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12 Instagram marketing mistakes to avoid at any cost

On this age of social networking and sharing, the names Facebook and Twitter have become some kind of major symbols or the most common icons that lead this modern concept of social interaction.

However, in the last recent years due to the spreading popularity of sharing images, there are many social networks oriented on visual content which are able to take advantage of this and gain some space and popularity between the two juggernauts of social networks. And one of these visual social networks is Instagram.

Many people (celebrities, organizations, politicians, creatives, etc.) have turned to it producing a new environment full of opportunities for brands and companies to obtain more potential customers and of course, more revenue.

Nowadays, this mobile and photo-sharing social platform has around 400 million users. So if your brand or business doesn’t have any kind presence on Instagram, you could be missing a valuable opportunity to catch more clients and have a very disadvantaged position in comparison with the competition that does.

It is quite normal to think and feel some kind of uncertainty when you are entering into a new environment for the company, but the big secret is to avoid making noob mistakes that will turn away potential clients and give the wrong image to your brand or company.

Therefore, here are some Instagram marketing mistakes your brand or company should avoid to make while managing your brand’s profile on this platform.

1)   Forgetting about your Bio

One of the most common and biggest mistakes made by many marketers on Instagram is not including proper and relevant bio information about their brand, product or company.

Instagram gives to its users a space dedicated to putting a hyperlink (that means visitors can click it) so it is time to use it smartly in benefit of your brand or product.

Forgetting about your Bio

Try to write the most relevant information without making it boring or too long. Use the hyperlink´s space to link to your homepage or a particular article’s landing page.

Additionally, you can include emojis to make the info friendly and add some spacing between lines so your clients can easily read the info.

Remember that through bio’s info you can easily catch the attention of a huge quantity of potential customers towards your products or brand. Thus, the easier you can make your clients find your main page or online store, the more traffic you will get.

2)   Switching your account to private

This error could be unintentional, and we know that human beings can commit some mistakes, but definitely, this is a big one!

By switching your brand’s account to private you are sentencing your business to a complete failure because first: your potential customers need to approve your request (and this can take at least 1 hour) so it’s quite inconvenient, and second: your clients will be unable to view your brand or product´s profile, and they might lose any interest to know more about your profile or products.

To avoid all of these inconveniences, ensure that your account is set to public. Also, go to your account’s privacy setting and change it to open, and you will see how your followers’ count goes up faster than you may imagine.

3)   Ignoring and no answering your community

Instagram is a social environment where getting a huge number of followers is pretty simple and fast. But the bigger your community the bigger your responsibility towards them, so you should offer a proper attention.

Answering your community is the one key aspect that will help to spread your brand or product´s fame and popularity. However, if you are not willing to do this your brand will suffer the consequences of dropping or harming your company’s reputation.

Ignoring and no answering your community

When any client leaves a comment or doubt about your product or service, take your time before responding. Furthermore, if some followers give you a few suggestions then receive and read them modestly with an open mind.

Another important aspect is to give the necessary support related to your products or services when your followers require it. So, be careful about this and try to give them an authentic customer service.

By responding and solving their problems progressively, you can build a strong and trusted relationship with your community of followers, and at the same time,  creating give value to your brand/company.

When you are showing to your followers that you are concerned and always willing to help, they will be a constant source of engagement because they will consider you and your brand reliable, so they will  influence others to use your products or services and make your business grow.

4)   Posting low-quality images

Remember, Instagram is a visual oriented social network, in plain words, images represent everything.

The quality of the images posted can say a lot about your brand and products. Moreover, as a business, you must look as a professional in your field.

So you have to be very careful with the quality of the images that you are going to publish because, if by some chance, you post poor quality images your brand and products will be perceived as unprofessional, and besides, your followers and potential customers may lose interest and maybe they will not like to follow your  brand or articles anymore.

Posting low-quality images

When publishing your photos, make sure to use the recommended resolution (1280 x 1280 pixels) so they’re considered  high-quality images, and size and center them correctly without any odd cutouts.

To facilitate this job, there are plenty of online tools that are quite to ensure the required quality of the images to publish on Instagram. Some of these tools are PicMonkey, Canva, Pixlr and Pablo.

5)   Publishing unrelated images

Maybe you have thought that being an independent entrepreneur managing your own business and to being “social” would give you the power to share anything you want, right?

Well, if that is your case, sorry to break it to you, but you are mistaken.

Your brand or company´s account is a business one, so it is not necessary to abuse  posting images with some kind of personal touch.

Publishing unrelated images

If you overdo it with irrelevant pictures on your business account, then your company will be perceived as unprofessional and improvised by your community.

But it is not necessary to be an extremist either, there is nothing wrong with leaving a little personal touch once in awhile to humanize a bit your brand or company. However, it is more important to keep a good balance between your “occasional” posts and relevant ones.

6)   Do not use unoriginal images

Another very common mistake by many companies or brands is the tendency of posting on their Instagram accounts images that they have not created.

By doing this, your Instagram’s profile will receive a less authentic and less reliable image, so your potential clients will not feel attracted to follow your brand or products.

 Do not use unoriginal images

Also, your company may run into copyright issues if the visual content used is not a under a creative commons license or copyright free.

And yes, Instagram is a visually oriented social network, but you have to choose carefully the source of the images or do the most recommended thing,  hire a graphic designer who will create original visuals for your brand’s account.

When your followers start to notice that your visuals are original and unique they will enjoy reading your posts more and they will value your content.

7)   Incorrect use of hashtags or complete lack of it.

This one can be pretty tough, but it is very important. Let’s first begin with the primary question: What defines a “correct” use of hashtags?

