November 20, 2018
6 Mistakes All Businesses Need to Avoid on Instagram
Instagram marketing is tricky on purpose. The social platform’s algorithm is designed to make the user experience exceptional, and business posts don’t always fit into that—unless, of course, you can deliver a catered experience for our target audience that will add value. If Instagram thinks you’re being spammy or over-promotional, it will change its algorithm to exclude your posts from your target audience.
Understanding the platform and listening to the advice of experts in the industry will help you avoid some of the most common Instagram marketing mistakes. Here are a few that you’ll want to be very careful with.
1. Failing to Automate
When you’re busy running a business, you don’t have time to spend hours on Instagram, commenting on and liking posts. However, if you don’t do this, you’ll lose followers. That’s where automation comes in.
Automation is the latest trend for business owners to help them find real Instagram followers and increase engagement on the platform. If you haven’t already, you should automate your Instagram account. Check out a review of SocialCaptain here, an Instagram automation platform.
With a great automation tool, you can use the power of artificial intelligence to do much of the legwork for you. It will help you target your audience for automatic growth, boosted productivity, and analytics that you can actually use.
With this in mind, it’s important that you also understand the penalties of using poor automation software. This is against Instagram’s terms of service and it can result in your account being suspended or even banned.
If you’re going to use Instagram automation, be smart about it. Use only a trusted platform that uses artificial intelligence to understand the context of follower posts and curate a good experience. Failing to do so will limit your engagement or worse.
2. Being Random With Your Content
According to Instagram experts, the only content worth posting is high-quality, relevant content that’s been carefully planned and curated to match your brand and strategy. If you’re not mindful with your content creation, you’ll fail to attract the kind of engagement necessary for a successful brand.
“Keep in mind that although you want to be ‘social,’ this is a business account, not a personal one in which you get to share anything in the world you like,” warns Skornia Allison in a JeffBullas.com article. “By posting pictures that are not relevant to your brand, you run the risk of appearing unprofessional. There’s nothing wrong with being a little ‘personal’ once in a while and putting a face to your brand. However, try to keep a fine balance between your ‘random’ posts and relevant ones.”
As a general rule, if you don’t have a high-quality, on-brand piece of content to share, it’s probably better to share nothing at all. Posting nothing at all will leave you no worse off than you were before while a low-quality post could lose you, followers.
3. Posting Too Little or Too Much
Every brand needs to hit a sweet spot for posting on Instagram with just the right amount of content to stay relevant without posting so often that they appear spammy. The latter will lose you followers and even result in account suspension.
Every brand will be a little different in terms of how much content they should post. Most research shows that it should be at least once per day, but no more than three times per day. Doing so keeps you in your customers’ newsfeeds without oversaturating them with your content.
4. Ignoring Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is a relatively new feature designed to mimic the Stories feature on Snapchat. Research shows that the use of this feature for businesses raises engagement on the platform, especially since more than 400 million people use Instagram Stories each month. That’s 10 times more than the number of people who use Snapchat Stories.
Instagram also recently changed its algorithm to favor businesses who use Instagram Stories on a regular basis. It’s great for sneaking into your target audience’s newsfeeds, and it’s even more successful if you use it as your ad platform of choice. Don’t fall behind by ignoring the incredible metrics of this feature.
5. Ignoring Your Competitors
Your business does not exist in a vacuum—it’s a competitive world out there, and your rivals are likely on Instagram. So track their Instagram followers and Instagram likes. This is something that you can’t ignore if you want to remain competitive and increase the effectiveness of any marketing campaign.
Use tools to help you keep an eye on your competition, examining the reach of each Instagram post and examining the results on an easy-to-read dashboard. From there, you can try to mimic what your competitors are doing right, not copying their content directly, but recognizing the value of their topics and the structure of each post.
You can also learn from what didn’t work in your competitors’ campaigns. This will prevent you from making the same mistakes in the future.
6. Failing to Use Hashtags
Hashtags are an essential part of any Instagram campaign. They make your content searchable, attracting organic followers searching for products and services through Instagram. They also add value to your content if your hashtags are well-thought-out, so you can’t ignore them with your posts.
Even more important than using hashtags is making sure you’re using them correctly.
“Hashtags were not intended to drive people crazy,” says an article from Red Rocket Web Specialists. “But that’s exactly what people and businesses are doing when they load their posts with numerous hashtags that may or may not be related. Don’t allow your business to fall into this category of people. Keyword stuffing is not a good SEO strategy, nor is hashtag stuffing a good idea for your social media strategy.”
For that reason, you don’t need to use a lot of hashtags to get your point across. Just use a few, well-placed, creative hashtags will help make your content searchable. They should be relevant and add value to your brand. Otherwise, they can appear spammy and drive away potential followers.
Instagram is an essential component of your marketing efforts, but it can be somewhat challenging to master. It’s important to learn from the mistakes of others so you can avoid them yourself and excel in Instagram marketing.