You’ve heard that Instagram is the place to be if you have a business, but are you seeing the results you hoped for?
Over the years, Instagram has grown immensely, and isn’t showing any signs of stopping. The platform has over 1 billion monthly active users; a huge potential audience for your business – if you play your cards right.
Whilst there is no guide on how to do things well on Instagram, there are a few definite no nos you may be engaging in right now. Let’s explore and get that Insta account back on track!
Your business isn’t fit for instagram
Perhaps the most important, first recognise if you should even be on Instagram. Despite popular belief, not all businesses are fit for Instagram; if you cannot communicate your business through pretty pictures, inspiring quotes, engaging videos or humourous memes, it may not be for you. Read our guide on choosing the correct platforms for your business. Now on with the instagram mistakes list..
You have fake followers
Sure, it’s not always easy to gain 10,000 followers overnight, but fake followers are not the way to go! Do not be tempted to join a free app or spend a few pounds; fake followers are VERY easy to spot. If you are caught out by genuine followers, it’s a sure fire way to lose them for good. Authenticity is number one for 2019! The same goes for likes and comments, they are easily identifiable as false engagement. Additionally, this type of engagement confuses your analytics and takes you further away from achieving your goals. The only way to effectively grow is through great, shareable content.
Paying for ‘influencers’
There’s no doubt you’ve heard about the fastest growing social media marketing practice of the past 10 years – influencer marketing. The industry is booming and is predicted to be worth a whopping $6.5 billion at the end of 2019, more than double its 2017 value of $3 billion. The industry continues to grow and is highly effective, so why has influencer marketing made our this Instagram mistakes list?
Where there is money to be made, there are corners to be cut! Many ‘influencers’ will have 0 impact on your business and yet, you may pay them a hefty sum expecting ROI! There has been a huge rise of businesses paying for influencers to promote their products only to find that the ‘influencer’ has paid for followers, likes and comments themselves or is in a social engagement ring; a group that comments and likes all photos in the group to drive engagement. Either way, be careful when using influencer marketing and be sure you are getting what you are paying for. There are many free tools to check the viability of page and there are services that can connect you to real influencers that will impact your business.
Not using hashtags
If you’re not using hashtags, you’re losing out on a huge amount of visibility and reach. Accounts that aren’t paying for sponsored posts will be found through hashtags by other users. No only do you miss out on follower growth but you’re missing out on potential customers.
When using hashtags, a common mistake is to choose the top 10 that are trending. However, this is the worst thing to do as users will just become angry with your content as it is not relevant to what they were searching for. Ensure hashtags are relevant and niche to your business, or to your content. Change up your hashtags for each post too! Sure you can have a few base hashtags that you use all the time but each post will be different and need new, fresh ideas.
Using too many hashtags
On the other end of the spectrum, using too many hashtags can be a just as damaging Instagram mistake as using none at all. Posts that have 100 tags in an attempt to attract every possible user on Instagram will be overlooked by Instagram’s algorithms and not shown priority on feeds. Also, this is very annoying and users will not bother scrolling past them all to leave a comment, if that was their original intention. 10-15 is a nice middle point for the amount of hashtags to use.
Ignoring your audience
One reason that social media for businesses has taken over, is the change in consumer attitude towards brands. They no longer want brands to be speaking at them, they want to be in a conversation with them. This is why so many micro brands are competing in markets that were once monopolous, they spend time communicating with their customers.
Taking the above on board, you NEED to reply to EVERY comment you receive. Even if you have no idea on the answer – you can direct them elsewhere to somewhere that may be able to help. No answer is the worst answer. Your responses do not need to be immediate but they do need to be consistent.
The key for businesses is to build a community of trust, friendship and communication. Making consumers feel special and important will ensure retention and loyalty. Do not neglect them!
You focus too aggressively on sales
Instagram is a social platform where you can peek into each others lifestyles, laugh at silly videos, share hilarious memes or be empowered by inspirational quotes. Although highly effective to sell on, your efforts must not look salesy! Implicit sales techniques are needed if you want to be successful on Instagram. Don’t forget, customers will buy into your brand if they feel connected to you, share photos of staff, share quotes in line with your values, and importantly humanise your account! Don’t let this Instagram mistakes cost you your sales!
Content for attention
Long gone are the days that posting random funny pics or cute animals is acceptable on your business account. This InStAgRaM mIsTaKe may have increased likes on pages but it did nothing for business. Unless the posts are relevant to your business, they shouldn’t be your main source of content account! Sure a few funny posts to entertain your audience from time to time are fine, but if this is how you are currently generating engagement, you are sure to fail converting this attention to leads.
While there is no written rule telling you not to post 20 times a day, the general consensus is that over posting will repel your followers! Quickly!
Each platform is different when it comes to the acceptable amount of posts, you can post more frequently on Twitter and Facebook than Instagram for instance. It’s good to spread out posts so that your followers aren’t bombarded with all your content at once. Also, spreading your posts is a great way to gauge and test when the best engagement hours are. Post smarter, not harder.
You guessed it, if you can over post then you can under post too. If you do not post regularly, it shows Instagram users that the owner is not serious about their business or that the business is no longer operating. You need to be active at least once a week to show you are at least trying on social media. If you find that time is restrictive, look into a content management tool such as our Shareable dashboard where you can schedule posts. When you stick to a schedule you will see a difference in followers, engagement and leads.
You don’t take advantage of Instagram’s features
Many businesses aren’t using stories or IGTV despite the two features being great for engaging your current followers and for gaining new followers. You can even gather great market research from these tools too; stories let you add polls and ask questions. Instagram mistakes like this can cost you lots of business! Get exploring those features!