Instagram truly has the “underdog” story. At first, it was just a lowly little app predominantly used by kids. Now, it’s one of the most popular social media platforms around and used by businesses, professionals, bloggers, and more. The fact that it was acquired by Facebook may or may not have helped, but from a marketing point of view, it’s fantastic.Marketers need to learn how to use this site as well as Facebook and Twitter due to its high volume of daily visitors. That being said, Instagram isn’t just a clone of pre-existing platforms. It has a unique infrastructure and culture. There are certain rules you need to follow and big mistakes to avoid. Because of the amount of people online, mistakes are noticed easily. Here are the top seven errors to steer clear of on Instagram:
Posts without captions. Sure, Instagram is all about the images. Regardless, you need the space they give you to write a compelling message. Be sure to write a specialized caption for each post you write, as you would for Facebook.
Hashtag abuse. Speaking of captions, hashtags are extremely helpful for Instagram users that are looking for specific content. On this platform, you want to use 7-10 per post after the main caption. Any more will make your content look like spam, and less will narrow your reach too much.
Silence. Don’t forget about the “social” side of social media. Engage with your followers! Customers wouldn’t be on social media if they didn’t want to communicate with their favorite people and brands in a unique way.
Inconsistent branding. Take a step back and look at your Instagram account. Does it look and feel like your brand’s other marketing? If not, fix it stat! Make your current logo the profile image, fill out your bio, and make sure your tone is consistent with your other marketing material.
Promo only content. You aren’t one of those spam accounts, are you? If not, then be sure to add compelling content that pulls in your audience. Don’t worry about sales as much, but rather building an online community. Then, sales will come.
Ugly images. Instagrammers like bright, eye-catching visuals. This is especially important for brands who are trying to market. You have to generate creative and appealing imagery and, perhaps most importantly, make sure it looks good on a smartphone! Don’t forget these pics will be viewed primarily on Instagram’s app.
A private account. Is your account optimized? Is your content eye-catching and engaging? Are you using hashtags? Then why isn’t this Instagram thing working? It may be as simple as your account is set to “private”. This mistake needs to be fixed immediately. It’s the social media equivalent of having the lens cap on a camera after a photo shoot. Your work will be all for nothing if not everyone can see what you’re sharing.
Ignoring Live And Stories. Recently, Instagram has released two new ways to connect and share content. Instagram Live is their live video broadcasting service and Instagram Stories is a new feature that allows you to publish posts that are available only for 24 hours on your “Stories” page as opposed to your main Instagram feed. Both of these are great ways to connect and should be used ASAP!
Instagram is a fun and effective tool to raise brand awareness online. At this time, there are more young users on this platform than Facebook. Be sure to tap into this market as soon as possible!