Did you know that about 71% of American adults below 29 years used Instagram (IG) as of February 2021? Well, now you do. I’ll tell you what that means for you and your business.
It simply means that you’ve got a robust platform to reach out to most American young adults for free! That’s amazing. When I first realized how vital the photo-sharing app was for my business visibility, I was elated.
However, now, I’ve realized that getting the Instagram results you desire takes hard work—and a few mistakes here and there. While I’ve had my share of Instagram errors that backfired, I wouldn’t want you to experience that. So, I’ve put together a list of Instagram mistakes you should avoid.
Grab your coffee, and let’s get started.
Ten personal Instagram errors you must learn from
Knowing and avoiding these Instagram mistakes will help you make better choices when you run your IG page for business. Let’s get right to the top ten Instagram errors I wish I never did:
1. Buying followers and likes
When I decided to get my business going on Instagram, I looked up my significant competitors on the app. I got intimidated by the hundreds of thousands of followers that they had, and I decided right then that I would have as many followers immediately.
So, I did the wrong thing and shopped for some followers of my own the next day. That was the worst purchasing error of my Instagram life. Not only did my fake followers cost me good money, but they were also counterproductive.
I slowly came to realize that followers do very little for your business if they’re not converting to customers. Again, any prudent Instagram shopper will quickly notice the uncanny disparity between your post’s engagements and your massive following.
It wouldn’t take long for them to put two and two together and realize what you’ve done. Since no one wants to do business with a ‘dubious’ person, you know what that means already.
2. Having no plan
Do you know what they say about people who don’t make plans? Don’t be that person. Planning is essential for everything, even Instagram. Fortunately, it didn’t take me too long to realize that my lack of strategy took my business nowhere.
Just like you wouldn’t plan a trip without a destination in mind, you shouldn’t start your Instagram shop without goals. So, is your goal to get website traffic or gain brand visibility? Write them down already.
However, it’s not enough to set goals; but you must also develop strategies to achieve them. Apart from putting you on a clear path, goals and strategies will help you stay true to your course. It’ll also help you to gauge your progress rates at intervals.
If you’re looking for ideas to achieve your Instagram goals, you can study other social platforms you’ve been on. For example, learning about TikTok growth can give you insight into driving traffic to your page.
3. Posting content every other week
Over time, I’ve come to realize the importance of consistency on Instagram. For starters, Instagram users are always on the lookout for new stuff. So, they’ll only stay where they get the content they subscribed for, and that, in overwhelming doses.
I noticed this when I just got my Instagram shop started. Whenever I went back to my page after a long while, my followership dropped drastically. You wouldn’t blame them, though; I won’t stay anywhere I’m not benefiting from either.
So, in essence, create time to consistently post content using an Instagram post maker on your page at close and steady intervals. It all goes back to planning and strategy. You can make this work by drafting your content calendar using a tool like Buffer weeks before it’s due.
4. Neglecting to engage with customers
There are no two ways about it—successful businesses must have real connections with real people. That’s another reason why buying followers and generating inorganic likes and comments won’t help your Instagram business to grow.
It’s real people who will buy your products, and so, you must connect with real people. I wish I had known that much earlier.
I’ve realized that people often buy your products because they can relate to the story behind them. Consequently, you can only share your story by engaging them in the comments and in your DMs.
So, be sure to have honest conversations with your audience and keep the communication channels running.
5. Posting boring content and ugly images
Yes, I know I said to post regularly at close intervals. However, you’ve already started the journey, and you might as well do it well. Your audience knows when you’re not bringing your A-game, and guess how they respond? With no likes and zero comments.
If they like, they’ll go the extra mile to unfollow your page and your brand like they sometimes did on my page. I didn’t like it because the effort I had put into attracting followers was wasted. While taking time off to invest in quality content may be demanding, like all great investments, it’s worth the effort.
Since Instagram sells on visuals, quality content will always begin with quality images. So, take some time to learn some editing and think up intriguing topics to post. However, ensure that your content is in line with your brand’s values.
6. Ignoring the data
If you’re anything like me, numbers and data analytics will bore you. However, they’re the necessary evils I’ve learned to deal with after a while. That’s after many years of finding no actual means to measure my business growth. Data analytics are the parameters that matter to your business growth.
You can use information about demographics to draft an effective marketing strategy. Reviewing your data analytics regularly will also let you in on your engagement and follower growth rates.
Do you want to learn about your customer’s habits or find the best time to post content? Then, you already know where to look. So, choose an Instagram analytics platform like Analisa immediately and stop ignoring your data.
7. Stealing content
It’s pretty easy to take a screenshot of someone else’s content and post it on your Instagram. In addition, it’s something I encourage. You can’t always have all the ideas yourself, so sometimes, sharing other people’s content can help to keep your page running.
However, it becomes stealing when you post other people’s content without giving them the credit they deserve. In such cases, you’re passing the content off as yours, and that’s a significant legal issue. That’s some big-time copyright infringement.
Asides from the legal issues, stealing content affects your brand image adversely. Content on Instagram is fluid, and your audience may have seen the content from the source already. No one will want to associate with a brand that lacks integrity.
8. Abusing hashtags
Admit it; we’ve all abused Instagram hashtags at one point or another. For me, it was a constant error because I had no idea of how beneficial they were for my brand’s visibility. First, hashtags help people who are looking for your products or services to find you faster.
In other words, hashtags are powerful tools that help attract your target audience to you in an instant.
There are different kinds of Instagram hashtags that you can use to sell your business. Generally, I like the products and service hashtags, but I use campaign hashtags to run a sponsored ad.
While hashtags are efficient, using too many can be counterproductive. So, it’ll be wise to research the best ways to make hashtags work for you.
I’ll go straight to the point on this one. When you post a picture or video on Instagram, never neglect to input captions too. Your captions are almost as important as the main post because they help to boost Instagram’s algorithms.
That’s because the more times you use captions, the more you stimulate user engagement. In turn, Instagram increases your business visibility due to your user engagement portfolio.
Apart from algorithms, captions help to enhance your audience’s understanding of your post. They can reinforce some essential details that your customers may have missed in the post.
When writing captions that count, you must put your best points forward to entice the reader. Also, be sure to write in a friendly tone while also making your statements brief and concise.
10. Too much PR stuff
There’s no doubt that marketing and advertising are crucial elements for your business growth. However, like with every other thing, too much PR may be bad for your online brand. Like I mentioned earlier, people like to connect with the stories and emotions behind what you’re selling.
Your audience will love some form of connection between you both, asides from the product. Putting up promos, logos, product pictures, and other stuff that directly market your products may tire them quickly.
So, put up videos of you or your staff once in a while and briefly discuss other stuff that will interest them. If my experience is anything to go by, posts like that boost engagement like magic.
In today’s world, Instagram is a viable tool to boost your brand’s visibility and get you the sales you crave. However, you must learn how to make the platform work for you.
That’s why I’ve shared my experience with you to help you avoid likely mistakes that may impede your Instagram growth. By avoiding those key mistakes, you’re on the right track to reaching your Instagram goals in a jiffy.
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