In July 2021, there were over 1.386 billion active Instagram users. This social media platform started as a way for users to share their love of images. Let’s see how to avoid the most common Instagram marketing mistakes.
It’s fast evolved into a valuable tool for both individuals and businesses who’ve mastered the art of Instagram marketing.
So, if you want to reap the benefits of smart marketing via this popular platform, make sure you avoid these fatal mistakes.
Posting What You Want When You Want
You can’t benefit from the power of Instagram unless you approach it with a solid strategy.
If you head off on a vacation with no destination in mind, you might have the time of your life. You could also get horribly lost.
Marketing industry experts agree that you must have a goal in mind for your Instagram efforts and direct your posts toward achieving it.
Every time you post an image on this platform, consider what you hope to achieve for your efforts. For instance, if you want to drive traffic to one of your pages, use a call-to-action and persuasive captions on your post.
A balanced Instagram marketing strategy can help you avoid all the major Instagram slip-ups.
Your Instagram account analytics are there to help you measure whether you’re achieving your goals. Thanks to analytics, you can figure out which posts are a waste of time and which ones work.
Ignore analytics at your peril. Without them, you might miss opportunities to discover new, exciting marketing campaigns to promote your brand.
When you know what your customers want, it’s easier to create engaging posts that appeal to them.
Some things you can keep tabs on via analytics include:
- Advertising success
- Web traffic
- Audience growth
They’re the best way to find out who your audience is, what type of content they prefer to engage with, and when they’re most active.
You can access your analytics via the Insights tab.
Underselling Your Website on Your Bio
The first thing any new Instagram user does is set up their bio.
It’s vital to include a link to your website in this introductory paragraph. Back it up with a compelling description of your business that entices readers to visit your site.
Many of your potential and existing customers will look for your brand on social media, so why not guide them to visit your page while they’re looking for more info?
You can only include links in your posts once you’ve gathered 10,000 followers, so make sure you use this hack to drive traffic to your website.
When you’ve set this up, make sure you include some posts that direct your users to view your bio and follow your invitation to your site.
One way to do this is by including some benefits for those who click the link in your bio, like information on an upcoming sale, a discount, or an e-book.
Social media can do much to enhance your SEO, but an active website can do more.
Don’t ever make your business profile private. That’s fine for your personal profile, but you want people to access your business information and posts as easily as possible.
If you make your Instagram account private, they’ll have to wait for you to approve their request before they can view your images. This wastes valuable time and results in more admin for you as the page owner.
In these times of instant gratification, most users won’t bother to engage with a private business site.
Your brand is your bread and butter, and your Instagram account is only one part of your branding efforts. That doesn’t mean you should stray too far from your established brand traits on your social media pages.
Every element of your brand should have a consistent thread running between them. This unifies your marketing strategy and creates recognition for your brand.
Make sure you include your logo on every profile and stick to a similar editorial tone and visual style in your posts.
Inconsistent branding confuses your audience and adds nothing to your marketing efforts.
Likewise, your images should have a consistent theme running through them. That way, they create a cohesive theme when viewers see your grid on your profile page.
An inconsistent mix of subjects, colors, and styles looks messy and unprofessional. When people view your grid, it should tell a story about your brand and provide a cohesive representation of what you stand for.
Setting up a style guide for Instagram posts will help to remind you, or your marketing team, not to stray too far from the norm when they post on your page. If you have other people posting on your page, make sure you review their work beforehand.
Ugly images have no place on Instagram, and typos create a bad impression. Make sure every image you post is gorgeous, or at the very least, interesting.
Poor quality images create a bad impression of your products and your brand, and they won’t attract the right sort of attention.
If you don’t have access to professional photo skills, neutral backgrounds, and natural light are your best options. There are so many photo editing apps around nowadays, anyone can add appeal to a photograph quickly and easily.
Practice using various filters and editing tools until you’ve got an image that makes you proud.
Keep tabs on the latest Instagram trends to see which ones fit in with your overall branding. That way, you’ll retain consistency while staying in line with changing times.
These are the kinds of images that are hot on Instagram right now:
- Black and white photos
- ‘No edit’ edits
- Text overlays
- Heavy grain effects
- Scrapbook-style collages
With such vastly different trends to choose from, you’re bound to find something that fits in with your branding.