To begin, the primary function of hashtags is to turn a certain word searchable, period. Secondly, their use should be as shortest and relevant as possible. Try at any cost to avoid annoying lines like: #people #tend #to #abuse #using #a #lot #of #hashtags.

Besides, you have to follow and use high-demand hashtags which are relevant only to your area of expertise.

 Incorrect use of hashtags or complete lack of it.

Instagram users have a high tendency to search popular hashtags to discover new things. The more hashtags you can include in your post, the more chances you will receive to appear on feeds and drive traffic to your profile.

But, as it was mentioned above, it is important not to overuse them. For that, Instagram allows for a limit of 30 hashtags per post. Moreover, according to recent studies, posts with 11 or more hashtags can receive 80% more engagement in comparison to posts with 10 that receive only 22% and when using 2 will receive a decent 41%.

Once more, the secret is to get it right, because not using any hashtags is a huge mistake. It is valid to say that hashtags create a “gateway” for more potential customers and followers to reach you and others members of your community and vice versa.

8)   Inconsistency posting

Even though Facebook and Twitter are the heavyweights of social networks Instagram represents a very strong and important environment for actual social marketing.

As any social platform, it is very important to post regularly. But in the case of Instagram, posting regularly is not the same as over posting; remember, if your community detects your account as a source of spamming that always publishes an excessive amount of images overflowing their accounts, and then they will be more willing to “unfollow you”.

So, try to publish posts with high quality and relevant content.

Inconsistency posting

Moreover, you should organize a schedule to post regularly so your followers will be able to remember your brand or company longer and keep their interest towards your products/services.

Also, the opposite scenario is a problem. If you are not posting frequently you community will tend to forget your brand and their interest will fade too.

Keep in mind that the human mind has a high tendency to get accustomed to those persons or things that can stay in contact frequently. Therefore, your post should have some relevant content that helps your customers remember your brand or products.

9)   Posting irrelevant content

Your brand’s Instagram account has a determined purpose, right? Always keep in mind the purpose of Instagram is to share visually a story for people to feel attracted and want to learn something more.

From the very beginning, it is inherent to human nature to tell stories to others persons trying to use visual ways to make it more attractive. So using this as a reference, you have to keep in mind to use this social platform to share stories about your brand by revealing your company policy and the staff who is behind of it.

Posting irrelevant content

You should take advantage of all means offered by Instagram (for example, to publish and share 15 seconds videos) to catch the attention and fulfill the expectations of your followers to know the efforts and excitement that you and your team has experienced as a brand/company.

But above all, always post content for your community and no one else. This is very important because in social platforms people have a tendency to post everything that could call the attention of your contacts to become more sociable, but forgetting the main and original purpose of the company´s account will get you off the right path.

Hence, just say no about publishing content that is not related somehow to your audience. By posting the content that your audience really wants to see then you will be able to build a strong and relevant community with a high probability of turning them into your most loyal customers.

10)   Not engaging with your community

Remember when you open a profile or an account of your company in any of the social networks available, you have to think and focus on just one thing: engagement.

It is great if you have the chance and the capacity to share high quality and relevant content, but you must consider that the process of engagement (in order to be successful) needs to be bidirectional.

Not engaging with your community

When the potential customers and followers are able to reach your brand and products, it is critical to interact with them. For them is quite meaningful to see that a brand or company has replied to their comments.

At the end, the main feature of social media is interaction, sharing and exchanging, not monologues, isolation or just leeching off.

A good way to start creating some engagement is asking a question (with the respective related image). However, try to ask a direct question instead of an open one to ensure getting more replies from your audience.

11)   Trying to buy your followers

Some companies on their quest to attract more customers try to implement artificial methods to build a long-term relationship with their followers.

However, it is recommendable to not buy followers because it will cause negative effects to your brand such as:

  1. a) Less Engagement: By buying followers, your community is not accepting people who feel attracted towards your brand/products, or even less, desire to engage with you. They will be just shallow numbers conformed by people who forcefully follow your business.

b)  Losing reputation: even in today’s world where ethics have become more and more relative and imprecise, people will get suspicious if, for example, your business goes from having 20 followers to more than 20,000 in just a couple of days. This will definitely affect greatly your company’s reputation.

Trying to buy your followers

In consequence, on social media,  catching the attention of followers in an organic way is by far the best choice. Yes, it needs some time, effort and dedication but it is worth it to make the necessary sacrifices to obtain the desired revenues and reach the established goals properly. If you really want to speed things up by investing money on it you’re much better off just buying ads on Instagram.

12)   Not showing off your company

Instagram is the fittest environment to announce upcoming promotions, contests, offers, etc. and also the perfect environment to humanize your company´s image by showing off the different aspects or sections of your business (from developing products to the entire team)

In social media it is crucial that your followers can see who are the people behind your brand, how they work together, what kind activities they do on their free time, etc. So your customers will be more willing to follow  perceiving that the brand is formed by human beings like them, thus your company will gain more trust and prestige.

 Not showing off your company

For this reason, if you are using a profile on Instagram, you have to exploit this platform to do this and showcase your business to establish a difference in comparison with the competition that still perceives clients and companies as two separated and isolated beings.

After all, remember that our human nature makes people enjoy talking with other people, so ensure that your brand/company is shows all the faces that are behind your products, services, and business.

To sum up

You have to stay alert about these marketing mistakes on Instagram and avoid them at any cost. More than once, the simplest and most insignificant mistakes can trigger the most unpleasant consequences such as members of your community unfollowing you (and this hurts indeed!)

Consequently, be cautious and well documented before taking any marketing decision towards your brand or products on Instagram.

If you are perfectly aware about these mistakes commonly made on this visual oriented social network, then surely, your company/brand will be on the right track without any problems to create a strong and profitable community for your followers and your business.