Instagram is a brilliant tool for every business, no matter the industry, products or audience.It’s also the perfect platform on which to make a complete hash of your marketing campaign and online persona. It’s easy to make big Instagram mistakes
And, while it’s a pleasingly playful social media channel on which to promote your business, there’s a fine line between making your audience smile and turning them off completely.
Here’s five Instagram mistakes you really should avoid. Please.
1. Low-res stock (or original) images
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make people scroll lighting-fast past your Instagram posts, it’s images or photos that are of low-quality.
Poor quality is probably the worst of the Instagram mistakes you can make that will damage your brand..
There’s really no need for it. If you’re taking original photos (that’s really the best tactic, after all), you should have a smartphone that’s capable of capturing beautiful images.
Likewise, if you resort to stock imagery (occasionally, there’s no harm in that if it tells the right story), don’t go cheap – or illegal – by stealing low-res images from Google Images. This isn’t 1998.
2. Neglecting hashtags
A brilliant way to put your Instagram content in front of the right audience is to use hashtags – judiciously.
There are few other social media platforms that are quite so useful when it comes to hashtags. Unlike Twitter (where using hashtags often feels like you’re simply shouting into the ether), Instagram does an awfully good job at picking up likes and follows if you use the right hashtags.
And don’t be afraid to use loads, either – even if it takes you longer to research them.
Instagram posts without hashtags? They may as well not exist… sorry.
Not an Instagram mistake you will want to repeat often.
3. Inconsistent posting
Just like business blogging, Instagram marketing needs to be consistent if it’s to be successful.
Make sure you set aside time each day to post at least one image and the accompanying text to your business Instagram account.
The more predictable you are, the more your audience will grow and recognise your content in their no-doubt busy feeds.
4. Forgetting to follow – and interact with – others
Just like Twitter, Instagram is a two-way affair when it comes to marketing.
Accounts that follow zero others don’t look particularly inviting. Plus, the more accounts you follow, the more chance you have to like and comment on content and increase your chances of people clicking through to your profile to see what your business is all about.
5. Not engaging with your audience
So, you’re starting to get some likes, follows and comments. Brilliant!
But are you engaging with the people who have been kind enough to engage with you?
The more you chat to people who comment on your content, or head to the profiles of people who click the ‘like’ button to offer some likes of your own, the more likely you are to have them come back for more and spread the good word about your brand.
Go on, be social (there’s a reason this is called ‘social media’, after all).
Bonus tip: Don’t set your account to private
Erm. You’d be surprised by how many new business Instagram accounts are set to private. As far as Instagram mistakes go, this is very probably the stupidest.
There’s literally no reason for this, unless you have something to hide. Which you don’t, clearly, because you’re a business!
Wrap up your Instagram mistakes
Enjoy Instagram marketing, but don’t get too carried away. The mistakes above might seem innocuous enough, but they can result in oodles of wasted time and a poor brand image that will have a negative impact on your marketing strategy.
If there is anything you wish to add about Instagram mistakes, please comment below.