Instagram, Instagram, Instagram.
These days the image sharing social networking site has taken the stage and everyone including celebrities, entities, marketers, creatives – and of course the general public – is tapping into this network every day. Humans love visuals, and that’s probably why the image-sharing concept is rapidly gaining popularity.
So, what do marketers do? Run the race and sign up for Instagram just to share pictures? Well, that’s part of it, but what about the rest? More often than not, “just sharing pictures” isn’t enough – and it definitely won’t make your brand stand out of the millions of accounts that get created every day for the same purpose!
Don’t mistake “presence” for quality marketing!
Here are 8 Instagram marketing mistakes you should avoid while operating your business account.
1. Setting your account to private
This could be an unintentional mistake – but definitely a major one!
Having your images and videos set to private may make sense for personal accounts, but it sure doesn’t make any sense for company accounts that are meant to be marketed to the general public.
You could come across any business or individual in the Instagram community who has an interest in what you have to offer. By setting your account to private, you are only limiting your opportunities.
Make sure your account is set to public, so that you always have a higher chance of reaching out to a massive audience and pulling out potentials that could be your next favorite fan or follower.
2. Posting random photos or videos
Source: It’s Erin James
You might be the sole social media marketer for a company, or perhaps a solopreneur marketing your own business.
You may like to share random photos of your coffee mug or your dog, or maybe even a new place you visited.
However, 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.
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.
3. Low quality photos
As a business, you need to appear as professional as possible.
Prospects are judging your brand as well as your brand’s quality in various ways. Believe it or not, but the quality of your pictures and videos also sends a message about the quality of your product or service.
High resolution photos are automatically associated with “quality” and “professionalism”. The opposite is true for crappy photos with poor resolutions.
Make sure your pictures are twice the recommended size (meaning 1280 by 1280 px) so that the picture turns out to be a high quality image. Also make sure that your images are sized correctly and perfectly centered without any odd-seeming cut outs.
4. Not using hashtags correctly or not using them at all
Source: Yina Goh
What defines “correct” hashtag usage?
First of all, your hashtags should be searchable – that’s the whole idea behind categorized hashtags.
Second, they should be short and relevant because #we #all #know #how #annoying #a #hashtag #overload #is!
Plus, make sure you are following popular hashtags that are relevant to your niche.
Not using hashtags at all is another mistake many brands and businesses make. Hashtags provide reach to others in your community and vice versa. As a result, it creates a “gateway” for more potential fans and customers who are also following and contributing to popular hashtags you frequently post to.
5. Not posting consistently
You know what they say, “consistency is the key”. And this is definitely true in this case as well.
Posting on social media, blogs, or any media channel for that matter requires consistency. When you are consistent you are predictable and fans and followers like a predictable frequency.
One more thing to note is that you shouldn’t mistake quantity for consistency. Spamming your follower’s feeds with a plethora of images every day is not a good idea. It increases the likelihood of you annoying your prospects and alienating them after they decide to “unfollow” you. Try to spread out your posts with relevant and engaging content that is “high quality”.
6. Not following your followers
Source: Sprout Social
Clever marketing strategies usually call for “getting to know your customers as best you can”.
If your fans decide to follow you, make sure you treat them with at least a follow back. You don’t have to comment or communicate with them on their personal account, of course. However, following your followers will give you the chance to get to know them better and find out what interests them.
With this information you’re better prepped up for getting their attention and meeting their needs.
7. Not proofreading
Misspellings and grammar mistakes – Yikes!
This is one easy way to make your brand look unprofessional. Missing punctuation, sloppy spelling, and careless grammar can make people cringe.
They are also quick to ruin impressions in front of a massive audience. A great example of this is a recent York University advertisement that spelled “engineering” wrong and made the news.
8. Not engaging with your audience
Source: Seen Moment
Engage, engage, and engage!
This is the number one tip every social media marketer should be looking into. Engagement is all about connection. The best way to connect to your customer is to interact with them.
If your audience is commenting on your posts and asking questions, make sure you respond!
Be wary of these Instagram marketing mistakes and avoid them at all costs!
Sometimes, even the smallest and simplest of mistakes can turn off prospects and be the reason for people unfollowing you – and being unfollowed hurts!
Guest Author: Skornia Alison works as a social media manager at an online service that offers online college essay help. When she’s not circling or tweeting friends, she loves writing blogs on social media marketing, content strategy development, and more.