Learning from mistakes is one of the best ways of understanding how you can improve a digital marketing strategy. Instagram marketing is the same; even if you’re following awesome tips from top marketers, you could still also be making some mistakes that are costing you opportunities – and better results.
In this blog post, I’m going to share 5 top Instagram mistakes that could be affecting your business – and show you how to overcome them and improve your Instagram marketing strategy.
There’s no strategy behind your posts
This is not necessarily a mistake that is exclusive to Instagram; it happens all the time when using any social channel to promote a blog or business. However, creating a strategy can make a huge difference to your social media marketing success.
Since you have to spend time and other resources on creating your posts, it makes sense to plan them out so you make the most out of them.
The first thing that you need to do is set your goals from Instagram. It could be that you want more exposure, to improve your traffic, get more engagement – whatever you want to achieve, set it as your goal.
For example, if you wanted to drive more traffic, then you’d need to post more content with clear and compelling calls to action directing people to the link in your bio (and giving them a good reason to click), like Gary Vaynerchuck does in this posts’ caption:
By doing this, you will be able to plan out the type of content you’ll need to post in order to achieve it – instead of posting new images or videos on a whim.
Plus, by planning out a social media calendar for your Instagram strategy, you can always rest assured that you’ve got content ready to post. That’s not to say that if you find the opportunity to take a beautiful/interesting/etc. photo or video, you shouldn’t; however, most of your content should be planned out in advance so as to support your set goals.
Not being strategic with your hashtags
Hashtags can make a huge difference to your Instagram success. Using the right ones, in the right way, can help you reach more people, gain more followers, and generate more engagement on your posts.
Using the wrong hashtags on your posts can mean losing a lot of opportunities, either because they aren’t helping you reach enough people, or because they aren’t helping you reach the right people (your target audience). After all, Instagram users employ hashtags regularly as a means to discover content, as well as accounts to follow.
There are several things that you need to know about hashtags on Instagram:
- Post your hashtags in a comment on your post, not in the caption – it looks better, makes your post look less salesy, so to say, but you still get all the reach
- Use around 7-10 hashtags per post – even though you’re allowed to use as many as 30 hashtags per posts, tests like this recent one from Agorapulse’s Social Media Lab found that using about 8 hashtags generates the most engagement.
- Make sure your hashtags are strategy-driven: are your hashtags targeted enough? Are they the hashtags that your target audience would use to search for content? Since you can use so many hashtags on one post, you can vary them in order to improve your reach and engagement. For example, use a couple of hashtags that are very used (millions of posts per hashtag), a few middle-of-the-ground hashtags of over 300k posts, and some very targeted, very specific hashtags (that usually have fewer posts, around 50k-200k)
Not posting any Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories might disappear in 24 hours, but that doesn’t mean they don’t bring value. In fact, as popular as Snapchat is, the Instagram Stories feature has blown up, reaching 250 million daily active users in the summer of 2017 – considerably more than Snapchat’s 166 million daily active users.
Stories can help you reach more people, and most importantly, engage more people. And as a blogger, it can help build up your persona.
The great thing about Instagram Stories, is that they don’t really require the same amount of time and work than a regular photo or video you might post on your account.
The expectations are lower, since it will, after all, disappear quite quickly; that’s not to say that you should post just anything, but you also don’t need to stress too much about it.
Plus, Instagram offers you so many different options for customizing your Story, different colours, adding text, and more.
Instagram are also testing out adding links to a Story; currently, it’s only available to verified accounts, but we should hopefully see this feature roll out to other accounts soon – which will make it pretty much the only way to add a link to one of your Instagram posts, making it a great tool for driving traffic to your blog and website.
Not being proactive and engaging
Managing a social media account (or several) can eat up a lot of your time; however, by not engaging or being proactive, you might be losing followers and gaining potential targeted followers.
First off, you need to make sure to respond to all comments as soon as possible.
Because if you want people to engage with you, then you too need to engage with them to get the ball rolling.
Furthermore, you need to be proactive: follow users, engage with them by liking their posts and commenting on them, engage with your Instagram followers as well, and regram your favourite content on your own account.
Posting the same thing over and over again
This is something that I notice happening a lot on Instagram – accounts posting the same type of content, time and time again.
That makes for a boring account – and people are quite likely to unfollow you (or be reluctant to follow you in the first place).
Once you find a type of content that works and is comfortable for you to create, it can be tempting to continue posting it.
Try, instead, to diversify your content; it will help you reach more people (more types of content to attract them and more hashtags to reach them) and it will make it easier to find ideas for content:
- Quote images
- Food photos
- Cute & funny images, videos, or stories
- Promotional content
- Interesting stats and studies
Using different content regularly will allow you to reach more of your audience; even though your target audience might share similarities, there will still be big differences in interests and behaviour; basically, they won’t all be interested in the same content on Instagram, or following the same hashtags.
Instagram can be a great platform for businesses, helping them build up their brands and their online profile and persona, reaching new audiences, and generating more traffic and readers, as well as more engagement.
Make sure you’re not making any of the mistakes listed in this blog post, keep posting great content and engaging with users, and you’re well on your way to achieving Instagram success.
What are some of the mistakes you’ve noticed bloggers doing on Instagram? Share your stories and tips below!
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.
Contact info: www.lilachbullock.com