How do you create these cool effects? With a photo-editing app, of course!
Posting the Same Things All the Time
Religiously re-using content creates the impression that you’re boring, uninspired, or lazy. You don’t want to create this impression for your brand, right?
What’s more, Google frowns on duplicate content.
Don’t post for the sake of posting. Rather take time to come up with fun, intriguing, or informative posts that encourage users to like or comment. In this way, you create value for them and encourage them to share your exciting content.
The more engaging your posts are, the more people will want to follow you.
Experimenting with different types of content, like photos, memes, and images, helps you gauge which of these resonates more with your target market.
You can try subtle variations of your regular colors and fonts to see how your audience responds to these changes, too.
It’s not totally unacceptable to re-post a blast from the past, as long as you don’t overdo it, and include new information or a different call to action.
Ignoring Likes and Comments
One of the best ways to curry favor with your Instagram audience is by interacting with them.
Respond to every comment by offering more information, answering questions, or reminding them to visit your website. In this way, you can inspire trust and build brand loyalty.
Don’t let your followers feel unwanted by ignoring them. They’ll quickly move to another brand that shows them the love.
You must make time to respond to every single comment.
Although social media comments aren’t a Google ranking factor, the search engine uses them as a way to measure user engagement.
When your posts generate a lot of reactions, it shows Google that people enjoy them, and Google favors content that its users enjoy.
If you make a point of liking some posts relevant to your industry on Instagram, there’s a chance these Instagram users will reciprocate by liking some of your posts back.
To streamline this process, you can use like for like Instagram marketing with an app to automatically generate likes on your behalf. This helps you make the most of reciprocal likes to and from other users.
Misusing Hashtags or Links in Instagram Marketing
The best Instagram posts use eleven hashtags. These are the golden rules for choosing or creating the best hashtags for your business:
- They must make sense for your brand
- Don’t use just a brand name
- Keep it consistent, short, and simple
Intensive research will help you find the hashtags that are doing the rounds at the moment and adapt them to your posts.
Steer clear of the most popular hashtags of the day. There’s likely fierce competition for these, so you won’t get much screen time from them.
Instead, opt for relevant hashtags with fewer hits if you want to maximize your returns. Here’s how to master hashtags on Instagram:
- Use a mix of specific as well as popular hashtags
- Look at what your competitors are using
- Use hashtags your ideal customer might search for
- Add hashtags to a secondary comment, instead of your initial one
When you do eventually reach a stage where you can use links in your posts. Keep them short and sweet.
Nobody wants to type a 20-word phrase into their browser. One way to get around this is by using one link that takes viewers to a page with all your latest posts.
Avoiding Instagram Stories
Over 500 million people engage with the Instagram stories platform. So, you’re missing out if you don’t take advantage of it.
Instagram Stories are short-lived, full-screen vertical photos and videos. They appear at the top of the Instagram app instead of in the news feed, and they disappear after 24 hours.
Stories use interactive tools to make your content pop. These include polls, filters, and stickers.
Instagram Stories are vertical, full-screen photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. They appear at the top of the Instagram app, rather than in the news feed.
They incorporate interactive tools like stickers, polls, and Instagram Story filters to make your content really pop. Here’s how to get started with the format.
With Stories, you can record videos or take images on the fly, or use existing videos and images to create your reel. When you’ve created your content you can add your location, hashtags, music, captions, or effects, before you post your story.
For extra convenience, you can also schedule your story posts. If you don’t want to lose all your hard work after only one day, you can highlight your stories and pin them to your profile for as long as you want.
Over- or Under-Posting
If you post too many times a week (or day) you may appear desperate, but if you underdo it, you’ll come across as aloof or disinterested.
It all depends on your brand and the nature of your business. For instance, a newspaper can get away with posting multiple posts a day, while a few times a week is ample for a small business.
Analytics can help you figure out the sweet spot when it comes to the number of times you should post on your Instagram account.
Embrace the Best Marketing Tools
Avoid these Instagram marketing mishaps, and you’re sure to increase your user engagement, attract more likes and follows, and maximize your social media pages.
If you’re guilty of these slip-ups, don’t despair. The best part about the internet is you can go back and remedy your errors right away.
Billions of people log on to their social media accounts every day. Make sure your brand is top of mind when they do.
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