With over 200 million users visiting at least one business profile daily, Instagram has the potential to be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. On the downside, it can be a struggle to grab the attention of distracted users who are quickly scrolling through their feed. Let’s take a look at six of the most common mistakes that brands make and how to fix them.
1. Misusing Hashtags
Hashtags are a key part of Instagram marketing. They’re a great way to increase your reach and get discovered by new followers. While there’s no one formula for hashtag success, it’s important to track and analyze their performance in order to understand what resonates with your followers and determine how to boost engagement. A good overall strategy is to use industry-specific hashtags to get noticed immediately as well as branded hashtags for long-term vision. To find which hashtags could help your Instagram posts, check out online tools like Ritetag.
2. Using Low-Quality Images
A picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is that more important than on a highly visual platform like Instagram. It’s important to use high-quality images that are both consistent with your brand and pleasing to the eye. Brands both big and small like to use polished images that show they are all about quality – and that’s great. But remember that your followers relate to authenticity. Be sure to share plenty of real moments too.
3. Too Much Self-promotion
Businesses exist because they are selling a product or a service. So, it makes sense that their social media pages would promote these things. But promoting your business on Instagram without overdoing it takes a bit of creativity. Instagram is supposed to be interactive, and too much self-promotion makes your account feel like a one-sided relationship. Your audience wants to hear what you have to offer – they just don’t want to hear it nonstop.
4. Lack of a Consistent Theme
Social media is the perfect place to utilize your brand identity. Create a theme by nailing down your target audience, your core focus and your key message. Then only post images that support those things. If your audience isn’t seeing the content that they expect from you, you’ll find yourself losing followers. While it is good to mix things up – and there’s a time and way to do that thoughtfully – posting irrelevant content or images that widely diverge from your brand’s style and tone can end up doing more harm than good.
5. Not Having an Instagram Strategy
Make sure you have a clear strategy with focused goals. The ‘spray-and-pray’ method doesn’t work. Maybe you want to create brand awareness or drive traffic to your website. Or maybe you just want to engage with your audience by utilizing Instagram stories. Whatever your goal is – figure out the path to get there and stick to it. Tracking your Instagram metrics over time is key to tailoring a social media marketing strategy that works for your brand.
6. Lack of Engagement
Engaging with your audience is more than just liking a comment that they’ve posted. Avoid generic comments like ‘nice,’ and respond to them with genuine interest. It’s also important to interact with other Instagram users, especially ones that share common interests with your brand’s values and mission. Use some of that hashtag strategy from earlier to find relevant industry-related posts and comment on them. Make sure your comments are natural and authentic. Try responding to the caption or asking a thoughtful question that sparks conversation. Whatever you do, don’t post and ghost. To grow your audience, you have to stay engaged.