The 8 Most Common Mistakes Businesses Make on Instagram
When done right, Instagram is a tremendous platform for businesses to grow an audience, cultivate a brand and gain loyal followers and customers. However, most businesses aren’t able to achieve this level of success and longevity.
When new platforms come around and are booming, there are a few businesses that make the leap quickly.
We’ll call them early adopters. When people see that these early adopters are having success, they want to jump on the bandwagon themselves.
But usually, brands fall into a few common traps because they think that just being on Instagram is enough to achieve success. Let us look at a few common mistakes.
1. Not having a specific plan of action
There are a lot of brands who simply have a page on Instagram because it is the trendy thing to do. They don’t realize how to actually leverage the power of the platform.
You know of businesses like these – they will post once in a while, sometimes make a random quote picture or GIF and otherwise just have a static page.
To be successful on Instagram you need to have a plan of action. Why are you on it? Do you want to build awareness? Get email subscribers? Make sales?
2. Ignoring or not understanding analytics
This is another common mistake brands make. Business owners think that analytics are either useless or too complicated to spend time on. So, they keep posting without any rhyme or reason.
As you would expect with any marketing plan, not tracking key metrics and performance indicators is basically a recipe for guaranteed failure.
To build a thriving brand, you need to dive deep into your analytics and understand the numbers for every aspect of your marketing – how many people look at your pictures, when they are most active, what your demographic numbers are and so on.
3. Thinking the same content works on your feed and Instagram Stories
Even though your stories and your feed are part of the Instagram platform, people engage with them in significantly different ways.
Pictures on your feed last and are often discovered by new visitors later when they come to your profile.
Stories, on the other hand, are meant to be viewed quickly and in the moment. As a result, both of these types of content differ greatly.
4. Deleting or ignoring negative comments and feedback
There is no way you are going to make everyone happy as a business. Eventually, you are going to face some negative feedback or criticism, and a lot of brands simply ignore it.
This is a huge mistake. Criticism offers you the opportunity to show your character and build trust in your audience by acknowledging your mistakes and vowing to correct them in the future.
Customers whose negative feedback gets addressed and replied to quickly are more likely to recommend your business to their friends because of good customer service.
5. Not interacting with your users or followers enough
Another common mistake brands make is not spending enough time in their comments section, replying to people and genuinely interacting with the contents of their message, or by simply liking their posts.
If you aren’t spending the time and effort interacting with potential or targeted audience, how do you expect people to spend the same time and effort engaging with your business?
Interacting with your audience is also a form of engagement. Which is the reason why it important for you to make a promise to reply and answer their questions.
This will soon grow their trust towards you and shortly, they’ll start referring to their family and friends to your brand.
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6. Being too corporate and formal with your communication
Sure, you are a business but that doesn’t mean you have to appear completely robotic and employ jargon-speak in all of your communication.
People like to do business with other people. If all of your content looks like it is coming out of a nameless, faceless corporate machine, you are going to lose a lot of your prospects.
On a social media platform like Instagram, you need to work on being social. Showcase your team members, talk about personal stories and let the audience in behind-the-scenes once in a while.
7. Too much promotional material
A surefire way to alienate a large portion of your audience is to constantly spam them with product promotions and offers. Take it down a few notches and focus more on educating and entertaining your audience.
You can sprinkle in the odd promotional post but go easy.
8. Having an irregular content schedule
This is one of the major mistakes that businesses make. People are very pattern-driven.
If you get them used to a certain frequency of content, they will grow to expect that from you. And when you deviate from that frequency, they will be turned off.
Whether you’re posting once a day or three times a day, make sure you establish a routine and stick to it. Posting at the same times each day also helps the algorithm determine when your posts should show up in your followers’ feeds.
So, there you have it – a laundry list of common mistakes businesses on Instagram are making. You may even be guilty of a few of these yourself.
But no problem! Once you take this advice to heart and change things up, you will see your engagement and follower counts growing steadily. And before you know it, you’ll be a force to reckon with on Instagram
About the author
Harshil is founder of Staiir Social Media Marketing agency. He started his career as a software engineer in 2014 and moved to digital marketing to help small & mid sized businesses grow.
Find him on Twitter @harshil240.