Who remembers the days when you’d go to a restaurant and not see people (including yourself) taking pictures of their food. This was before Instagram existed – Doesn’t it seems daunting that there was a time without it? It’s actually fairly new in terms of brand marketing, which leaves everyone with all the questions all the time….Like what not to do. Here are 10 common Instagram mistakes that could be hurting your brand.
Not planning your posts out
Life is always moving, people are busy; schedules may change; but having a posting calendar will help keep you organized and your feed always moving and your follower count growing. Spend a few minutes understanding your content to determine which posts are currently getting the most engagement, and then find a way to consistently build those themes into your feed. Establishing a specific rhythm and setting expectations with your followers for recurring themes is helpful, too. Some recommended platforms for this are Hootsuite or Planoly – but there are so many scheduling tools out there to help create a united look and feel.
Not using the “Rule of 9”
You should always be using this method when planning out your posts. When someone visits your profile they see your nine-image grid (three across and three down). A common instagram mistake is not using this rule, it makes it look scattered – which is something you do not want your business being portrayed as. Using tools like Hootsuite or Planoly not only helps with scheduling, but also helps you ensure there is a compelling visual story, One beautiful post may get you a like, but a scroll of your feed will get you that follow!
Taking any sort of break
The importance of a trustworthy page is high – building consistency, credibility, and fulfilling expectations with your followers is very important for your growth. A big Instagram mistake is going AWOL for a little while – thankfully you can use the apps discussed above so if you have a trip planned, you can have your content moving along without you! You should always continue to engage with your new and old followers. (FYI – No matter how long they have been following you, each one is equally as important!) Taking a break (no matter how short) hurts your chances of showing up in the discovery tab and can make you be forgotten by current followers!
Not using stories + highlights
These days, you could get more views on your Instagram page than on your website homepage. More important than not, it is the most important way for your new followers (who are your potential customers) to discover who you are. Now that you have the ability to save one-off stories to highlights right at the top of your profile, it’s the perfect way to showcase your brand on a more personal, interactive level.
Not engaging with comments
One of the most important things in business is being authentic and genuine! One of the good things about social media is that it allows brands to have real time conversations with their customers – it makes it personal by keeping the conversation going! With Instagram’s new algorithm, engaging with followers also helps to move your posts up to the top of their feed, earning you more impressions. Just remember, one emoji doesn’t count as engagement – Instagram only deems a comment as engagement if its three words or more!!!
Not adding a link to your profile
You want to make your website as easily accessible as possible – which means linking it to your instagram account. It’s how many people discover it in the first place! You can use a direct URL or a service like LinkTree to drive users to more than one page on your site.
Posting only promotional content
To maintain your followers and keep users engages, you have to consider your entire content strategy. Posting only promotional content and sales not only hurts your brand, it makes it impersonal and has the potential to be repetitive and boring, which dips impressions and makes it harder for people to find your content. Also, read this to make sure you are posting appropriate content.
Not growing as your followers grow
Just because something worked for you months ago – doesn’t mean it will work today. BRANDS HAVE TO EVOLVE! People evolve – so social media evolves – so your strategy needs to evolve. Content is continuously changing. It is recommended to test out different themes, stories and content types to get a handle on new engagement learnings.
Using low resolution images
Every brand should do their best at using high quality images. Try to avoid blurry or dim lit photos and use NATURAL light vs. flash light. You can do this on a budget. A big instagram mistake is poor photos – it is unprofessional and unappealing to the eye.
Only using hashtags that focus on your product or shop
It is recommended to use hashtags that are current to your followers. Ask yourself, what else are they browsing? You may be selling a beauty cream, but your customer is most likely interested in other wellness categories like self-care Sunday or healthy recipes, so add in a few extra tags to target that follower base as a whole! There are plenty of resources to help determine what speaks to your target audience. This site is recommended to search hashtags and other trending topics.