to say.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a visually inconsistent profile is also that it looks spammy. And we all dread that, don’t we?
Be consistent. Choose a grid for your profile, something that tells your story.
If you have multiple people contributing to your profile, create a style guide for everyone to follow so that your content always looks consistent and interests the visitors.
Not using Instagram stories
Nearly 500 million users use Instagram stories every day.
If you are not using this feature by Instagram, then you are missing out on a lot of engagement.
Not engaging with followers
Social media isn’t a broadcast. It’s all about conversations. The more you engage on Instagram, the better you convert.
But if you are not engaging with your followers, then you are simply wasting your time on the platform. Like we said earlier, buying followers is a waste. So is not engaging with the real ones.
“User engagement leads to retention, which leads to growth.”
Engage with your audience. Reply on comments promptly and ask your audience the questions they would want to answer. Keep your account public so that more and more people can visit your profile and start a conversation. And then, keep the conversation going.
Posting duplicate photos
If you want to lose followers, then posting the same photos again and again is the best way to do it. People notice, and no matter how loyal a follower is, seeing duplicate content will not make them happy and they’ll be quick to unfollow you in an instance.
Sure, once in a while there’s always a good reason to repost a photo or a video, but making it a habit can be lethal for your business.
Especially, if you are a retailer, then you’ll simply discourage your followers to buy any of your products, because to people, duplicate photo means duplicate product.
Keep your content unique. Entertain your Instagram followers, and show them what they want to see. Instead of posting two photos of the same product, find something relevant and keep the profile fresh.
Using poor quality images
Instagram is a visual platform and everyone wants to see aesthetic pictures, or at least something that meets the eye.
Using gross close-ups will never work in your favor because it is, well, gross. And no one wants to see something that makes them uncomfortable.
If you don’t have an access to top-notch camera or shooting equipment, then try clicking pictures in natural light or neutral background. Also, follow some common Instagram graphic designing tips and try your hands on photo editing tools to make your pictures more attractive! There isn’t an excuse to post sloppy photos.
Look out for some profiles that have great visuals and understand what makes these photos better than yours. Then do what makes them good enough for someone to like them or make a comment.
Posting too much or too little
Figuring out the right number of posts on Instagram is a real task.
If you post too little, you risk losing touch and become boring- leading you to lose followers and engagement. If you post too much then you seem desperate and annoying.
No one wants to follow either of the above profiles.
So how do you find out how many posts are good enough?
Always rely on data. Keep a track of user habits as they evolve, and post accordingly. Also, how much you need to post depends on your brand as well as your followers. Understand what your followers demand from your profile and deliver them just that.
For news outlets, posting multiple posts a day is fine, but for a clothing brand, posting a few times a week is good enough.
So, watch out for your followers’ behavior and keep an eye on the analytics. Experiment with your Instagram posting schedule and see which schedule suits your brand the best.
Posting boring content
Have you ever seen boring content sell?
We surely haven’t, which is why we suggest you never ever post anything that is not interesting. If you want people to engage with your brand, then you need to give them something to engage with.
Never post just for the sake of posting. Give your followers value so that they will comment and share your post, and ideally make a strong bond with your brand. Create something that they would care about.
Also, posting interesting content on Instagram will give new people a reason to follow you.
Not only in the pictures that you post, but also add valuable content in the captions as well as stories. Anything bland will never get very far. Instead, try asking questions, host contests, share information, or even create a meme out of your product!
How do you think your followers will know that a picture you posted is really about your brand if they don’t see a consistency in your profile?
Clearly, they will not.
Your Instagram account is just a part of your branding ecosystem. No matter where and however you are marketing your brand, it’s important to note that each and every channel should have a common thread that ties them all together and clearly say that it’s your brand.
Add your logos in every picture you post. If you use PC or Mac for editing pictures, learn how to post on Instagram directly from the computer for more convenience. The goal is to keep your posts consistent in terms of visual style or editorial tones. The readers should know that it’s your brand whenever they see any of your pictures/videos.
Also keep similarities between your website and your Instagram account. The user should be able to relate both your profiles.
Depending on your audience on each platform, your visual might change a bit here and there, however, your theme should remain the same and they all should feel connected.
Typos are a part of the internet life. Every writer makes a few mistakes here and there.
However, not attending to these mistakes can have daunting effects on your brand especially when these typos are frequent.
It is a huge possibility that your followers might include someone who can be called a Grammar Nazi, and mind you, these people are ruthless to the core. They will never let a single error slip through.
Always, always, spell-check before hitting the ‘post’ button. Make sure your writer has the good grip on the language and is aware about industry jargons and slangs as well.
Summing it up…
Instagram is the future, and it is here to stay. Leverage it the best way possible to increase your followers, generate traffic on your website and build a loyal audience for your business.
Build trust among those who follow you. You can also avoid some of the other common Instagram mistakes that we haven’t mentioned above, such as:
- Posting irregular sized photos
- Posting content at a wrong time
- Not including a Call-to-action in your copy
- Promoting too much
- Not adding a link in your bio to direct traffic
- Not posting videos
But don’t be overwhelmed by this list. Just double-check your content, and fix it if you are making any of these Instagram mistakes, and you’ll be just fine!