Of all social media platforms out there right now, Instagram can be the most difficult to grow. It can be frustrating to put in all the effort of creating an Instagram profile and managing it only to be met with low follower numbers and low engagement. But what if what you’re doing is actually hurting your chances of success rather than helping it? Today we’ll break down some common mistakes that you’ll find on Instagram business profiles and what you can do to mitigate their effects. Read on!
Mistakes you’re making on your Instagram business profile:
Your profile is private
This is something we see—or don’t see, rather—way too often. There’s no point in having an Instagram account if it’s going to be hidden! Your audience will want to be able to tell whether your content is worth following right away. Once someone goes to your page and sees that they need to jump through hoops just to be able to view your content, they almost instantly lose interest.
The fix: Open up your account. Easy peasy! You need people seeing your content before they start to listen to your message.
Your Instagram bio doesn’t say anything
This is one of the most important parts of your profile page. Once someone goes to your page, it’s what they see first: a nutshell version of who you are and what you do—and, by extension, why they should follow you. This first impression matters! If you don’t put anything interesting here, you’re wasting their time.
@falcongarments does the basics, but that’s enough since they’re an online store with no physical location.
The fix: At the very least, put in your company’s name and email, as well as a link to your company’s site or store. This is the only place you can put a clickable URL! Make the most of this—if you need to change the link every so often for your business promotions or events, don’t be afraid to do so.
Not using Call-to-Action buttons
Some business accounts don’t even have these. They’re right below the profile bio and will allow followers to take action without needing to go to a different website. The most successful Instagram business accounts make use of this feature to great effect.
@commedeux being straight to the point with their profile bio and their Call-to-Action buttons. They’re an online shop, so the first button has to ask you to shop!
The fix: You should, at the very least, include actions that are immediately relevant to your business. From your business profile, click on Edit Profile, then Contact Options, then Add an action button. Instagram automatically puts in Call, Email, and Get Directions buttons once you enter all relevant info for your business, but you want to make things easier for your audience.
Not following anyone
Engagement is a two-way street. You need to help followers find you, and that happens by connecting with similar accounts.
The fix: Follow, follow, follow! You need to find other businesses in a similar sphere and with a similar audience. Luckily, this is easy and, more importantly, free. All it takes is good judgment about the kind of audience you want to have.
Ignoring Instagram Stories
Instagram stories is the platform’s biggest hit in the past couple of years. It’s easy to use, fun, and rewards people for seeking you out.
The fix: Create engaging Instagram stories and don’t be afraid to get creative! This is your opportunity to entertain your followers—stories don’t have to always be about selling something. The only thing is that you need to be consistent. Once your audience thinks you make good content, you can’t stop. They’ll expect more of the same on a regular basis.
That brings us to the next point. You need to post regularly—a couple of times a week is enough, but there has to be a schedule.
The fix: figure out how many times a week you want to post and use Instagram analytics to find out the best days and times to post. This takes a little while, but once you know your best times, you can set that schedule and stick to it pretty much forever.
Not engaging with people
Whenever you post, the main goal is to get people engaged. Likes and comments are king! But if you’re just posting cool photos, you’ll only get likes. The way to get a conversation going is to give your audience the opportunity to start one.
The fix: Get creative with your captions and end with a question that relates to what you posted. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated, just open-ended enough that people get to share their opinions in the comments.
Using too many hashtags
Hashtags are a great discoverability tool, but you don’t need to focus on them too much. Gone are the days of dozens of hashtags on every post.
@corgimacchiato using hashtags judiciously—five to ten hashtags are fine!
The fix: Don’t use the same hashtags over and over again. Use targeted hashtags instead of broad ones—and they have to be relevant to each specific post.
Not making use of influencer marketing
Marketers have started to see the effects of influencer marketing, and it does produce results when used properly. Gaining social proof and credibility are incredibly important on any social media platform, and this is where influencers shine.
The fix: Find someone to collaborate with and create a good relationship with them. This can take time, and you may need more than one influencer by the end of the process. This is fine! Work out expectations and guidelines for each individual so that you can basically let them do their own thing and push your brand organically.
About the author:
Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go.