One of the secrets to increasing your social media engagement is bringing your content strategy to life with visuals. And when you are ready to tell your company’s visual story – Instagram should be one of your first ports of call. Not only is Instagram one of the fastest consistently growing social media hubs out there, it can also bring you up to 15 times more engagement than your average Facebook posts.
AND….it is not just for kids!
One of the biggest misconceptions about Instagram is that it has a predominantly young user-base. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that Instagram usage is nearly an even 50-50 split between users under, and over 30.
As you can see – Instagram presents a promising opportunity for users to not only enjoy a nice amount of engagement, but also interact with your target audience in a whole new manner.
BUT WAIT! Before you go and start (or continue) marketing your business using Instagram, I want to share with you 10 Instagram mistakes that you need to avoid at all costs! Let’s go:
1. Don’t Forget About Video: I see this happen all the time. Many companies are only JUST getting comfortable with taking and posting pictures, so the idea of shooting videos can be a bit intimidating. That aside, I’m telling you: you need to shoot and post short videos. It can be the secret weapon of engagement.
2. Don’t Like Everything: There is nothing worse than someone on Instagram who LIKES every post that shows up in their stream. Just imagine if you saw someone doing that on Facebook? It looks dishonest or phony. Be selective, this way you can begin to form meaningful relationships rather than countless meaningless ones.
3. Don’t Be Inconsistent: Like all of social media marketing, consistency is rewarded, and Instagram is no different. So be sure to find a schedule and number of photos that you are able to regularly post and stick to it. Don’t post 10 photos in one day and not another one for 4 weeks.
4. Don’t Go Hashtag Crazy: There is a limit to the number of hashtags that you are able to use on Instagram: 30 to be exact. But, let’s be honest, that is a massive number. You want to create meaningful hashtags, not ones that you are adding just for the sake of hashtagging. I suggest between 6 and 10 at most.
5. Don’t Be a Downer: When marketing your business, you need to stay professional and post positive things. Negativity is not your friend on Instagram. Remember, visuals emotionally connect you to your audience, so don’t put a bad taste in your audiences’ mouth.
6. Don’t Lose Your Focus: With any marketing campaign, you don’t want to deviate from your plan. On Instagram it can be easy, due to the fact that when you start you may not know what pictures to take. Decide what you want your approach to be and stick with it: stay on-brand and on-message.
7. Don’t Just Advertise: Are your only posts discounts and promotions on Instagram? Shame! You need to have an even marketing message mix rather than sell, sell, sell. Just think – no one wants to engage with someone who is constantly pushing sales messages on them, so share visuals that will bring your target consumer closer to you.
8. Don’t Post Disrespectful Content: We are not speaking about being negative here, but more so of items that can be taken the wrong way by your audience. So if you have different political, religious, or social views – your company Instagram would probably not be the place for them. People could find it disrespectful – which is not what you want!
9. Don’t Forget to Comment: If you see good content that deserves your feedback – comment! This will help you open a dialogue with another person and help engagement with your own account.
10. Don’t Forget to Comment Back: This is a rookie mistake. If someone is taking the time to comment on one of your posts, you are shooting yourself in the foot if you are not commenting back. Just think: on Facebook how valuable the comments are to your post’s success. This is no different on Instagram, so keep the dialogue going!
These 10 mistakes are things that I have seen happen again and again on Instagram. Keep them in mind when you are rolling out your campaign and you will enjoy a higher level of success, and side-stepping unnecessary controversy or negative attention.