Your start-up may just hovering off the ground, you may have a well-rounded business that has already taken off, or maybe your just trying to get your name out there. Whatever the tenure of your business or brand, you are finding that Instagram isn’t bending to your will the way you hoped it would. Working full-time on a marketing team, and consulting on my own, I often see a few easy-to-make mistakes that will place a proverbial sandbag on your marketing efforts. Let’s get right to it.
1. You Are Focusing too Hard on “the sell”
You might be thinking, “Well yeah, that’s why I got my business on Instagram in the first place is to sell.” Wrong. While that may be your underlying goal, your followers and potential followers can feel the sell. When every photo you post is promoting your product or service, your audience just feels used. They didn’t get on Instagram to be bombarded by ad campaigns. They are on Instagram to connect and feel something.
This may sound odd, but your Instagram business account can’t be all about your business to be successful. Example, if you make jewelry to sell, instead of every post being about your merchandise, mix it up. Introduce yourself, and weave your personal journey into your business account. Talk about what inspires you and let the Instagram community see the personal story behind the business. Post inspirational quotes, and stunning images that inspire your designs. Rather than your followers feeling like you are a used car salesman, they will begin to develop a deep connection to you and your brand, therefore driving them to be interested in your products.
2. Your Grid Doesn’t Flow
Especially when first starting up, most Instagram newbies focus on the individual posts. And while you need to make sure you are hitting your formula for each post individually, you can’t forget that those posts are part of a much larger grid. When someone sees a post they like from you and chooses to check out your account to decided whether they want to follow you or not, they aren’t just seeing one post, they are using your entire grid to make their choice.
So decide how you want your grid to feel. Make sure you have variety, but not so much where your grid feels random. Decide on two or three filters to use and use them constantly so all the photos on your grid feel more like a gallery than a scrapbook.
3. You aren’t Using the Right Tags
Tags are your life’s blood on Instagram. If you want to actually grow your account and gain followers at a decent rate, you HAVE to use tags, and you have to be smart about them. When you begin to type in a tag, Instagram will show you how many times that tag has been used. As a general rule, you don’t really want to use tags (that aren’t popular local tags) that have been used less than 100,000 times. Using well-established tags means that you have a much greater chance of someone searching your tags and finding your gem of a business right there on Instagram.
4. You Waste your Best Content
Do you post to your account whenever your best post is ready? Well then you might be wasting your best content. While this element of strategy does depend somewhat on your individual followers, by rule, posting between 8-9am and 6-8pm are the most profitable times to post on Instagram. That’s when your followers are on their way into work, and when they are catching up when they get home. If you are posting your best content at 11am, there is a good chance that your beautiful photo and push to your business are falling on deaf ears.
5. You Aren’t Reaching Out
In my consulting, I always tell my clients they should be liking at least 100 posts per day that contain relevant hashtags to their business. It’s a great way to get someone’s attention, and drive them to your page. And while this is time and work, this is an essential component to growing your Instagram business account. Don’t be afraid to research relevant tags and follow accounts you think may be potential customers or accounts you just admire. If you don’t reach out and engage with the Instagram community, they won’t reach out and engage with you.
I hope this article helps you grow a community of brand advocates to your business or brand and helps drive revenue for you. If you are looking to develop more intensive marketing campaigns, or want more in-depth coaching on the social media formula for business, I would be happy to speak with you! You can check out my site, or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always lovelies, Sweet Dreams and Happy Travels!