Need some help to make your Instagram account really work for you? If you want to make your Instagram a hub for your community and part of your sales funnel, here are some common mistakes you could be making that are limiting your success on Instagram.
Don't Post Irregularly
To stay front of mind, whether you are a brand or an influencer, you should be posting regular content. By posting on a consistent schedule, you will stay relevant and active amongst the community, and this will have a positive impact on anyone who comes across your account. Avoid posting sporadically and keep to a regular schedule, posting at peak times when you receive the most engagement on your content. Use our tips in this article and create a content calendar that helps you maintain a regular Instagram schedule.
Don't Use Low-Quality Imagery
The most common mistake we see on Instagram is when accounts publish low-quality images. Low-quality imagery makes your account seem amateur rather than professional, and it doesn't represent your brand correctly. Use high-quality images (most smartphones have a good enough camera now to use for social media content) and invest time, effort and money into creating unique content. A good image should be clear and crisp, captured in good lighting and have a theme. For more tips and information on creating good imagery for Instagram, read: How To Create Engaging Imagery. The visual speaks a thousand words, and this is even more important on Instagram which is a highly visual platform where engagement relies on the quality of the image. Make other Instagram users want to follow you from the moment they see your profile!
Don't Forget About Hashtags
Hashtags can be a fantastic way to gain exposure and increase your reach in the crowded space that is Instagram. If you don't use hashtags you don't give yourself a good chance of being discovered by like-minded users who are looking for and engaging with content about your industry. Not only do you miss out on growing your followers with hashtags, you also miss our on potential customers, so not using hashtags is a big mistake (especially with the new Instagram algorithm)! When using hashtags, make sure they are relevant to your niche and ensure they aren't flooded by irrelevant users. Small, specific hashtags might not see a high volume of usage, however, they are targeted and super relevant, so the leads you receive have more potential to convert. If you don’t want to overwhelm or take away from your witty caption, add your hashtags as a comment below the image to keep each post uncluttered.
Don't Keep Your Profile On Private
If you want people to click the follow button, they need to be able to see your content! Followers want to be able to judge whether or not they are likely to enjoy the content you publish before they click the follow button. In addition, users tend to stay away from private accounts as they won’t be accepted straight away and the time it takes to approve can vary from minutes to hours or even days. Prive profiles have a negative impact on potential new followers because Instagram users lose excitement when they land on a private account.
Don't Leave Your Instagram Bio Blank
The bio of your Instagram is the place where people instantly look to when determining what your page is about, what content you create and why they should start following you. They have obviously landed on your page for one reason or another, so make the most of your first impression with an Instagram bio that informs and excites. The Instagram bio is also the only place you can include a clickable URL to your website or another platform, so ensure you use the most effective URL. So, what should you have in your Instagram bio? Your Instagram bio should include your name and/or your company name, relevant contact details (email preferably), your website/eCommerce store/portfolio and if you are a physical location, include your address so people can find you offline.
Don't Post At Off-Peak Times
Don’t expect high engagement rates if you are posting during times when people aren’t on Instagram. It's that simple. You should post on Instagram when your audience is online, which is usually during the early morning commute (6-9am) and in the afternoon after people have left work (from 5pm onwards). When you post in peak times, your profile is exposed to more of your followers, so use an analytics tool such as Iconosquare to see when your audience is most active.
Don't Write A Lazy Caption
Captions are just as important as the image itself, and although they are not seen first by Instagram users, they are crucial in providing context and information that cannot be conveyed through a photograph. Try to include a question or call-to-action in your Instagram caption to spur conversation and encourage comments and engagement. Avoid having long captions as this can turn people off and make them scroll past your image and never look back.
Don't Post If It Is Irrelevant
Post for your audience and only include images that go with your core focus and key message, otherwise, you will start losing followers as they are not getting the content they expect to see on your profile. Posting something irrelevant or with a completely different style or tone to your usual content can do more harm than good, and has the potential ro ruin your relationship with your followers.
Don't Sit On The Sidelines
Instagram is a social media platform, so you have to be social with the Instagram community to see results on your own profile. Engagement doesn't just mean replying to comments on your own content - you have to go out and engage with other content and users on the platform, the more relevant, the better. Search relevant hashtags and find other people who are talking about your industry and start engaging with them and their content and develop a relationship with them. You never know where a single engagement could lead, so use the platform to organically engage with other accounts and increase your exposure. Our number one tip when leaving a comment on another piece of content, always be natural (don't write something generic like "Love this <3) and make your comment relevant and a response to their caption. You could even ask them a question to keep the conversation going.
Don't Go Overboard
First up, good job at having a whole bunch of content ready to post! But don't feel like you have to do it all at once. That content isn't going anywhere, so learn to restrain yourself and stick to your schedule, whether that's posting daily or only a couple of times each week. Nobody wants to see 5 photos in succession from the same account on their feed. Spread your content throughout the week so you have a consistent stream of high-quality content rather than spam. Stick to your schedule and don't go overboard.