When Instagram was first released in 2010, no one really paid it much attention. Many of us saw it as a silly little gimmick used by Facebook to bump up its already considerable profit margins. How wrong we were! These days, Instagram is huge, essential part of any business’s marketing strategy, and you need to know how to leverage it to cash in on its popularity. To make sure you’re getting the best start possible, here are some costly mistakes you need to avoid.
The first mistake you could be making is not focussing on the quality of your content. Of course, you’ll have certain time-constrained goals in your marketing department, and in the rush to meet them it can be easy to neglect what you’re posting, and focus more on posting it. If you carry on like this, you’re only going to be holding yourself back. Take a moment to think about how Instagram works from a user’s point of view. They’ll typically be scrolling through a column of photos, glancing over the repetitive content and skimming for something that interests them. It doesn’t matter how much content you can post when none of it is gaining any attention! I know it can be hard to come up with good content, especially if your business exists in a somewhat dry niche. However, neglecting the quality of your content is a seriously damaging mistake.
Another big mistake, which is a sure fire way to bring down your Instagram influence, is misusing hashtags. The issue is usually that a brand uses too few, or that the ones they do use are irrelevant. Like other social networks, hashtags play an important part in accounts being discovered and followed. You can use your budget to purchase Instagram followers and get fairly far. However, more organic traffic invariably comes from well-placed hashtags. A good hashtag has to be relevant and popular, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be pre-existing! Creating your own branded hashtag, and promoting it successfully, can increase your brand awareness massively overnight. Generally, more is better when it comes to tags-per-post. Instagram has obviously clocked onto this, and set the cap at 30. About 11 should be fine, and will garner a lot more engagement than just a few.
Finally, not posting content enough. I know, at the start of this post I told you that quality was much more important than quantity. However, that maxim will only take you so far. If you can maintain the quality of your content, while still posting often enough to attract good engagement, then the sky’s the limit. Getting the balance right may sound like a pretty big task. The good news is that’s it’s pretty easy to beat a lot of brands on quantity! The average business account posts on Instagram once a day. However, brands that post once or more an hour throughout the day get overall better engagement. If you’re a little sporadic with frequency, then figure a manageable quota and make it part of your strategy today!